Summer Reading Project: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Part 1: Prcis
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is a memoir set in the mid-nineties describing his time climbing
Mount Everest as a journalist. The main character is a middle-aged author from the United
States. The conflict occurs when Krakauer receives a call from Outside Magazine asking him to
join a climbing team as a journalist to report the consumerism of the mountain from a base camp.
As a result, Krakauer's thirst for adventure causes him to postpone the trip to the train to reach the
summit. Although once they reach the summit, everything goes downhill from there, leaving a trail of struggles and death behind him. Being a survivor of the expedition Krakauer not only publishes his article but decides to write this book as well. Krakauer not only reveals the view of the consumerism of Mount Everest but gives us an insight into being a survivor of one of the deadliest Everest expeditions in history by revealing his true guilt of remembering his climb.
Part 2: Essay Questions
1. Do you think that when an encounter with another team occurs a decision for the teams
to work together would have influenced the events that happened on the mountain and may have even prevented further death?
2. Do you think how well the survivors cope with their accident once they are back home is
still a reflection of their character during the climb, or was it best for some of them to just try to forget it and return to "normal" life.
3. Why do you think the survivors of the climb faced so much negativity and criticism once
they returned home. (Ex. The letter from Scott Fischer's sister and the press ambushing Sandy Pittman. ) Hernandez 3 Part 3: Characterization In Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, Krakauer changes his views on the expedition from each half of the mountain. When Krakauer first receives the call he is disappointed that he wouldn't be reaching the summit and naively asks the editor of Outside, " if he would consider postponing the assignment for twelve months( which would give me time to train properly for the physical demands of the expedition)"(Krakauer 27). Although after the climax of the big st...