On April 16, the group begins its second acclimatization climb from Base Camp to Camp One. Krakauer feels that he is getting used to the high altitude, although the Icefall remains daunting. The twelve-story block of ice is still there, looking even more precarious and ready to tumble.

This time, Hall wants them to spend two nights at Camp One, then spend three nights at Camp Two before heading back down to Base Camp. Krakauer makes it to Camp One ahead of most of the climbers, and tries to help Sherpa Ang Dorje set up camp. He finds physical labor at the high altitude nearly impossible. Hall calls Dorje his "main man," and the two have climbed before. Dorje has summated Everest three times.

In the morning they leave for Camp Two, situated almost four miles above them. They climb through the highest box canyon in the world, and up another glacier. At first, the temperature is freezing cold, but soon the sun, radiating off the glacier, turns the section of mountain into an oven.

At 21,000 feet, Krakauer sees a dead body. Hall's best guess is that it is the body of a Sherpa that died a number of years before. At 21,300 feet they are at Camp Two, which consists of 120 tents. The next two days are extremely difficult due to the altitude—initially, Krakauer cannot do much except "lay in my tent with my head in my hands, trying to exert myself as little as possible" (138). The next day, he climbs above Camp Two to help accelerate the acclimatization, and stumbles upon another dead body.

Back at Base Camp, Krakauer and Andy Harris hike over to meet the South American team. The team members invite them to tea, and don't seem terribly put off about the rumors concerning their leader, Ian Woodall, and they seem pleasant enough.

Back at their own camp, Hall, the Base Camp doctor, Caroline Mackenzie, Scott Fischer and his doctor are on the radio talking to someone higher up on the mountain. One of Fischer's Sherpas, Ngawang Topche, had been feeling weak and strange for a couple days. Because of Sherpas' reputations as not succumbing to altitude sickness, acknowledging altitude-related problems often ends a Sherpa's career. So instead of going back to Base Camp as Fischer suggests, Ngawang continues up to Camp Two. Once there, Ngawang is having trouble walking, is delirious and it coughing up blood. The symptoms are indicative off HAPE, or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, an illness in which climbing too high too quickly fills the lungs with fluids. The only cure is to descend as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, none of Fischer's guides are with Ngawang—Fischer allows guides and clients to go up and down at their will during the acclimatization process.