Saturday, April 13, 2013
Book Review : Dark Shadows Falling - Joe Simpson 10*
Simpson provides an expert insider's account of the state of top level mountaineering in the late 1990's. He is scathing in his criticism of methods, groups and individuals whom he believes have departed from the true spirit of high altitude mountaineering into a win at all costs and profit mentality.
Simpson discusses the disastrous 1996 Everest expeditions, also well covered in John Krakauer's excellent book 'Into Thin Air', railing against what he sees as an unforgivable lapse of basic human ethics in the face of personal ambition.
Also mentioned is the harrowing death of a climber on Everest in 1992 who died only yards from other climbers who were safe inside their tents, and Simpson weighs all these things against his own determination to climb a new route up Pumori.
Simpson's writing is terse and heartfelt, his clear moral stance a clarion call for all those involved in potentially dangerous pursuits.