Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Default Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer

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.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 09:54 AM
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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....
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 10:53 AM
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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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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 05:10 PM
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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!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 05:51 PM
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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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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 08:23 PM
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krakauer - poster child for whiny armchair quarterbacks. Stick to rock-jocking
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2006, 08:40 PM
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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.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2006, 01:41 PM
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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.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2006, 02:03 PM
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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
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 12:01 AM
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You couldn't pay me enough to climb on everest the way it is today
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