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Climbing the Broken Stairs, a Memoir

Legendary climber Joe Simpson – who famously escaped death in the Andes – tells Peter Stanford of the doomed expedition that tempted him back up a mountain

Joe Simpson was just 14 when he read The White Spider, an epic account of efforts to conquer the North Face of the Eiger.

His first reaction, he recalls, was straightforward horror. Why, the schoolboy wondered, would anyone want to risk their life climbing mountains?

"The stories in the book were enough to put the willies up anyone," says Simpson, the 46-year-old British mountaineer whose extraordinary tale of survival in the Andes was detailed in the book and 2003 film, Touching The Void.

"But then, when I thought about it, I kept coming back to the idea that these climbers were intelligent people and that there must be something really good to be had from mountaineering if they were prepared to take risks like that."

Childhood reading marked the beginning of a love affair with mountains that comes full circle with The Beckoning Silence, a documentary being screened on Channel 4 tonight.

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Legendary climber Joe Simpson – who famously escaped death in the Andes – tells Peter Stanford of the doomed expedition that tempted him back up a mountain

Joe Simpson was just 14 when he read The White Spider, an epic account of efforts to conquer the North Face of the Eiger.

His first reaction, he recalls, was straightforward horror. Why, the schoolboy wondered, would anyone want to risk their life climbing mountains?

"The stories in the book were enough to put the willies up anyone," says Simpson, the 46-year-old British mountaineer whose extraordinary tale of survival in the Andes was detailed in the book and 2003 film, Touching The Void.

"But then, when I thought about it, I kept coming back to the idea that these climbers were intelligent people and that there must be something really good to be had from mountaineering if they were prepared to take risks like that."

Childhood reading marked the beginning of a love affair with mountains that comes full circle with The Beckoning Silence, a documentary being screened on Channel 4 tonight.

1.5k shares 59

Men continue to outnumber women in senior leadership roles around the world - but reports suggest this isn't the only inequality problem in the workplace.

As part of this year's 100 Women , a team in Silicon Valley, where women hold just one in 10 senior positions, will be looking at ways to tackle this problem.

Legendary climber Joe Simpson – who famously escaped death in the Andes – tells Peter Stanford of the doomed expedition that tempted him back up a mountain

Joe Simpson was just 14 when he read The White Spider, an epic account of efforts to conquer the North Face of the Eiger.

His first reaction, he recalls, was straightforward horror. Why, the schoolboy wondered, would anyone want to risk their life climbing mountains?

"The stories in the book were enough to put the willies up anyone," says Simpson, the 46-year-old British mountaineer whose extraordinary tale of survival in the Andes was detailed in the book and 2003 film, Touching The Void.

"But then, when I thought about it, I kept coming back to the idea that these climbers were intelligent people and that there must be something really good to be had from mountaineering if they were prepared to take risks like that."

Childhood reading marked the beginning of a love affair with mountains that comes full circle with The Beckoning Silence, a documentary being screened on Channel 4 tonight.



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