Joe Simpson

Legendary climber, Touching the Void author and speaker.

Simpson appeals as a speaker because he tells his story in an unassuming, articulate and often humorous style. Never patronising, Simpson prefers that his audience draw their own conclusions from the key messages wrapped up in his story. 

Videos of Joe Simpson

Speaker Profile

About Joe Simpson

Left for dead with a shattered leg in a crevasse high up in the Andes, Joe Simpson's dramatic tale of survival has led to a career as a writer, motivational speaker and broadcaster. His book, Touching the Void deals with teamwork, goal setting, leadership, strategy, planning, motivation and our ability to reach beyond what we thought was possible.

It has become one of the all time classics of mountaineering and is hailed as an account of psychological witness of the rarest compulsion. 

Simpson has won high praise for his inspirational speaking qualities. His presentations are also often accompanied by stunning photographs and video.

Awards, Accolades, Achievements, Honours

  • Overcame unbelievable hardship to beat the odds and survive
  • His book Touching the Void - sold almost two million copies - translated into 23 languages
  • The drama documentary film 'Touching the Void' named Outstanding British Film of 2004 by BAFTA


His career as a motivational speaker developed directly from his ordeal on the mountain. Left for dead with a shattered leg following a climbing accident, the story of how Simpson crawled his way back to civilization now provides the basis for his powerful message to the corporate world about overcoming the odds and drawing on deep reserves of inner strength.

Told he'd never climb again following the accident, Simpson defied the odds and went on to climb many more mountains. He's worked as a mountaineering guide all over the world and has written several books. His best seller, Touching the Void, won the Boardman Tasker Prize in 1988, the NCR Non fiction Award in 1989 and has been a set text on the GCSE syllabus.

The drama documentary adaptation of the book also won the Outstanding British Film of the Year BAFTA in 2004 and Best Film from the Evening Standard. It is now officially the most successful documentary in British cinema history.
Another of Simpson's books, The Beckoning Silence about his attempt on the North Face of the Eiger, was made into a documentary shown on Channel 4 in October 2007. He has also written several novels.

Speaking Style

Informal, passionate and story-telling

Speaking Topics

  • Leadership
  • Risk assessment
  • Training
  • Management style
  • Personal Development
  • Teamwork


Praise for Touching the Void: "On every level it is an outstanding literary achievement" - The Independent

Praise for Touching the Void: "A quite extraordinary and moving book... Touching the Void touches the Great Questions in an understated yet utterly compelling way" - The Guardian

Praise for Touching the Void: "A truly astonishing account of suffering and fortitude... the narrative acquires an irresistible force, carrying all before it." - Sunday Times

Books By Joe Simpson

  • Touching the Void (1988)
  • The Water People (1992)
  • This Game of Ghosts (1993)
  • Storms of Silence (1996)
  • Dark Shadows Falling (1997)
  • The Beckoning Silence (2002)
  • The Sound of Gravity (2011)

Fee Details

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To book Joe Simpson call +44 (0)1628 636600 or email

Please note:
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