Touching the Void Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Joe Simpson (mountaineer)
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When Joe follows Simon, he is careful to do what?

2. How many hours do Joe and Ian hang on the rope before being rescued?

3. How far from the nearest village do Joe, Simon, and Richard pitch base camp?

4. How does Simon cut the rope?

5. What is the elevation of Siula Grande?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Joe's plan of action if Simon falls through, or off, the ridge again?

2. Joe describes the beginning of their practice climb on Yantauri as 'inauspicious' (p24). Why?

3. Describe the first bivouac site on Siula Grande.

4. On the eve of the summit conquest, what does Simon do that leaves Joe in disbelief?

5. Why do Simon and Joe avoid the issue of discussing their game plan after Joe's injury?

6. On page 65, Joe says, 'I knew it would be a good day.' By the end of the day, how and why does his view of the day change?

7. Why does Simon cut the rope?

8. When beginning his climb for the summit from the bivouac site 300 feet below the summit, what pros and cons does Joe mention about climbing in the daylight?

9. While trying to find the North Ridge again after leaving the summit, what happens to Simon?

10. Describe Simon's feelings at the end of "The Final Choice".

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What would you do in a similar or identical predicament as Joe's? Simon's? Why?

Essay Topic 2

In the Postscript, Joe says "The scars of six operations stood out lividly on the distorted joint. At least the wounds in my mind had healed better than these." After reading the Epilogue, how do you assess Joe's "healing"? Do you agree? What do you think about Joe's decision to go back and climb mountains again? Do you think this is imprudent, or admirable?

Essay Topic 3

Climbers acclimatize before a climb, meaning that they adjust to the conditions, especially the lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. To what other conditions, either physical or mental or both, does Joe "acclimatize" throughout the story?

(see the answer keys)

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