Joe Simpson (mountaineer) | Revolvy
The incredible story of how mountaineer Simon Yates was forced to cut a solo affair after he was forced to cut his partner Joe Simpson free. It's almost surprising that mountaineer Simon Yates agrees to be that he and Joe Simpson made in the Peruvian Andes way back in IF you're familiar with Touching the Void, the bestselling book by mountaineer Joe Simpson, you might recognise adventurer Simon Yates as.
The plan was working until Yates unknowingly lowered Simpson over an overhang, leaving him suspended in mid-air with no way of communicating his predicament. For almost an hour, in the bitter cold, Yates took the full weight of Simpson on the rope, not knowing whether the other man was dead or alive.
All the time, Yates felt himself being dragged ever closer to the void. Eventually, he faced his dilemma. To live, he must cut the rope. As we know, Simpson miraculously survived the fall, crashed through a glacier and then, in an extraordinary feat of mental determination and physical endurance, crawled back to their camp and the grieving figure of Yates.
News of what had happened to Simpson and Yates flashed around the world. Here was a modern morality tale with an obvious hero - Simpson - and, to some who knew nothing about mountaineering's code, an obvious "villain". The two climbers no longer keep in touch, Yates says, as he arrives in Sydney for an Australian lecture tour. But then he has long maintained that his life should not be seen through the prism of what he calls "the Void thing". After the pair returned to Britain inYates found himself vilified by some climbers, though he dismisses reports he was physically assaulted.
It had to be, of course. He had just tried and sentenced his best friend to death. Then, with one swift cut of his knife, he carried out the execution. Those who criticised him were mainly "the grumpy old men" of the Mount Everest Foundation who considered recommending that he never again get a grant to pioneer mountain routes. When they'd gone climbing they did it with platoons.
Now it's often just two people. If anything goes wrong you can't rely on an army of others. He dedicated his book and the documentary to Yates, saying his climbing partner saved his life by staying with him on the mountain for so long. Simpson said he, too, would have cut the rope if their positions had been reversed. Nevertheless, Simpson and Yates never climbed together again. I saw Joe fairly regularly when we both lived in Sheffield.
But when I left for Cumbria I only saw him at weddings or parties. Some work colleagues go on to become friends, some become acquaintances and some people you work with - well, you rather wish you didn't.
Head injuries cause all sorts of screw-ups in the brain. I've never been depressed before or since, but I got almost suicidal and ran away to the Alps. It's one of the grimmest books. My logic was, 'God, this is so awful, what they're doing, there must be something really good in this if they think this is worth enduring. But I did exactly the same thing.
His Irish Catholic mother died a few years ago. In her final letter to him she angrily accused him, the youngest of her five children, of selfishness. What you're doing is essentially very selfish but you can't be tied to your mother's apron strings for the rest of your life. You're doing the thing that you love.
When she died I just thought, she could no longer witness the death of her son.
Simon Yates: Climb every mountain | Celebrity Interviews | Hertfordshire
He's in the departure lounge but he's here. I gave him a video of the film. He said it was emotional. For him to say that is quite something. Has climbing prevented him from forming long-lasting relationships? But when I was younger I was thinking, I want to climb the world. If I get into a long relationship, get married, have children, would I still do this? And so maybe I did consciously edge away from that.
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But it's not necessarily a logical jump to say that climbers don't have long-lasting relationships. In it Simpson mentions phoning someone he calls "my long-suffering partner" just before attempting the north face of the Eiger. I don't have long-suffering partners. I think you've misread it.
The person he phones he clearly names as Pat Lewis. We don't go out any more.
'Touching the Void' climber says director burned him with one-sided story
She probably knows me better than anybody. I've had relationships that have lasted longer than some people's marriages. Is five years long enough for you? Is nine years long enough for you? He is yoked to his own story until death does finally claim him hopefully not next northern summer on the Eiger: This complex, cussed modern Lazarus will never tire of taking the story to pieces and putting it together again.
He has written a new epilogue to the latest edition of Touching the Void, telling of his return to Siula Grande. He's even written a screenplay about the escape which he hopes will one day be made. At the time, it was fresh. I got to the point where I was tired of watching it, but I saw it a while ago for the first time in about eight years and in terms of pacing and how everything flows together, it still holds up. It's still really good. My wife had no idea who I was when the documentary came out.
I'm just a person who followed his hobbies and made a living out of it. I didn't do anything but put together a skateboarding team that became really famous. We set out to do things and they just manifest themselves in ways that we never understood. I never thought they would make the Hollywood movie. In a weird way, the documentary killed the film.
I know this sounds very strange, but a lot of people told me they thought the documentary was so good that they wouldn't have to go and see the movie.
However, it was a really good movie and there were many actors who went on to have careers afterwards: He has never lost his passion for surfing and still regularly rides the waves of Venice, now with his two daughters, he tells Empire. According to Sarlo, the Z-Boys are still famous in the area. He works in real estate and is sure that he made a couple of sales only because people recognised him We were at the forefront of skating pools and pushed the limits of skateboarding; it just came naturally to us.
We didn't know what direction it was going to go, but we knew that all this group of talented skaters, surfers and artists together just had to evolve into something really unique.
I thought the documentary was a great idea and worth doing because of all the interesting characters. It was good to relive the experience and everybody around me really enjoyed it. They thought it was really creative. We were creative surfers and skaters.
Everybody worked at developing their own smooth skating style. We had to work hard to get the results and we were a team. You had to be accountable and show up on time every day.
We always had a couple of photographers around. I think they were motivated to film us because they had never seen anything like that. We didn't tell them to bring cameras but the photographers knew that this was something totally different and they wanted to shoot us. At first we just thought it was cool but after a while we definitely liked the filming and photos.
I think none of us was camera-savvy until later on when we realised we could make money out of it.
We could really express ourselves skating. It kept us out of trouble. The whole Zephyr team came from broken homes and we all hung out at the Zephyr skate shop. We just found skating and we were so grateful for that. I think it was really helpful in raising us. On August 7,the Frenchman rigged a wire between the towers of the World Trade Center and spent 45 minutes walking back and forth, even laying down on the cable and kneeling to salute the people watching his performance.
Man On Wire, a Oscar-winning documentary, shows the months of meticulous research and planning that went into the illegal coup. Petit had executed similar performances between the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and on Sydney Harbour Bridge, but the World Trade Center walk was his masterpiece, later dubbed 'the artistic crime of the century'.
Director James Marsh had access to photos and videos Petit and his team recorded while scouting opportunities to smuggle their heavy equipment into the newly-built towers.
After his walk, Petit was arrested. To perform at a free children's show in Central Park. He continued to work as a high-wire artist and street juggler and says he has several performances that he holds close to his heart, not just the World Trade Center walk.
Now… Philippe Petit's latest performance celebrated the 40th anniversary of his World Trade Center walk. This time, he walked only a couple of metres above the ground in a garden in New York, the city he has lived in since his most famous performance. The rigging wasn't great because of plenty of reasons and the wire wasn't tight. It's very frightening to walk on a wire that isn't well set, but once I set my foot on the wire, I was very happy and not frightened at all.
Right after the walk I understood that my friend who was taking pictures on the North tower couldn't get to the movie camera that I had rented and that was ready to shoot because the police came to his roof. I was furious and really frustrated; I wanted to have some film footage of me, at least on the first walk.
And then after the years kept passing, I thought it wasn't bad not to have a movie. It makes the walk more mysterious and magical. And now, 40 years later, I think it's a blessing that there is no footage. We live in a world where everything is documented in film and video and I think in a way it adds to the magic of the story not to have any footage. I said no to all film offers before Man On Wire either because they weren't interesting to me or they weren't welcoming my artistic participation.
I had planned to make my own film about that adventure but that didn't go anywhere. At some point I met somebody who wanted to make a film and it was James Marsh. Again, I said the film couldn't happen without my full collaboration. He said he would be a fool to try a make a film about this event without my full collaboration.
So we shook hands on that and started to make the movie. I had kept all my archive and now there was a use for it. And eight years ago Robert Zemeckis called to try to convince me to say yes to a feature film. We agreed to work together and I was going to play my own character but throughout the years the movie went through different phases, like many movies do.
Now in the latest phase called The Walkwhich was shot a couple of months ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays me.
I trained him on the wire and that helped Robert Zemeckis a lot because at the beginning he told me he wouldn't have the actor try to walk on the wire, he would have a double.
When I visited to consult in the last week of the shoot, I realised that the actor was almost working more than the double. The surprise effect of seeing kids getting these words right with ease and without a spell checker might explain the success of a documentary.
In Spellbound, Jeffrey Blitz follows eight contestants through the National Spelling Bee, the yearly showdown of the best spellers in the United States. Each year, the 'Bee' finals attract a TV audience of millions, listening with excitement to every letter. The eight main characters in Spellbound come from different backgrounds and from across the US.
What unites them is their meticulous preparation for an event where one wrong letter means elimination. They study thousands of words a day, have private tutors and train hard with their parents. Neil Kadakia, another contestant, describes the Spelling Bee as "rollercoaster time". However, he managed to finish ninth. Empire reaches him in California, where he works as a real estate agent. There were these two guys straight out of college who wanted to shoot a documentary.
Three and a half years later, we had put it in the back of our minds. Then suddenly we had to see the footage and it ended up being a big hit. Spellbound was still playing when I was a freshman at Berkeley and my entire dorm floor dragged me down to the theatre to watch it. The experience was really overwhelming.
I went from being this obscure kid to a campus celebrity. People recognised me on a daily basis as a freshman and sophomore. For me personally, the Spelling Bee was a way to get comfortable with speaking in front of an audience and competing in a high-stress environment. It was a deeply personal experience because I had grown up with a speech impediment and stuttered a lot as a child.
Touching the Void climber bombarded with abuse by school children
The Spelling Bee and other things like Model United Nations and mock trials were my way to overcome the impediment. I think the Spelling Bee is definitely one of the most unique things a person at that age can do. Most of the kids are out playing; no one takes something and goes all the way to the top. This was my vehicle to compete in a really big environment.
Being able to see how far you can take a skill was eye-opening to me. If I could do something that significant as a kid, I can definitely go far with my career or with whatever my goals are as an adult. I think the makers of Spellbound did a really good job at capturing the background of each family.
Nonetheless, I think that I'm portrayed a little bit as a machine and my father as a task master. I think they did a very good job of building a story around us but it's portrayed a little bit more negative than it ended up being. The moment I'll always remember is going to the final stage. I had to spell an Indian word, 'Darjeeling'.
I was born and raised in America and so I'm this Indian kid spelling this Indian word. It was really embarrassing because I had no idea. I just gave it a shot and I got lucky. She went on to write an op-ed about the competition for the New York Times. In the Spelling Bee, my ability to memorise and to be able to stand up and speak clearly helped me a lot. I think those skills still help me in my job, allow me to talk to families when they are upset or in crisis and got me through pharmacology classes in graduate school.
It was completely bizarre when the movie came out. To be honest, I thought that no one watched documentaries. My family and I watched it, we knew they had done a good job but we didn't realise that many people would see it.
Every time someone came up to me it was a surprise and a pleasant shock — 'Oh really, you recognise me? It was always very surreal. From my point of view, it's always a bit embarrassing to watch it. I don't think there was anything disingenuous about the way they portrayed me, but it's still a bit cringeworthy to see yourself as a fourteen year-old. At the same time, it is very nice to have that memento saved for people to watch and for me to remember.
I still remember when the film crew visited me at home and at school. I was in 8th grade and I was a word-nerd, I wasn't the most popular kid in the grade and all of sudden they came to my school and they filmed for a day.