10 Harrowing Survival Stories


Hanging by a Thread

Joe Simpson and Simon Yates's journey up the Siula Grande, a 21,000-foot (6,401-meter) mountain in the Peruvian Andes, began without incident; however, their trip soon changed when snowstorms moved in. To navigate the mountain's crevasses, the men decided to rope themselves together. Suddenly, the unthinkable happened. Simpson fell, injuring his leg. They couldn't continue climbing.

Yates decided to lower Simpson down the mountain, and once Simpson had anchored himself, climb down. However, a snowstorm hit, and Simpson was left dangling mid-air. In order to survive, Yates had to do the unthinkable: he had to cut the rope.

Miraculously, Simpson landed in a crevice and was able to use the remains of the rope to lower himself down the mountain. Both men survived the ordeal. Simpson commended Yates for staying with an injured climber and admitted that he, too, would have cut the rope.