Into Thin Air

Scott Fischer Character Analysis

A talented, charismatic mountaineer who dies in the May 10 Everest disaster. Fischer has a reputation for being the “bad boy” of the mountain climbing world, especially when compared with Rob Hall. Nevertheless, Fischer is highly respected in his field, and runs a successful mountain tourism business. During his expedition to the summit of Everest in spring of 1996, Fischer begins to suffer from serious fatigue, in part because his guide, Anatoli Boukreev, isn’t doing his job effectively. On the afternoon of May 10, Fischer’s weeks of fatigue catch up with him, and in the thin air he become delirious. Fischer is unable to return to his tent in the midst of the storm, and he eventually freezes to death.

Scott Fischer Quotes in Into Thin Air

The Into Thin Air quotes below are all either spoken by Scott Fischer or refer to Scott Fischer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Into Thin Air published in 1999.
Chapter 8 Quotes

When Fischer questioned Ngawang, he admitted that he'd been feeling weak, groggy, and short of breath for more than two days, so Fischer directed him to descend to Base Camp immediately. But there is an element of machismo in the Sherpa culture that makes many men extremely reluctant to acknowledge physical infirmities. Sherpas aren't supposed to get altitude illness, especially those from Rolwaling, a region famous for its powerful climbers. Those who do become sick and openly acknowledge it, moreover, will often be blacklisted from future employment on expeditions.

Related Characters: Jon Krakauer (speaker), Scott Fischer, Ngawang Topchke
Page Number: 112-113
Explanation and Analysis:

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They should have flown him out yesterday morning when they had a chance. If it had been one of Scott's clients who was this sick, instead of a Sherpa, I don't think he would have been treated so haphazardly.

Related Characters: Rob Hall (speaker), Scott Fischer, Ngawang Topchke
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 15 Quotes

Fischer hid the fact from everyone, as well, that he may have been clinically ill during the summit attempt. In 1984, during an expedition to Nepal's Annapuma massif, he'd picked up a gastrointestinal parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, which he was unable to entirely purge from his body over the years that followed. The bug emerged from dormancy on an irregular basis, producing bouts of acute physical distress and leaving a cyst on his liver. Insisting it was nothing to worry about, Fischer mentioned the ailment to few people at Base Camp.

Related Characters: Jon Krakauer (speaker), Scott Fischer
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint

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Scott Fischer Character Timeline in Into Thin Air

The timeline below shows where the character Scott Fischer appears in Into Thin Air. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...the mountaineers slowly climb across the Step. The last one to climb across is Scott Fischer, a talented mountaineer who Krakauer has known for years. (full context)
Chapter 5
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Commercialization Theme Icon
...sea level. At the base camp, Rob Hall crosses paths with another team leader, Scott Fischer. Hall and Fischer are friendly rivals in the mountaineering tourism business. Fischer has a reputation... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Commercialization Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Krakauer notes that, in no small part, Fischer is the reason that Krakauer is climbing Everest at all. In 1994, Krakauer met Fischer... (full context)
Chapter 7
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
At Camp One, Krakauer meets some members of Scott Fischer’s team, including Klev Schoening, a former Olympic skier, and his uncle, Pete Schoening, the first... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Krakauer returns to his team, where he finds Hall, Dr. Mackenzie, and Scott Fischer’s doctor, Ingrid Hunt, communicating via radio with people higher up on the mountain, trying to... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Commercialization Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...inexperienced. She’d only lived in Nepal for four months before beginning her work for Scott Fischer. That afternoon, she takes good care of Ngawang, but begins to suffer from stress and... (full context)
Commercialization Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...One such climber is the famous socialite Sandy Hill Pittman, who is traveling with Scott Fischer. Pittman raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate sponsors to hire alpinists to guide... (full context)
Chapter 9
Commercialization Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...a large number of accomplished mountaineers on the Nepalese side of Everest in 1998, including Fischer, Hall, and Pete Schoening. However, there are four especially gifted climbers: Ed Viesturs (an American... (full context)
Chapter 10
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...blood stops flowing through the brain, sometimes causing permanent brain damage. Recently, one of Scott Fischer’s clients came down with a case of HACE. While Krakauer doesn’t have HACE, he’s lost... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Commercialization Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...from Base Camp and reach the summit on May 10, the same day as Scott Fischer’s team. The American and Taiwanese guided teams promise to rest on May 10 to make... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...7, the team reaches Camp Two, and Hall declares a day of rest. Krakauer notices Fischer at Camp Two, looking irritable. Because he gave his clients a higher degree of autonomy... (full context)
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The Natural World Theme Icon
On May 8, both Hall and Fischer’s teams leave Camp Two. During the climb, a boulder falls and hits Andy Harris in... (full context)
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Both Hall and Fischer’s team arrive at Camp Three. Krakauer is the first to arrive, and while the other... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Just after midnight, Hall’s team proceeds with the next stage of the climb. Fischer’s team is also climbing to the summit at this time. Furthermore, unbeknownst to Hall, the... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...stay close together. As the team gets closer to the summit, Krakauer notices members of Fischer’s team and the Taiwanese team getting closer together. (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...the rest of the team before proceeding. He’s frustrated that he can’t just continue with Fischer or the Taiwanese, but he understands why Hall wants him to wait. The most rewarding... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...her to the summit, and therefore, the only way to bring good publicity to Scott Fischer, his idol. (full context)
Chapter 13
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...for the climbers to use. Lopsang has since claimed that, the night before, Hall and Fischer decided not to fix ropes because they received the “erroneous information” that another team had... (full context)
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Around 11 am, Krakauer is with three guides, Andy Harris, Neal Beidleman (working for Scott Fischer), and Anatoli Boukreev (also working for Fischer), approaching the Hillary Step, the last major obstacle... (full context)
Chapter 15
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...climbers in the group; however, he’s conscious of being “third in the pecking order,” after Fischer and Boukreev. (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
The three guides—Fischer, Boukreev, and Beidleman—know that they need to tell their clients to come down before they... (full context)
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Krakauer flashes back to the previous day, May 9. That afternoon, Fischer began to feel ill, but didn’t tell anyone. He was exhausted from the non-stop climbing,... (full context)
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The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
By 3:10 pm on May 10, Fischer still hasn’t made it to the summit. Beidleman, who is waiting for Fischer to join... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...the Balcony, waiting for Mike. Groom guides Beck toward the tents, accompanied by some of Fischer’s other clients. As Groom guides the clients back to the tents, Namba’s oxygen runs out;... (full context)
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
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...client claims that Boukreev “cut and ran” instead of staying to help. Boukreev told Scott Fischer that he’d be going down with Martin Adams, but in fact didn’t descend the summit... (full context)
Chapter 16
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Hutchinson tells Krakauer that Beck and Yasuko Namba must be dead, and that Scott Fischer has gone missing. Around the same time, David Breashears, an old friend of Krakauer and... (full context)
Chapter 17
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The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Around 3:40 pm on the afternoon of May 10, Scott Fischer climbs to the summit of Everest, along with Rob Hall, Makalu Gau, and two Sherpas... (full context)
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The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Hall follows Fischer down the summit. While climbing down, Hall notices Doug Hansen climbing up—even though it’s more... (full context)
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Around the same time, Scott Fischer is climbing down, feeling sick. Lopsang notices Fischer’s erratic behavior and tries to help him... (full context)
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...the day, especially with the strong winds blowing. Around the same time, two Sherpas from Fischer’s team, Tashi Tshering and Ngawang Sya Kya, and a third Sherpa from the Taiwanese team,... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...Taske is adamant about staying to search for Hall. Meanwhile, Beidleman assembles what’s left of Fischer’s clients and orders them to descend. Anatoli Boukreev remains behind to wait for Fischer. Beidleman... (full context)
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...pm on the same day, Anatoli Boukreev goes out on a solo mission to find Fischer. He finds Fischer around 7 pm, with his oxygen tank empty and his gloves off.... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Natural World Theme Icon
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...up with the clients, including Lopsang, who tells Krakauer that he blames himself for Scott Fischer’s death. (full context)
Chapter 21
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...Tuesday afternoon, Neal Beidleman presides over a memorial service for the dead climbers, including Scott Fischer, Doug Hansen, Yasuko Namba, and Lopsang. Shortly after the service, two Japanese journalists approach Krakauer... (full context)
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...the one on the night of May 10. It’s also possible that Hall’s rivalry with Fischer encouraged Hall to break his own rules and take risks, especially since Fischer was guiding... (full context)
Epilogue
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...article about Everest prompts other angry responses, especially from relatives of the deceased climbers. Scott Fischer’s sister writes Krakauer a letter in which she attacks him for arrogantly presuming to know... (full context)