When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top. No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe. The following morning, he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn't made it back to their camp and were desperately struggling for their lives. When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated.
Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of the bestseller Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside Magazine to report on the growing commercialization of the mountain, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas as a client of Rob Hall, the most respected high-altitude guide in the world. A rangy, thirty-five-year-old New Zealander, Hall had summited Everest four times between 1990 and 1995 and had led thirty-nine climbers to the top. Ascending the mountain in close proximity to Hall's team was a guided expedition led by Scott Fischer, a forty-year-old American with legendary strength and drive who had climbed the peak without supplemental oxygen in 1994. But neither Hall nor Fischer survived the rogue storm that struck in May 1996.
Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people -- including himself -- to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.
Into the Wild is available on audio, read by actor Campbell Scott.
From the Hardcover edition.
I really enjoyed this audiobook. I found myself staying in my car to keep listening after I'd reached my destination! I didn't have much of a prior interest in climbing either, and I found the listen exciting and enthralling. Recommend.
The writer provides his interpratation of events that aspired under extreme cir***stances. You as the reader are taken from the comfort of your reading chair and propelled to the side of the tallest and possibly most unforgiven mountian in the world. Along the way you are made to feel the excitement and the fear of those individuals that were on the mountian in that expidition. You will grieve for the pain and the loss that is incured and may end up feeling like you have lost a few goods friends along the way. As good as this book is you cant help but wonder if there is more that could havee been done. that perhaps the writer could have done more. you may also find as i did, that you are wondering why anyone would put themselves through such hardship. Even as a outdoorsman and endurance athelete I cant imagine persuing the elation that is ***ociated with success when you know that so much can be at stake. I suggest this reeding to anyone who has ever wondered what it must be like to climb the worlds tallest mountian. I do attach a warning however that the content of this book is not for the weak of heart.