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Into Thin Air

Jon Krakauer

Epilogue and Author's Note

Chapters 21

Epilogue and Author's Note, page 2

page 1 of 2


Krakauer ends the text by describing what has happened since, and the interactions he has had with his teammates. Lou Kasischke writes him a letter in which he says "Everest was the worst experience in my life" but that he has moved past it. Lou and Beck Weathers keep in touch. After arriving home from Everest, Weathers had his right arm amputated below the elbow, as well as his fingers and thumb on his left hand. His nose had also been amputated and then reconstructed. Lou mentions Beck in his letter, and how the experience has left Beck scarred and injured and probably unable to practice medicine anymore. Lou says that Beck "doesn't play the blame game" and is handling the tragedy amazingly well.

At the time Krakauer writes this chapter, it has been over six months since Everest, but "no more than two or three hours have gone by in which Everest hasn't monopolized my thoughts." Krakauer talks about the letters his Outside Magazine article received, many of them highly critical of his decisions and actions. He describes a letter he received from Scott Fischer's sister, condemning him for being critical of others, speculating about what happened and Krakauer's own role in the tragedies. Just before receiving this letter, Krakauer learns that Lopsang died in an avalanche on Everest. Krakauer had also recently learned that Anatoli Boukreev had been in a serious car accident in Kazakhstan, and suffered severe head injuries.

Krakauer describes a message posted in an Internet discussion about Everest. The message is from a Sherpa orphan. He talks about how Sherpas were "expected to protect [Sagarmatha's] sanctuary from outsiders but…helped outsiders find their way into the sanctuary and violate every limb of her body…" (372). The Sherpa orphan blames the Sherpas for the 1996 disaster, calling it "sacrilege."

The text ends as Krakauer demonstrates how the experience has "poisoned" many of the people involved. The wife of one of the victims is hospitalized for depression, marriages and relationships have dissolved—lives were in turmoil. Sandy Pittman returned to New York to a flurry of bad press and anger. Magazines, newspapers and television programs all represented her negatively for her part in the disaster.

Krakauer says that even Beidleman, who rescued the clients in the storm that night, punishes himself for not being able to save Yasuko Namba, who wasn't even his client.

Author's Note

Krakauer describes the anger cause by his article for Outside Magazine. He acknowledges having hurt some of the friends and families of the people who died on the mountain, and he apologizes. He explains that he believed the story of what happened on the mountain needed to be told, and his intent was to be as thorough and accurate as possible. He expresses his "profound condolences" to a long list of people, and expresses this thank you to another.

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"Into thin Air"

by Grizzthekid2014, August 07, 2012

When the clients would have sexual relations the book specifically stated that it what called " Sause making" I think you guys should add that in their because its important fact and could be on high school test knowing how specific teachers are these days. Thanks!


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