Overview: Into Thin Air By Jon Krakauer

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As I approach my end of highschool in the next couple years, I want to find a sense of purpose in life so that I can find a sense of direction. I envy people who have decided who they are, and what they want in life. I envy people, such as members of Everest expeditions, who have worked up to the points in their lives where they have a goal, and are hell bent on completing these goals. I envy the determination, bravery, and even the naivety of numerous climbers throughout the book, Into Thin Air. These mountain climbers decided on what they wanted in life and dedicated themselves to it completely; hopefully I can too one day. Into Thin Air is a narrative written by Jon Krakauer recounting the spring climbing season of 1996. Krakauer presents …show more content…

While learning of the conditions of the climbers, the reader is given a better picture of what the reality was of climbing Everest. As the climbers scale the mountain, it demands more and more physical endurance. The climbers feel themselves deteriorating, even breathing is difficult. “[At Camp Three] Brain cells were dying. Our blood was growing dangerously thick and sludgelike. Capillaries in our retinas were spontaneously hemorrhaging. Even at rest, our hearts beat at a furious rate.” (Krakauer 200) The physical limits presented to reader are beyond belief, yet the mental challenges faced by Krakauer and others is almost beyond comprehension. Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, often leads to confusion and as a result deadly decisions. For example, Andy Harris, presumably in a hypoxic state, mistakenly cranked Krakauer’s oxygen tank to full flow, leading to Jon descending part of Everest without supplemental oxygen. Krakauer becomes too fatigued physically and mentally to even appreciate his childhood dream of summiting Everest: “ I understood on some dim, detached level that the sweep of earth beneath my feet was a spectacular sight. I’d been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of emotions that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, actually standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care.” (Krakauer

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