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Jon Krakauer, an American journalist und
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# 30.01.2015 - 03:56:58

Jon Krakauer, an American journalist under assignment for Outside magazine, announced his presence, if not his grandest literary ambitions, when he composed on the orders of Rob Hall, his team leader a gonzo Do Not Enter sign that hung from the door of his team portable john: Dude! If you are not a member of The New Zealand Everest Expedition Please do not use this toilet. We are a way serious bunch of shitters, and will have no trouble filling this thing up without your contribution. Thanks, The Big Cheese. good humor, like everyone else wouldn last long that year on Everest. As much of the world by now knows, the climb ended tragically. On May 10, 1996, 26 climbers from three separate expeditions reached Everest summit. (At 29,028 feet, the peak juts up into the jet stream some five and a half miles above sea level, higher than some commercial airlines fly.) Crowded conditions and bad judgment had already put some climbers in peril that day; a late afternoon blizzard that sent temperatures plummeting to more than 40 degrees below zero with wind chills in triple digits sealed the matter.

Descending climbers were scattered precariously along the upper portions of the mountain when the storm hit. Some were virtually stopped in their tracks near the summit; others managed to scramble down to within a few hundred yards of their tents at Camp Four (26,100 feet), on a small shelf known as the South Col, before becoming lost in the whiteout conditions. Eight climbers, including two respected guides New Zealander Hall and American Scott Fischer would die over the next day and a half. (Twelve would die in all that spring.) Another, a Texas pathologist named Beck Weathers, would eventually lose part of his nose, one of his hands and all the fingers on the other to severe frostbite. To remark that nearly everything turned to shit that year would not be an overstatement.

In countless newspaper and magazine accounts of the tragedy, the hand wringing began almost immediately. Dozens of journalists, pundits and old school mountaineers deplored the commercialization of Everest; others asked why relatively unskilled climbers were allowed to be on the mountain at all. Many more commentators shrugged their shoulders and suggested that hubris, plain and simple, was at the root of this fiasco the failure to accord an outsize mountain the outsize respect it deserves.

The most personal, and by far the most harrowing, account of the 1996 Everest disaster came from Krakauer, first in the form of a breathless 17,000 word article for Outside and then, in an expanded and more nuanced form, in his book Thin Air. Hailed wholesale nfl jerseys as an almost instant classic, Thin Air was a breathtaking piece of literary journalism that succeeded beyond anyone especially Krakauer wildest dreams.

Thin Air spent 52 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and more than 800,000 copies are now in print. Even a soupy, half baked TV movie version couldn kill Thin Air buzz. Everywhere you look these days beaches, airports, subways someone got a copy propped in his lap. Most of these people look stunned and appalled, as if they were studying their own grim medical reports.

Given Thin Air ecstatic reviews and titanic sales, you might think Jon Krakauer would be a relatively happy man these days. Think again. Krakauer composed Thin Air, he writes in the book introduction, as an of catharsis, a way to get a 10 ton monkey off his back. But that monkey has hung on. I wish it had stopped selling a half million copies ago. I just want it all to go away. part, Krakauer is still spooked by the lives lost on Everest that day, and by the fact that his own actions, or failure to act, may have been a factor (albeit a minor one) in the deaths of two climbers, his teammates Andy Harris and Yasuko Namba. is so tainted by the bad shit that happened, he says. no getting around it my success is tied up with the fate of others. Among the therapies that the 44 year old Krakauer, who now lives cheap jerseys in Boulder, Colo., has resorted to is one of the oldest giving away what he describes as of money. It helps a little, he says.

That Krakauer describes himself as a haunted soul isn surprising; nearly every climber who returned alive from Everest in 1996 talks about his or her mental state in similar terms. What is surprising is how bitter, how defensive and how wounded Jon Krakauer sounds these days. Much of this bitterness stems from this fact: Since Thin Air was published nearly two years ago, the book has been under almost constant sniper fire from a small and close knit group of climbers, a few of whom were on Everest in 1996, who dispute some of his book facts and interpretations. In their view, Krakauer didn merely get things wrong he got things intentionally, maliciously wrong.
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