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Touching the Void

Rating:R (for language)
Genre:Documentary
Release Date:January 23, 2004
Running time:106 minutes
Cast:Nicholas Aaron, Richard Hawking, Brendan Mackey, Joe Simpson, Simon Yates
Director:Kevin MacDonald
Producer:John Smithson
Writer:Joe Simpson
Distributor:IFC Films

Description: Joe Simpson and Simon Yates set out to climb the west face of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. It was 1985 and the men were young, fit, skilled climbers. The west face, remote and treacherous, had not been climbed before. Following a successful three-and-a-half-day ascent, disaster struck. Simpson fell a short distance and broke several bones in his leg. With no hope of rescue, the men decided to attempt descent together with Yates lowering Simpson 300 feet at a time in a slow, painful process that could have potentially been deadly for both. One further misstep led to Yates unknowingly lowering his injured partner over the lip of a crevasse. With the gradient having gone from steep to vertical, he was no longer able to hold on. Certain they were about to be pulled jointly to their deaths, the only choice was to cut the rope. How Simpson survived the fall, and made it back to base camp is a story that will astound and inspire. In Touching the Void, Yates and Simpson return to the Siula Grande for the first time to retell their story.

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