8th August 2018

Into Thin Air Response 5

Into Thin Air tells the story of the disaster in which several climbers died on the slopes of Mt. Everest in 1996, as witnessed by Jon Krakauer, a journalist who is also one of the climbers to reach the summit that year. Led by Rob Hall, one of the most highly respected climbers in the world at that time, the team Krakauer climbs with becomes split up after a series of small incidents and a sudden change in the weather, leaving five of his teammates dead on the mountain.

Krakauer specifies early on how important it is to be able to trust one’s teammates: “In climbing, having confidence in your partners is no small concern. One climber’s actions can affect the welfare of the entire team.” On this expedition, Krakauer climbs mainly with strangers and he is uncomfortable putting his life in the hands of people whose presence on the mountain whose climbing skills are more amateur like. Throughout the book, when one climber gets in trouble, another must help immediately to avoid a death in the climbing team. When they suffer the effects of hypothermia and mind-altering high altitudes, they have to check each other and watch each other’s backs. Krakauer is afraid that because many of the climbers are inexperienced, that he will have to watch out for them while they are of little help to him. Krakauer recognises that the most important element of all trust in one’s guide, who is responsible for keeping all of the team members together, as a group. During the climb, particularly the descent of Everest, trust between teammates results in the survival of some of the climbers and the failure of that trust results in the death of others.

The one characteristic shared by all of the climbers of the Jon Krakauer climbing team is that they have money, enough to shell out $65,000 usd per person for their shot at the top of the tallest mountain on earth. Many of them are inexperienced and would undoubtedly never make it to the top without a guide. This connects with the rest of the world as many of the wealthy individuals of the world take advantage of things just because they are able to, being well stocked with money. “Do you hate rich people? Come on, be honest. Rich people are greedy and shallow. They get rich by taking advantage of others. They are miserly and selfish. Money is their god. They don’t really care about the poor or less fortunate. Deep down they are not really happy anyway.” Dr. Brad Klontz, Psy.D.  This quote shows us that people feel more confident and superior when they are wealthy and other members of the public perceive them as stuck up and arrogant. Many believe that just because they are rich, it means they take advantage of their money and spend it widely on unnecessary things. For example, Rodrigo Alves, 32, had 49 cosmetic procedures since 2004 and still going under the knife frequently spent 10 years and £305,000 turning himself into a real-life Ken doll. My opinion on this is that he is outrageous and is spending his money on irrelevant surgery making him unnoticeable from when he was younger and making him look weird and disfigured compared to other beings. For your chance to reach to the tallest part of the earth, 8,848 metres to be exact, all you have to do is pay $92,474 nzd. For many of us this is a huge amount of money that nearly all can’t spend on a very hard trek up Mount Everest and possibly causing a more uprise in the issue from the perspective of many tribes in the region weather climbing should be permitted on the natural landmark and the increasing amount of litter and bodies on the mountain. I believe wealthy people are spending their money on unnecessary things rather than giving to charities or people in need.

I believe that many people are taking more risks in life and some or paying for it with their lives. All of the members of the climbing team narrated in this non-fiction novel are taking a huge risk in the matter of life and death. For example these could be some risks and complications of climbing Mount Everest – Avalanches, Falling rocks, Crevasse fall, Other falls (including getting hit by falling climber, Severe exhaustion/dehydration, Whiteout, Hurricane at 8600 m / 27000 ft, Lost tents, Frostbite, AMS (acute mountain sickness) ,Pneumonia, infections, To the above; witnessing accidents and deaths of other climbers. I imagine that the reason that people are taking more risks in everyday lives in the matter of life a death is that our knowledge around medical advice and actions have improved immensely over the following years. The new medical individual of nurses, doctors, surgeons and so on have learnt new and better ideas to help patients with survival. People are putting their lives in the hands of medicals pursuits and taking more risk because they have trust the=at they know how to help if worst comes to worst.

This book connects to New Zealand and the Adventure Consultants based in Wanaka as the guide, Rob Hall of that particular climb described in the novel dies whilst trying to help one of his clients trying to get down from the summit. This was 1996 and many of the individuals in the community were empathetic towards the horrible death of one of the well-known members of the public. I think that people are very brave to climb up Mount Everest with many risks that could potentially result in death.

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Writing