Jon Krakauer Says Climbing Mount Everest Was The 'Biggest Mistake' Of His Life

The "Into Thin Air" author tells HuffPost Live he still suffers from PTSD after his experience in 1996.

Author Jon Krakauer, who chronicled the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest in his bestselling book Into Thin Air, told HuffPost Live on Thursday that he deeply regrets ever embarking on climbing the mountain.

"Climbing Mount Everest was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. I wish I'd never gone," Krakauer said. "I suffered for years of PTSD, and 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 would never have climbed Everest."

Krakauer spoke about Everest during a HuffPost Live conversation about the documentary "Meru," which documents the harrowing journey of climbing India's Meru Peak. When an 11-year-old mountain climber asked for tips for climbing Mount Everest himself, Krakauer urged him to think carefully about whether it's something he really wants to do.

"It's a serious, serious choice," he said. "If you do it, if you go for it, you'll be making really important decisions where your brain isn't functioning because of hypoxia or you haven't had enough to eat. Meru is a much harder mountain to climb, but in some ways Everest is much more dangerous. The dangers are more insidious. They're not as obvious."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Krakauer and the team behind "Meru" here.

Correction: An earlier version of this post indicated Meru Peak was located in Tanzania. It is part of the Gharwal Himalayas in India.

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