This is a documentary reconstruction of a true story. The events take place some time in the 1980's. Disclaimer I know both of the protagonists. Joe Simpson and Simon Yates set out to climb the unclimbed South Face of Siula Grande in Peru. The climb is more difficult than they expected and they reach the summit in a storm after three days. While descending the summit ridge Joe falls and completely shatters his leg.

They reach a snow slope that leads to the glacier at the bottom of the face. Simon cuts bucket seats in the slope and lowers Joe gradually down the face. At some point Joe is lowered over the lip of the crevasse. Simon can't see what is happening because of the storm. Eventually the weight of Joe starts pulling him out of his seat. Faced with the prospect of a fall of several thousand feet and certain death, Simon cuts the rope.

Later Simon climbs down and finds the crevasse, but can't see the bottom and gets no response when he shouts. Joe has landed on a snow bridge a long way down. He can't climb back up, but follows the floor of the crevasse. Luckily it merges into the slope and he manages to climb the short distance out onto the snow slope. He then spends the next three days crawling on his hands and knees over the glacier and descending the rocky moraine at the end. He finally collapses in the stream next to the tent at base camp, the night before Simon was going to leave.

The book was a best seller and launched Joe's career as a writer. Both Joe and Simon acted at advisors on the film, which was filmed at Siula Grande. I think that Simon went back earlier this year and did another route on the face.

This story is just one incident in Joe's many accidents, where you wonder how he has survived so long. He finally hung up his boots a year or so ago after completing a new Himalayan route solo.
Touching the Void
Touching the Void
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