Touching the Void Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Touching the Void

Best friends, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates found the answer to an age old question. During an attempted first ascent of the mountain Siula Grande in the Chilean Andes, Simpson broke his on the decent, and the arduous task of getting off the mountain alive began.
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In a relentless storm Yates, lowering Simpson on 300ft of rope in the dark with a body belay, Simon accidently lowered Simpson over a cliff. Straining to hold Joe's body in mid-air, Simon was faced with life or death. Cut the rope and save his own life, or face certain death trying to save Joe.
Simon cut the rope and and left Joe for dead, who had fallen into a
crevasse. However, Joe survived.

The review of this Book prepared by Kenneth Price

A man was on a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes Mountains where a fall broke his leg severely. Joe Simpson and his friend, Simon Yates were experienced mountain climbers but were not prepared for this grueling disaster in the hours that followed Joe's fall. Surviving in sub zero temperatures, treacherous icy cliffs and a severe injury left Joe helpless while his climbing partner, Simon had to make difficult decisions for both of their survivals.
Simon decided to painfully lower injured Joe slowly with ropes in the blinding snow and used tugs on the ropes as their communications. A few hours went by as the climbing team tried in vein to avoid deep crevices and avalanches while the roaring wind and no visibility made the situation much worse. Simon felt no life on the other side of the rope for quite some time before he decided to cut his end, assuming his friend Joe had died from the descending attempts.

The story progresses into unbelievable human emotion as Simon expresses the guilt he felt of not being able to save his friend and cutting the rope for his own survival as he makes the daring descend down to base camp to tell the sad news to others. Meanwhile, Joe was not dead at all but seriously injured and crawled and slid down the mountain with no water or food for two days in blizzard conditions. Simon was packing up Joe's belongings and getting ready to leave camp to tell Joe's family the horrible news when all of a sudden he heard a howling wolf. The howling was coming from Joe unbeknownst to Simon until he decided to go investigate and was flabbergasted to see his injured friend a few miles from base camp.

The review of this Book prepared by Susan D. Minkalis

When Joe Simpson and his friend Simon Yates decided to go climbing in Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, he wouldn't imagine he would caught up in the most spectacular survival story. Fallen into a crevasse after Yates cuts the rope during an accident he was left for dead, but his will to survive was stronger than the odds. He will climb out of the crevasse, and despite a crushed knee he struggles all alone in the wilderness to get off the mountain and make it to the camp before everybody leaves.
The review of this Book prepared by Mary Savvidou

Chapter Analysis of Touching the Void

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Plot & Themes

Exploring/Searching...    -   tall mountains Outdoors story    -   Yes Exploring:    -   stranded    -   surviving in outdoors Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   explorer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   South Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes Mountains:    -   climbing on trails    -   falling off    -   climbing with ropes Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Pictures/Illustrations?    -   More in color 6-10

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