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Into Thin Air | Chapter Summaries

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Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Introduction The short introductory section explains why and how Jon Krakauer joined Rob Hall's Everest expedition in May 1996. Kraka... Read More
Chapter 1 The book begins with Krakauer already at the summit of Mount Everest. He is exhausted and has a terrible cough. He has n... Read More
Chapter 2 In this chapter Krakauer provides some history of Mount Everest and those who climbed it. He begins with its "discovery"... Read More
Chapter 3 Krakauer begins a chronological account of his expedition experience. On the plane into Kathmandu, Nepal, Krakauer looks... Read More
Chapter 4 Krakauer and the expedition team begin the trek to Base Camp, spending the first night in the hamlet of Phakding. The ni... Read More
Chapter 5 At the beginning of the chapter, the reader learns that it took 35 Sherpas to get the injured Sherpa (mentioned in the p... Read More
Chapter 6 Krakauer begins this chapter by praising the organizational and planning skills of Rob Hall, who has seen to it all his ... Read More
Chapter 7 Krakauer notes some of the expeditions climbing at the same time as Hall's contained clients whose experience was "thin.... Read More
Chapter 8 After resting at Base Camp for two days, Hall's group climbed the icefall again, heading for Camp One. Crossing the icef... Read More
Chapter 9 In their third acclimatization trek, Hall's group climbs from Base Camp to Camp Two. Next, they would climb up to Camp T... Read More
Chapter 10 Krakauer begins the painfully slow and exhausting ascent of the "immense slant" of the Lhotse Face. Climbers must inch t... Read More
Chapter 11 Hall's group begins its climb to the summit two vertical miles above. Krakauer finds the sun's intense heat debilitating... Read More
Chapter 12 Early on May 9, Hall's group begins climbing toward Camp Four. Krakauer lags and turns to see about 50 climbers behind h... Read More
Chapter 13 The region above the South Col is the Death Zone, where lack of oxygen can easily lead to hypoxia. Krakauer describes th... Read More
Chapter 14 Krakauer spends just moments on the summit and then begins to descend. He passes Beidleman and Martin Adams, a Fischer c... Read More
Chapter 15 Just before 2:00 p.m., Beidleman and Harris summit with clients. Fischer is still not seen ascending. Beidleman is conce... Read More
Chapter 16 Early the next morning, Krakauer is awakened and told that no one can find Andy Harris. The storm is over and the weathe... Read More
Chapter 17 At 3:40 p.m. on May 10, Scott Fischer, Lopsang Sherpa, and Rob Hall are on the summit. Hall waits impatiently for Doug H... Read More
Chapter 18 This chapter is in some ways an aside that shows how cruel and indifferent the culture of those who summit Everest can b... Read More
Chapter 19 This chapter resumes the expedition narrative. On the morning of May 11, after he returns from the summit, Krakauer spen... Read More
Chapter 20 In this short chapter, Krakauer helps Hutchison correctly fasten his harness and reminds him to wear his goggles to prot... Read More
Chapter 21 Back at Base Camp, Krakauer is overcome with grief and guilt: he had survived while others died. Neal Beidleman leads a ... Read More
Epilogue Krakauer is back home in Seattle. In this chapter, he writes about what happened to surviving climbers and how the frien... Read More
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