Into Thin Air

Stuart Hutchinson Character Analysis

Cardiologist who, along with Jon Krakauer, joins Rob Hall’s expedition to Mount Everest in 1996. Hutchinson is an inexperienced climber, but after the events of May 10, he becomes the de facto leader of the group, since, as a cardiologist, he’s used to keeping a clear head in a crisis. He continues to lead the remaining members of the group down the mountain and back to safety.

Stuart Hutchinson Quotes in Into Thin Air

The Into Thin Air quotes below are all either spoken by Stuart Hutchinson or refer to Stuart Hutchinson. 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 19 Quotes

There was only one choice, however difficult: let nature take its inevitable course with Beck and Yasuko, and save the group's resources for those who could actually be helped. It was a classic act of triage. When Hutchinson returned to camp he was on the verge of tears and looked like a ghost.

Related Characters: Jon Krakauer (speaker), Beck Weathers, Stuart Hutchinson, Yasuko Namba
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
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Stuart Hutchinson Character Timeline in Into Thin Air

The timeline below shows where the character Stuart Hutchinson appears in Into Thin Air. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Commercialization Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...mother of four, Yasuko Namba, a personnel director from Tokyo, Beck Weathers, a pathologist, Stuart Hutchinson, a cardiologist, John Taske, an anesthesiologist, Frank Fischbeck, a publisher from Hong Kong, and Doug... (full context)
Chapter 4
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Commercialization Theme Icon
The team eats dinner, and Krakauer notices that Hutchinson, Taske, and Weathers, the three doctors in the group, dominate the conversation. Taske and Weathers... (full context)
Chapter 6
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...has noticed that Frank Fischbeck, the Hong Kong publisher, is a particularly talented climber. Stuart Hutchinson, on the other hand, is too eager to finish first—on the trek through the Khumbu,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
...turn-around time—he’d suggested either 1 pm or 2 pm, but hasn’t committed to either one. Hutchinson, Kasischke, and Taske assume that the turnaround time is 1 pm—as a result, they decide... (full context)
Chapter 15
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Back at Camp Four, Krakauer is sitting in his tent, very cold. Stuart Hutchinson, who’s been back since 2 pm, tells Krakauer to come outside and bang pots and... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
While Hutchinson beats pots and pans, Beidleman tries to remain vigilant. Around midnight, the storm clears up,... (full context)
Chapter 16
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
At 6 am on May 11, Stuart Hutchinson wakes Krakauer from a deep sleep. Hutchinson explains that Andy Harris isn’t in his tent,... (full context)
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Hutchinson tells Krakauer that Beck and Yasuko Namba must be dead, and that Scott Fischer has... (full context)
Chapter 19
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Around this time, Stuart Hutchinson becomes the de facto leader of the team. Hutchinson is a successful doctor from Montreal,... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Back at Camp Four, Hutchinson confers with the remaining team members about what to do. Taske is adamant about staying... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...deducing that camp lay ahead. After an hour of walking, he reached Camp Four, where Hutchinson, amazed, bundled Beck in a sleeping bag and, with the help of Pete Athans, an... (full context)
Danger and Mortality Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Individualism and the Group Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...Camp Four, Krakauer breathes some bottled oxygen and begins to feel better. Together, he and Hutchinson try to reinforce the tents, which are in danger of being blown away in the... (full context)