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29 November 2009

DAS Is Skinny

 Hi Andy, I was reading an old article in High where you suggested an optimum outfit for alpine winter was shelled microfleece (e.g. vapour-rise), shelled pile (e.g. buffalo) and a duvet on top (DAS or similar).   At the time, the likes of the DAS Parka, Montane Bivvy, Lowe Alpine Heatseeker, etc. all had had 250-300g of their own-brand insulation.   The latest version of the DAS though has 170g Primaloft insulation. (Similiar to...

Get My Ass in Gear!

18 November 2009

Book: Get My Ass in Gear!

I’ve been writing a technical book on pegs for a couple of months now, kind of an extended article covering everything you could ever wish to know about pegs (for winter, alpine, big wall and trad).  So far it’s about 15,000 plus words long.  And yes that IS a lot of words about pegs.  What I set out to do was wring out every...


11 November 2009

Technique : Nodrop

Hi Andy,   Great info as usual!  I’ve just started leading multi pitch ice and have loved going leashless.  Having some sort of lanyard is a great option, but I’d like to avoid more gear hooked or tied to the front of my harness.  What is your opinion of just carrying a spare tool?  What style of tool would you pick (I’ve talked to some...

Winter Strides

08 November 2009

Gear: Winter Strides

Hi I like my Paramo Smock and intend to use this in Scotland, I have been looking at the Paramo Aspira Salopettes as they seem warm, rugged and comfortable. Also been considering something more the opposite like the Mountain Equipment Karakorum pants. They are tough and waterproof but a bit crisp packet like. Any thoughts between the two generic...

Ten ideas on how to hone you alpine psyche

04 November 2009

Technique : Ten ideas on how to hone you alpine psyche

I was emailed by a climber this week asking if I had any ideas on improving your mental attitude for alpine climbing, which I guess means “how do you feel less worried about hurting yourself and push your limit”.  So here’s a brief run down of ideas on how to make you feel Silva Karo. 1.  Don’t have kids I struggle with my...

slime time

07 May 2009

Opinion: slime time

Spent an interesting few days over in north wales this week, battling the rain and gales with a freelance writer working for Trail magazine called Ben Winston.  We were doing a piece on linking together long scrambles with a bivy in the middle, sort of alpine style climbing, but in the UK.  One idea was to do a 1000 metres of scrambling,...

Writing Books - what I wished I’d known

08 March 2009

Opinion: Writing Books - what I wished I’d known

A few days ago I got an email from a guy writing a book and looking for advice, and being a new author I thought I’d blog about the things I wished I’d know from the start. So here are a list of random thoughts - hopefully they may help any authors out there. On writing Writing is not a talent - it’s a skill, and can be learnt by practice...

Staying Safe

28 February 2009

Opinion: Staying Safe

Maybe it’s living with someone was was paralyzed in a climbing accident, reading the emails sent to her by climbers who have also recently been injured, or maybe it’s listening to stories of near missis, close calls, and one or two stories of those that didn’t make it, but over the last few months I’ve been thinking about the consequences...

Best Glove system?

22 February 2009

Gear: Best Glove system?

There is a great deal of gear that’s crucial when it comes to alpine and winter climbing, in fact due to it’s nature - you only carry what is absolutely essential - you could say that it’s all crucial.  But when it comes down to technical climbing there isn’t anything that makes or breaks a route than hand-wear.  There are reams...

Signature Product

09 January 2009

Opinion: Signature Product

I was looking for a machete this week for Patagonia as I’d heard there’s quite a bit of bushwacking, finding places to camp as you kayak down the coast.  Then Ben Saunders emailed me this link to the signature Bear Grylls knife from Bayley Knifes.  Now everyone from Ray Mears to Lofty Wiseman has these signature products these days,...

The Bad taste

07 January 2009

Opinion: The Bad taste

Back at home and feeling the cold more than most I think (got the usual sore fingertips). Last night a freind emailed me a link to Mark Reeves Blog, were he talked about the Eiger trip, which has led to some interesting thoughts and emails. here’s what Mark wrote:- Just before Christmas Andy Kirkpatrick set off on to solo the Harlin Route...

Down on the Eiger

06 January 2009

Opinion: Down on the Eiger

Back on flat the flat again, and I think it’s time to do some explaining, both about the Eiger attempt and how I set about doing it (blog, filming etc), as it’s kicked up quite a lot of interest on various websites - primarily on UKC. First off lets get one thing clear - I don’t consider rope soloing the Eiger direct any big thing beyond...

Dead reconing

04 January 2009

Opinion: Dead reconing

At the start of the hard climbing. Due to the deep snow and too much kit I’m totally spent. Got three emails from my son Ewen asking where I am and another from Karen hoping I’m safe. I think a phone a bad idea. As is having people who love you if your going to try stupid shit like this. Starting this morning I put my solo belay device...

F##king f##ked

03 January 2009

Opinion: F##king f##ked

Climbed 250 metres today. Boring/scary snow then 2 pitches of undrytoolable rock and thin 80 deg ice. Hauling my bag took a lot out of me and wasted a lot of time. Finished in the dark below the gallery windows, using every trick in the book to build an achor. Hope tomorrow’s a bit easier.  [Posted with iBlogger from my iPhone]


02 January 2009

Opinion: Harlin

Day ended better than it started. Hardly slept becouse of the avalaunches (a part of my brain didn’t believe I was safe). Meant to start early, but hung on till 12 just in case any slopes went. One did. Started up jugging my fixed rope and hauling my haul bag as I went. Bloody hard work and I can see why ulie steck made such a big deal about...

Bad start to the new year

01 January 2009

Opinion: Bad start to the new year

What a night!It had been snowing lighly since midday yesterday, then at about 9pm the avalaunches started. You could hear them coming from a long way off, sounding like a liquid train. They were funneling down either side of my bivy and I was congratulating myself on sitting myself up below an overhang. That was until I hot hit by one at around...

Eiger limestone

31 December 2008

Opinion: Eiger limestone

Had a terrible night - probably due to being knackered. Kept waking up with a song in my head (common stress tick). And the usual wanting to piss (now my cups broken I dont have a pot to piss in. Worst off all the anchor i’d secured the bivy tent to kept ripping - plus I has the Zip of stones coming down all night (it does seem very...

below the Harlin

31 December 2008

Opinion: below the Harlin

Finally bivied below the first pitch of the harlin (eiger direct). Feel tottaly bolloxed after a real slog of an approach with 70kg of gear (did it in relays, breaking the load into 3 for the 200 metres up to the first real climbing). The face looks amazing and from the bottom you can see right up to the exit cracks on the 38 route. Not been a very...

Eiger dreams

30 December 2008

Opinion: Eiger dreams

So here I am at the eiger at last and it looks just as scary/amazing as last time. Only now I’ve got a haul bag full of currage and anough food for 10+ nights on the wall. Carried in what felt like a 100kg sack close to the base and hopefully will get underway in the morning. I sort of can’t wait![Posted with iBlogger from my iPhone]