The relationship between Joe and Simon in Chapter 2, shows that they rely on each other. They are interdependent because they are in dangerous situations which they couldn’t do alone. They need each other for support and safety. “I smiled seeing Simon with legs astride a large rock, sack off, taking a photograph of me as I came over the top edge of the icefield” In the quote from Joe, it’s the only time mentioned that he smiled. Getting to the top of each gully with each other, excites them making them happy with their effort. they enjoy this sensation together, the risk, the success. This quote amplifies the madness in what they do.
“Tired and irritable after a hard fifteen-hour day, we had dreaded the hour or so it would take us to dig a snow hole,” Quoted from Joe, after they finish a long day of climbing. The climb they did in this day, was very challenging as it was steep and they encounted rock fall. This required them to be calm and smart in these situations. For example when Joe doesn’t have any more screws with him, he freaks out at first but then calms himself down. This has an impact on readers, proving that his motivational talks actually help in intense life-threatening situations. The environment that they climb up is steep, icy and rocky. Its dangerous and not particularly safe. “Simon grinned when he reached me,” “Where did that lot come from?” Simon asks Joe, after they barricaded themselves from rockfall. To be able to be in extreme situations and stay calm like Simon does, is incredible, as most people freak out. This quote displays this perfectly, for Simon to react in a joking way after they nearly could’ve died, this probably made Joe feel better, under the circumstances. When they hung on the rope for 12 hours, they react the best way they probably could. Of course they thought they were going to drop and die. But for them to not give up and still have hope that help will come shows the determination in them. This is their life and what they do and they are devoted to it, even if after the rush of the risk isn’t there anymore because they’re too scared. The pressure put on them in the situation they were in was excruciating, coming out of it for them, they would’ve felt relieved.
Readers may learn, depending on what they pick up on, that Joe has been in scary situations before. Which is why when in certain stages for example he is nervous if he’s tilted backwards while climbing. Simon is different, its obvious he loves the adrenaline, to a point. This section of text is important to see what their next step in life is. They nearly died, its important to know if they come back from that experience and continue on their path or if they let it stump them, and find something else to do. This will be referred to in the book. Since it’s only chapter 2, it’s likely Joe continues mountaineering, meaning he’ll be in more situations. Future climbing will bring back memories but come back to make him stronger as well as reminding him how quickly things can go wrong and how precious life is. The feeling that this is only the beginning is hinted at the end of the chapter.