47 pages 1 hour read

Piers Paul Read


Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1974

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Parts 10-12

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 10 Summary

On December 16, Canessa and Parrado ascend the mountain and aim for a valley on the other side. Their descent on the other side is difficult. Parrado tries to toboggan down a slope but struggles to control himself and crashes into a snowdrift. They reach the bottom of the mountain at noon of the sixth day of their journey. At the bottom of the mountain is a valley which they hope to follow to civilization. Canessa prays while he walks and struggles to keep up with Parrado. They make camp and set off again the next day. As Canessa continues to struggle, he imagines himself walking on the streets of Montevideo.

The two men reach the valley where the snow melts away and becomes a river. The valley is filled with flowers, birds, and lizards. Canessa and Parrado fall to their knees and pray. They rest a short while then follow the river along the valley. Canessa has to double back after leaving behind his sunglasses, and when he rejoins Parrado their journey is interrupted by a cliff in their path. They cross the river with great difficulty and then decide to rest. Canessa thinks he sees cows in a distant field, but it may be a mirage.