Into Thin Air
A FEW years ago, after reading Jon Krakauers horrifying account of the 1996 expeditions to Everest (Into Thin Air) in which 11 climbers died (nine on a single night) due to a combination of bad luck, bad weather and inexperience, I got a bit put off by this mountain climbing business. To “prove” themselves, people had begun paying vast sums of money to be literally pushed or carried up the great mountain, at great risk not only to themselves, but to others as well, just so that later, they could boast that they had “conquered Everest”.
Right at the beginning of this book, Bear Grylls, at 23, the youngest Briton to have made it to the summit and back (which is what this book is about), admits:
I didnt conquer Everest – Everest allowed me to crawl up one side and stay on the peak for a few minutes.
This humility stays with the book throughout and is all the more refreshing as Grylls is at an age at which most young men swagger around being excessively macho and gung-ho. And Grylls had more reason than most to swagger. Two years before making his attempt, while serving with the British
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