Jon Krakauer

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Jon Krakauer (2009)

Jon Krakauer (born April 12, 1954 in Brookline , Massachusetts ) is an American mountaineer and author.


Jon Krakauer grew up in the US state of Oregon and came to mountaineering very early through his father. He was strongly influenced by his personal acquaintance with Willi Unsoeld , who was a friend of his father's.

“A few months before Unsoeld left for Nepal, I climbed the summit of my first mountain together with my father, Willi and Regon [Unsoeld] - a somewhat sensational 2750 meter high volcano in the Cascade Range [...]. So it is hardly surprising that the stories of the hero saga of 1963 on Everest keep my prepubescent imagination busy for a long time. While my friends made John Glenn , Sandy Koufax and Johnny Unitas their idols, my role models were Hornbein and Unsoeld. "

- J. Krakauer In icy heights . P. 40

He works as an author in the field of mountaineering and outdoor and among other things works for the magazine " Outside ". He became internationally known through his factual report " Into Thin Air " ( Into Thin Air ) supported by the disaster on Mount Everest is in May 1996, in which he as a journalist for "Outside" in Rob Hall's Team Adventure Consultants participated. Two commercially run expeditions got into one of the frequent thunderstorms that can occur suddenly in the afternoon even on good ascent days. The storm and the lack of rescue options led to the death of several expedition members as a result of lack of oxygen, exhaustion, frostbite and falls.

From Krakauer's magazine reports and his book In icy heights , a fierce controversy developed with the mountain guide Anatoli Bukrejew , who was professionally involved in the same event and who presented the event differently in many points in another book. Krakauer's book became a bestseller that sold millions of times. Hall's widow called him scum because he printed the last radio conversation between the dying man and her in his book.

Another bestseller was Krakauer's book Into the Wild , in which he describes the fate of the dropout Christopher McCandless . The film adaptation of the work under the title Into the Wild (2007) by Sean Penn reached an audience of millions worldwide.

In Murder on behalf of God (2003) he tells the story of the Mormons , their origins and their persecution, but also the crimes that members of this religious community have committed and how the Mormons deal with them.

Krakauer has been an active mountaineer since his youth and has completed numerous tours, some of them extreme. He lived in Seattle for a long time before moving to Boulder with his wife in 1997 .

Alpinistic services (extract)

  • Mooses Tooth , 3150 m (Central Alaska Range), 1975 new route over couloir in the south face to the summit ("Ham and Eggs") with Tom Davies and Nate Zinsser.
  • Devils Thumb , 2767 m (Boundary Ranges, Alaska), 1977 solo ascent on a new route in the southeast face, previously attempted the first ascent of the north face
  • Eiger north face , 1984 experiment with Mark Twight
  • Cerro Torre , 3133 m (Patagonia), 1992 second ascent via the Ferrari route in the west face with Dan Kauthorn
  • Mount Everest , 8848 m (Himalaya), ascent in 1996 as a member of the crashed Adventure Consultants expedition
  • Mount Vinson , 4892 m (Antarctica), 2001 First ascent of the east face with Conrad Anker , Dave Hahn, Andrew Mclean, Dan Stone, Lisel Clark, John Armstrong and Rob Raker

Works (selection)

Web links

Commons : Jon Krakauer  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Farewell to Life , Der Spiegel , Joachim Hoelzgen, February 23, 1998