John Krakauer provides his reader with a new perspective on the mountaineering world. He makes a distinction between the “true” mountaineers and the inexperienced ones. He believes that ascents of high picks such as Mt. Everest require a strong training. Krakauer, although an experienced climber, doesn’t believe that he was ready to climb at such high altitude when he himself joined an expedition that would lead him to the highest summit of the world. He strongly criticizes the inexperienced climbers who, with insufficient training, attempt to reach a 29’000 feet summit. Into Thin Air is not solely a narrative on Krakauer’s expedition but it also is a recollection of the previous expeditions that lead both experienced and inexperienced mountaineers to Everest.
Krakauer’s narrative makes us reflect on the worthiness of high-risk climbs. He is extremely critical of the mountaineers who undertake the ascent of Everest. Into Thin Air continuously puts in question the motivations that climbers have when attempting to reach such height. Meanwhile critical of the mountaineers who have previously attempted to ascend Everest, Krakauer followed in their footsteps.The pessimistic tone that the narrator uses throughout the text leads me to wonder what were his motivations in doing such a perilous ascent.
It is difficult to fully grasp the motives that lead Krakauer to attempt a deadly climb of Mt. Everest as Krakauer wrote his story after the facts. Into Thin Air seems to be more of an apologetic confession of a man who is trying to heal from a traumatic event than an objective recollection of a climb that resulted in the death of nine people. I find myself trapped between my desire to hear his first hand account and Krakauer’s post-factum comments.