In 1985 two young English mountaineers, Joe Simpson e Simon Yates, undertook a journey in the Peruvian Andes. After two day’s walk the mountaineers left Hawking, a young traveller they met on the way, at base camp and set off to conquer a summit of the Siula Grande. Its West face had never been climbed before; 21000 feet high, it looked like a huge wall of ice. After three tiring days they reached the top and then began the difficult descent. Simpson fell and hurt his leg: there was no shed of blood externally, but the internal brusing was considerable. They continued the descent tied by a single 8mm diameter rope.
Then Simpson fell into a crevice and Yates realised the only way to save himself was to cult rope holding them together, which he did. Simpson disappeared down the crevice. With a great effort Yates managed to return alone to base camp. After one week, when his friends had lost all hope of ever seeing him again, Simpson miraculously reappeared. In a thrilling account, the drama of Simpson’s survival and Yates’ distressing decision and remorse emerge in all their grimness.