le 18 septembre 2009
If this was a fiction book, nobody would believe it. It's too far fetched. It was the winner of the 1988 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and was subsequently made into a movie in 2003. Simpson tells the story with the perspective from Simon Yates in the key sections.
Joe Simpson and Simon Yates make the first ascent of the west face of Siula Grande (6344m) in Peru in 1985. The descent is extremely dangerous and disaster strikes when Joe falls on the ridge and breaks his right leg. "I felt a shattering blow in my knee, felt bones splitting, and screamed." When Simon got to Joe, he thought, "You're fucked matey. You're dead."
Simon is roped to Joe and lowers him down, rope length by rope length. Disaster strikes again when Joe falls over a cliff and dangles in the air. Simon held Joe for an hour, but was starting to slip off. Joe: "I was pulling him off. I hung still, and waited for it to happen. Any minute, any minute ." Simon cut the rope, dropping Simpson into a crevasse.
Yates believed Simpson was dead, but in fact he had survived the fall. He miraculously crawled out of the crevasse, but was still over 8km from base camp. He spend the next three days crawling down the glacier and moraine days, without food and only splashes of water from melting ice. Almost completely delusional, he reached base camp a few hours before Yates intended to leave the camp to return to civilization.