Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void has become one of the all-time classics of mountaineering, hailed as an account of psychological, even philosophical witness of the rarest compulsion.
It is a tale of two men thrown into a nightmare of terrifying life and death choices and heartbreaking decisions. It is about agony and terror, courage and weakness. It tells of trust and friendship tested to the very limits of human endurance.
You need no special knowledge of mountain climbing to understand the many inspirational messages to be found in the telling of this powerful human drama.
It is about the triumph of the human spirit, the immense instinct to survive and the innate strength we have within us to succeed.
The appeal of Joe as a speaker is that he tells his story in an unassuming, articulate and often humorous style. He refrains from giving patronising analogies between his exploits and the jobs of the people in the audience, preferring that they draw their own conclusions from the multitude of key messages that are wrapped up in his story. The overriding feeling is one of total amazement and that no matter how tough things may get, there is a way to not only come through it, but to achieve even greater goals.
Touching the Void deals with planning, strategy, teamwork, goal setting, leadership, responsibility, motivation and our ability to reach beyond what we thought was possible.