The Mount Everest disaster of 1996 as it happened Opinion Essay
Thesis of the Book
The thesis of this book is a personal account of Mount Everest disaster in which the author had taken part, but it had turned out to be tragic in which he had lost some of his climbing partners as the disaster unfolded. Although the book has many themes that unfold as the story continues, the theme of mutual trust and care remains dominant across this entire tragic book.
Thesis of the Essay
The essay aims at summarizing the book in which the writer makes a personal opinion of the accounts as they are narrated in the book and criticizes the book to bring out the faults that can be identified in the author’s story of how the Mount Everest disaster occurred.
Summary of the book
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster is a book which was published in the year 1997. The book sets off to narrate one of the deadliest disasters that had taken place in Mount Everest from an individual point of view in which the reader is given a description of what actually happened from a survivor of the ordeal.
Krakauer who is the author of this book tells vividly of the accounts that occurred at the world’s highest mountain with such emotional clarity. This depicts why the book became a best selling nonfiction book on its release. The author of this book narrates how he participated in Mount Everest expedition, despite having surrendered his career in mountain climbing way years back.
The event took place in the month of May in the year 2006. The author, a professional journalist wrote and featured articles for the outside magazine. He had previous participated in many other mountain climbing expeditions from which he had gathered materials for his articles in the magazine. He later on gave up his career prior to this particular event that involved climbing Mount Everest (Krakauer 20).
Krakauer justified his change of heart to participate in Mount Everest expedition as being purely professional. In the initial plan as it had been reported in the magazine, Krakauer was to climb up to the Mount Everest base in which he was to make a report on the commercialization of the mountain.
However, in his childhood and wildest dreams, it evident that Krakauer had always aspired of climbing Mount Everest and this was the best opportunity which was right on the table. He requested his editor to hold off the story until later in the year so that he could get ample time to train hard for the monstrous task of climbing to the summit of the highest mountain in the world.
It is from this point that the book exhaustively and chronologically narrates the events that happened on the mountain as they ascended to the top of the world’s highest mountain. The author tells of the tragedies that unfolded in pursuit of getting to the world’s ceiling by the determined mountaineers.
Personal opinion derived from the book
It is evident that the tragedy that took place in Mount Everest was an example of an artificial disaster that was manageable if only the set guidelines that have been stipulated to guide such expeditions had been followed to the latter.
The author has in a nutshell pointed out that some of the safety guidelines that had been formulated by the most experienced mountaineers in the world had been violated. It is evident that the violation was done because of the competition that was prevailing between the existing companies that provided the mountaineers with guides who led the mountaineers throughout the ascent on the mountain.
This competition has resulted in some of the companies compromising the well-being of the mountaineers, some of whom do not have enough training and experience to take part in events such as ascending to the summit of Mount Everest (Krakauer 122).
Issues that have arisen from this book
It is evident that this book was a success in its release as it sold over a million copies. However, despite the success a lot of criticism has been made by renowned mountaineers and people who had also participated in the expedition in which they had escaped the ordeal. The critics have disputed the material facts that Krakauer has relayed in the book with regard to one of the guides of Russian origin who had been mandated with guiding the team throughout the ascent of Mount Everest.
It is evident that in the book, the guide had descended the mountain ahead of his clients in which his motive was to find help and lead a rescue mission in which he would have saved more adventurers when the adventure turned sour. Krakauer in his book seems to question the rationale that this guide had applied in which he had decided to leave his clients alone on the mountain, despite fully knowing that they lacked the experience to handle the situations that were prevailing at that time.
He questions the guide’s judgment in not having used supplement oxygen that was an essential component in the paraphernalia that were required by the adventurers. He rebukes the interaction techniques that were applied by the guide in his interaction with the clients. He finally questions the mountaineering gears that were used by the adventurers in their quest to ascend the mountain to its summit.
On the other hand a number of professional renowned mountaineers like Galen Rowell have criticized Krakauer’s account in his narration by faulting it as irrational and clouded by individual judgment that is prejudicial in retelling exactly what happened in the fateful adventure.
He points out the inconsistencies that are in Krakauer’s account in which he observes that Krakauer was sleeping in his tent and he had no idea what the guide was doing. It is evident that as Krakauer was sleeping, the guide was busy rescuing some of the climbers who were in dire need of medical attention. Galen reckons that the actions of the guide were heroic and he had used his wisdom to forebode the shortcoming that arose from the expedition.
Krakauer , Jones. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2009. Print.
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