This is an incredible story of survival, friendship, difficult choices, and ultimately of a love of life. Against all odds Joe Simpson survives not one, but 2 falls in the Peruvian Mountains. With a broken leg he makes his way miles down the mountain, across a glacier, and then across a desolate landscape to safety. The most compelling part of the story is how he and his partner make decisions with far-reaching consequences and how they remain friends to this day.
This is a well written book about an incredible journey of a life and death climbing accident. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I think it is fair to warn other readers that it certainly does contain a lot of terms and vocabulary that might only be familiar to someone who knows climbing. This did have a glossary in the back that helps, but it can still be a bit of a challenge if you do not know the vernacular, but still worth a read!
This is an incredible book about a true story of two men who almost complete their task climbing a mountain. Toward the end there is an accident and the rest of the story is so good you dont want to but the book down!
A gripping survival story and great read that goes way beyond the action packed sport of mountain climbing. How an accident and the almost fatal ramifications play out goes beyond the adventure and into human nature. I found the postscript and epilogue particularly interesting. It is best to spend some time exploring the glossary before reading as there are lot of technical climbing terms used throughout. It truly is amazing what the human body can endure given the will and determination to survive.
Story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates and their climb to the top of a 21,000 foot peak in the Andes when disaster strikes. How both men overcame the torments of those harrowing days is an epic tale of fear, suffering, and survival; a poignant testament to unshakable courage and friendship.
Frightening true story about two mountain climbers, one of whom must cut the rope that holds him to the other before slipping into a mountain crevasse. Really makes you wonder what you would do in that situation!
There is lots of technical mountain climbing terms in the book (a glossary in the back of the book helps), but the story is so compelling that you can get past it easily.
"This is not primarily an adventure story about climbing. It is an account of one man, not just facing the abyss but being in the abyss and having his very being stripped to a raw struggle, not to survive but to want to survive.
Simpson and a climbing partner in an excess of youthful bravado planned a new route up a monster Andean peak in Peru. The area was remote and civilization was somewhere else. After an arduous ascent, Simpson fell and broke his leg while descending. The reader gradually realizes what a chilling horror has befallen the pair. They have no possibility of rescue; the mountain was almost unclimbable for two superb athletes with two good legs. How can they possibly get down when one of them is unable to walk?
Partner, Simon Yates, ropes Simpson to himself and tries to guide Simpson down who is forced to crawl, slide, and inch himself forward. Then Simpson goes over the edge of a cornice and is dangling with only the rope holding him over the void. Yates heroically digs in, but gradually he himself is being inexorably drawn to the chasm. He finally, with shuddering reluctance, cuts the rope, and Simpson falls many feet into a crevasse.
The rest of the book is Simpson's six-day excruciating journey down the mountain: his thoughts, hallucinations and agony. Simpson is a powerful writer without a trace of self-pity. He doesn't try to impress us with his stoicism - far from it, at times he is almost mad with fright. There is nothing lurid here; the book is exhausting, but thought provoking. You won't forget it easily, and you cannot help but wonder what it is like beyond the edge and into the maelstrom."
- SweetMolly (Richmond, VA)