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Touching the void

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Looking at Search I was surprised to discover no thread (only a brief passing reference) on the film "Touching the void" which won awards over here, nor on the book of the same name it was based on. Didn't people see it in the US or is it more because it was basically a mountaineering film rather than a skiing one. It is certainly the most memorable film , or book I've read in that area.
The main controversial aspect of the true story was, was one of the two climbers justified cutting the rope his friend was hanging on. But more than anything it is a story of incredible guts and survival against all odds of the climber who was cut loose and fell a huge distance into a deep cravasse and was left assumed to be dead.
post #2 of 21
I saw the film on the tele. Well done! Quite a survival story. But....

The counter theme of morality made it difficult to "enjoy".

What would I do?

"There are only three sports:

Climbing mountains, Bull fighting, and motor racing.

The rest are only past times."

E.H.


CalG
post #3 of 21
I have the DVD and thought the story was truly amazing. Joe Simpson is one of the toughest SOB's on the planet IMO.
post #4 of 21
I saw it at the cinema in Jackson Hole when I was there last year. The crevasse sequence was all to familar so I found it quite harrowing.
post #5 of 21
Unbelievable survival movie. Most people would have just given up and accept their fate. But Joe Simpson kept on even though much of the time, it seemed like there was absolutely no hope.
post #6 of 21
It was an excellent movie, but strange to think that the entire saga could have been avoided if they had just been climbing with 3 people instead of 2.

Even a minor trip into the backcounty can turn into a nighmare when one person gets injured to the point of not being able to continue. Do you stay with your injured friend who can't move, or leave them alone in the snow, go for help and hope you can find them again before they are really messed up or dead?

Makes you only want to travel in the backcountry with at least 3 people, and always carry stuff to survive over night, but how often do you see people "traveling light and fast," and counting on everything working out?
post #7 of 21
I wondered why they didn't have radios to talk to each other or the guy at base camp. Ascenders are very light and might have allowed the injured climber to get back up the rope. Also the climber above should have been able to tie off to a picket etc. and help rescue his climbing partner. Other than that I enjoyed the movie.
post #8 of 21
joe to yvon chouinard while they're sharing a cab to movie awards: "yvon, have you read my new book?" (I think he just finished writing This Game of Ghosts")

yvon "No joe, I haven't. Is it "Another F*ckup in the Mountains""

Joe has entirely too many "accidents"
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
I wondered why they didn't have radios to talk to each other or the guy at base camp. Ascenders are very light and might have allowed the injured climber to get back up the rope. Also the climber above should have been able to tie off to a picket etc. and help rescue his climbing partner. Other than that I enjoyed the movie.

iirc the rope was loaded and joe had broken his leg already. He did try to use prussiks to ascend when stuck off the icefall but his hands were frozen so couldn't use them. But yes, the movie was awesome
post #10 of 21
The rope is loaded in crevasse rescue also, but it is possible to get someone out. Prussiks suck compared to ascenders. Even with a broken leg it would be possible to ascend using two ascenders.
post #11 of 21
I liked the movie. I forgot when the actual accident happened, wasn't it back in the 80's? These days I bet they would have had better equipment and obviously more knowledge. They were young when it happened. I think it was Simon who I saw say all they really needed was one more bottle of gas. One more bottle of gas and they would have had water, they would have overnighted rarther then pushing their descent and Joe "probably" wouldn't have broken his leg.

I read Joe's most recent book a year ago after seeing then reading Touching the Void. The main lesson I took away, "don't go anywhere with Joe Simpson."

But it was a great read, and I though the movie was extremely well done, very true to the book.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_rick
I
I read Joe's most recent book a year ago after seeing then reading Touching the Void. The main lesson I took away, "don't go anywhere with Joe Simpson."

But it was a great read, and I though the movie was extremely well done, very true to the book.
you should read his other stuff. Its just disaster after disaster. I know he was young and we all do stupid shit when we're young but he doesn't seem to do basic stuff like obey turn-around times.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
The rope is loaded in crevasse rescue also, but it is possible to get someone out. Prussiks suck compared to ascenders. Even with a broken leg it would be possible to ascend using two ascenders.
I've read the manuals on two person glacier travel and how to transfer the load when you're the anchor and have to do the rescue and setup the fixed anchor at the same time so yah i agree its possible but I bet on a steep snowfield cold and windy and all banged up it would be tougher. Its something i should go out to practise.

I agree about the ascenders though thinking about it. I guess Im just cheap but thinking about it - its a dumb idea to save money and weight on something like that What would you suggest for ascenders working with icy ropes?
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLau
you should read his other stuff. Its just disaster after disaster. I know he was young and we all do stupid shit when we're young but he doesn't seem to do basic stuff like obey turn-around times.
Aron Ralston, did he read any?
post #15 of 21
Petzl makes some light ascenders that work on wet or icy ropes. Petzl also makes a rescucender (used more in caving) that allows you hang from your harness while moving past knots on long rappels. While this stuff is not cheap most of it is very well made and light. What's your life worth and how much do you want to suffer?

Some of these tools (and knowledge) can open new areas of skiing. If the area appears unstable or ends in cliffs you can get back out the way you came in.

http://store.karstsports.com/ascenderspetzl.html
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
Petzl makes some light ascenders that work on wet or icy ropes.
Thanks ouch on the price but definitely looks tighter then my mess of prussiks. Will look into it
post #17 of 21
You guys need to remember that this happened in the 80's. Most of the gear we have today wasn't available back then.

Also, the reason he had to cut the rope was that he couldn't make an anchor. If I recall correctly, they had no gear left. He was simply kicking in his crampons and dropping joe. The "anchor" was disintegrating around him as he lowered joe. Even if he had made an anchor from his axe, what could he do?? leave behind his ice axe and try to walk to the edge to watch joe in a whiteout? Odds are he would fall and take a long trip into the crevasse.


I think this whole story is summed up by the saying, "There are old mountaineers and there are bold mountaineers, but there are no old bold mountaineers."
post #18 of 21
Ascenders have been around since the 80's. They took a risk on being gear light and underprepared and it almost cost them their lives. Remember the Boy Scout motto..."Be prepared"

No raunchy scout comments please.
post #19 of 21
Go for the Tibloc:

http://store.karstsports.com/32113.html

Lightweight so you can carry those beers and use it to open them I think ascending a rope is much easier after a couple beers
post #20 of 21
If you have any questions about what happened, or about Simon Yates' judgement, read the book. Simpson basically wrote it because so many people were criticising what happened, especially Yates' actions.

Simpson writes well, and he's had some awesomely close scrapes. He really should be dead five times over (much like Aron Ralston, actually).
post #21 of 21
I ran up a rope with late model ascenders as part of last fall's lift evac training during the patrol refresher. god! it took a lot of effort and energy. If I was already beat, then slid off a mountain and jerked to the end of 50 meters of rope, I would wonder if I would be able to manage a self rescue.
True, "for someone with the reason to live, the how is not important."

I wonder who's responsibility it is to cut the rope? Is the "code" and expectation that both be carried away if one falls? After a prolonged long time and steady loss of ground, I would question which moment would carry me over the edge, that's for sure. I guess I'm not cut for that kind of decision making.

Not understanding, I fail to accept the reason and purpose.

Are these people idiots? ( no reply needed)

CalG

CalG
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