Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer:

Early Life:

Jon Krakauer, an American writer and mountaineer was born in April 12, 1954. He is famous for his bestsellers; Into the wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Where Men Win glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. He’s also famous for various magazine articles published by famous magazines like Outside and National Geographic. He’s mainly remembered as a member of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.

Krakauer was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He got raised in Oregon since the age of two. Krakauer was introduced to mountaineering at a young age of eight by his father. He graduated in 1972 and moved to study at Hampshire College in Massachusetts where he completed a degree in Environmental Studies in 1976. He got married to a former climber Linda Mariam Moore in 1980.


After graduation, he divided his time travelling to places, working primarily as a carpenter and a commercial salmon fisherman. He also started giving more time to Mountaineering, the next two decades in his life would be concentrated around climbing mountains. He spent weeks alone in Stikine Icecap region of Alaska and climbed the new route on the Devils Thumb. He was already a skilled mountaineer and a good writer, and he used to portray his experience into words through his books. He described the experience of climbing in Alaska in his books Eiger Dreams and in Into the wild.

He was good in writing from a young age. In 1983, he gave up his part time work of carpenter and fisherman to work as a full-time writer.  Most of his work included freelance articles which had a great variety, and appeared in famous platforms like Architectural Digest, National Geographic Magazine, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, and Outside.  In 1996, Into the Wild was published. The book was a huge success and it spent two years on The New York Times Best Seller List. The book was a non-fiction linear narrative that documented the travels of Christopher McCandless. The book has been famous till date and has also been turned to a movie. Krakauer was good at relating his own experience with the main character of the book when spending alone time in the wilderness of Alaska.

In 1992, he reached the Andes region and made his way to Cerro Terro of Argentine Patagonia. The peak is considered to be one of the most difficult climbs in terms of technicality. He climbed the sheer granite peak and added it to his accomplishments.

The most challenging task for Krakauer was perhaps climbing the highest peak in the world. He was on an assignment from Outside magazine. He was to write article about difficulties of climbing Everest and the commercialization of mountaineering in Everest.  He would witness one of the most devastating disasters in climbing history while trying to reach the summit. He was a part of the disaster where he survived, and lived to tell the tale. Four of his teammates perished, including the expedition leader Rob hall while making their descent during a storm. Krakauer was on the expedition for Outside Magazine and he wrote a recollection of the event for Outside. Later, he published his own book, Into Thin Air, which became a best seller and a famous portrayal of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster.  In 1997, He expanded the Outside article into his book, Into Thin Air, which is regarded as his best book.  The book described in detail about the expedition team competing for the commercial guidance to the summit of Everest. The book got first place in the best seller list and was awarded “Book of the Year “ by Time Magazine.

Krakauer established the Everest 96’ Memorial Fund, as a tribute to his companions he lost on Everest. He put the earnings of Into Thin Air into charities like the American Himalayan Foundation, Educate the Children, Veterans Helping Veterans Now, the Access Fund, and the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center.

When asked about the Everest incident, Krakauer says.” I wish I’d never gone, I suffered for years with (post-traumatic stress disorder), still suffer from what happened. I’m glad I wrote a book about it, but you know, if I could go back and relive my life, I never would have climbed Everest.”