The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.


Kevin Macdonald


Joe Simpson (book)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Brendan Mackey ... Joe Simpson
Nicholas Aaron ... Simon Yates
Richard Hawking Richard Hawking ... Self
Joe Simpson Joe Simpson ... Self
Simon Yates Simon Yates ... Self
Ollie Ryall Ollie Ryall ... Richard Hawking


In 1985 two friends, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, set out to climb Siula Grande in Peru via the West Face, a hitherto unaccomplished feat by any climber. After a tough ascent they succeed but on the descent they run into significant problems. Soon they are both in dire danger and the chances of surviving are slim. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The closer you are to death. The more you realize you are alive. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film makers took both Joe and Simon back to Peru to shoot on the actual glacier and terrain where the events originally took place. Local mountaineers were filmed on the glacier, but did not climb the actual mountain on Joe and Simon's request as they felt it was too dangerous. See more »


After Joe climbs out of the crevasse, the next shot of the glacier shows two figures climbing up. See more »


[first lines]
Joe Simpson: We climb cause it's fun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the first part of the closing credits (before the crawl), the credits are accompanied by black-and-white pictures showing the three men's journey back into civilization; the final picture is of Joe in the hospital. See more »


Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »


Spem in Alium
Written by Thomas Tallis
Performed by King's College Choir
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User Reviews

i hate mountain climbing films
6 January 2006 | by fog-9See all my reviews

so i was completely and utterly amazed by my response to this movie... i guess i haven't explored the genre but the two men who survived were so HONEST!... it was refreshing to hear the way they spoke, of secretly wanting to leave the other man to die, but persisting because it was the right and humane thing to do... what courage it takes to admit that!... and to admit that you're stubborn and arrogant... that you were completely broken... it's rare to hear sportsmen talk this way...

and they didn't seem to exude that attitude that non-climbers wouldn't understand, or that they were somehow superior to us ordinary folk (despite joe's self-confessed ego)... some interviews with climbers annoy me, but these guys were amazing...

the sheer emotion they conveyed with the simultaneous reenactments and the articulate commentary was astounding... i was gritting my teeth at the implied pain and frustration and even became somewhat emotional at the reunion...

this documentary has palpable, white-lightning power, and it will remain with you long after you've seen it... it's quite unlike anything i've viewed before...

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Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Touching the Void See more »

Filming Locations:

Peru See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$96,973, 25 January 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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