Into Thin Air is a thrilling read

Over 10 years ago, Bryan Ellis, one of my best friends, McKinsey alum, multi-sport enthusiast and executive extraordinaire, recommended I read the book. I was skeptical about how thrilling a climb up a mountain could truly be, regardless of how disastrous the outcome. As a result, the book sat in my ever growing “to read” pile.

I recently embarked on a month-long business trip across Europe and wanted a fun read in a compact and light form factor (I buy many used hard covers on Amazon. They are easier to hold and read, but harder to travel with. Something tells me I should get a Kindle). The old paperback version of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer lying in the library fit the bill.

Boy was I wrong about my assessment. Jon Krakauer gives an extremely vivid and detailed account of what happened on the doomed Everest climb. The intertwining story of the characters and what they have to go through just to have a shot at climbing Everest is fascinating. I truly felt I was there and felt sorry for all the misery they were enduring!

Read the book!

  • Hey thanks for the tip ! I’ll put it on my reading list … Before climbing Mt Everest, I need to go around the world with a balloon … 🙂 I’ve just finished reading Losing my Virginity from Richard Branson and it really amazed me … Do you want to sponsor me ?? 🙂 A big OLX on a balloon ! C’mon, how cool would that be ! We can even put some classifieds in the sky …



  • If you are in the mood for an even more harrowing mountaineering read, try “Touching the Void” by Joe Simpson (a pretty good movie as well). A true story of survival against impossible odds.

  • I agree with Michael, “into the wild” is a very good read as well, in my opinion even more intense than thin air.

    also, the movie to the book deserves props for the fantastic pictures, a very good alternative to reading the book

  • Second the ‘Touching the Void’ recommendation. Joe Simpson’s writing superb. His desire to survive is incredible.

    Another fascinating adventure story is ‘The Last Place on Earth, Scott and Amundsen’s Race to the South Pole’. The story of incredible contrast in character. Amundsen is rational and thorough in his approach to the reach the pole. Sir Robert Falcon Scott is a traditionalist, military man and mentally inflexible.