Study Guide

Into Thin Air Chapter 20

By Jon Krakauer

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Chapter 20

The Geneva Spur, 9:45AM, May 12, 1996, 25,900 Feet

  • The group is weary as they descend from Camp Four. Hutchinson is so out of it that he almost heads down without securing his safety tether—a mistake that could only end with a splat.
  • They reach Camp Two after midnight and see Lopsang Jangbu, who is still devastated by Fischer's death, and Gau, who is being rushed into medical care.
  • Later that afternoon, Krakauer learns from Breashears that Weathers is alive and currently being helped down the mountain. To Krakauer's surprise, he sees Weathers approaching on foot.
  • A helicopter evacuation is planned for the next morning and Krakauer is given the unenviable task of finding a safe spot for it to land. Breashears, who has a lot of experience in this field, helps him big-time.
  • Unfortunately, the helicopter is only able to take one person at a time. Given that Gau "could no longer walk or even stand" (20.24), he gets the first ride.
  • Thirty minutes later, the helicopter returns and lifts Weathers to safety.

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