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Mountain Dew

Touching the Void question...

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Among all the other stuff I did this weekend, I also watched this movie last night:

 

touching_the_void.jpg

 

I enjoyed the movie and the special features that showed Joe and Simon's trip back to the mountain where it happened...

 

My question is; What were your feelings about what Simon did?

 

 

When I first saw it I was mad at him... but the more I think about it I understand why... What was your initial reaction when you first saw or read about this story?

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He made a hard choice, but I believe it was the right one. Either one of them dies, or both of them dies. In the end they both survived, but that was astronomical luck and, I believe, a little help from God.

 

The movie was very well done, and one of my favorites.

 

The Everest film (www.everestfilm.com) is another great one, but I wouldn't let these movies scare you too much. :-)

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simon totally did the right thing - the fewer british bastards in this world the better! :)

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Neither of them had very good knowledge of mountain rescue techniques at the time that this happened. The whole thing could have been managed better...and if it were, Simon wouldn't have ended up in the situation that he ended up in...

 

I've said this in the past and got jumped on because the route was so difficult. But the reality is that they pulled off an ascent that was way out of their league at the time and then got messed up on the descent. It's amazing that both of them survived...

 

Jason

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There was a previous thread on this. It raged on for many pages and days. Nobody won.

 

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You should also read the book (Touching the Void). It is a quick read and one of my favorite books.
:tup: Good call dave... The book is much better than the movie and gives a better account of what actually happened.

 

simon totally did the right thing - the fewer british bastards in this world the better! :)
:lmao:

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I own this one too, and watch it whenever i need to see a story about survival in the mountains that is truly miraculous, lucky and legendary. Joe and Simon were definitely at tremendous odds and seriously exposed there, high on Siula Grande, and managed to escape despite conditions and circumstances. To say that they were out of their league is really a matter of opinion unless you actually know them and know what their abilities were at the time of their ascent and epic descent, but the fact is that they both survived to tell the tale.

 

My girlfriend (not a climber) watched this with me one night and asked me, "what would you have done if it had been you in either of their places?" I can't answer with any amount of certainty about this climb because I WAS NOT THERE AND I WAS NOT MAKING THE DECISIONS! It is my own opinion that the only people qualified to talk about this epic-disaster-near-tragedy are Simpson and Yates because they experienced it. Thus, the only people that can truly give an opinion on what they "would have done" are climbers who have been in a similar situation.

 

Since this thread is looking for the hypothetical(I'm guessing) I feel compelled to actually take a stance as to what I think my actions would have been, but this is very subjective to my limited knowledge of what I know about the level of mixed climbing they were doing - which isn't a lot! I have watched it with other climbers of varying experience (and privately chuckled to myself at their talk concerning the events) and my opinion about what I would have done - taking into account that i have never experienced anything that dire - is that i would have cut the rope, too. But, again, I've never been put in that situation and I don't know how I would react - hopefully intelligently and bravely! :)

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simon totally did the right thing - the fewer british bastards in this world the better! :)

 

Ivan I wasn't sure before but now I know you truly are an asshole.

:moondance::lmao:

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This one time, on a mountain, we ran out of beer and I nearly killed my partner for the last one. It was really scary! But we made it out alive!!!

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This one time, on a mountain, we ran out of beer and I nearly killed my partner for the last one. It was really scary! But we made it out alive!!!

I'm never climbing up to the ledge with you again for a beer, dude! ;)

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Alot of discussion focuses on the cut rope...but originally Simpson was left for dead much higher up on the mountain. Only an amazing display of fortitude and skill by Simpson in traversing a steep ice face caused Yates to reconsider. What about that decision?

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I thought about it some, it has been a while since I read the book, then I remembered I would have cut it too. I just hope I stay in my skill set and never end up in that situation.

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This movie should make all newbs at least want to learn self rescue. It did for me. (Internal thought process)"Hmmm... Should I hang here forever, let my partner think I'm dead... or prusik back up 100 feet... Nah,I think the fall will be clean, no ledges, plus I'm a badass!" Not cool. Just learn some basic haul systems, escaping the belay, and ascending. Situation averted.

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Remember also, Simpson to this day defends Yates's decision to cut the rope.

 

-Mark

On the bright side, at least he landed in a bunch of snow.

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As memory serves wasn't Yates using a belay device from a seat dug in the snow because the snow was so insubstantial that there wasn't anything to anchor to? And wasn't the belay seat decomposing while he was sitting in it?

It does kind of change the rescue scenario a bit when the only anchor is you.

 

That said...

Yates made the hard choice but IMHO it was the right one.

Also

learning some basic self rescue techniques is a damn good idea :tup:

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Situation averted.

yup, you can always cheat death, even when your hands are frozen and you've dropped yer prusiks :)

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Situation averted.

yup, you can always cheat death, even when your hands are frozen and you've dropped yer prusiks :)

Hence being "set down" in a pile of snow.

 

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That book was one of the first mountaineering tales of survival I read. I really like watching the video too. Heck, I even went to one of Joe’s presentations in Portland years ago. That dude has some sense of humor. I think the film was done well and it motivates me (in the beginning) to get out and climb! Then the accident. That’s tough to watch. Even more difficult is Joe’s crawl. Simon went through a different kind of hell up there. Both have my utmost respect. I think a lesson I learned from their experience is that I would try to get a visual on my partner before giving up. Try, being the operative word there. You never know what you’ll be faced with. I can only hope I would keep it together through an experience like that. I think I would, but hope I never have to.

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Yes. They definately have my respect.

Just musing here but I disagree with getting a visual under their circumstances. First there is the risk of falling in a crevasse balanced against the small chance that he survived. Second, after cutting the rope I would feel like shit. Then getting to the edge of the crevasse and looking down to see a mangled remnant of my best friend would be demoralizing to say the least.

In short, if you have to cut the rope to save youself, then save yourself. Don't waste both of our lives looking for my remains.

Not meaning to be coarse about it. Just matter of fact.

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hypothetically, a person in that situation may be able to carve a bollard and use the remaining rope to self belay to the edge. Hindsight being 20-20 I bet Simon wished now he had done something like that. My point was more to my personal lesson learned from their experience. This day, if you cut the rope and had the similar situation - wouldn’t you be thinking, what if he survived that? Joe Simpson did. See what I’m saying?

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hypothetically, a person in that situation may be able to carve a bollard and use the remaining rope to self belay to the edge. Hindsight being 20-20

 

Never been to the Andes?

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