In 2014, the book was being used in the English literature AQA Touching the void book pdf course nationally in England. Simpson and Yates reach the summit of the previously unclimbed West Face of Siula Grande. The pair, whose trip had already taken longer than they intended due to bad weather on the ascent, had run out of fuel for their stove and could not melt ice or snow for drinking water.
With bad weather closing in and daylight fading, they needed to descend quickly to the glacier, about 3,000 feet below. Yates proceeded to lower Simpson off the North Ridge by tying two 150-foot lengths of rope together to make one 300-foot rope. Yates enough slack to unclip the rope, in order to thread the rope back through the lowering device with the knot on the other side. With storm conditions worsening and darkness upon them, Yates inadvertently lowered Simpson off a cliff. Simpson had all his weight on the rope. The pair were stuck in a very bad situation.