Whatsapp InkaNatura Travel
Contact us
Andes Paramount1.png



Joe Simpson : Courageous Mountaineer - Part 2

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on Oct 6, 2018 7:22:00 AM



1. Escaping death

The 150-foot fall was not enough to end Simpson’s life. Despite the enormous adversities that he faced; a shattered leg, frostbite and days of hunger added to the extreme weather, Simpson was able to gather the strength to do a four-day climb over cliffs; no less than six miles back up to the campsite where Yates was stationed. The two men were then able to escape this nightmare mountain after Simpson was cared for by Yates for three days.

2. Misunderstood

“You would have had to have been there.” never made more sense. “You’re not a climber, so you wouldn’t understand,” could be the slogan. It is hard to assimilate for many, to this day, the decision made by Yates. But as Simpson puts it, after having done everything he could to save his life, Yates was not trying to kill Simpson but to save himself from certain death. Later, Yates would express a lot of guilt which Simpson finds to be a rare human response to a traumatic event such as the one they experienced together.

3. The man who faced death and lived to tell about it.

Mountaineer, public speaker, award-winning author, but perhaps most fitting, survivor; Simpson describes himself as not very pleasant to be around. Having decided to pursue his own selfish desires, as he puts it, claims he wouldn’t change a thing about his life. It is clear that this man was born to face challenges head-on, and that he found his passion, as so many, in the fullness of youth which provided him with more satisfaction than many of us gather in a lifetime. Having hung up his cleats, for now, there is a slight change in how he views climbing.

Video by Arise

4. A change of heart.

Although the passion is still alive in Simpson, he does admit that climbing is a risky and deadly sport. Many colleagues along the way have departed much too soon. Leaving behind children and spouses, a thought that never occurred to Simpson. This slow change in how he views climbing over the years comes through in some of his later books. Of course, death is not the only downside, after practicing this dangerous extreme sport for over 30 years, Simpson has many injuries that the mountain has branded him with. He has given up climbing in part due to the pain it causes him physically among the risks involved.


The story which impacted the world labeled Touching the Void, has been translated into 23 languages and has sold nearly 2 million copies worldwide. The film tells about the two men’s voyage and went on to win various awards including one at Sundance Film Festival. The events and drama of the story captured our attention as the men’s heroic actions seem to be the most extreme. The drive to survive at all costs seems to touch the hearts of many viewers and readers in the same way, no matter where in the world they are from.

Peru offers plenty of experiences for avid trekkers and if you would like to be part of the adventure Contact us

Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: Travel & Adventure, trekking in Peru

Leave a comment!

Subscribe to our blog and discover Peru.

Peru Travel Essentials

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all