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Into Thin Air Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from Into Thin Air
  1. #1
    “Unfortunately, the sort of individual who is programmed to […] keep pushing for the top is frequently programmed to disregard signs of grave and imminent danger as well.”
  2. #2
    “Reaching the top of Everest is supposed to trigger a surge of intense elation; against long odds, after all, I had just attained a goal I’d coveted since childhood.”
  3. #3
    “Once Everest was determined to be the highest summit on earth, it was only a matter of time before people decided that Everest needed to be climbed.”
  4. #4
    “In climbing, having confidence in your partners is no small concern. One climber’s actions can affect the welfare of the entire team. The consequences of a poorly tied knot, a stumble, a dislodged rock, or some other careless deed are as likely to be felt by the perpetrator’s colleagues as the perpetrator.”
  5. #5
    “I suspected that each of my teammates hoped as fervently as I that Hall had been careful to weed out clients of dubious ability, and would have the means to protect each of us from one another’s shortcomings.”
  6. #6
    “We were too tired to help. Above 8,000 meters is not a place where people can afford morality.”
  7. #7
    “Sherpas aren’t supposed to get altitude illness […]. Those who do become sick […] will often be blacklisted from future employment on expeditions.”
  8. #8
    “Hubris probably had something to do with it. Hall had become so adept at running climbers of all abilities up and down Everest that he got a little cocky, perhaps.”
  9. #9
    “None of them imagined that a horrible ordeal was drawing nigh. Nobody suspected that by the end of that long day, every minute would matter.”
  10. #10
    “The air at Base Camp seemed thick and rich and voluptuously saturated with oxygen compared to the brutally thin atmosphere of the camps above.”

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  1. #11
    “Four of my teammates died not so much because Rob Hall’s systems were faulty […] but because on Everest it is the nature of systems to break down with a vengeance.”
  2. #12
    “Adams […] told me that he recognized these innocent-looking puffs of water vapor to be the crowns of robust thunderheads.”
  3. #13
    “Four hundred vertical feet above, where the summit was still washed in bright sunlight under an immaculate cobalt sky, my compadres dallied to memorialize their arrival at the apex of the planet, unfurling flags and snapping photos, using up precious ticks of the clock.”
  4. #14
    “Now, for the first time on the expedition the vista was primarily sky rather than earth.”
  5. #15
    “I accepted the assignment because I was in the grip of the Everest mystique. In truth, I wanted to climb the mountain as badly as I’d ever wanted anything in my life.”
  6. #16
    “It doesn’t seem far-fetched to speculate that because Hall had talked Hansen into coming back to Everest, it would have been especially hard for him to deny Hansen the summit a second time.”
  7. #17
    “Most of us were simply wrapped too tightly in the grip of summit fever to engage in thoughtful reflection about the death of someone in our midst.”
  8. #18
    “Mortality had remained a conveniently hypothetical concept, an idea to ponder in the abstract. Sooner or later the divestiture of such a privileged innocence was inevitable, but when it finally happened the shock was magnified by the sheer superfluity of the carnage…”
  9. #19
    “Solitude was a rare commodity on Everest, and I was grateful to be granted a bit of it on this day, in such a remarkable setting.”
  10. #20
    “Above the South Col, up in the Death Zone, survival is to no small degree a race against the clock.”
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