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Andy Kirkpatrick


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08 Mar 17 // Movie

Vanessa on the Swing

I found some movie files on my computer the other night, taken on our winter climb of the Nose last year.  In there was the footage of Vanessa doing the King Swing, perhaps the most famous pitch on any big wall anywhere.  On this pitch the leader is usually lowered down the wall (from the Boot flake) on a single rope (no haul line) and with just a number 4 Camalot and a pair of rock..... READ

ejection seat handle
06 Mar 2017

ejection seat handle

The moment I could hold a crayon in my hand I began to make marks.  I sat in my high chair, scribbling away, my art both a mess and a start. I loved to draw and so I drew a lot, every spare..... READ

gift of a memory
05 Mar 2017

gift of a memory

Of all Bowie’s album tracks the one I love the best, the one that stands out, is Speed of Life from his album Low.  Each time I hear it - and I’ve heard it many, many times - it comes..... READ

Missing Out
01 Mar 2017

Missing Out

Hi Will Yosemite big walls - and by Yosemite I mean El Cap, which is THE big wall to climb - can be roughly broken down into three types: - Pure free climbing (West Face, Free rider, El Nino etc) -..... READ

Portaledge Tie-ins
01 Mar 2017

Portaledge Tie-ins

Hi Daniel A lot of people stress about this leading up to their first big wall, having the idea they need a tight belay point at all times (“What if I fall out of bed?”), but once on the..... READ

UK Nose Training
17 Feb 2017

UK Nose Training

Hi Ross I’ve climbed a lot of walls with people who were either novice big wall climbers or simply novice climbers so I really understand where you’re at.  When I climbed the Nose last March..... READ

Avoiding the Canvas
16 Feb 2017

Avoiding the Canvas

Hi Scott I’ve often had the same problem in the past.  I’d go hard at training for an upcoming trip (usually due to leaving it late to get fit), but be blazing after two or three weeks,..... READ

Scrambling self belay
15 Feb 2017

Scrambling self belay

Hi Pete The second you go from walking, which I would generalise as being medium to low angled ground (which can zip zag up to medium to steep terrain), to actually climbing (that’s moving using..... READ

words like morphine
04 Feb 2017

words like morphine

Last week I deleted all my Facebook accounts.  Before I did, I wondered about downloading the archive of messages and comments, of which there were many hundreds if not thousands, giving me a..... READ

Dog
01 Feb 2017

Dog

Stimulus. The ball is thrown. A dog that barks is afraid. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell? “How do you train a dog” I ask as we walk, this farm girl no doubt a pro.  “I have a shock..... READ

Jedynka
01 Feb 2017

Jedynka

I seem to have a lot of pegs, A LOT of pegs, big pegs, small pegs, smaller pegs, and pegs so small I might not even have any anymore.  I’ve got pegs for big walls, alpine routes, winter routes:..... READ

Winter Huts
31 Jan 2017

Winter Huts

Hi Matt Most alpine huts have a winter room, designed to save anyone who finds themselves caught out.  These can vary from just a room with some blankets and some bunk beds, to one that has a..... READ

A crying girl
30 Jan 2017

A crying girl

Tears roll down her face as I write, about things of no real importance, her one table away, this girl crying.  She sits opposite her boyfriend, white cups held tight in their hands, held tight..... READ

Bivvy Bag/Mat question
29 Jan 2017

Bivvy Bag/Mat question

Hi Ant Hope this answer’s not too long and rambling! When breathable bivvy bags first appeared in the 1980’s (before that there had been nylon, silk and cotton bags), they were made from..... READ

Don’t take selfies.
26 Jan 2017

Don’t take selfies.

Yesterday someone told me about how they’d had to attend a meeting in order to write up a new mission statement. “Don’t you have one?” I asked, to which she replied, “We’ve got two..... READ

25 Jan 2017

The Old Lie

People keep asking me how our Psychovertical film is coming along, well the Yosemite stuff is in the can, and I hear the team did a great job.  Next month, while I’m over on the UK to do a..... READ

Rope Cutting Death
24 Jan 2017

Rope Cutting Death

Hi Daniel Every climber knows about John Harlin’s rope breaking as he jumared up it on the Eiger direct, the image of him falling and falling stuck in your head as you jug!  I guess it’s for..... READ

Ultimate MTN Phone
23 Jan 2017

Ultimate MTN Phone

I once ended up sitting next to an ex Royal Marine at corporate gig, a big guy who’d fought in the Falklands war.  I’m not sure what unit he’d been in, but he seemed to have spent most of..... READ

Roger Godfrin
20 Jan 2017

Roger Godfrin

I hate to be distracted when I write, when I’ve got the idea for a story, this one about a boy who didn’t do as he was told.  And today, sitting writing this I was so interrupted. It began..... READ

Pied d’elephant
16 Jan 2017

Pied d’elephant

Hi Tom A PD (Pied d’elephant) is one of those pieces of gear that sounds amazing, half a sleeping bag matched up with a down jacket replace a sleeping bag, half the weight of a standard bag,..... READ

Sportiva TX4
13 Jan 2017

Sportiva TX4

When I was child my mum had a lot of issues with my footwear, not due to me having strange feet (although I do), but due to the rate at which I wore out my shoes (and everything else I wore). ..... READ