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Touching The Void

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The title of mountain climber Joe Simpson’s harrowing tale of near-death and his escape from same in the Peruvian Andes.

Wonderful book, and the movie’s supposed to be awfully good as well.

Both Simpson and his real-life climbing partner Simon Yates appear in the film, which was shot in the actual mountains where they nearly died.

In an interview that appeared in the New York Times, Simpson said going back was, in retrospect, a mistake: he had opened Pandora’s box, as it were, and now could not effectively close it again.

Simpson’s got a website now that’s as close as I ever want to get to the “big walls” of Reinhold Messner’s aptly-titled memoir.

The highest I’ve ever been was 18,000 feet, crossing the Thorong La pass in Nepal in a trek around Annapurna.

On Annapurna itself, an assault on the peak was going on at the same time: we could see the climbers, seeming like ants on a field of white, with binoculars.

I couldn’t imagine the difficulty facing the climbers, considering that I had to pause about a minute between steps as I crossed the pass, breathing as hard as if I were running a quarter mile for speed.

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