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Research Paper on Into Thin Air by John Krakauer

A research paper on geography or even Mount Everest can use the book Into Thin Air by John Krakauer. Paper Masters custom writes papers using any book you need. All you have to do is state that you need the book, tell us the author of the book and then give the details of your project and our writers will custom write your research paper using that resource.

Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air (Random House, 1997) is a harrowing personal account of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, in which four people from two commercial ventures lost their lives attempting to climb the world’s highest peak.  Krakauer, a freelance writer and experienced mountain climber, was hired by Outside magazine to chronicle a commercial guided expedition, a recent phenomenon that takes less-than-expert mountaineering experts up the world’s highest mountains.  In today’s world of extreme sports, bungee jumping and skydiving, if you have enough money, you can buy just about anything, including a trip to the rooftop of the world.

Into Thin AirKrakauer joined Adventure Consultants Guided Expeditions, a company founded by Ron Hall from New Zealand, who was famous in mountaineering circles as an expert climber.  In addition to Hall’s expedition, there were about a dozen other groups attempting to scale Everest in the spring of 1996, including a group financed by the Johannesburg Sunday Times, a Taiwanese expedition, an IMAX film crew, and Mountain Madness Guided Expeditions, a rival company founded by American Scott Fisher.  The beginning of Krakauer’s account includes an incomplete list of individuals present on Mt. Everest that spring, which runs for six pages.

Reading Krakauer’s account seems like a step-by-step journey into a screw-up waiting to happen.  Climbing Mt. Everest is not an ordinary undertaking.  Indeed, climbing Mt. Everest is unlike climbing any other mountain on earth.  Krakauer was struck by the thought that as he flew into Katmandu, looking at the window at the Himalayas, that he would be climbing up to the exact same atmosphere, a place where the oxygen is so thin that the brain literally starves to death.

One would suspect that Krakauer would discuss some of the majestic grandeur of climbing to the peak of Everest.  Instead there is an unrelenting fear of the physical surroundings.  “I’d been fantasizing about this moment… for many months.  But now that I was finally here, standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care”.  The entire assault is fraught with grinding physical effort, and getting to the summit becomes more of an act of will for the individuals involved.

As Krakauer met the various members of his group, he was struck by the lack of serious mountaineering experience among them.  Of the paying clients, he was the most experienced, and had never climbed to a higher altitude than Everest’s base camp.  Among the clients were:

  • Several doctors (among them Dallas pathologist Dr. Seaborn Buck Weathers) whose physical training for the assault consisted of serious time on the Stairmaster
  • A Japanese middle manager (Yasuko Namba)
  • A postal worker (Doug Hanson) who held down two jobs in order to save up the $65,000 necessary to take part

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