Another South American-set autobiography that’s taken me far longer than it should to get round to reading. Ever since Hazel and I embarked on the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit, I’ve thought, “I really ought to read Touching the Void.” – after all, we circumnavigated the Andean peaks concerned.
Joe Simpson’s account of the first ascent of the West Face of Siula Grande, which he and climbing partner Simon Yates made in 1985, gives one of the most vivid insights into the emotional experiences – the highs and the lows – that accompany climbing, and motivate those who spend time in the mountains. Touching the Void also illustrates just how quickly triumph can turn to peril, and just how deep your personal reserves of mental and physical stamina need to be once risk turns into reality.
Definitely time to see the film*, and to listen to his Desert Island Discs.
Amazon Link: Touching The Void – Joe Simpson
* How can I have missed this?! Touching the Void Live in Concert at the Barbican in London in June