Writer Jon Krakauer calls climbing Everest his 'biggest mistake'

Author Jon Krakauer says that climbing Mount Everest was the "biggest mistake I've ever made in my life."

Story highlights

  • "Think twice about it," the author tells a young climber
  • Krakauer says he still suffers from the 1996 tragedy on the mountain

(CNN)It's the subject of perhaps his best-known book, "Into Thin Air," and the culmination of a childhood dream. But Jon Krakauer says the ill-fated 1996 Mount Everest expedition he joined as a writer for Outside magazine was the "biggest mistake" of his life.

"I wish I'd never gone," he told HuffPost Live last week. "I suffered for years with (post-traumatic stress disorder), still suffer from what happened. I'm glad I wrote a book about it, but you know, if I could go back and relive my life, I never would have climbed Everest."
Four members of Krakauer's expedition, along with several climbers from other groups, died in May 1996 after a severe storm roared over the world's highest peak.
    He wrote about the expedition first in Outside and then in his 1999 book.
    Krakauer offered up the admission in response to 11-year-old Tyler Armstrong, who said he is hoping to climb the tallest peaks on each continent -- he's so far done three -- and asked for advice on climbing Everest.
    Krakauer said Everest is unlike any other mountain, one unusually dangerous even for a sport synonymous with danger and difficulty.
    "I'm the last person should tell people not to do crazy s**t, but think twice about it," he said.