Climber to share trauma

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A CLIMBER forced to cut his friend’s rope during a fateful mountain descent will tell a North East audience about the incident.

Simon Yates, whose story inspired the award-winning film Touching the Void, will be at Durham City’s Gala Theatre on Friday.

In 1985, he attempted to climb the west face of Siula Grande, in the Peruvian Andes, with fellow mountaineer Joe Simpson.

The pair became the first climbers to successfully reach the peak, but on the way down Joe fell and broke his leg.

They continued the descent, with Simon lowering Joe on a rope. But part-way down, Joe went over an overhang.

Unable to hear his friend because of a severe storm and aware there was little chance of either of them surviving, Simon decided to cut the rope.

Believing his partner was dead, Simon completed the descent alone.

However, Joe survived the fall into a crevasse and spent days crawling back to base camp.

During his visit to the Gala, Simon will talk about his mountaineering experiences.

He will also consider how, in an era when it is possible to make a phone call from Mount Everest, technology is changing the face of mountaineering.

Tickets cost £13, or £12 for concessions. Call 332 4041 or visit