Jon Krakauer's acclaimed account of a disastrous expedition on Mt Everest
This is the true story of a 24-hour period on Everest, when members of three separate expeditions were caught in a storm and faced a battle against hurricane-force winds, exposure, and the effects of altitude, which ended the worst single-season death toll in the peak's history.
In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of Hall and the other leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead. Krakauer's book is at once the story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Written within months of the events it chronicles, Into Thin Air clearly evokes the majestic Everest landscape. As the journey up the mountain progresses, Krakauer puts it in context by recalling the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history. The author's own anguish over what happened on the mountain is palpable as he leads readers to ponder timeless questions.
About The Author:
Jon Krakauer is the author of Eiger Dreams, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air and Under the Banner of Heaven all published by Pan Macmillan.
Born in 1954, Jon Krakauer grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, where his father introduced him to mountaineering as an 8-year-old. After graduating from Hampshire College in 1976, Krakauer divided his time between Colorado, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest, earning his living primarily as a carpenter and commercial salmon fisherman, spending most of his free moments in the mountains. In 1977 he traveled alone to the remote Stikine Icecap in Southeast Alaska, went three weeks without encountering another person, and climbed a new route on a graceful, intimidating peak called the Devils Thumb. In 1992 he climbed the West Face of Cerro Torre in the Patagonian Andes (a mile-high spike of granite sheathed in a carapace of frozen rime, Cerro Torre was once considered the most difficult mountain on earth.)
In May 1996 Krakauer reached the top of Mt. Everest, but during the descent a storm engulfed the peak, taking the lives of four of the five teammates who climbed to the summit with him. An analysis of the calamity that he wrote for Outside magazine received a National Magazine Award. The unsparingly honest book he subsequently wrote about Everest, INTO THIN AIR, became an international bestseller, translated into 24 languages. It
For the past two decades Krakauer's writing has been published in the likes of Outside, GEO, Architectural Digest, Rolling Stone, TIME, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and National Geographic. An article he wrote for Smithsonian about vulcanology received the 1997 Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union. In 1998 Krakauer established the Everest '96 Memorial Fund at the Boulder Community Foundation, endowing it with royalties from Into Thin Air. Created as a tribute to his companions lost on Everest, the fund provides humanitarian aid to the indigenous peoples of the Himalaya and supports organizations working to preserve the natural environment throughout the world. Krakauer also serves on the boards of the American Himalayan Foundation and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation.
In 1999 Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters-a prestigious award intended 'to honour writers of exceptional accomplishment.' According to the Academy's citation, 'Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer. His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind.'
A film based on Into the Wild, directed and written by Sean Penn, premieres in 2007.
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