Joe Simpson Touching The Void Analysis

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One Man’s Life or No Man’s Life You are crawling down a remote mountain. Alone, freezing, frostbite threatening your fingertips, dehydrated, exhausted, and you have depleted all your supplies. Not to mention excruciating pain in your leg. Which feels much more like a painful burden you are forced to carry than a leg. The odds are stacked against you. Can you carry on? Joe Simpson did. He tells his story in Touching the Void, a book about his amazing will to beat the odds while looking in the face of death. At twenty-five years old Joe Simpson, along with his climbing partner Simon Yates, decided to climb Siula Grande in a remote area of the Andes mountain range in Peru. Climbing the west face, that had never been successfully summited before them, and has only been summited once after them (Kozjek). Not only was this…show more content…
But the real test of survival skills and abilities were yet to come. Having already overstayed their allotted amount of time climbing up, they began a hurried descent back down, with base camp, water, food and comfort on the brain. But rushing is definitely not the safe way down the mountain. Thirsty, tired, and with a most likely case of acute altitude sickness (a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 8,000 feet). Simpson and Yates carry on down, with not much communication at all. Joe is leading the descent, with Simon no longer in his sights, when the unimaginable happens: Joe falls, his leg broken at 20,000 feet up, with no supplies left to warm, treat injury, or rest an extra night. “My thoughts raced madly. Then the pain flooded down my thigh – a fierce burning fire coming down the inside of my thigh, seeming to ball in my groin, building and building till I cried out at it, and my breathing came in ragged gasps. My leg! Oh Jesus. My leg!” (Simpson

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