Monday, May 07, 2007

Are you climbing mountains?

Have you heard Joe Simpson's story?
He was a mountaineer who, after a horrific accident in the Peruviuan Andes, wrote a book about his experiences called Touching the Void, which was later made into a movie.

His is an astonishing story of survival against the odds.
After a spectacular fall which shattered his leg and landed him deep in a crevace, he climbed up and spent the next 4 (yes, 4!) days crawling on hands and knees back to camp.
As well as coping with his appalling injuries, he had no food or water to sutain him.
Nothing but his own unstoppable will to live.

When he arrived back at camp on the 4th day, he had gone from 10.5 stone to just over 6.
He was 'in a very bad way', he says with classic understatement.

He wrote Touching the Void in 7 weeks, the words tumbling from him, determined to be recorded.

Since then, he has continued to write.
Books in which he struggles with the nature of aggression and violence, the dangers of climate change and the urge to test one's body and mind to the limits.

He's a cool guy is Joe.
This is what he has to say about politicians:
Politicians - absolutely vile breed of self serving, dishonourable, corrupt, self aggrandising liars without a shred of integrity when their self-interest is threatened. Should all be put in a sack and drowned.

And this is what he has to say about writing:
Writing is just as exciting - and as frightening - as mountaineering.

And he should know ...


Anonymous said...

Ho Debi you've been watching the snooker (for the uninitiated they did this story as an interval filler last night) But don't worry, your guilty secret is safe with me. I won't breath a word.
It is a truly inspirational, astonishing story. And the comparison he made between climbing and writing was rivetting. I do have the book "Touching the Void" nestling on my shelves, so if you want to borrow..
PS I will rise to the bait in your 'forgiveness' blog, but later.. later - the snooker is about to start.

Meloney Lemon said...

I agree, 'Touching the void' is truly inspiring. Did you see the film?
A fine example of the phrase 'truth is stranger than fiction'

Debi said...

Joan - you've outted me ... and after our conversation the other night ...

Mel - lost count of the number of times I've come across real life stuff that would be rejected as unrealistic if written as fiction.