Jon Krakauer - Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Diaster

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<I>Into Thin Air</I> is the definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of <I>Eiger Dreams</I> and <I>Into the Wild</I>. On assignment for <I>Outside</I> magazine, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas to report on the growing commercialization of the planet's highest mountain. Everest has always been a dangerous mountain. From the first British expeditions in the 1920s until 1996, one climber has died for ever 4 who have attained the summit. This shocking death toll has not put a damper on the burgeoning business of guided ascents, however, in which amateur alpinists with alarmingly disparate skills are ushered up the mountain for a $65,000 fee. To ascend into the thin, frigid air above 26,000 feet - the cruising altitude of a commercial jetliner - is an inherently irrational act. The environment is unimaginably harsh, the margin for error miniscule. Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so