The unexpected impact the murderer and forger Mark Hoffman had on “Under the Banner of Heaven,” my book about Mormon fundamentalism

The LDS Oquirrh Mountain Temple, 6 miles from the Utah State Prison where Mark Hofmann and Dan Lafferty were cellmates

In 1969, when I was 15 years old, however, I noticed that a number of my classmates and teachers at Western View Junior High School were ardent believers, and I grew curious about their theology. Some were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some were Seventh-day…


A girl at risk of being trafficked in a rural village in Nepal. Photo by Luigi Fieni courtesy of the American Himalayan Foundation

A report from Nepal

Nepal is an astonishing country. A visit there might change your life, but the boundless poverty is likely to break your heart. The misery of the poorest Nepalis, moreover, is often compounded by predators who enrich themselves by exploiting their most vulnerable compatriots. Perhaps the worst of these malefactors are the men calling themselves “brokers” who prowl through indigent villages hoping to lure teenage girls from their homes with promises of marriage or lucrative jobs in distant lands.

Because life can be so hard in Nepal, families of teenage girls often fall prey to the brokers’ deceptions and hand over…


An observation post above Forward Operating Base Tillman, a few miles south of the canyon where Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire in eastern Afghanistan. Photo copyright © Jon Krakauer

Prologue

If David Uthlaut was still angry when the convoy finally rolled out of Magarah, Afghanistan, the young lieutenant kept his emotions hidden from the forty-four Army Rangers under his command. Certainly he had reason to be steamed. For the previous six hours his platoon had been stopped in the middle of Taliban territory while he argued with headquarters over what to do about a wrecked Humvee. When the discussion finally concluded, Uthlaut was on the losing end of the debate. …


The location of Colfax, shown on a map of Louisiana created in 1892

147 years ago in a tiny Louisiana town, white supremacists committed mass murder. The aftershocks of this despicable crime are still being felt today.

By William Briggs and Jon Krakauer

Most of the dead were lying facedown in the grass “and had been shot almost to pieces,” according to Charles Lane in…


Written as an afterword to the 1999 edition of my book about the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, here is my response to the allegations made by Anatoli Boukreev in his book, “The Climb”

Approaching the base of the Lhotse Face between Camp Two and Camp Three on Mt. Everest, May 8, 1996. Photo copyright © Jon Krakauer

Mr. DeWalt…


A book by Chris McCandless’ sister reveals long-buried secrets that explain why the protagonist of “Into the Wild” ditched his family and lit out for the Territory

A crown that fell off one of Chris McCandless’ molars sits atop a grizzly bear skull inside the bus he used for shelter in the Alaskan bush. McCandless lived in the rusting bus beside the Sushana River, just outside the northern boundary of Denali National Park, from May 1992 until he died in August 1992. This image was shot during a visit to the bus in July 1993 as part of my research for the book Into the Wild. Photo copyright © Jon Krakauer

a young hiker…


Allison Huguet thought Beau Donaldson was her close friend and protector — until he raped her while she was sleeping

Eighty-five percent of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim. Friends and family of the assailant almost always insist ‘he’s a nice guy who would never rape anyone.’ This doesn’t make the crime any less horrific for the person he has raped

Baffled by these disturbing numbers, I wrote my latest book — Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College…


Mike Groom 27,600 feet above sea leval on Mt. Everest shortly after sunrise, May 10, 1996. Photo © Jon Krakauer

Climbing the highest mountain in the world is an exceedingly dangerous activity. Always has been, probably always will be. I learned this the hard way when I climbed Everest on assignment for Outside magazine in 1996. During the descent, a storm took the lives of four of the five teammates who reached the summit with me. All told, by the end of that awful month twelve climbers had died.

Upon my return from Nepal I wrote a book about my experience on Everest: Into Thin Air. Below is an excerpt I’ve adapted from Chapter 13, which describes our team’s ascent…


Fairbanks City Transit bus 142 in July 1993, on the Stampede Trail in Alaska. Photo © Jon Krakauer

An update to ‘Into the Wild’


Greg Mortenson, disgraced author of ‘Three Cups of Tea,’ believes he will have the last laugh. He might be right.

IN HIS BOOK, ‘THREE CUPS OF TEA,’ MORTENSON CLAIMS HE ACCIDENTALLY ARRIVED IN KORPHE INSTEAD OF ASKOLE, HIS INTENDED DESTINATION, BY INADVERTENTLY TAKING THE ROUTE DELINEATED IN GREEN

In 2012, Lance Armstrong’s unwavering insistence that he won seven Tours de France without using performance-enhancing drugs was shown to be a monstrous act of deceit…

Jon Krakauer

Author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Classic Krakauer, and Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town. www.instagram.com/krakauernotwriting/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store