An account of Yeates' ascent of one of the world's largest vertical rock faces, the 4,000 foot Central Tower of Paine in Chile. The greatest difficulties come not from the elements but from within themselves; crippled with fear the team is forced into a retreat but after resting return to complete the climb.
The author of this book is the man who cut the rope in Joe Simpson's award-winning account of their struggle for survival in "Touching the Void". Afterwards, while Simpson recuperated from multiple leg injuries, Yates continued mountaineering on the hardest routes, perhaps the most testing of which was the world's largest vertical rock-face, towering 4000 feet above the eastern face of Paine in Chile. This is his account of that challenge. Faced with ferocious storms, Yates and his three companions should have turned back. Instead, they battled on, living in hammocks suspended over the yawning chasm below. Their greatest difficulties, however, came not from the elements but from within themselves. Almost crippled with fear just below the summit, the disillusioned team was forced into a nightmare retreat. After resting at a nearby town, they returned to complete the climb.
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