Joe Simpson and Simon Yates
In the Peruvian Andes, 1985, 25 years old Joe Simpson and his 21 years old climbing partner Simon Yates succeeded the hard feat of climbing the 6344 metre peak Siula Grande. On their descent, Simpson broke his leg, leading them to believe it was a death sentence.
Dangling in the air by a rope connected to Yates, Yates attempted to lower his climbing partner down the mountain slope for hours on end. At some point, the rope ran out, leaving Simpson helplessly suspended without communication between the two. Yates held up the full weight of Simpson, unsure if his friend was alive or dead.
All the while, the rope dragged Yates and he had to make the decision to save his own life and cut down the rope, severing the link that held up Simpson.
Simpson thought “This is it.” and that he was done for. But miraculously, he survived the fall and landed in a cavern of snow. With a broken leg, unsustained by food, and in agony, Simpson spent the next four days crawling back to camp.
He arrived a few hours before Yates was supposed to leave. They both survived the ordeal.
Now, Simpson is the author of “Touching the Void”, published in 1988, depicting his and Yates’ nearly fatal climb.