I suspected that each of my teammates hoped as fervently as I that Hall had been careful to weed out clients of dubious ability, and would have the means to protect each of us from one another's shortcomings.
This quote reflects Krakauer's thoughts in Chapter Three, as the helicopter is taking the group to the road leading to Base Camp. Krakauer is concerned about the clients' general lack of climbing experience, particularly because he knows how important it is for teammates to support, assist and trust one another. Before they even reach the mountain he puts a tremendous amount of hope and trust in his guides to unify the group and keep them safe. This task is enormous—the guides must look after themselves and their own safety, the safety of each and every one of the clients, and they also must pay attention to the ways in which members of the group relate to one another. This thought underscores the inherent, basic danger in guiding a group of strangers up the tallest mountain in the world.