Saturday, September 26, 2009

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

I came across this book a year back at the Delhi Book Fair at a stall that was selling second hand books. It looked interesting; and without knowing quite what it was about, I picked it up.

Recently on my trip to Uttarkashi, we were shown the TV movie of Into Thin Air. I watched a bit of it; but then I went back to my tent to sleep since I was really tired. But I vowed that when I would get back to Delhi, I would sit and read the book.

I finished reading it this morning and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in mountain climbing and sports.

In a nut shell, the book is about a group of ill fated climbers who make a treacherous ascent up Mount Everest but face a terrible storm on the way down. What happens on that 1996 trip is something that shows what will happen if you put a group of not-so-experienced mountain climbers on Mount Everest, a mountain that has claimed many lives of highly skilled climbers. I still cannot believe that some people who went up there didn't even know how to rope up properly.

I feel bad though that people lost their lives. It's unfortunate that the respective governments - i.e. China and Nepal don't issue more stringent passes. Nor are they concerned about the high levels of pollution that exists due to the oxygen gas cylinders that lie up there. Even the condition of the Sherpas who aid the climbers on Mount Everest is quite appaulling. I'm all for free enterprise - but it's not good to play with people's lives; exploit the low pay scales or give people false assurances.

If anyone has the TV movie DVD/VCD - can you please send it to me?

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