People have attempted to conquer the world’s most magnificent mountain peaks for centuries. There are countless tales about these extraordinarily hardworking men. But much of the history is about the immense risky activities they take to achieve their goals, Silent.
A man badly hurt at the top of a mountain never gave up hope that he would live. He was trapped in an ice trap for several days and suffered severely. But he heroically managed to get rid of it and became famous worldwide.
Joe Simpson, the brave man, was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. His father served in the British Army and had to live in various places as a child. But this little boy knew what his favorite hobby was. This child was someone who tried to overcome challenges from a young age. Of course, mountaineering is a challenge.
He grew particularly interested in climbing as a child after reading the book White Spider, written in 1938 by German rock climbers about their experiences. After reading this book, he concluded that climbers are talented individuals who can conquer obstacles. Joe holds a degree from the University of Edinburgh and has extensive alpine climbing experience. He felt completely confident in his skills as a result.
Joe desired to begin his quest by climbing the Sula Range of the Peruvian Andes. Unclimbed mountain summits were exceedingly lethal and hazardous to conquer. Such dangerous challenges must be overcome if their name is to go down in history. So, Joe knew he had to find a partner willing to do a series of crazy tests with him. Simon Yates, a longtime friend, was chosen for this brave effort. He was good enough at everything.
The two climbers got ready to cross the western face of the Sula Range, which is at an elevation of 6300 m. Their path was hard, and no one else could do it. Even so, Joe and Simon planned their route with great care.
They had to carry their supplies of food, shelter, and equipment because there were no intermediate camps. The two friends quickly passed the first kilometer of the intended path.
Because this path is complex, the heart starts to have trouble getting enough oxygen at high altitudes, and the body needs at least five liters of clean water. The snow needs to melt, but this task is challenging as every step after the snowfall is prolonged.
Their bodies had completely frozen over, and it took them six hours to finish the final fifty meters of the trek. These two courageous mountaineers eventually made it to the top of the mountain after climbing its steep slopes. At that moment, Joe and Simon had the impression that they were on top of the world.
Even aching muscles and numb fingers couldn’t hide their joy at reaching their goal. They only needed to go down the hill. Everything that happened was great, but about 80% of the trip’s problems happened on the way down.
After spending about 30 minutes at the top of the mountain, the climbers couldn’t see their way down because the hill was covered in thick clouds.
Also, they had planned to go down before nightfall, but it got so cold that they had to stay there. And the two had to deal with another dangerous situation. They were unable to melt the snow because they ran out of gas.
Because it was dangerous to stay longer, the two climbers tied a rope around their waists and started going down the precipice wall. At first, everything went smoothly.
But at one point, Joe felt that the ice axe in his right hand had not gone far enough into the ice. He tried to dig it deeper.
But sadly, Joe’s left hand’s ice axe also fell, and before long, he was on the ground. After losing around 10 meters, Joe’s leg began to hurt badly. The leg had been broken. This injury results in his untimely death.
How would they have felt if no one had helped and something like this had happened? At an altitude of 5,000 meters, the two climbers got stuck in a snow trap in the mountains.
At this point, Simon was in grave danger. Rescuing a friend who has been injured in an accident is a difficult task. On the cloudy ground, this is a difficult task. Simon, though, refused to give up, and Joe was secured to a 50-meter-long rope and gradually lowered the mountain.
He did, however, numerous complete rounds successfully. After doing this work for about an hour and a half, Simon’s hands were numb from the cold and heavy. He couldn’t keep his balance any longer and felt his hand slip away because he was at the end of his endurance.
To save his own life, he must leave his friend behind. So the man had no choice but to use a knife to cut his friend’s rope. His hands trembled, and his eyes filled with tears. Simpson wondered how he could get his friend to die. However, nothing could be done; Simpson cut the rope with trembling hands.
He fainted after falling 150 feet after severing the rope. When Joe regained consciousness after several hours, he found the rope had been severed, and he was trapped in an ice trap. Joe was crying and pleading for Simon’s assistance in a completely dark cave.
Simon did not dare to abandon his comrade, even having severed the rope to which he was tethered. Simon, who had spent longer looking for Joe, finally determined that he might be dead and opted to descend the mountain alone.
However, Joe was lucky enough to rise from the cave’s bottom slowly, but his broken leg was a serious obstacle to further progress. Joe was crawling on the ice and struggling to get forward.
Becoming a crawling kid, Joe tried to set various small goals to move forward. Although fortunately able to overcome many plans, some targets were defeated. Although this angered him, he was careful never to give up his efforts.
Even though Joe was moving ahead at this speed, the most difficult part was that he was thirsty and hungry, and hopping with only one leg was impossible. He still couldn’t find any sign of people, but he did find a dirty stream where he could get some water. This unexpected gem restored him to life. Each drop of water gave him vigor, similar to refueling an empty tank.
He crawled for the next three and a half days, struggling to stay alive. Considering his circumstances, he no longer feared death. When Joe finally got back to camp, it was hard for him, and Simon was already there. Simon immediately went over to embrace Joe upon his sight. Can he reach out to the dying person he abandoned?
After returning to his hometown, he spent the next few years confined to his bed and required a great deal of medical attention, including several surgeries. Due to the severity of the injury that Joe sustained, the medical staff advised him to abandon any hopes of ever walking again. But this brave man was strong enough to beat his fate.
It’s hard to think Joe climbed a dozen more peaks during the next 20 years. Joe began writing about his experiences in 1985 to share them with other mountaineers.
Later, Joe always said that his partner had nothing to do with the cut rope. “Simon did his best with what he had. If we both die, it will have been for nothing. But we’re both alive now. Many think the man killed his friend by cutting the cord and leaving him dead. But they are all people who have never climbed before.”
These two are still close friends now and talk openly about their experiences. Joe’s incredible story of survival in the mountains is the subject of many of his motivating lectures. The film adaptation of Touching the Void, written and directed by Simpson, won a Bafta in 2003 and has sold over a million copies. Simpson, a 62-year-old resident of the Peak District, has written eight books.
From Joe’s experience, there is one thing that we can take away. It means that you will never give up, no matter how difficult things get. He continued forth, unsure of whether or not he was making progress.
I’d want to quiz you on a few things. Did Simon do the right thing by cutting the rope to free himself? Did Joe make the correct decision? Can Joe Simon be forgiven? What are your thoughts on climbing in general?