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

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"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.

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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.