Into Thin Air is a book that examines in detail a disaster that happened on Mount Everest, that resulted in many peoples death. At the time of the book, it was the worse disaster that had ever happened on the mountain. Karkaur examines the various things that went wrong, some of which were human error and others were beyond human control, e.g. like the storm that moved in.
Krakauer examines the competitiveness between Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, two mountain guides that each had groups of paying customers that wanted to summit the mountain. The desire to get their group up the mountain in spite of indications that the conditions were not right, and the competiveness between the two led them to push onward instead of cancelling or holding off. As a result they started up the mountain in questionable condtions which then got worse. The result was many clients dying. It was truly a catastrophe.