Into Thin Air: A Story of Survival by Jon Krakauer Essay

Into Thin Air: A Story of Survival by Jon Krakauer Essay

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Cross country runners spend weeks to months training for that one moment, the moment they will lean across the finish line. Crossing the finish line only lasts for only a split second, but the impact is significant. People often ask why, why spend so much time training for that one moment? Well for me it’s simple. The feeling I have when I cross that finish line is like no other I’ve ever had; it is a unique combination of pride, pain, relief, and an indescribable sense of accomplishment. After reading Into Thin Air, I realized how similar climbing a mountain actually is to running a race. Climbers, just like runners, spend months training for those few glorious minutes on top.
Climbing Mt. Everest is an accomplishment that only a limited number of people can say they have accomplished. Despite statistics that illustrate most fail or die trying, numerous people are drawn to the mountain each year and truly believe they can be among that elite group. In the spring of 1996, Jon Krakauer, a journalist for the adventure magazine Outside and a passionate climber himself, was offered the opportunity to climb Mt. Everest. The original offer was to join an Adventure Consultants team led by Rob Hall, a respected and well known guide, climb to base camp and then write a story on the commercialism that had penetrated this incredibly risky but addicting sport. Without much hesitation Krakauer accepted the offer but not to just go to base camp; he wanted the top. The expedition started out as predicted but an unexpected storm the day of the summit push turned this expedition into the most devastating expedition of all time. Krakauer was changed for life; an article on the commercialism surrounding the mountain would no longer suffice. Into Th...


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...mistakes that cost lives. Krakauer needs affirmation that his feelings are valid.
Into Thin Air is a gripping story of human triumph and a catastrophic tragedy. It was written to provide insight and perspective but for many, resulted in more questions being raised than answers being provided. The words will likely impact readers in a variety of different ways; some will be shocked and be moved to react, some will mourn for the lives lost and want to reach out to the families they left behind, some will be horrified by how commercialized this natural wonder of our world has become, and still others will just simply be entertained by the story. Regardless of the impact on each individual reader, it can be said unequivocally that it is a story of survival and painful endings. Into Thin Air is captivating and will keep every reader engaged. You must read this book!

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