Touching the Void - Joe Simpson

Mmmmmm, mountains good. Uh, falling is almost always really bad... but not hopeless.

I read the book and then saw the movie. This might have been a mistake - the book is really interesting and shocking - but not exactly perceptive. The film follows suite and twice through this story was almost too many times.

Would you have cut that rope? Simon did, and in doing so, saved them both. Could he have rationally come to the conclusion that cutting the rope was the only chance for both to survive, or was he saving himself with certainty that Joe would die? Well, there's the question. We can only take his word for it - and in either case I think he did the right thing. Of course, other people would vehemently and vigorously disagree. You cannot, for any reason, condemn a partner to death. It's taboo, despicable, and certainly wrong. But that's not what Simon did. Of course, other's would say that you cannot risk killing your partner to save yourself... both of you should die. I'd never climb with someone who truly believes that.

In short - if you like to think about moral and ethical issues, read the book and see the movie. Heck, see the movie - the Andes are stunning.

Posted: Fri - May 14, 2004 at 05:44 AM