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 Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
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darren
Administrator

Best grilled cheese maker ever

Whitehorse, YUKON
Canada

2211 Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  09:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
Today's the day all this went down. Time sure does fly! So fast, in fact, that I've got my 10 year high school reunion this Saturday!

Seeing that this year is the 10 year anniversary of the tragedy on Everest (anniversary is a weird word to use, I must admit) I decided to re-read Into Thin Air again. It was as gripping the second time around as the first time; however, something about Krakauer still bugs me. I think perhaps what it could be is his blame on Anatoli Boukreev who left the summit quite quickly after reaching the top. Admitedly, Boukreev should have had oxygen since he was acting as a guide; however, I still think the main problem was Hall and Fischer did not have a set turn around time (or if they did, they didn't adhere to it). Plus, Hall and Fischer were essentially trying to better one another in order to get better press at home, and therefore more clients.

This issue has been pounded to death, so I'm not looking to start some "What went wrong" thread. Just thought I'd write my thoughts and recommend this book to the few who haven't read it.

Edited by - darren on 05/10/2006 09:32 AM
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Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  09:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My thoughts on the book is that it is quite a bit about Jon and secondarily about what happened... little pretense of objective reporting and quite a bit of borderline slandering of Anatoli....

Radmila
Intermediate Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

671 Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  10:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At VIMFF on Saturday there will be a movie about the life and death of Anatoli Boukreev during a winter climb of South Face of Annapurna. I'm sure they will mention the 1996 tragedy, since he was involved in saving people and even got David Sowles Award from the American Alpine Club for his efforts.

I'll be there, hope to see some familiar faces.
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Kathryne
Intermediate Member



956 Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  5:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I still have the original Outside magazine that the original article appeared in somewhere. I remember how interesting it was to read both in sucession and compare the differences in the accounting by Krakauer. I guess I should go dig that mag out again!

Televators
New Member


Prince George, BC
Canada

95 Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  5:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great book. A number of different events led to the disaster, and no single person can be blamed for what happened. They should have had a set turn around time, Boukreev probably should have used oxygen since he was a guide and responsible for assisting clients, fixed ropes should been put in place long before they actually were, and not to mention the storm that swept in and took everyone by surprise. Still can't believe that Beck Weathers actually lived through the ordeal.
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LeeL
Advanced Member

Extreme ski tourin, mountain bikin addict who hikes at least once a year


2633 Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  8:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
krakauer - poster child for whiny armchair quarterbacks. Stick to rock-jocking

Radmila
Intermediate Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

671 Posts

 Posted - 02/17/2006 :  8:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by darren

Admitedly, Boukreev should have had oxygen since he was acting as a guide...


quote:
Originally posted by Televators

Boukreev probably should have used oxygen since he was a guide and responsible for assisting clients...




Sorry, but I don't think that it would have helped a lot if Boukreev was using oxygen. He did have an oxygen tank with him for emergency, but didn't use it since he was acclimatized well and felt strong. Also, he gave up his oxygen and gave it to the other guide, Neal Beidleman, on the decent, who was running out of it, and Neal was able to get some clients down after that. Might have been a different story if Neal didn't have that oxygen.

I don't think he could have saved Scott Fisher, it would be too much for him to climb up again. He might have saved Yasuko Namba if he had more energy to return for her, but he was way too exhausted. Not to mention that nobody else wanted to go out in the storm and help him.

laneskimmer
Intermediate Member


Vancouver, B.C.
Canada

847 Posts

 Posted - 02/18/2006 :  1:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone read Boukreev's rebuttal to "Into Thin Air"? It's called "The Climb". Good read...

I agree with Dru. Krakauer is a little too self-absorbed to be taken seriously. In his book, "Into the Wild", whole sections of the book are devoted to him.

Still an entertaining writer, though.

mick range
Extreme Hoser

Trail running, bike hucking, fast packing, beer drinking collector of pine cones on a day pass

AKA

Dances with Trees

Forest Gnome Cabin
Canada

13559 Posts

 Posted - 02/18/2006 :  2:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nobody ever says anything about the Sherpas who all refused to help Boukreev in his rescue efforts. If they had, Yasuko Namba might have lived . He rescued everyone he could, and did a hell of a job doing it, to say nothing of his foray back up the mountain to try and save Fischer.

I think the worst problems were due to the route being overcrowded, which resulted in serious delays. Turning around was an option many should have considered

Still, you had to be there, and hindsight is 20/20

Edited by - mick range on 02/18/2006 2:04 PM

SteveOz
Intermediate Member


culmination point, B.C.
Canada

737 Posts

 Posted - 02/22/2006 :  12:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You couldn't pay me enough to climb on everest the way it is today

Radmila
Intermediate Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

671 Posts

 Posted - 02/25/2006 :  8:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good read:
http://jab.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/35/2/163?ijkey=02fc1be9409c21aa355e42b7b631d82eb9953156

mazeGirl
Senior Member

chinese hot-pot gourmand, costco pirate, 103 hikes completin', picture postin', commander of our newest canadian trekkers

Vancouver, BC
Canada

1795 Posts

 Posted - 02/27/2006 :  1:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the post worker in that book is a tragic figure, doing two jobs was just for the death on Everest? Loving mountaineering cost his marriage, then he dedicated more to the mountain later, it's kind of the negative interaction for ppl who has personal problem or a mess personal life. I think the main intention for them to be on the mountain is to get released from the pain. For that reason, they might often challenge themselves without much consideration to the reality and to the team. That being say, being on the mountain can't resolve any personal problem and nature prefer ppl behave naturally. Ppl should pay special attention to those kind of partners. Hall should have stopped him by turn around time.

----------------------------------------
Quiet Night Thinking

Bed front moonlight,
Is frost on ground?
Up head watching moon,
Down head thinking home.

Edited by - mazeGirl on 02/27/2006 1:33 PM

point
Intermediate Member


coquitlam, B.C.
Canada

804 Posts

 Posted - 03/01/2006 :  4:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know I should wait to finish the book to add comments but at 1/2 way through this book isn't easy to put down. What a story.
I never had the urge to do a mountain like that and the descriptions of the events confirms it. Freakin great adventure but not my thing.
I was on Mount Logan at the 17,600' level for four days and felt like shit the whole time. It was hard to appreciate the thrill of being there when you look at things through a foggy headache. I loved it befor and after the event more than the event itself. Now try almost twice as high? WOW!

puffpuffpassross
Starting Member



22 Posts

 Posted - 09/17/2006 :  9:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes a good read indeed. Like others, I read Bukareev (sp) book "The Climb" and David Brashears book "High Exposure". All three look at the same event and the neat thing is how all of them saw the same event in such a different manner.

soup
New Member


victoria
Canada

73 Posts

 Posted - 09/18/2006 :  3:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought the book was a good read. Just cause I read a book doesn't mean I have to believe everything in it.

"there are writers who climb, and there are climbers who write" - some climber/writer guy

Didn't Anatoli Boukreev get recognized by the American Alpine Association for his actions that day? I think an award like that speaks volumes.

Anatoli Boukreev - also has a book of journels translated to english. Tis a very good read

----------------------------------------
If you get confused, listen to the music play.

Baddoc48
Intermediate Member


Chilliwack, BC
755 Posts

 Posted - 09/18/2006 :  3:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I read it this summer . . . after my wife did

She does not need to worry that i'm heading out for the TOP. . .

However, a friend of my daughter is going the the base camp next month.


I suppose we all draw the line in different places . . . comfort levels . . . I don't like log crossings in which light can be seen beneath the log

----------------------------------------
Some people come only to look; others come to see. -- Hillary's sherpa

Bob Wallace
Junior Member


Port Coquitlam, BC
Canada

165 Posts

 Posted - 10/19/2006 :  3:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you enjoyed that book...read The Golden Spruce. Well written and very West Coast. From the Haida, to the Explorers to Logging practices (old and new)...couldn't put it down!

----------------------------------------
Less is not always better!

jackieb
Junior Member



331 Posts

 Posted - 11/06/2006 :  9:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As an aside, I just read the book by Krakauer abou the Mormon Church. It's called, "Under the Banner of Heaven." Very interesting and well-written. You might be surprised by what you read. There's a good chunk in it about Bountiful, BC which might be of interest to some.

CWF
Junior Member


Whitehorse, YT
Canada

158 Posts

 Posted - 11/17/2006 :  10:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SuperTwink

I still have the original Outside magazine that the original article appeared in somewhere. I remember how interesting it was to read both in sucession and compare the differences in the accounting by Krakauer. I guess I should go dig that mag out again!


And Outside did a 10th anniversary edition, interviewing some of the surviving characters, which made for a good read and prompted me to read the book. Men's Journal also recently had articles about the tragedy, David Sharp's death on Everest, and Breashears. Interesting stuff. Typing of Breashears, check out the video trailer for his movie: http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/everestbeyond/everestbeyond.html. I leave for Argentina and Aconcagua on the 23rd and the trailer added to my butterflies.

johngenx
Advanced Member


Finally stopping that crazy suffering that is ice, climbing to concentrate on great ski tours!
3736 Posts

 Posted - 11/17/2006 :  2:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey CWF, waddya do in Whitehorse? I am FH Collins grad, closing in on 25 years ago. Loved it there, but no real opportunity to return. Went back in 2003 for a visit, mostly unchanged. Forgot how much I loved Alaska, probably miss it more than the Yukon.

Aconcagua? Me big jealous.
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SnowSeeker
Advanced Member

Maple syrup lovin', tree huggin', face paintin' relocated Québécoise who is VERY serious about having fun

Vancouver
Canada

2638 Posts

 Posted - 07/06/2007 :  11:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is one of the reasons why I am not sleeping a lot these days. And yeah, I am enjoying the book. Not sure why I waited so long to read it... I've got the illustrated edition. Perfect for the visual type that I am. Thanks to Hafilax for lending it to me!



quote:
Originally posted by CWF
[And Outside did a 10th anniversary edition, interviewing some of the surviving characters, which made for a good read and prompted me to read the book.

Hey Darren, do you still have that copy kicking around? I wouldn't mind borrowing it again after I'm done reading the book...
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