Most friendly fire incidents aren't investigated properly because of neglect or a natural inclination to cover up the embarrassing fact that they killed one of their own.
I really enjoy researching, and for almost every piece, I research enough to write a book.
The way Everest is guided is very different from the way other mountains are guided, and it flies in the face of values I hold dear: self-reliance, taking responsibility for what you do, making your own decisions, trusting your judgment - the kind of judgment that comes only through paying your dues, through experience.
What makes climbing great for me, strangely enough, is this life-and-death aspect. It sounds trite to say, I know, but climbing isn't just another game. It isn't just another sport. It's life itself. Which is what makes it so compelling and also what makes it so impossible to justify when things go bad.
As I point out in the very first pages of 'Into the Wild,' I approached this book not as a normal, you know, unbiased journalist.