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Into Thin Air - Essay Example

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Topic: Into Thin Air Introduction What is the difference between a writer/ journalist writing about a mountaineering expedition and a mountaineer writing about such an exercise? The essential difference is practical experiencing. Writing that emerges out of practical experience is creditable and it is likely to be more authentic…
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Into Thin Air

Download file to see previous pages... From this standpoint, Mount Everest as conquered by him belongs to him exclusively, and each step of the conquest is his special property. I give full marks to him for his creditability as a reporter, writer and a journalist. He is all these three molded into one. For producing such a book he has done lots of research, which is the hallmark of a good reporter and journalist, and he writes well and evokes intense curiosity with the reader about his adventurous journey. Those who know about Mount Everest expeditions also know that descent is more difficult than the ascent. On May 10, 1996 Krakauer was on the top of the world having reached the summit at 29,028 ft. He was the conqueror. He could not celebrate his pride and satisfaction for long; he was not at the cricket ground at Lords or in the Disneyland. He was on the edgy summit, where each moment’s delay in the ascent invited perils. The well-studied Krakauer was fully aware of the situation. Reaching the top is a great emotional experience. For Krakauer, it was the realization of a childhood dream. Each step or each breath at such a height is life or death situation, which has zero tolerance for mistakes. If you are the leader and the decision-making authority of the expedition, you owe responsibility to the lives of the members involved in the adventure, apart from your own precious life. As Krakauer began the descent, a severe storm was forming and he had not slept for the last fifty-two hours. He felt so weak; he rested after each step to recoup the energy. He had missed the turnaround time for the descent, as the ambition to conquer the summit was too strong with him and with other members of the expedition. This is a good adventure book and a true story. The details of the expeditions, the trials and tribulations have been given in detail and are helpful for a research student, as well for an aspiring mountaineer. The detailed background information is immensely useful, as it introduces the characters of the expedition, like the importance of the experienced guides to the inexperienced but ambitious climbers. Mountaineering expeditions have strange combinations. Certainly Krakauer’s expedition was one of them. Summit of Mount Everest is a terrible attraction. So far so good, if all goes well. But when tragedies strike expeditions and valuable lives are lost, the decision makers are questioned. Serious doubts arise in the minds of the family members why the dying man was not saved. The leader of the team is grilled and asked inconvenient questions. In all fairness, no leader would want any member of his team be buried in the snow. As stated above, when more than one individual write their experiences and books are published, there are bound to be differences of opinions and controversies. Anatoli Boukreev’s version of the expedition, especially relating to saving members of the expedition, varies with that of Krakauer. Krakauaer may be less daring and might not have exhibited the same courage in taking the risk to save the life of fellow-mountaineers. But no one can pass summary judgment that Krakauer did not live up to the situation. Remember, each step at that perilous weather at such a height, is a step between life and death. He has his own limitations as a mountaineer and has to take into account his own ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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