A Russian climbing guide working for Scott Fischer. At various points in Into Thin Air, Krakauer criticizes Boukreev for what he sees as Boukreev’s overly distant relationship with his clients: instead of paying close attention to the clients, he has a bad habit of climbing ahead, leaving them to fend for themselves. Krakauer further implies that Boukreev’s refusal to hang close behind led some of the clients to blunder into a snowstorm on the night of May 10. However, Krakauer also credits Boukreev with incredible bravery for venturing out into the storm later that night. Boukreev’s behavior remains the subject of much controversy in the mountaineering community—some agree with Krakauer that he was neglectful, while others insist that, by moving at his own pace and conserving energy, he was instrumental in saving clients’ lives, not endangering them.