Avoiding the Touch - Return to Siula Grande

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The making of the film Touching the Void throws up some interesting and possibly conflicting insights into what happened following the attempted rescue and subsequent survival of a young mountaineer on the west face of the Siula Grande.I claim no ownership or copyright on this material and provide for educational purposes only.

Adventure Film Mountain Rescue

brave men
ADMIRALc studio
THEY CHOSE TO GO BACK, AGREED TO GO BACK... all you sofa psychologists choose another video..
Alan Currie
Working on film set is incredibly boring slow paced work, in the pursuit of perfection. To those who don't work in the industry it would have been very annoying sitting around waiting for something to happen, and too much time to think about the past.
Alexander,The Lame!
The true champions of these expeditions are the burdened donkeys and oxen-they are forced to carry 50+kg for days on end-if they refuse they get shot and eaten-no mountaineer has to fear that fate....x
BratBusters Parenting
The movie was really well done. Very traumatic for them to go back there again though.
Joe is the real hero of the story and Simon is bitter about it
Yess Richard
Cash Back
It's sad how habitually emotionally repressed and mentally avoidant Middle Class British Men can be. Always needing to prove their tough exterior with bravado and/or dismissiveness. The daft comment Joe makes about Jerry Springer just sums it all up. Their failure to properly connect with the depth of what happened and just turn it into a dissociative 'Adventure Story' has only contributed to suppressive nature of who they have now become many years later and no wonder Joe has a delayed PTSD type of reaction after so long sweeping it under the rug and pretending it's not there once properly exposed to the environmental trigger points. Both clearly should have had therapy in the years after to process through it all properly before they got into middle age as their reactions and behaviours are not healthy and they were both probably damaged in different ways by this return trip despite the money they would have received for it. Despite surviving this incredible life changing event, the real suffering has been done in the months/years after not the days and weeks they were there.
DeeperStill :
The trauma of going back to where you almost died, and not knowing if returning was tempting the demon mountain to complete the kill...well, Id rather not go either. Drumming up the horrific past, is asking to to to much of one man. yes it is a form of PTSD. it's fight or flight. I understand.
Elizabeth Culver Edwards
At the beginning of Touching The Void it says that Joe and Simon were friends who decided to climb together. But then Joe says no, we're not friends, we're climbing companions. Ouch.
Geeta Patel
At just before 24.00 he said the most meaningful thing
Georgina Smith
good documentary but an awkward watch - no love lost between all of the men
Harry Watson
Simon's real pain is he was a survivor in a near death situation, but he's not Joe, so his struggle is 'unimportant'
Isen gard
Both Simon and Joe are legends, settled in the mountaineering legacy from mallory and irvine to Rob Hall and Scott Fischer. Only they survived to tell their tale. They shouldn't have returned to Siule Grande.
JM Hey
As a psychologist I can only say that taking someone who lived through trauma back to the exact place of it and actually reconstructing the original situation to the point where they have to act out the very scenes that traumatised them in the first place is highly irresponsible. They could have at least taken a psychologist to give Joe some council when he experienced what is clearly identifiable as signs of PTSD. Moreover I can totally understand him getting pissed off about the situation, when he explains they filmed the shot so you couldn´t see it was him. They should have had an actor do the scenes and take Joe as an advisor. That would probably still have induced some PTSD symptoms but I can imagine it would have made it much less unbearable to at least not have to reenact the scenes himself.
Jessica Carranza
I’ve seen the movie and read the book, but looking at these comments about these men being British, and that’s a reason why they acted cold or aloof...as an American, and perhaps being young and ignorant about why this is a stereotype....why is this a stereotype? Are British men usually this way? \n\nI understand that their circumstances in this situation would of course affect their behavior, but from some of the comments, it seems as though people expect this because they are British.
Jo March
There's a terrible assumption that Joe must have had the worse experience/psychological trauma because he was the one who fell, who was injured and endured the most physically. But think of this: people who kill because they are sociopaths or evil feel little in any regret for their actions. Any 'normal' person who is responsible for the 'death' of another person would be deeply traumatised by this action, especially because their actions were necessary to save their own life. Consider this: if Simon had NOT cut the rope, if he'd decided that he couldn't live with himself and committed himself to dying, he'd be dead and Joe would probably still be alive, since Joe would still have landed within the crevasse and Simon would have been likely thrown off the mountain completely. Then Joe would be the one experiencing what Simon is going through. Watching this video does nothing more than convince me that Simon remains deeply, deeply traumatised by the guilt and by the knowledge that he made a decision to end someone's life. His 'cold' and 'callous' attitude seems, to me, to be nothing more than a defence mechanism. I feel really sad for both men and what they've gone through. But Joe comes out like the hero of the tale, where as Simon is the villain who cut the rope. Must be so difficult to live with.
Kimberly Sikorski
Joe, I know you said you don’t believe in God, but I think you would benefit from reading some Jewish mystisysim . The Well of Souls in particular. I also was raised Catholic, but find more and more things in ALL religions that ring true. It’s more to do with our soul, our driving force, and I can see that clearly in your story. I am VERY glad you made the movie. Your strength gives other people the ability to face their trials in life. And Simon anyone who was in your situation would have cut the rope. If they say otherwise they are lying. I have always had this feeling that our soul chooses its life.
The person who is filming and asking them questions is being so intrusive this really hurts to watch. I really don’t blame Simon for not wanting to be part of this after they finished filming.
Luke Smith
I think Simon is so well over the rope cutting thing that he basically wants to dismiss it and has moved on past it. He says he has a CV of adventure, which he does, but how many times has he had to send a man tumbling off a mountain to his death?
You've honestly got to feel sorry for him. Imagine the trauma of the situation that he had been through, that when he returns to the place where his life was literally saved he had no emotional attachment to it. I also sense a slight sense of hostility towards Simon there. As if going back brought back all the memories.
Olle Welin
Adventure heros they are. And also the 2 guys are heros because they share the story as it probably was to all our others.
Primus 777
Climbers at this level are risk-takers. It's the game.\nIt's especially high-risk with 2 people only, and nil backup in extreme circumstances.\nOne can question their general sense of responsibility by conventional standards, sure.\nI would prefer to question the ethics, egos and motivations of the climbers who tackle Everest, and who continue to trudge painfully upwards, passing casualties en route to their summit aspirations, either as paying clients or guides.\nAs in \
Shoot, I feel like a rubbernecker. This is awful.
Spike Spiegel
Simon seems way more unforgiving and cold in this than the rest of the documentary
Stephen Bardle
I selected Touching the Void for my A-Level English exam in 1999. It's an incredible book and everything pivots on what my teacher called the \
Susanna Reid
I have just watched touching the void again and wonder why people turned against Simon for the decision he made to cut the rope because they both came out of it alive and had he have not done so things could have been very different. I am not a mountaineer and do not know how else they could have both come out of it alive. Was there another method available to have got Joe up the rope - if not what else could simon have done? Maybe someone out there has a suggestion.
This is a strange comment but I'd love to sit in on Joe's therapy sessions. He's got such a fantastically candid, honest approach, but so powerful in his vulnerability.
He fell down a smaller drop and had his lower leg bone smashed through his knee, falls off a massive cliff drop into a hug crevasse and lands about 200 feet below and has little to no injuries, hmm
Tj haze
Shouldve atleast got em some weed or somethin...
Tracee J
This behind the scenes is really tough to watch, especially seeing Joe and his reaction to being back. I cannot imagine going back to a place where you nearly lost your life. It has to be completely traumatic to him. I also understand Simons point of view. People are unsympathetic but to be honest i wouldn't have gone back there, unless you paid me too! Who wants to go back to a place and revisit memories that are so mixed for so many? And the director is annoying by prodding him relentlessly as if he's Dr. Phil and he's going to get Simon to have some sort of sudden emotional breakthrough and wax poetically about his personal trials and tribulations. It makes me sick. Nobody has a right to judge Joe or Simon! Until it happens to you, THEN, maybe then you can talk.
Vincent Smith
Thanks for sharing. I find it interesting that both climbers seem a bit aloof and put off by the filming.
Yee Haw
Getting tired of Joe's whining ! If you climb a mountain and then complain that you almost died then you need to find a new hobby .....
andy deepbeat
The commentary was obviously filmed first. I felt really sorry fort hem having to relive it. Similar to a rape victim having to relive in court maybe. They still both suffering from PTSD.
Wow it kind of bothers me that the film wasnt more focused during recreations on Joe and Simon coming back to that place. It was a great film and really made me care about those 3 people particularly Joe and Simon. But I really thought that it was in line with them and telling their story more than just using them to be able to say they were there and get the story. It is a shame that Joe feels as though his story could have been told without him there. May as well have just done a crappy CGI green screen fest if you didnt mean for the focus of returning to be on those men who actually lived this. Glad the finished product was deemed accurate and supported by Joe. I mean what he went through was heart breaking and soul crushing in the film and I imagine that may have been a small taste of the reality of it all. \n\nAlso if he had not cut that bloody rope they would not have this movie because both Joe and Simon would have died in 85. Joe from wind shear frozen to death hanging there and Simon would have eventually lost his damn grip and fallen. Cutting that rope saved em more than likely. The fact he decided to be a one man rescue for a man with a broken leg is amazing. Most anyone would have left Joe at the top broken and hopeless. To have done what he did was damn heroic.
de palma
A legend of mountaineering stories. These men will not be forgotten.
Simon seemed so defensive here. He wasn't at all defensive in \
How can documentary filmmakers who are supposed to have a certain sense of sensitiveness about people's emotions come up with the fatal idea of taking traumatized people back to the place of the trauma AND asking them to reenact these situations? I don't get that. The final film was pretty good actually, but the scenes where Joe played himself without even being recognizable were just not necessary. \nSo why the hell did they do that? Probably just for this making of video and for getting \
what's the point in having joe and simon play the role of essentially doubles for the actors? offering them to revisit I can understand, but having joe re-enact a past trauma, that's a pretty strong thing to ask someone to do and bribe them with a big pay day. the only things they needed to do were the interviews. this could have been done easily without them
Again with the Laura Croft Tibetan-esque music for a mountain in Peru.
Ugh I feel so bad for Joe
About Simon: he had to cut the rope. Ten out of ten climbers would have done the same. He is not sentimental about going back to Siula Grande and there is nothing wrong about it: he has explained a zillion times that the whole experience is a double-edged sword.\n\nPersonally, the only thing that bugs me about Simon's attitude is that he assumed Joe was dead after he had cut the rope. Joe has pointed out that the fact that Simon did not go looking for him in the crevasse was a questionable decision. Simon was tired, but he did have the energy to look for Joe down the crevasse - or at least try to descend a bit. Even in the movie that's not so clear: he says he shouted Joe's name several times and never got an answer, but honestly that doesn't come across very clearly in the movie.
the truth
that week he was lost changed all his life and made him a totally different being, sometimes the only way to grow goes trough the hard way
tia freebairn
I feel horribly annoyed reading these comments. I hope you have all read the book and the statements in the BOOK made \
walt Durling
These guys survived the impossible. Anyone who even remotely criticizes either man is an arm-chair coward. No one, but no one, could ever know what they experienced. Both have the absolute right to react and feel the way they do in spite of those who feel they should have acted or reacted differently. Cutting the rope saved both lives. Both were utterly spent by that time. This will go down in history as one of those events where the human spirit dug deep enough to survive, against all odds, and where 99.9% would have perished.