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  1. #41
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Krakauer does, indeed, seem to invoke some controversy after his books come out. Not sure if its because he is so blunt, or because he frequently has bad info. I found it interesting that the latest "Everest" movie kinda disses Krakauer's role/part in the 1996 tragedy.

    In any case, his books are indeed interesting. Check out some of his others, like "Under the Banner of Heaven" (about Mormons) or "Three Cups of Deceit" (about that Pakistan charity fraud).
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    NOVA the science show on PBS had an episode where a group of climbers when to Antarctica to climb Mt. Vinson. In the group was Krakauer and Conrad Anker who is a renowned mountaineer and was the team leader. Krakauer came off as a person who had a hard time seeing other people's point of view once he had made his mind up about something. A hard head you might say.
    I've read Into Thin Air and Anatoli Boukreev's "reply", The Climb, and numerous articles on the 1996 Everest disaster. I haven't seen the recent movie yet, which apparently Krakauer isn't happy with. But I always keep in mind that Krakauer is a professional writer first, amateur mountaineer second.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

  2. #42
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Alone in the Fortress of the Bears, by Buck Nelson, has some interesting thoughts on the Chris McCandless story. Buck compares what he's been eating to survive for a couple of months versus what Chris noted in his journal that he'd been able to catch and eat, and concludes that the coroner was right--starvation seems the likely cause of death. (Entry for August 25th.) In a 3-week period Chris ate 35 squirrels and a few other small animals. In 18 days Buck consumed an entire adult deer, countless crabs and salmon, and quarts a day of berries and wild greens, and still lost 15 pounds.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penn-J View Post
    I loved the book and the movie. I only wish I had the "go nads" to shed everything and live with only what I can carry on my back. Did he fly a little to close to the sun so to speak? Did he choke on that bone he was sucking he marrow out of?

    Perhaps, but I can't help but love his wide eyed romanticism.

    Isn't that what most backpackers, thru hikers think at times when out on the trails?

    "What if I just kept going, do I really need that job, car, bills, wife, husband, etc...Is the beauty of this amazing planet and adventure enough to sustain me for good?

    I must think that on every hike I do; but alas, I always come back to that society I love to hate. (And have a little greater appreciation for the basic comforts)

    I also loved that Eddie Vedder did the soundtrack! I applaud Sean Penn for a great choice.

    A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for god sake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches - that is the right and privilege of any free American.
    ― Edward Abbey
    I agree wholeheartedly, great post - it is indeed hard to come home, but of course I always do as well. I certainly enjoy the thoughts of staying out forever when I go out! My enjoyment of the story comes from the fantasy of it. I thought it was a good story and identified with the free spirit and unrestrained (if sometimes foolhardy) choices. I am not sure why we are so inclined to fear death and call one who dies young stupid, as that great quote you posted said, it should be the respected right and privilege of everyone to do with their lives as they will. He may have died young but lived more than most before he did. Of the two extremes - those who live cautiously and don't do anything that they think might pose some danger, and those who throw caution into the wind and die early, I hope to fall somewhere in the middle, a bit more towards the latter than the former.

  4. #44
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    "Under the Banner of Heaven" (about Mormons).
    I found this book fascinating. Hard to comprehend American West history and culture without mentioning the LDS. Loved how the book really delved deep into the break-away branches of the LDS that practice pre-Utah statehood Mormonism.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post


    Same here... I guess I missed that phase. I had my chance in the Adirondacks when I was 28 and realized very quickly I was going to kill myself if I persisted.
    I can't speak for you, but I know I was very different at 28 vs say, 21.
    Last edited by Mags; 01-20-2016 at 12:28.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptelan View Post
    .........................He may have died young but lived more than most before he did. ................
    I respect your point of view but I wonder if you can truly say this young man lived more than most when he died in his early twenties and missing out on things like marriage, having children and watching them grow into adulthood, having a job you like and being there for your parents as they age as well as 50 or 60 more years of watching sunrises and sunsets and enjoying nature. I believe you can truly say that he had fun for a short while (except for the last weeks of his life as he slowly starved to death).
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  6. #46
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    Originally Posted by TNhiker
    that is true, but i think it's because Krakauer lost some of his credibility with his other book "into thin air"......

    a few people on everest that year didnt necessarily agree with his version of what happened and called him out on it.....

    my guess (and just a guess), is that he wanted to establish that he was "right" about what happened to mccandless..........or something like that.....or at least, gain some credibility back with better research.....




    .
    Into the Wild was published well before Into Thin Air.







    yeah......i realize that.......

    but he lost alot of credibility with Into Thin Air and when the "Into the Wild" controversy came up with the death and all that-----guessing he was trying to get his credibility back......

  7. #47
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    But I always keep in mind that Krakauer is a professional writer first, amateur mountaineer second.



    and from my memory------that's what alot of the other players in the everest tragedy called him out for.............some of them didnt necessarily agree with his version of events on the mountain.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Still, after everything is said and done regarding why he went off on his own, you're left with a very intelligent, educated young man who made a conscious decision to go off into the wilderness unprepared to survive. He was offered advice, extra supplies/gear, etc., by locals before he walked in. He pretty much refused to heed/respect advice from others who had his best interests in mind. And after 100 days or so he came to his senses and realized that he had failed and tried to walk out. But the river he had crossed was now too deep and strong. He didn't even have the map that would have showed a hand tram across the river less than a mile away, a map that would have saved his life. Arrogant? Foolhardy? Reckless? Naive? Romantic dreamer? A bit of all?
    you put it in a milder context than my "death wish" comment on page 1

    just like there is the category of crime that is "reckless homicide" (often drunk driving) - to me this was in a "reckless suicide" category

    similar to after the drunk driver kills someone - this kid wished he was not as careless after it was too late

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    and from my memory------that's what alot of the other players in the everest tragedy called him out for.............some of them didnt necessarily agree with his version of events on the mountain.......
    like a lot of people called out Bryson - the main job of a professional writer is to SELL product, not try to make everyone happy

    by definition professional means you make money

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    I read 2 if krakauers books before everest. After i read his account of everest i bought zero books from krakauer. dude failed me. If you write books in the first person reality documentary style you better maintain respect... That will SELL your books and help you to continue being a professional writer.
    Let me go

  11. #51
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    ... Not that it hurt him much haha but I voted with my wallet.
    Let me go

  12. #52
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    Same with Bryson. I voted him out after Walk In The Woods.
    Let me go

  13. #53
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    Didn't hurt him either
    Let me go

  14. #54
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    After studying Emerson and Thoreau in high school English, we watch "Into the Wild" and discuss how Chris McCandless applied their philosophies to his life. We also discuss how rationale his course of action was. It is always interesting to hear how much my students disagree with each other!

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    I've read very many books and articles about Himalaya things, watched slideshows and presentations of world-famous climbers, etc.
    One could easily find out that all climbers are simply just "humans", and the more successful ones tend to be the more "ego" ones.
    I have yet to meet one who publicly admits having done wrong, but found numerous who had put themself in a better light.

    To the best of my knowledge, Krakauer in "Into Thin Air" does his very best to come as close to the truth as possible.
    So having no personal knowledge about Supertramps life&death, I apprecciate Krakauers work in "Into The Wild" (and his other books, too) and believe, that he did good work to tell truth from false.
    His guess about Supertramp having poisoned himself is a wild one, in his understandable intent to put him in a better position than the at this time common saying he was a complete idiot.
    God only knows what had really happened, and nobody knows if he could have survived if he had avoided this plant that became poisonous in late summer.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    I've read very many books and articles about Himalaya things, watched slideshows and presentations of world-famous climbers, etc.
    One could easily find out that all climbers are simply just "humans", and the more successful ones tend to be the more "ego" ones.
    I have yet to meet one who publicly admits having done wrong, but found numerous who had put themself in a better light...
    Done wrong willfully - or made mistakes? Because at least one, and in my mind one of the greatest, Ed Viesturs, often puts aside his ego and talks candidly about his mistakes and bad decisions. In both his book, No Shortcuts to the Top, and this article, Into Thin Error http://www.slate.com/blogs/thewrongs..._mistakes.html I think Ed discusses several of his own bad decisions in a very objective way.

    My two favorite Ed Viestur's quotes regarding mountaineering:

    Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.

    ...a mistake is a mistake even if you get away with it.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

  17. #57

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    Back in 2010, late August, my son in law and I attempted to hike in to the bus. We overnighted at Earthsong Lodge. The next morning we packed up and headed off. It took us 7 hours to reach the Teklanika River. We attempted to cross it but the water was too deep and swift. It had been a fairly warm day so the water was running a bit higher than we hoped. Decided to camp out beside the river overnight and try again the next morning when we hoped the river might be a bit down after cooler temperatures. It rained overnight and the river was higher. We did try again before deciding it wasn't safe. We then walked back to the lodge which took us 8 hours.

    The Stampede Trail is nothing but a rutted ATV trail. In a few places small streams have taken over. The ruts from the ATV's are filled with water and every couple hundred feet or so the trail would form a pool and we would have to wade through water....sometimes up to you knees. If it wasn't wet, it was muddy or rocky. The Savage River posed no problem at all. We actually ate lunch on a small sandbar in the middle of it.

    The only large animal we saw was a moose who gave us a curious glance then headed across the Tek. We scouted up and down the river for a ways and did see the remnants of the old cable crossing. Not much activity otherwise. We had fun and that was the whole idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Very good reading, thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Done wrong willfully - or made mistakes? Because at least one, and in my mind one of the greatest, Ed Viesturs, often puts aside his ego and talks candidly about his mistakes and bad decisions. In both his book, No Shortcuts to the Top, and this article, Into Thin Error http://www.slate.com/blogs/thewrongs..._mistakes.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Very good reading, thanks!
    The author hit the nail on head with:

    I also wanted to test a hypothesis that I call "the paradox of error": If your goal is to avoid making mistakes, then you must constantly assume that you are about to make one. That's why fields like aviation and medicine have, at their best, a productive obsession with error.

    That is my mindset developed in my profession and I guess that is why what McCandless did seems so foolish to me. It also helps me understand why other people without that mindset might be inclined to see what he did differently.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  20. #60
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    That is my mindset developed in my profession and I guess that is why what McCandless did seems so foolish to me. It also helps me understand why other people without that mindset might be inclined to see what he did differently.
    If you work or have an avocation where almost any decision, no matter how small, can potentially lead to severe and even fatal consequences, I think by nature you have to be very risk-adverse to be successful. Where the discussion seems to break down sometimes is that those who are not experienced in fields (either professionally or as an avocation) that absolutely REQUIRE such discipline see this mindset as being adverse to any and all risk. Yet nothing can be further from the truth. The best example is perhaps space exploration, where the overall risk is perhaps as high as any human endeavor, with virtually all those involved having risk adverse mindsets, yet at the same time participating in something with an incredibly high level of inherent risk.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

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