The Beauty And The Beast: Into Thin Air By Jon Krakauer

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Sean Johnson Mr. Arber Man VS Nature 16 October 2016 The Beauty and the Beast Mt. Everest is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and for good reasons. The mountain is the tallest in the world reaching a height of 29,029 ft. It is also stunningly beautiful from its glistening ice to its crystal clear air. The mountain is beautiful, a beautiful beast that is. Mount Everest has taken the lives of over 280 people in its recorded history and claims several lives each year. Everything is deadly on this mountain from the subzero temperatures to the high altitudes. The novel Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer describes one of the worst disasters in the mountains recent history. It describes the fateful ascent on May 10, 1996 where around 30 climbers …show more content…

On Everest there is a section called the Khumbu Icefall which is a glacier that moves a couple feet every day. Since this glacier moves so fast crevices randomly and quickly open up each day that pose a threat to climbers. There are also large blocks of ice that fall and tumbles down the glacier that can be as large as small houses. Krakauer describes this as the most dangerous part of the climb due to how unpredictable this section is. The Khumbu Icefall has claimed more lives than any other part of the mountain as well. Krakauer and his group go up and down this several times to get used to the elevation and he talks about how Sherpas map out the route before everyone tries to climb it to try and avoid deadly crevices. This Icefall was partly responsible for the 19 deaths in 2015 in the Earthquake that shook loose tons of snow and ice from nearby mountains and the Icefall into the base camp. Several times in Into Thin Air a piece of ice or rock will strike someone which sometimes resulted in their death. The most deadly environmental dangers on Everest is storms. Blizzards can come out of nowhere with hurricane force winds and zero visibility and that is exactly what happened in Into Thin Air. As Krakauer is climbing down from the summit he notices some clouds in the distance that were thunderclouds which he did not realize at first. The blizzard hit hard soon after his descent from the …show more content…

There are multiple ways to get sick but the most frequent ways are altitude sickness / lack of oxygen, and the cold. The Base Camp alone is 17,000 ft. up the mountain. Jon Krakauer and his expedition stayed at the base camp for about 6 weeks with climbs to the camps above in between to adjust to the altitude. This is due to the fact that if they ascend too fast they could suffer from HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) which can cause heavy breathing and the lungs filling with fluids, this is extremely fatal if not treated quickly. A disease similar to this is HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) which is caused by being at high altitudes and it causes the brain to swell and fill with fluids and can cause disorientation and nausea and eventually, death. Krakauer has an encounter with this when a Sherpa named Ngawang Topche ascended up the mountain too fast and began to suffer from HAPE. He denied being sick and tried to continue on but eventually became incapacitated and had to be taken down the mountain. “By the time he arrived at the tents late that afternoon Ngawang was delirious, stumbling like a drunk, and coughing up pink, blood-laced froth” (Krakuer 109). He died several days later for not seeking help fast enough. Exhaustion is also deadly and common on Everest due to the altitude causing climbers to quickly tire. This is because at higher

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