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Andy Kirkpatrick


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26 Apr 16 // Dark Materials

One of Us Must Know

Sometimes words rattle – no – not words, something else: a mixture of things: thoughts, ideas, memories, things that fire, that tumble, that rumble, on and on and on.  Such things – whatever they are – come loose inside a head sometimes, rattle like a stone in a shoe.  When they do it’s best not to let them rub you raw, but just write them out. I drive across a great..... READ

Slowed to a stop
22 Apr 2016

Slowed to a stop

I’m heading home on Sunday, pretty much on the go for the last six weeks - six weeks that feels like twelve.  Going away is always good, but sometimes going home is better, this being one of..... READ

Marginal Gains
20 Apr 2016

Marginal Gains

Someone asked me the other day about how to speed up their climbing, looking for one or two major tips that would see them half their climbing time (vital for long routes).  My answer was that..... READ

The next time we meet
14 Apr 2016

The next time we meet

I had an email a few weeks ago from one of my oldest friends: Chantelle, one of the wildest people I think I’ve ever met, a supernova of a human being. She emailed me a link to a story..... READ

When to shit your pants
13 Apr 2016

When to shit your pants

Thanks for your email Matt.  If you’d asked me this twenty years ago, when I first really got into hard climbing, a time when 9mm carabiners often broke in a hard fall, ice axe picks and..... READ

Draws
11 Apr 2016

Draws

Forums can be great places to discover little jems and jewels from experiences you had, sometimes things that help you on your way next time round, others that just make you laugh. I found this one..... READ

Talent for the price of salt
10 Apr 2016

Talent for the price of salt

This site gets over 40,000 visits a month, has 500 blog posts and countless articles amassed over twenty years of banging out content,  pieces now read hundreds of thousands of times since they..... READ

A Grain of Happness
08 Apr 2016

A Grain of Happness

Have you ever been to Stonehenge? (I can never say that word without the word sounding all Nigal Tufnel in my head).  It’s a place everyone should visit, a great place to find your place, to..... READ

No Better Knot
03 Apr 2016

No Better Knot

Vanessa woke me, the pre dawn summit light creeping in around my hat, head stuck under the edge of our home made two person sleeping bag, the material damp from our shared breathing and sock smelly..... READ

Beam Me Up
07 Mar 2016

Beam Me Up

People often ask me ‘what’s the most important piece of gear you need’, which is always a difficult question.  The old answer for winter climbing would be the ice axe, as with it you can..... READ

Running Away Together
28 Feb 2016

Running Away Together

I feel like a tramp.  Worse still I look like a tramp, by which I mean I smell like a tramp.  The laces of my shoes are undone (haven’t done them up for a week), and have slipped half..... READ

Active Layers Question
27 Feb 2016

Active Layers Question

Hi Calum Your ‘active’ layer for alpine climbing is there for two reason, the primarily one to keep you ‘comfortable’ (I’ll address comfort below) and to keep the sun off you. plus look..... READ

Getting Clean
16 Feb 2016

Getting Clean

Someone emailed me today from Norway, were the three part TV program has just aired about my Antartica trip in 2014. There question was a simple one, but also one that few people actually ask,..... READ

Morning before valentines
13 Feb 2016

Morning before valentines

We lay in bed still hot And I tell you that there is no such thing as love as I stare up at the ceiling. You close your eyes. No love, not like in cards or poems or a sacred word people dare not say,..... READ

Rabbit Stories
11 Feb 2016

Rabbit Stories

How real do you think you are? How much of you is a story, how much is true? Have you ever heard the story about the rabbit and the scorpion? In this story a rabbit comes across a scorpion beside a..... READ

A mile further down the road
29 Jan 2016

A mile further down the road

As usual when someone dies somewhere cold or steep my phone and inbox fills up with messages, pinging in from radio, TV and the papers, wanting an opinion on the tragedy of someone else’s..... READ

What’s writing about?
24 Jan 2016

What’s writing about?

For me writing is more music than maths, more magic than grammar, it’s as free as I can make it in order to make it free.  I re-read what I write and it makes me sick, like reading out my last..... READ

VBL Socks
20 Jan 2016

VBL Socks

Vapour barrier liner socks or VBL Socks (or just VB) are often seen as being some strange and obscure technique use solely for use by those at the very extreme end of adventure, primarily people..... READ

Fragments
13 Jan 2016

Fragments

Was asked to write a long list of ideas of thoughts and ideas for Rock & Ice’s ‘What I Learned’ column a few months back, the result of which is in the latest issue.  When asked to..... READ

Hats
10 Jan 2016

Hats

I was over at the Montane office this week doing a day of design work, talking to the design team (1 guy, 2 woman) about current gear and future designs.  I always enjoy these meetings, even if..... READ

Normality of tragedy
09 Jan 2016

Normality of tragedy

I clicked onto the Alpinist website on Tuesday night, one of those ‘screensaver’ sites you visits when your mind goes blank and you need something to do, clicking on Tumblr, BBC news or UKclimbing..... READ