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 to put some articles together so I could put together some stuff for the anniversary and I found your article about run-outs. I agree with everything you say - needless run outs add up to needless risk. Sadly, Andy always did this sort of thing on relatively easy ground whatever we said to him and as you say the consequences were, tragically, terminal.

Just one thing - the rushing to meet Blue Peter is a complete myth - our meeting with them about our K2 trip was the following day - the Sunday.

That night we were just sitting in the pub in Braemar waiting for him and Ulric long into the evening. I had been on the Dubh Loch that day but backed off in atrocious weather conditions. Andy sadly just ploughed on with Eagle Ridge when, frankly, he should have left it alone. Just like he had that sad day on the Ben when he and John Taylor were avalanched down Five Finger Gully.

A brilliant climber, my best friend, a brilliant bloke but not the best judge of a mountain.

Kindest regards

Mark Dixon

Find out more about Andy at the Andy Fanshawe Trust website (image from


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Andy Kirkpatrick

Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.

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