Money: Touching the Void and Simon States Essay

Submitted By taliaa07
Words: 733
Pages: 3

Two mountaineers experience the most challenging climb of their lives as they share their experience in the film, Touching the Void. Joe Simpson and Simon Yates engaged in a near fatal climb in 1985 on the mountain, Siula Grande located in the Peruvian Andes. The climbers were faced with many unwelcomed obstacles, which lengthened the duration of their ordeal. Joe and Simon had undergone moments of agonizing pain and realization of their conscious.
The film had the actual climbers narrating the story while actors reenacted scenes from the trip. Both men knew enough about climbing to take on such a big adventure that others had refused. Each with experience climbing put their ability to the test during this trip. Being faced with troubling weather, Joe slipped off an ice cliff and completely destroyed his knee joint. Due to his bad condition, the climbers decided to head back to the bottom with 3,000 feet left. Simon had tied Joe to a rope to connect them both together as he would lower him down the mountain. Unknowing, Simon had descended Joe off a cliff where he was unable to climb the rope to get back up. Instead, Simon was losing strength holding onto the rope while Joe was hanging in the open, both with frost bitten fingers. Joe expressed that during that moment he felt, “Nothing I can do, and I felt completely helpless…I think psychologically I was beaten. Cause there was nothing I could do, so I just hung on the rope and waited to die”. It is evident in his statement that he is certain that his death is near. He is placed in a situation where he is alone, disabled, and trapped, leaving him hopeless.
In the meantime, Simon was facing another situation by trying to hold on to the rope as long as possible. After about half an hour, he was unable to keep his position still in the snow. Hence, he decided to cut the rope to separate Joe’s weight from his. Simon states, “I took the decision pretty quickly. To me, it just seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances. Because there was no way that I could maintain where I was, sooner or later, I was going to be pulled from the mountain”. He describes how he came to the understanding of cutting the rope. Although he would have rather kept his partner attached, he had no choice other than to save his own life. He may not seem like a “good” teammate because he made the choice to cut the rope, but he was “competent” enough to make the decision. Being good does not always mean it is the smart thing to do. Had Simon held on, he and Joe would both have fallen into the crevasse or ended up in a much worse situation. His rational thinking kept him alive.…