47 pages 1 hour read

Piers Paul Read


Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1974

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Parts 13-15

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 13 Summary

The night of December 20 was the “lowest ebb” (180) for the survivors at the crash site. They worry that the expedition has been unsuccessful. The next day, Carlitos Paez is struck by the sensation that the expedition has been successful. He only tells Fito about his gut instinct. The survivors smoke their dwindling supply of cigarettes and wait for the time to pass. That night, after prayers, Daniel Fernandez makes a similar pronouncement. He also thinks the expedition has been successful. The next morning they hear reports about Canessa and Parrado on the radio. While they do not want to get their hopes up again, the news seems impossible to deny. They smoke special cigars that are being saved until Christmas and clean themselves up. They decide against burying the bodies of the cannibalized people. They comb their hair and change into their least filthy clothes.

Yet the helicopters do not arrive as quickly as expected. The survivors wait for hours until the sound eventually emerges over the mountain. The helicopters find them, and the survivors see Parrado sitting inside one of the cabins gesturing to them. The helicopters send down supplies and drop off two medics.