“Into the Clouds” Soars, But Has Setbacks

By: Ethan Jung

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Many people think that Mt. Everest is the world’s most dangerous mountain. Think again! Many climbers consider that K2, the world’s second highest mountain located in the Himalayas, is more dangerous than Mt. Everest!

“Into the Clouds” by Tod Olson is about three expeditions attempting to climb K2. They face high winds, lack of oxygen, bad news, storms, and much more during their long, hard trek. “Life there is impossible,” the author stated. For example, when the climbers heard that an expedition reached the top of Mt. Everest, they knew that they won’t get much attention when they reach the top of K2, but they still pushed for the summit. Although they had these setbacks, they had each other to depend on, making their lives much easier. For instance, some climbers gave up their dreams (reaching the summit) so that no one dies on the mountain. With a bit of luck and skill, they knew it was possible to reach the summit. “Maybe the Gods will be with me…” one climber stated, hoping for luck.

What I liked about this book is that there were many photos, which showed me what the expedition looked like. The photos showed campsites, how steep the mountain was, their route up the mountain, and so forth. The author put in immense amounts of details that will force you to read more. For example, when the climbers got frostbite, I could feel that I was getting frostbite too, which made me clearly understand how the climbers were feeling, making the book easy to follow. Also, the huge amount of dialogue made me know exactly what everyone was up to. For instance, if you’ve read a book with no dialogue, you might’ve found it harder to understand than a book with lots of dialogue. “I’m very proud of you,” I would say to this book.

However, at some points, the author lacked detail. For instance, the author didn’t talk about certain characters enough to let me know how that person contributed to the plot. Also, the author sometimes made an event unclear, making me wonder about the significance of the event. I would highly recommend this book to kids above age 9 who love reading about adventure and history.