Comparison Of Simon Yates And Joe Simpson

1321 Words 6 Pages
As the two men, Simon Yates and Joe Simpson set out to climb the elusive west side of Siula Grande, there was an assumption of risk; climbing is dangerous enough alone, but the fact that they were “alpine climbing” (climbing in it’s “purest form,” wherein someone carries the minimum of climbing supplies in their pack) guaranteed them more. To “alpine climb” one must rely heavily on their wits, technical skill, and adaptability given that it provides little leeway for error. One has to put an abundance of trust in their climbing partner as they are literally tied together; they rely upon each other, because in some sense, they are each other’s only safety net, but in another, they are each other greatest threat; if one of them falls, so does …show more content…
However smoothly it was going, it was still a precarious situation-- as Simon lowered the rope, he sat in a “bucket” that he dug in the powdery snow which only “lasted about as long as it took to lower him (Joe).” They were almost down as the terrain got steeper. Joe was being lowered all too fast and though he shouted to Simon to stop, he couldn’t hear him. Suddenly, he was dangling over a crevasse. Joe was too far away from the wall to attach his axes and he was being lowered even still, Simon not knowing the situation unraveling at the other end. Joe was filled with panic. There wasn’t enough rope to lower him to safety, so all he could do was sit there and try to yell up to Simon, but to no avail. Simon tugged on the rope and waited for Joe to take his weight off the rope, but he could not, they both were at an impasse. Meanwhile, the storm they had been climbing through was picking up. In a last ditch effort, Joe tried to climb back up the rope, but again, to no avail. As time ticked by, Simon’s position was getting progressively unstable, and at this point, Joe felt so hopeless that he was waiting to die from exposure. An hour and a half passed and Simon knew that something had gone horribly wrong if Joe wasn’t able to lower himself by then. It was a desperate position that …show more content…
He didn’t feel good about cutting the rope, whether or not Joe was already dead, but he had to. If Simon made it down the mountain, people wouldn’t be left wondering what had happened to them; he could provide Joe’s loved ones with some closure. Little did Simon know that his decision ended up saving Joe’s life, enabling him to crawl down through the crevasse, but he had yet to find this out. He soon came to pass where Joe was hanging the night before and a crevasse right below. Horrified, now knowing the predicament his friend was, he marched forward. Though some may think that Simon should have checked the crevasse for his friend, it’s reasonable to assume that Joe had died on impact. Plus, Simon resources were running dangerously low; he had to get down to camp as soon as possible lest he meet the same fate as his friend. Soon enough, he did reach base camp and was greeted by his new friend Richard Hawking, who had been watching over their kits. Though they could’ve left that day as Richard suggested, Simon wanted to stay behind. Though he needed to regain some strength and to collect his thoughts after such a traumatic incident, he was also in a position where he could wait to see if by some miracle that his friend was alive. This decision, it turned out, was not so ludicrous given that the night before he and Richard were going to leave camp they heard a

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