"It was early in the afternoon of May 10, 1996. I hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours. The only food I'd been able to force down over the preceding three days was a bowl of ramen soup and a handful of peanut M&Ms. Violent coughing had left me with two separated ribs that made ordinary breathing an excruciating trial. At 29,028 feet up in the troposphere, so little oxygen was reaching my brain that my mental capacity was that of a slow child. Under the circumstances, I was incapable of feeling much of anything cold and tired."
Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air (1996, Random House).
"I devoted most of my waking hours to fantasizing about, and then undertaking, ascents of remote mountains in Alaska and Canada –obscure spires, steep and frightening, that nobody in the world beyond a handful of climbing geeks had ever heard of. Some good actually came of this. By fixing my sights in one summit after another, I managed to keep my bearings through some thick post-adolescent fog. Climbing mattered. The danger bathed the world in a halogen glow that caused everything –the sweep of the rock, the orange and yellow lichens, the texture of the clouds –to stand out in brilliant relief. Life thrummed at a higher pitch. The world was made real"
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild (1997, Random House).
"I don't who God is, or what God had in mind when the universe was set in motion. In fact, I don't know if God even exists, although I confess that sometimes I have found myself praying in times of great fear, or despair, or astonishment at the display of unexpected beauty.
"There are some ten thousand extant religious sects –each with its own cosmology, each with its own answer for the meaning of life and death. None of the ten thousand has yet persuaded me to make the requisite leap of faith. In the absence of conviction, I’ve come to terms with the fact that uncertainty is an inescapable corollary of life"
Krakauer, Jon. Under the Banner of Heaven (2003, Random House).