4a Reading Skills

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Reading Skills
1   Imagine you are the person in the picture. Listen to the music and imagine the scene. What can you see, hear, touch, taste, smell? How do you feel?


2  The following phrases appear in the text. What do you think the text is about? Read to find out.

•    life or death decision
•    faced with an agonising decision
•    send friend to certain death
•    slipped
•    incredible tale of survival
•    against all odds
•    British mountaineers
•    21,000-foot peak
•    reached the summit
•    frostbitten fingers
•    lowered his friend over crevasse
•    hold weight
•    cut the rope
•    determined not to die

3   Read again and match each sentence (A-H) to a gap (1-7). There is one sentence that you do not need to use.

A But it was on this supposedly simpler route that disaster struck.

B Then, believing his friend would never have survived the fall, he continued down the mountain alone.

C Neither could he grab hold of the cliff, because he was too far away from the rocks.

D With no food or water left and a real threat of hypothermia, they simply had to get off the mountain quickly.

E This is exactly what happened to Simon Yates.

F Simon's amazing courage and determination stopped him from giving up.

G In an unbelievable display of willpower, Joe managed to crawl seven miles down the mountain to safety.

H The mountain had never been conquered before.

Imagine having to make a life or death decision, but one that affected not only your own life, but someone else's as well! I 1I  I   When he was just twenty-one years old, Simon found himself faced with an agonising decision: save his own life but in doing so send his friend, Joe Simpson, to almost certain death, or try to save his friend, but almost certainly die in the attempt to do so. The story of Simon's choice, and the result of his decision, is a truly incredible tale of survival!

In the summer of 1985, British mountaineers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates set out to climb Siula Grande, a 21,000-foot peak in the Peruvian Andes. | 2 | | So for two adventurous and bold young men, it represented an irresistible challenge.

Joe and Simon chose the most difficult way up the mountain for their ascent. Nevertheless, they reached the summit without any problems. For their descent, however, they decided to take an easier path.| 3 | |    Joe slipped and broke his leg in three different places. In severe pain, he was completely crippled, unable to go on. Both climbers knew what this meant. | 4 | |So, against all odds, Simon decided to try to get his injured friend down to safety using a rope. He began lowering his friend down the hundred incredibly painful metres at a time.

At first, things went well. But then, after one particular drop, Simon got no sound or signal back from Joe. Without knowing it, in the pitch black of the night, Simon had lowered his friend over the edge of a deep crevasse . Hanging over the cliff, Joe's fingers were so frostbitten that he was unable to climb back up the rope. | 5 | |
Both climbers were too far away from each other to communicate. Simon held on to the rope for over an hour, trying to hold Joe's weight on the other end. But his strength grew weaker and weaker, and he felt himself being slowly pulled down towards the edge of the crevasse.

Simon knew he could not hold onto the rope forever without being pulled to his death himself. So, shaking with cold, he made the painful decision - later strongly criticised by some other mountaineers - to save his own life. He took a knife and cut the rope that tied him to his friend.| 6 | | But miraculously, Joe was not killed by his fall! He was badly injured, close to death in fact, and he had no food or water... but he was alive! And he was determined not to die alone!|7 | | It took him four days. Joe's great courage and extraordinary determination saved him.

If you want to learn more about Simon and Joe's extraordinary tale of adventure and survival, you can read Joe Simpson's book 'Touching the Void'. A film of the same name has also been made based on Joe's book!

1 a large, deep crack in thick ice or rock


4  Use a dictionary to help you explain the words/phrases in bold.



5  In pairs, use a dictionary to help you choose the odd word which does not fit in each of the sentences (1-10). Add one more word to each group.

1 She cut her finger/bone/big toe/leg and now it's bleeding.

2  She tripped over the hosepipe yesterday and badly bruised her  ee/arm/shin/muscle.

3  Tom broke his toe/arm/leg/lip yesterday.

4  My grandma recently fell down the stairs and fractured her llarbone/throat/skull/hip.

5  Oh no, I think I've sprained my waist/ankle/ wrist/back!

6  I've got a stiff neck/shoulder/leg/heel.

7  I think I've done something to my back/ thumb/knee/hair.

8  Amy scratched her arm/face/brain/leg really badly while she was cutting the roses.

9   I've got a swollen lip/head/ankle/foot. He hurt his nail/head/neck/back in the car accident.

6  Choose the correct words, then check in a dictionary.

1    My eye really pains/hurts!
2    I've got a(n) nagging/excruciating pain in my shoulder. It's not serious, but it won't go away.
3    Andy is still in harsh/severe pain with that awful football injury/wound.
4    Ouch! This bruise is really painful/hurtful!
5    Brian had to be cured/treated for frostbite after his climbing expedition.
6    We had a slim/narrow escape when our car skidded on ice.
7    Ann had some internal/inside bleeding after the accident.
8    By the time the ambulance arrived, the boy was unconscious/subconscious.


7   a  Listen and read the text again. Do you think Simon made the right decision? What would you have done? Why? Discuss in pairs.

b  In groups of three, take the roles of an interviewer, Simon and Joe and prepare questions and answers for a radio interview. Record your interview and play it to the class.


8  Portfolio: Imagine you are Joe. Write a paragraph describing what happened and how you felt during your journey down the mountain to safety (80-100 words).

9  Think !  Do you agree with the statement?

! Words of Wisdom

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

                                                                                      (Andre Gide, French writer)

Английский язык. 11 класс : учеб. для общеобразоват. учреждений / [О.В. Афанасьева, Дж.Дули, И.В. Михеева и др.]. - 2-е изд., доп. и перераб. - М.: Express Publishing : Просвещение, 2009. - 244 с. : ил. - (Английский в фокусе).

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