Chris’s mother says half way into the book, “I just don’t understand why he had to take those kind of chances. … I just don’t understand it at all” (132). Krakauer’s placement of the grieving mother’s statement here, after providing reasons others have given and various accounts of Chris’s adventure, serves to show that no one yet has been able to give information that would assuage this mother’s deep sorrow. She wants some closure from her son’s death but has none, and does not find any until she visits the site of his death at the end of the story. Walt, Chris’s father, reveals much about himself and his relationship to his son when he tells Krakauer an anecdote about Chris’s performance at school when Chris received an F because he did not turn in his lab reports in a particular, required format. Concerned, Walt called the teacher, and “After talking with the guy, [he] came home and told Chris he got the grade he deserved” (109). This comment indicates that Walt, like the teacher, values following the rules, and it is this that Chris resented so much; it is one reason he disliked his father so intensely and thought him devoid of a real moral compass. But it also indicates that his father provided a structured and moral environment for his son as a child, even if Chris ended up rejecting that.