Study Guide

Into Thin Air Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

Northeast Ridge, May 10, 1996, 28,550 Feet

  • Meanwhile, there's an equally heartbreaking disaster happening on the north side of the Mountain.
  • On May 10, a group of climbers from India are also attempting the summit. Although half of the team turns back as the day wanes, three men continue to the top of the mountain.
  • By this time, the storm is in full-force. Thinking that they've reached the top, the men head down "around two hours below the actual summit" (18.5). None of them return to their tents that night.
  • The next morning, a Japanese team ascends by the same route. They pass by one of the climbers along the way, struggling badly, but pass without offering aid. Which is cold. Literally.
  • They pass by the other two climbers closer to the summit. Again, the Japanese climbers offer no assistance and don't even say a word. They finally reach the summit and descend safely.
  • The bodies of the three Indian climbers are found "on the morning of May 17" (18.15).

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