Aug. 10, 2017

One man’s journey back from the edge of death…

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson

In 1985, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates made an assault on the previously unclimbed West Face of Siula Grande, in Peru. Reaching the summit was a proud moment. Now, it was time to climb down. And that’s when disaster struck…

There were no fixed ropes, but Simpson and Yates were connected by 150 feet of line. When Simpson fell suddenly he shattered his right leg at the knee. In excruciating pain, Simpson was unable to do much climbing. Yates tied two ropes together, making 300 feet. He began to slowly lower Simpson bit by bit down the mountain.

Unfortunately, Simpson again fell. Unable to pull him back up, Yates made the only decision he could. Badly worn out himself, he had to ensure that he could climb down to base camp. He cut the rope, sending Simpson into a crevasse. Very certain that Simpson was now dead, Yates carefully made his way into camp.

This is the story of a miracle. By any odds, Simpson should have died. Unable to use his right leg, Simpson made a perilous journey back to camp, dragging himself inch by inch. The power of the human spirit is often amazing. In his own words, Simpson tells the story of his ordeal. His story is inter spliced with Yates thoughts, the loss of his friend and the guilty thoughts of his decision to cut the rope in spite of the fact that he knew he could have done nothing else.

Bravery and adventure in the world of mountain climbing! I give the book five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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