In Storms of Silence Joe Simpson recalls the severe snowstorm which put an end to an attempt with four others on Gangchempo and the infection which forced him to abandon the climb on Cho Oyu in tibet. During that expedition he has a disturbing encounter with a party of political refugees and a 4-year-old boy fleeing across the Tibetan border. He becomes obsessed with stories of Chinese brutality in the old world Tibet they overran by force 40 years ago. He also begins to question the ethic of playing rich men's games in Third World countries, contributing little to the local people who endure a fearful struggle to survive. Oppression abroad makes him see mindless violence in his home town of Sheffield in a new light. The books ends with his first trip to the Andes in Peru since Touching the Void.