The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  Summer 2013          



 Summer 2013


Editor's Note


 Adventure & Sport
 Celebrating Everest

 Everest Turns 60
 The First Ascent

 The Summit Route

 Five Ultimate Everest

 The Sherpas

 Apa Sherpa-21 Times
 on Everest

 100 Years of Indian

 Early Pioneers

 Satyajit Ray

 Mani Kaul

 Dr A T Ariyaratne

 Lt Gen Jack Jacob

 Tara Bhattacharjee

 Ashok Vajpeyi 

Into Thin Air

 Coronation Everest

 Odyssey in War &












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 A Personal Account of the Everest Disaster

 By Jon Krakauer

 Illustrated. 318 pp. Pan Macmillan


‘Into Thin Air’ is an account of events that took place on 10 May, 1996 when members of three separate expeditions tried to climb the world's tallest mountain. A freak storm hit Everest, leaving eight climbers dead as they were trying to descend, many among them having summited the peak - the greatest loss of life on any one day in the history of mountaineering on Everest. Jon Krakauer, a journalist-mountaineer who was on one of the expeditions as a ‘client’, was on an assignment from Outside magazine to report on the commercialisation of Everest. Standing on the summit of Everest, he saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was caught in the storm on his descent from the summit, but lived to tell the tale.   

Getting to the summit is the mid-point of an Everest expedition. Getting back down alive is the tougher half.

In his riveting book, Jon Krakauer relives the fateful day of the storm and its aftermath, with its moments of heroism and sacrifice. What went wrong? The root of the problem remains Everest’s excessive commercialisation.

Mr Krakauer joined a fee-paying expedition led by Hall, over the Southeast Ridge. There were, at the time, 30 other expeditions preparing to summit Everest, and the Base Camp had the semblance of a tent city. Describing his fellow clients on the expedition, Mr Krakauer writes: ''In outlook and experience they were nothing like the hard-core climbers with whom I usually went into the mountains. But they seemed like nice, decent folks.'' The clients had little or no mountaineering experience and each had paid $65,000 to be led to the summit. Inexperienced members slow down the rest of the climbers, create bottlenecks and delays that are life-threatening in the Death Zone.


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