No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships more brilliantly than Jon Krakauer. . In this collection of thirteen of his finest essays and reporting – including the essay, “Is Yosemite Going To The Dogs” – Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb.
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.
When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top.