Touching the Void

Touching the Void

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Touching the Void
Can you imagine a climbing a mountain in Peru and it's only you and your climbing parnter. You all reach the top of the 21,000 peak that no one has ever climbed before. Its cold, your getting frositebite, and on your way back down the summit and then something unexpected, you break your leg. Of all the things that could have happen on a mountain, and it's only two of you. So,you were thinking about staying there because you had given up hope. But your parnter wouldn't let you,so he desided to lower you the side of the mountain on a belay seat. Half way down the mountain a bad blizzard hits and it hard to see and to hold on to you friend who couldn't get into a snow hole. So stuck with a dufficlt sticution do you cut the rope or have both of you fall to your death?
Well this is what happened to Joe Simpson and Simon Yates. They climbed the west face of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. They had no problem getting up it was when they came down, and Joe broke his leg and it went through his knee joint is what caused difficulties. Sinc eit was only the two of them rescueing Joe would be a major problem. Joe knew that Simon could make t do by himself ok, and that he might have to get left there to die, because it would be hare to get down the mountain with a broken leg. But Simon decided to help him down,after looking at him sitting in the snow and seeing how meesed up he was. After a little while of thinking about how to get Joe down the side of the mountain Simon comes up with an idea to put two ropes together and have a pulley device to lower Joe down, and climbing down until they got to the bottum.
While Simon was lowering Joe a snowstorm was brewing around them and night was approching. They knew that they had two hours to go ,they decieded to keep going unstead of digging a snow hole and waiting until morning. The snowstorm is getting worse and Simon is still trying to lower Joe, but Joe falls over a steep ice wall and is hanging with nowhere to build a fast snow hole.

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Simon relieze that he can no longer hold Joe because he is being pulled off the cliff as well. Then he reliezes the knife in his pocket,

"I was being pulled off. The seat moved beneath me,
and snow slipped away past my feet. I slipped a few
inches. Stamping my feet deep into the slope halted
the movement. God I had to do something...the knife...
of course,the knife. Be quick,come on,get it."(102)
once Simon got the knife he, didn't think twice about cutting the rope, he just reacted. Then he goes on to say,"there was no other option left to me...I flew backwards into the seat as the pulling straun vanished. I was shaking."(102) While Simon was cutting the rope he didn't think about what would happen t o Joe who was hanging at the other end of the rope. All he could think was getting the extra weight off of him and to be alive. Later, Simon mind started to wonder and he thought about Joe and what had happen to him. But that was an uncertainty.
After Simon cut the rope, Joe fell about 100 feet down into a void. At that point Joe did't have a clue that Simon had cut the rope. Joe didn't know if Simon was dead, alive or uncounsion, but he did know that his body was on the other end of the rope and he could climb out of the void using Simon's body weight. He tried to escape the void by climbing up but he kept slipping back down, and he finally thought that he pulled Simon down and just waited for him to fall down along with him but the only thing that fall was the cut rope. Joe was starting to become hysterical as he called out fo Simon. As he contuined to cry and laugh he had this thought and that's when he stoped calling Simon's name. He thought that if Simon was still alive that he had gone on because there was way he was suppose to surrive that fall. He says that he "wasn't prepared to spend another night on the ledge. I wasn't going through the madness again.. So he decided to go down into the crevasse.
Not being ready for such a choice he tried his hardest to make a tight figure eight knot, but after a few tries he felt that he got it right, then he cliped his knot into a ice screw he had buried into the wall. The ice screw wouldn't pull free under his weight, then he looked at the Prussik knot just below the ice screw and thought if he should take it just in case there was an empty space and he couldn't regain the ledge without it. Then he tells how,"[he] slide [himsefl] off the edge and watched the Prussik get smaller, as I abseiled down the slope to the drop. If there was nothing there I didn't want to come back."(116)
The decision the Simon mad to cut the rope, he made Joe decide if he was going to let himself die on the ledge or fight for his life. But Simon decision was made emotional decison which made Joe make a rational decision because he didn't want to die on the ledge, so he had to think about what he would do. Joe's logic made he fight for his life, even with a badly broken leg. And Simon on the other hand his fear go falling to his death got the best of him, so his mind told him to cut the rope without thinking of the outcome. So when one is dealing with fear, dying, or even pain the mind can make one make decisions without logic or have a deciosn with a well thoughout plan.
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