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Andy Kirkpatrick


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05 Jul 17 7 Minute Read time // portraits

Bill Gordon

In the credits of your life, scrolling slow as you breath your last, who would appear there, writ in your misty mind? Star billing would be reserved for the stars, those you loved the most, those that loved you back, thick and thin and all that, that gave life its weight and value and meaning. Next would come the friends — and enemies — each important in their own way, who drew tears down..... READ

10 Things
14 Jun 2017

10 Things

... I wished I knew (before heading up Half Dome RNWF) I had a facebook message this week from a guy called Blair about climbing Half Dome. I get a lot of emails like this, this blog some tinder for..... READ

knot to question why?
12 Jun 2017

knot to question why?

I saw an old post from 2012 by Outside reappear a few weeks ago on Facebook titled “Bye bye bowline”, reigniting a pretty common debate on the knots safety: whether we should stop..... READ

An Education
07 Jun 2017

An Education

I once met a man who you might call an industrialist.  Some might call him one of the ‘bosses’, maybe even a ‘fat cat’ or part of the ‘elite’ if you saw him..... READ

brother to all climbers
06 Jun 2017

brother to all climbers

Email from me to Alex Honnold dated 14/06/2012 Hi Alex Many moons ago I was asked to pick up an award for you at the Kendal Mountain Film festival for your first film.  I can remember watching..... READ

Two into seven billion
22 May 2017

Two into seven billion

He lays in the grass, beneath the route, me belaying, Vanessa above, telling me about his thoughts on future children his still fresh marriage might one day bring. Like all young, maybe dad’s,..... READ

Going to the bathroom
16 May 2017

Going to the bathroom

My big wall book is coming along well, and with 21 days to go it’s already on 154%, which is amazing.  A few people have asked if Higher Education will be just ‘another big wall..... READ

Party Tricks
13 May 2017

Party Tricks

While writing Higher Education again and again I come up with problems that in the past had needed solving, then written out what I did to solve them.  One example was how to lower out a super..... READ

Petzl Grigri +
12 May 2017

Petzl Grigri +

I’m not a sport climber, in fact I suffer from a lack of motivation when I find myself at single pitch sports crag, a mix of not being strong enough, and bolts not offering that scratch to my..... READ

Imperfect Brother
10 May 2017

Imperfect Brother

I drive up through the Lakes’ winding roads, sunny for a change, traffic shunting along in the usual dribs and drabs of moving. I turn right, up the hill and through the gates of the small house..... READ

New Big Wall climbing Book
07 May 2017

New Big Wall climbing Book

So you want to climb a big wall? Do you want to climb a big wall, wake with a start in the dark clipped to a ledge the size of a dustbin lid? Do you have dreams of nailing pin scar cracks a..... READ

Extra nuts
05 May 2017

Extra nuts

Hi Jack First off consider how much more experienced you are partners are now, all those routes climbed and epics lived through, how experience and age gives you a steady and clear foresight to..... READ

Staying dry when wet
08 Apr 2017

Staying dry when wet

Hi Tomer The original softshell idea was modelled on what the Inuits wore for centuries, being a sort of synthetic animal skin, the pile being the fur that holds the warmth both wet and dry, and the..... READ

Hot Stuff
04 Apr 2017

Hot Stuff

I know I’ve told this story before, even though I’m not sure if it’s true, but The North Face once asked Mick Fowler to design them the ultimate mountaineering pack, Mick a man perhaps more..... READ

The Water Margin
30 Mar 2017

The Water Margin

Hi When it comes to climbing big walls one of the killers is water.  Take too much and the weight can crush your climb, take too little and thirst will crush you!  The issue of how much..... READ

A Woodland Scene
24 Mar 2017

A Woodland Scene

In 2006 I skied across Greenland, a vast white nothingness, the only thing to see, the occasional plane crossing above, just the pick of a pin upon the blue negative of the blank below.  Each day..... READ

Alpine Rice Cakes
22 Mar 2017

Alpine Rice Cakes

A normal calorie intake for a man is 2500kcal and for a woman it’s 2000kcal, but that’s a normal person going about a sedate and low activity life.  Add in cold and you can increase that by..... READ

Dogs eaten by the Dead
21 Mar 2017

Dogs eaten by the Dead

In 1958 Mao began his great leap forward.  He began by prohibiting farm ownership, bringing all food production under state control, as well as all other means of production.  Farms became..... READ

The Haunted Cliff
14 Mar 2017

The Haunted Cliff

I once had a friend who told the story of a haunted cliff.  He and his wife were kayaking to Greenland from Ellesmere island, along the coast until they could make the sea crossing between the..... READ

Andy Fanshawe
11 Mar 2017

Andy Fanshawe

Dear Andy We haven’t met. I was one of Andy Fanshawe’s regular climbing partners. It is sadly 25 years since he died next Tuesday 14th March. I was just doing some research on the net..... READ

Eyelet Question
10 Mar 2017

Eyelet Question

Eyelets are always an issue on all boots, especially hooks or anything with moving parts, as climbing is very destructive (one reason why it’s vital to always wear gaiters with such boots).  One..... READ