Thoughts on: “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer

“Into Thin Air” is Jon Krakauers gripping first hand account of the May 1996 Mt. Everest disaster. Standing on the top of the worlds highest mountain he couldn’t see any signs of a deadly storm coming in. But he was wrong. When the group arrived at base camp, the mountain had claimed 5 lives and left the ones surviving in a guilt-ridden state.

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“People who don’t climb mountains, the great majority of human kind that is to say, tend to assume that the sport is a reckless Dionysian pursuit of ever escalating thrills. But the notion that climbers are barely adrenaline junkies is a fallacy. At least in the case of Everest. …The ratio of misery to pleasure was greater by an order of magnitude than any other mountain I’ve been on. I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain.”

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It’s a really good and my first one the topic of mountaineering. One thing that stuck with me was the climbers anti-climactic feeling of reaching the peak. There is no beer and BBQ being served at the top of the world. No warming tea and campfires to comfort you while enjoying the view. And that’s because, you know, people need air! Instead it’s just a few painful minutes of snapping photos before you have make the climb down again, realizing you are only halfway to the finish line.

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📝 Sherpa people are an ethnic group living in the Himalayas. They are fantastic mountaineers and are frequently used to support expeditions to Everest because of their ability to endure high altitudes.

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📝 For mountaineering purist the only “real” Everest climbs are done without bottled oxygen.

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📝 There is a movie based on this book called “Everest”. I didn’t know it was base on this book and now I’m excited to see it!

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Don’t climb Everest.

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Maybe it’s because stepping out of society and into the wilderness is more enticing to me, than ascending a cold mountain, but I like “Into the wild” a lot more than this book. Situations where one cannot breath just isn’t for me.

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What is your favorite books about endurance?

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4/5

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Thoughts on: “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer

Christopher McCandless was found dead in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992. ——————————————

He graduated 2 years earlier, having what we would call a “promising” career ahead of him. But Alex had other plans. He donated his 25.000$ worth of savings to charity, left his family and society as a whole.

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Disgusted by the rat race, conformity and addiction to security that defines the middle class, and inspired by writers like Jack London, Thoreau and Tolstoy, he started to search truer way of living. Trying to find the essence of the human experience.

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“…The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”

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📝 Don’t go to the Alaskan wilderness without a map if you lack wilderness experience.

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📝 Be careful with seeds. They can be poisonous even though the plant is edible.

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📝”Happiness [is] only real when shared” The last written statement of McCandless. Some people find this statement to be profound. But i think it’s more a result of that he is starving to death, alone ,in the wilderness than a profound insight. ——————————————

Overall great book! Reads like fiction and gives you a lot to think about.

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Which books would you bring if you went Into the wild?

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5/5

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I’m back in the running trail with a new book in my ears!

Made a glorious return to the running trail today after struggling with a nasty cold for a while. 

Rewarded myself with this book to accompany me on the trail as I prepare for a race I’m running in November.

“Stranger in the woods” by Michael Finkel tells the story of a man that one day decided to just fuck off and go live in the woods. Don’t we all dream about doing that sometimes?! 
What are you reading this weekend?