Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains


Jon Krakauer is the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin AirEiger Dreams is a collection of his essays.

He is one of the my favorite non-fiction writers, for his clear and lucid writing. Reading his story requires no difficulty, even for non-native like me. It just flows naturally.

If you enjoyed (which might not be the correct verb in this case) Into Thin Air, you will probably enjoy this one too, especially A Bad Summer on K2, which is a recount of K2 disaster in 1986.

Mountaineering stories tend to be muscle-and-bone crashing, painful stories. Life and death is always the main theme. Full of characters. Full of insolvable moral questions. Full of physical and mental pains, which I can barely imagine.

They sound so unreal, yet I feel so real… I enjoy reading them, maybe because they make my small life even smaller.

I recently came across an interesting video by Bill Hicks. (it’s only 3-min video, so check it out)

His expression, “It’s just a ride” keeps playing in my head. It is so liberating way of looking our reality, and perhaps, I wondered, it’s a kind of thought shared by these serious mountaineers somewhere deep in their minds. Maybe that is the answer for that never ending question, “Why climb the mountains, risking your life?”

It’s just a ride. Why not?


All stories were enjoyable, but here are my favorite ones, all of which came with different flavors.

  • Gill (Chapter 2)
  • A Bad Summer on K2 (Chapter 11)
  • The Devils Thumb (Chapter 12)