Unknown Pleasures

“Stories that will terrify, stories that will make you chuckle, and stories that will make you confused, angry or even make you cry.” Collected writing on life, death, climbing and everything in between.

Hardcopy

£24/$29.25

An old school printed book.

Digital

£10.44

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Apple iBook

£10.99

Read on Apple iBooks.

Unknown Pleasures is a collection of works by the climber and award-winning author Andy Kirkpatrick.

Obsessed with climbing and addicted to writing, Kirkpatrick is a master storyteller. Covering subjects as diverse as climbing, relationships, fatherhood, mental health and the media, it is easy to read, sometimes difficult to digest, and impossible to forget.

One moment he is attempting a rare solo ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall, the next he is surrounded by the TV circus while climbing Moonlight Buttress with the BBC’s The One Show presenter Alex Jones. Yosemite’s El Capitan is ever-present; he climbs it alone – strung out for weeks, and he climbs it with his thirteen-year-old daughter Ella – her first big wall.

His eye for observation and skilled wordcraft make for laugh-out-loud funny moments, while in more hard-hitting pieces he is unflinchingly honest about past and present love and relationships, and pulls no punches with an alternative perspective of our place in the world.

Unknown Pleasures is Andy Kirkpatrick at his brilliant best.

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-10: 978-1-911342-72-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-911342-72-4
Publisher: VP Publishing
Pages: 256
Amazon Kindle iBooks

Review

The first Andy Kirkpatrick book I read was ‘Psychovertical’ (winner of 2008 Boardman Tasker Award) where I found it strange that so much emphasis was given to aid climbing, and then ‘Cold Wars’ (winner of 2012 Boardman Tasker Award) which concentrated on only a short period of Andy’s career. The first attempted to answer the question: Why do we climb? and the second asked: What is the price? These left an autobiographical gap that is now filled by ‘Unknown Pleasures’ referring to his evolving beliefs, raising questions about his limitations, and acknowledging feelings about being at the edge of himself.

Andy Kirkpatrick is an accomplished, world leading, obsessive climber who thrives on difficult and demanding routes, and as a natural raconteur he has made a name for himself being an entertaining and inspirational speaker, and an analytical commentator on many matters. The sub-title of ‘Unknown Pleasures’ says it all: ‘Collected Writing On Life, Death, Climbing and Everything In Between’. The book is made up of thirty-two entertaining, exciting and enlightening anecdotal pieces, interspersed with three musings Andy describes as ‘Bad Poetry’. Andy confesses to his restricted education and to diagnosis of dyslexia, yet his writing style is raw and full of humour. He acknowledges he doesn’t know much about grammar, but this is compensated by an ability to draw and his writings are supported by his own excellent graphic black and white sketches. In addition there is an introspective epilogue with decidedly unique insights, and there are helpful ‘Notes’ presenting background to Andy’s accounts, and providing a revealing study of the man.

Andy Kirkpatrick is renowned for enduring epic winter climbs and for tackling big walls, but perhaps the extent of such activities is not fully appreciated. It is not easy to link Andy’s survival of freezing bivouacs to pleasure, yet numerous instances of repeated attempts on the likes of the Eiger or the Dru are embraced by ‘Unknown Pleasures’. Also it may come as a surprise to some readers just how much big wall climbing Andy has experienced. In a particularly nerve wracking courting of disaster in ‘Edge of Myself’ he climbs a route that at the time was his thirty-fourth route up El Captain! It is not practicable to comment in detail in a review of collected writings but it should be noted, as with other of his accounts, that Andy did this solo. A further matter of note is Andy’s choice of climbing companions, where often he climbs with novices, combines with non-climbers, or takes a TV personality, or his thirteen years old daughter up El Cap! His rewards from climbing are not merely from risky achievements; they seem to intensify by creating difficulties for himself, and certainly this makes good reading.

However ‘Unknown’ Pleasures’ is not just a collection of tales for climbers. Andy expands from the book’s main section on climbing to recount various stories, homilies, myths and dreams with regard to relationships, propaganda, news, internet and the like, and he incorporates subjects including death, war, conflict, helplessness and disobedience. From embracing family and personalities with commentaries on many issues Andy ends with an epilogue: ‘What I’ve Learned’, where he exposes his principles, attitudes and thoughts, ranging across the likes of hopes, beliefs, honesty, love, happiness, anger and fear. Always Andy writes with frankness, and he displays a knack of addressing non-climbers to pull them, along with climbers, into his world of risk-taking and to share moments of doubt, together with extending limits and discovering pleasures. I award a 5-star rating for ‘Unknown Pleasures’, and I wish Andy Kirkpatrick all the best for a third Boardman Tasker Award.

D. Elliot

HIGHER EDUCATION

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 kilometre up, or maybe hand jamming your way to victory?
Have you read other books, watched endless videos, asked around but still don’t have a bloody clue how to go about it?
Yes you can climb 5.12 but you’ve been shut down by hauling?
Maybe you’ve never even set foot on a big wall because the weight of questions cannot be resolved, even though you’ve read all the books.
If only there was a way to long jump some of that learning curve….

Hardcopy

£41/$55

An old school printed book.

Digital

£40.00

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Behind the book

Last year, sat on the El Cap’s East Ledges descent, someone asked me how many days I’d spent up on big walls in my life. I did a quick count, my brain a bit fried after nineteen days soloing South Seas, thinking about the walls and faces, totting up the numbers on battered fingers. The rough answer was about three hundred days, maybe over a year if I included bivys and camps at the bases of walls. If I threw in just ‘being in the mountains’ then it would be twice as long. “You must understand rock at the granular level?” they said. I thought back to the last two weeks, where placing a cam or hook one millimetre either way would see me fall, taking a whip that may yank out piece after carefully placed piece, my body free-falling down the wall. “Yes - you’re probably right”.

I’ve climbed walls fast, sped up El Cap in a day, but really I’m a man who likes to take his time, believing in the Karma Sutra’s dictum that, “Whatever you’re doing, do it at half the speed”. When you take your time you have time to consider things, to get things right, to think of better ways rather than simply ‘the way’. Learning all the techniques necessary to climb big walls has become as much the kick of climbing as the climbing itself, to be able to scale not only clean and sunny walls, but cold and chossy ones too, any new wall just an excuse to learn new skills.

This obsession with climbing big walls has seen me spending many months living the high life, from thirty+ ascents of El Cap (including 5 solos, 2 one day ascents, 1 winter ascent), routes on the Troll Wall, Dru, Eiger, places like Patagonia, Zion, Alaska and Antarctica, five failures for every summit.

My solo climbs led to a lot of questions from climbers about that black art, and so led to the writing of Me, Myself and I, one of the few big wall soloing manuals around (maybe the only one?). When I wrote Me, Myself and I, I imagined it so niche that few would buy it, and gave it a heavy price tag to match. In the end I found there were many climbers who wanted this book, a good percentage who went on to solo walls with its help, but also many who just liked to know more stuff about the sport they love. Since then the number of questions about big walls has steadily increased, with at least one person a day asking me how to do something wall related, from small technical details to more expansive questions about motivation and getting it done.

At the moment there are a small number of dedicated big wall books, all excellent, but most were written over twenty years ago, and so tend to feature outdated ideas, advice, or are missing new cutting edge techniques. Another issue is that they tend to be limited in their detail due to the need to keep the book within reasonable cost, meaning the real nitty gritty, the granular stuff, tends to be missing, as books like this need to be sold for about £20, meaning much of the good stuff is left out (a war is won on details!). But climbers love the nitty gritty, like how to remove a beak without breaking it, drilling a rivet or bat hook, how to rig a portaledge in a storm or rig a parachute for a wildness retreat (on that last one, don’t buy a €19 parachute off eBay!). It’s often these little details that make or break a climb, not the big things.

Higher Education

Based on a lifetime of numpties

Higher Education is not only based on my personal learning on many walls, but also from teaching hundreds of climbers how to climb big walls, from 5.14 climbers wanting to free El Cap, to 5.6 climbers who want to frig it all. Being able to take a highly complex set of skills and pass it on helps to create an approach to teaching that makes learning easy(ish), mainly by keeping it simple, and not overloading the pupil. Beyond this I’ve also taken many novice climbers up walls, people who were not even climbers, and taught them the skills to haul, clean and even lead. When you climb with novices, or people who are disabled, children, blind or ginger, you soon learn what’s important and what’s not.

Beyond the basics

This book gives the climber access to all the skills needed to climb anything from alpine peg ladders to trade route walls, as well as jumaring and hauling and all the stuff you need to stay alive, but unlike other books it also goes into the more technical aspects of climbing, the extreme stuff of hooking, pegging, heading and loose and expanding rock.

Beyond the sunny walls

Higher Education is not simply a book looking at sun-drenched Californian walls (the best place to learn), but also colder, more stormy walls, where you may be dealing with ice and snow, killer storms and frigid bivys, where at the end your sleeping bag is more ice than insulation. These aspects of extreme big walling may seem beyond the realms of most end users of this book, but are ‘shitty fan’ concepts that could well prove valuable even on sunny walls!

Just another instruction book?

Higher Education, like Me,Myself & I, is as much a story about big wall climbing as an instruction manual, full of personal stories and stories by others (I’m a big fan of learning by story).

Higher Education

Subjects covered

  • Forward by Doug Scott A brief history of big wall climbing
  • Psychology of the wall
  • Psychology of the team
  • Setting goals
  • Free climbing
  • French Free
  • Gorilla Aid
  • Basic Aid
  • Hard Aid
  • Advanced Aid
  • Belays
  • Haul bags
  • Basic Hauling
  • Heavy Hauling
  • Jumaring
  • Fixed Ropes
  • Cams and Nuts
  • Pegging
  • Hooking
  • Heading
  • Bolting
  • Training
  • Fitness and preparation
  • Climbing as a two
  • Climbing as a three
  • Climbing as a four
  • Food & Drink
  • Toilet stuff
  • Alpine bivying
  • Wall bivying
  • Expedition bivying
  • Descent
  • Getting to the wall
  • Soloing*
  • Speed climbing
  • Capsule climbing
  • Siege climbing
  • Rescue Equipment
  • List of climbs

* Me, Myself & I is the most complete book on roped soloing around, and trying to cover soloing in this book would create a monster book, so I’ll only cover the very basics which can be employed by teams on a wall (short fixing, self rescue etc).

Who’s this book for - only aid climbers?

I’d buy this book for a start, but then I would, as I always try and write the types of books I’d like. Beyond that the book is written for both the experienced climber and novice, as well as the armchair big wall climber, who just wants to know about new and strange and exotic climbing techniques. The issues covered will be of great interest to free climbers looking to do new routes in alpine environments, alpinists who want to tackle routes that feature aid climbing, expeditionists who employ fixed ropes, and anyone who needs a bit of motivation for their own seemingly insurmountable objectives.

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-13: 1999700597
Publisher: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Pages: 478
Amazon Kindle

Review

As an aspiring big wall theorist, I was excited when Higher Education showed up on my stoop.

Like all books of technical nature, my first instinct is to quickly peruse the work from cover to cover. What am I getting into? Is this really going to be an improvement over the relatively petite works that proceeded this one?

And with most printed material in this digital age, the most convenient place to do a quick perusal is on the throne while I complete my morning paperwork. Quickly it became apparent that this particular work by Andy is indeed the definition of comprehensive. The layout is well organized, the content current, and the writing good enough. But the depth is truly impressive, I can’t imagine what is missing here. Within minutes, I’d learned a thing or two. There is even a chapter on para issues.

IT IS THAT THOUROUGH!

At this point in my first pass, I realized that a significant time had passed. Standing turned into a desperate act. My feet, completely useless, legs numb as if I’d been hanging in a harness belaying a marathon pitch. The realization I was facing a factor 1 fall onto the bathroom floor due to unresponsive legs was terrifying. What would Andy do? (besides not getting into this position to begin with) Inaction was not an option, I quickly closed the lid and positioned myself back on the throne to regain my composure. I read about getting the team to coordinate these activities as an efficiency tip as the blood flow returned to my lower extremities.

So, what was the point of all that? None really, other than find a comfy spot when you open the book. The book is destined to have the staying power of the Freedom of Hills. It will be THE reference manual for years to come. Well done Andy. And thanks for sharing this incredible amount of knowledge.

Psychovertikal

Die Biografie eines Extremkletterers - und eine grosse Liebesgeschichte: Vom Rand der Gesellschaft in die Randzonen am Berg. Andy Kirkpatricks Biografie erzählt literarisch brillant von seinem extremen Lebensweg, seinen Abenteuern auf den schwierigsten Technorouten der Welt, von seinem Ringen um die Sprache und von der Schwierigkeit, seine Passion und sein Familienleben zu vereinen. Ein unerhört hartes und zartes Buch. Den Rahmen bildet Andy Kirkpatricks Solodurchsteigung der ‘Reticent Wall’, einer der schwierigsten Technorouten am El Capitan im Yosemite Valley. Doch ‘Psychovertikal’ ist mehr als die atemberaubende Schilderung einer Kletterei auf Messers Schneide - es ist die Geschichte einer Selbstfindung auf einem extremen Lebensweg. Sympathisch, ehrlich, intim und glaubwürdig erzählt Andy von seinem Kampf um einen Platz im Leben und um den nächsten Meter Fels.

Hardcopy

£25

An old school printed book.

Digital

£16.99

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Die Biografie eines Extremkletterers - und eine grosse Liebesgeschichte: Vom Rand der Gesellschaft in die Randzonen am Berg. Andy Kirkpatricks Biografie erzählt literarisch brillant von seinem extremen Lebensweg, seinen Abenteuern auf den schwierigsten Technorouten der Welt, von seinem Ringen um die Sprache und von der Schwierigkeit, seine Passion und sein Familienleben zu vereinen. Ein unerhört hartes und zartes Buch. Den Rahmen bildet Andy Kirkpatricks Solodurchsteigung der ‘Reticent Wall’, einer der schwierigsten Technorouten am El Capitan im Yosemite Valley. Doch ‘Psychovertikal’ ist mehr als die atemberaubende Schilderung einer Kletterei auf Messers Schneide - es ist die Geschichte einer Selbstfindung auf einem extremen Lebensweg. Sympathisch, ehrlich, intim und glaubwürdig erzählt Andy von seinem Kampf um einen Platz im Leben und um den nächsten Meter Fels.

Geboren 1971. Er gehört zu den bekanntesten Extremkletterern, Buchautoren und Bergfilmern Englands. Nach einer schwierigen Jugend in einem Armenviertel der Hafenstadt Hull an Englands Ostküste fand er seine Passion als Kletterer und spezialisierte sich auf härteste Winterbesteigungen und Solobegehungen im technischen Stil in den Alpen, im Yosemite Valley und in Patagonien. Der ausgeprägte Legastheniker rang sich seine Texte Wort für Wort ab, sein Erstling «Psychovertical» ist ein großer Erfolg und mit dem «Boardman-Tasker Prize 2008» ausgezeichnet, einem der weltweit renommiertesten Preise für alpine Literatur. Populär ist auch sein Blog auf www.andy-kirkpatrick.com.

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-10: 9783909111725
Publisher: AS Verlag
Amazon Kindle

Kalte Kriege

Mit Cold Wars legt Kirkpatrick nach. Schonungslos und offen rechnet er mit sich und dem Bergsteigen ab. Im Zentrum steht die Schattenseite der leuchtenden Gipfel und grossen Abenteuer: Der immense Preis, der fu776;r das Leben als Extremer zu bezahlen ist als Vater, als Ehemann, als Mensch. Denn auf den wochenlangen Trips zu extremen Routen verlassen ihn die Gedanken nie, dass er die Familie verraet, den Kindern weh tut, sich vielleicht auch ins Verderben stuerzt. Warum er es nicht laesst auch davon handelt das Buch. Die Antwort heisst: atemberaubende Kletterabenteuer, unvergessliche Momente am Berg, Freundschaft. Sprachlich hat sich Kirkpatrick seit “Psychovertikal” weiterentwickelt. Seine Texte sind nichts fu776;r schwache Nerven, sie begeistern, packen, schockieren, stimmen nachdenklich. Lachen und Weinen geben sich die Hand, auch Humor und Philosophie. Die große Buehne für das Leben sind die Berge, und Kirkpatricks Erzaehlungen seiner Abenteuer gehoeren zum Besten und Ehrlichsten, was die derzeitige Alpinliteratur zu bieten hat. Ob es die Schilderung des Beinahe-Erfrierens in einem Haengebiwak an einer winterlichen Wand in Patagonien ist oder der Feuereifer des Ringens in einem der schwierigsten Bigwalls der Alpen: die Worte fuehren in eine Welt jenseits der Felsen, in die von Wollen und Scheitern, Halten und Lassen, vom Glueck der Gipfel und der Angst, nie mehr wiederzukehren, seinen Sohn und seine Tochter nie wieder zu sehen. Und so kommt es, dass zwischen den Bergtexten Erzählungen des Alltags stehen: Ausfluege mit den Kindern, ein Fahrradunfall, Weihnachten. Dass auch dort mehr improvisiert als geplant wird und alles anders kommt als gedacht, ahnt jeder, der Kirkpatrick kennen gelernt hat. So viel Persoenliches hat man zwischen Fels und Mensch selten gespürt.

Hardcopy

€29

An old school printed book.

Psychovertikal: Wenn Klettern zum Leben wird
Vielleicht ist dem Ein oder Anderen von euch dieses Buch ein Begriff. Es kam im Jahr 2010 erstmalig in deutscher Sprache heraus – war ein Bestseller und nun hat der Autor Andy Kirkpatrick ein neues Buch herausgebracht: Titel „Kalte Kriege“

Das erste Buch war erst einmal eine Biografie – auch nicht klassisch, wie man sie sich vorstellt, sondern halt extrem, wie der Mensch und Autor persönlich.

Im nun zweiten Buch und der Fortsetzung des ersten, das laut eigener Angaben wenige Stunden nach dem Enden des ersten Buches beginnt, beschreibt der Autor noch detaillierter, was seine Erlebnisse sind, aber nicht nur das, sondern vordringlich auch seine Gedanken, das, was ihn bewegt am Berg und in der Vorbereitung. Mit „nur“ 29 Jahren schreibt er sozusagen seine zweite Biografie, schreibt diese noch detaillierter als die erste und bringt sehr detailliert zur Geltung, wie extrem sein Leben ist, welcher auf die technisch schwierigsten Routen ausgerichtet ist, die die Bergwelt zu bieten hat…

Übersetzt wurde das von keinem Geringeren als Robert Steiner, der selbst eng mit diesem Sport behaftet ist und selbst auch schriftstellerisch in dieser Richtung tätig ist.

Das Buch ist in der Ich-Schreibweise geschrieben.

Es bringt auch sehr gut und verständlich rüber, wie der Mensch Kirkpatrick als Familienvater sein Leben in dieser extremen Welt betrachtet. Er ist ja nun nicht für sich allein verantwortlich, sondern hat als Familienvater Verantwortung für seine Familie, die natürlich möchte, dass er wieder zurück kommt von seinen Touren.

Die einzelnen Kapitel sind sehr intensiv und offen/ehrlich geschrieben, sie geben bildhaft unter Zuhilfenahme zahlreicher Adjektive wider, was dem Autor widerfahren ist. Sie zeigen nicht nur die Schönheit der Berge und dieses Sports, sondern unbedingt auch die Gefahren, die lauern, denen sich der Extremsportler ständig aussetzt, die er einschätzen muss …

Dieses Buch ist nicht nur für Bergfreaks interessant und spannend finde ich, dieses Buch ist einfach genial, weil es vor Leben nur so sprüht, weil es authentisch ist und nur allzu menschlich. Auch wird von Freundschaft geschrieben, die natürlich in diesem Sport mitunter sehr wichtig ist, auch für das nackte Überleben …

Die Schreibweise ist real und oftmals echt schockierend. Der Autor nimmt kein Blatt vor den Mund, auch wenn es mal haarig hergeht. Aber gerade das ist es, was – so finde ich – seine Bücher ausmacht, wobei ich sagen möchte, dass dieses zweite Buch fast noch authentischer und bildhafter als das erste ist, wenn das überhaupt möglich ist.

Man fühlt, wenn man liest, als sei man dabei, als würde man selbst die Erfrierungen erleiden und und und …

Aber nicht nur die Bergerfahrungen, sondern auch das ganz „normale“ Familienleben kann man mit dem Autor gemeinsam erleben. Es ist ja so, dass in extreme Situationen oftmals das Leben an einem vorbeirauscht, so erging es dem Autor sicher schon oft, und wir können nun auch erfahren, was ihm dann so durch den Kopf geht und überhaupt, an was er denkt, wenn er so unterwegs ist und auch Sehnsucht nach seinen Kindern und seiner Frau hat. So ist dieses Buch einmal informativ, zum anderen aufrüttelnd, spannend – aber unbedingt auch abwechslungsreich, persönlich und umfassend.

Ich vergebe volle Punktzahl !!!

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-10: 9783906055015
Amazon

Me, Myself & I

Me, Myself & I - the forbidden dark art of roped soloing, for climbers who either need to know in order to make the ultimate climb come true, or those who just like technique ‘nerdiness’.

Hardcopy

£30

An old school printed book.

Apple iBook

$39

Read on Apple iBooks.

PDF

£30

Read on anything.

Me, Myself & I draws on fifteen years of experience on these solo projects, as well as nearly thirty years of general climbing experience, to bring the most specialised big wall instruction book ever written for climbers. Rope soloing will be undertaken by less than 1% of climbers, yet these skills open up the potential for the equivalent of an 'Iron Man' for climbers, to scale the biggest walls - alone and safely.

How this book came about...

Climbers have been asking me for years to write more about the dark art of rope soloing, and I’ve tried to cover some aspects on my blog, plus coached others by email. But what is needed is a more in-depth manual, that covers every aspect of the big wall solo, as well as comprehensive and clear diagrams - something I’ve never been able to do for free content.

What does the book cover?

The book will be by far the most in-depth instructional big wall roped soloing book ever written.

Although aimed at roped soloing, the book will cover many, many subjects that cross over into rock climbing, alpinism and mountaineering - as well as the training and psychology involved, making it relevant to anyone who has an active interest in these areas.

Like many of my books this will not be a dry and dull book, but will try and bring the spirit of big walling into every page, covering what you need to know, as well as my own and others stories to inspire you.

Contents

  • Why solo? (Picking an objective, Strategy and tactics)
  • Psychology
  • Pre-planning
  • Equipment (Specialised Solo belay devices, Adapted solo belay devices, Ropes, bags, Big wall checklist)
  • Pre-solo
  • Training and fitness
  • Solo training
  • Techniques and systems
  • Leading - Basic principles and dangers
  • Basic single rope solo
  • Classic rope big wall solo system
  • Continuous loop system
  • Death Loop
  • Hauling - Basic principles and dangers
  • Alpine style
  • Russian harness haul
  • Classic Yosemite haul
  • Advanced hauling
  • Cleaning
  • Survival (Descent, Retreat, First aid, Bivying, Storms)
  • Advanced techniques
  • Alpine walls
  • Capsule style
  • Encountering other teams
  • Speed climbing - short fixing
  • Speed climbing - solo speed
  • Post climb warm down
  • Future objectives

The price

This book is very, very niche, and has a very small number of people who will buy it, and so the price reflects this.

Book Details & other formats

Publisher: Akreative
Amazon PDF iBooks

Nutcraft - The Climbing Nut Bible

There are plenty of books on the market that cover nuts and other passive gear, but non that focus completely on this important topic (the foundation of all climbing protection).

Nutcraft covers standard climbing nuts, micro wires, hexs, tricams and exotica (knots, beaks and natural chocks), as well as how best to use them.

This is a perfect book for a novice climber.

Apple iBook

Read on Apple iBooks.

PDF

Read on anything.

There are plenty of books on the market that cover nuts and other passive gear, but non that focus completely on this important topic (the foundation of all climbing protection).

Nutcraft covers standard climbing nuts, micro wires, hexs, tricams and exotica (knots, beaks and natural chocks), as well as how best to use them.

This is a perfect book for a novice climber.

Book Details & other formats

Publisher: Akreative
PDF iBooks

Aid Basics

Want to know how to carry out aid or artificial climbing? This book sets out the basics, including gear, setup and the basic technique that will work on most climbs.

This book, like most of my instructional books, tries to cut down the information to just what you need to know, and is not padded out with stuff you don’t. If you judge a book by its word count then I’m afraid this book will disappoint. This is not an essay of all aspects of big wall or aid climbing, but simply the best way to get from A to B for the leader. This book does not cover belays, jumaring or hauling (these are covered in other books) - just getting from A to B.

Apple iBook

Read on Apple iBooks.

PDF

Read on anything.

Want to know how to carry out aid or artificial climbing? This book sets out the basics, including gear, setup and the basic technique that will work on most climbs.

This book, like most of my instructional books, tries to cut down the information to just what you need to know, and is not padded out with stuff you don’t. If you judge a book by its word count then I’m afraid this book will disappoint. This is not an essay of all aspects of big wall or aid climbing, but simply the best way to get from A to B for the leader. This book does not cover belays, jumaring or hauling (these are covered in other books) - just getting from A to B.

Book Details & other formats

PDF iBooks

1000+ Tips for Climbers

1000 Tips For Climbers is aimed at anyone who hangs off stuff, or just hangs around in the mountains. It’s not an instruction book, but more a massive collection of all those little tips that make a real difference.

Hardcopy

£19.99

An old school printed book.

Digital

£11.27

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Apple iBook

£19.99

Read on Apple iBooks.

1000 Tips For Climbers is aimed at anyone who hangs off stuff, or just hangs around in the mountains. It’s not an instruction book, but more a massive collection of all those little tips that make a real difference.

These tips are based on thirty years of climbing obsession, as well as nineteen ascents of El Cap (3 solo ascents and one days ascent), Alpine North Faces, icecaps, scary climbs and expeditions.

For a more extreme taste of this book, imagine an alien came down to earth, stuck a straw in a climber’s head, one who’d been climbing for about thirty years, and proceeded to suck out their brain; then transmogrified all that it contained in to a 57,000 word book of climbing tips.

Well this is just such a book!

I000 tips covers the following areas:

Basics (1-240) The first part of the book covers a wide range of subjects, varying from how to best rope up and stopping your boots from stinking, to racking your gear correctly and how to sleep in a harness. This section is designed for both novice and experienced climbers.

Big Wall (241-347) Written for anyone tackling large multi pitch climbs, with advanced topics such as jumaring, hauling and speed climbing. These tips will be an aid both to those new to multi pitch climbing, as well as the more experienced climber.

Ice (348-370) Tips on all aspects of ice climbing, including movement, protection, ways of approaching mental strength, and not falling off!

Mixed (371-392) How to use your tools on snowed up rock, and focused primarily on Scottish and Alpine winter skills.

Mountain (393-694) If you’re not a rock climber then this section has a lot of tips on living and staying alive in the mountains, be that in the UK, Alps or greater ranges.

Safety (695-785) The name of the game in climbing is staying alive, and coming home in one piece. This section covers loose rock, rescue, dealing with heat and getting caught out.

Training (786-863) A wide range of tips on strength and endurance training and diet for climbers.

Stuff (864-2017) A mix of esoteric, such as how to rap off a fifi hook, what books to read, how to get sponsored and going to the toilet.

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-10: 1910240532
ISBN-13: 1910240532
Publisher: Vertibrate
Pages: 192
Amazon Kindle iBooks

"I bought this from my local climbing wall after being very impressed when I thumbed through it. This isn't your usual instructional book, which I usually find quite dry and difficult to read. It's full of bite size tips that actually sink in. I'm currently training for an alpine trip in the short term with a big wall on the horizon, and while this isn't a full blown training manual like training for the new albinism, it's full of the tips that would take many years of getting it wrong to learn. All written in Andy's usual comical-yet-informative style. A great read and worth a place on any climbers book shelf!".

I bought this from my local climbing wall after being very impressed when I thumbed through it. This isn't your usual instructional book, which I usually find quite dry and difficult to read. It's full of bite size tips that actually sink in. I'm currently training for an alpine trip in the short term with a big wall on the horizon, and while this isn't a full blown training manual like training for the new albinism, it's full of the tips that would take many years of getting it wrong to learn. All written in Andy's usual comical-yet-informative style. A great read and worth a place on any climbers book shelf!

Cold Wars

‘I was aware that I was cold – beyond cold. I was a lump of meat left for too long in a freezer, a body trapped beneath the ice, sinking down into the dark.
‘I was freezing to death.’

Hardcopy

£13

An old school printed book.

Digital

£8.54

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Apple iBook

£13

Read on Apple iBooks.

In this brilliant sequel to his award-winning debut Psychovertical, mountaineering stand-up Andy Kirkpatrick has achieved his life’s ambition to become one of the world’s leading climbers. Pushing himself to new extremes, he embarks on his toughest climbs yet – on big walls in the Alps and Patagonia – in the depths of winter.

Kirkpatrick has more success, but the savagery and danger of these encounters comes at huge personal cost. Questioning his commitment to his chosen craft, Kirkpatrick is torn between family life and the dangerous path he has chosen. Written with his trademark wit and honesty, Cold Wars is a gripping account of modern adventure.

“Andy’s effortless narrative takes the reader into parallel worlds of parenthood and extreme climbing with the reader emerging unsure which is the scariest or more demanding. He is acutely observant of people: his peerless portrayal of the leading characters only matched by his depiction of alpinism at the highest level. There are lighter moments of course, this is Andy Kirkpatrick after all, and his mastery of irony and self deprecation shines through with satisfying regularity. ... A book which celebrates all that is best in mountaineering literature and the Boardman Tasker Award in particular.”

Chair of judges on Psychovertical – winner, Boardman Tasker Prize 2012

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-13: 1906148465
Publisher: Vertebrate
Pages: 275
Amazon Kindle iBooks

Psychovertical

“Metro” magazine recently wrote that Andy Kirkpatrick makes Ray Mears look like Paris Hilton. Words like boldness, adventure and risk were surely coined especially for him. As one of the world’s most accomplished mountaineers and big-wall climbers, he goes vertically where other climbers (to say nothing of the general public) fear to tread. For the first time, this cult hero of vertical rock has written a book, in which his thirteen-day ascent of Reticent Wall on El Capitan in California - the hardest big-wall climb ever soloed by a Briton - frames a challenging autobiography. From childhood on a grim inner-city housing estate in Hull, the story moves through horrific encounters and unique athletic achievements at the extremes of the earth. As he writes, ‘Climbs like this make no sense ...the chances of dying on the route are high’. Yet Andy, in his thirties with young children, has everything to live for. This is the paradox at the heart of the story. This book - by turns gut-wrenching, entertaining and challenging - appeals to the adventurer in all of us.”

Hardcopy

£9

An old school printed book.

Digital

£7.99

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Here’s Tim Noble, chairman of the judges with his Boardman - Tasker Prize winning announcement:

“And so by default to our winner. Andy Kirkpatrick’s book Psychovertical is, despite its title and front-cover hype a compulsive read and re-read. Kirkpatrick, in his first book, manages a minor miracle: in measured and balanced writing, larded generously throughout with wit, self-deprecation and mordant humour that he keeps in fine check, he finds the perfect measure of himself on some of the planet’s most dangerous climbs. It is perhaps because he knows himself so well that we accept both his expressed incompetence in climbing and writing (he is dyslexic) and efforts to overcome it without demur. Here is no case of classic British irony.

We warmed to this author – to his urge to live life to the full; to understand his limitations as son, husband and father. The loss of a father figure in particular points to an underlying theme over thirty years of mountaineering biography; but none of us could recall a more sensitive and less self-indulgent treatment of the theme than here presented.

The book is very cleverly structured (we all wonder if the Hutchinson editor gets credit here). The cuts from scene to scene and climb to climb work wonderfully well – a sort of mountaineering Day of The Jackal – as Kirkpatrick comes closer and closer to his nemesis on Reticent Wall. And it is this climb, the running narrative of the book, that grips the most: 14 pitches of aid climbing, unrelieved by conversation with a partner other than himself, should by rights be boring. But it grips the heart further and further.

These chapters are without exception exceptional – the best writing about aid climbing we’ve read, and make for sweaty-palmed page turning. On this basis alone the book is a winner. Taken as whole it stands as a beacon for the next generation of young turks: a challenge to pick up the pen and overcome their own reticence. Kirkpatrick has taken up the baton on behalf of generation x and, at just the right moment, has said ‘Yes I can’. The judges are delighted to award the 2008 Boardman Tasker Award to Andy Kirkpatrick for Psychovertical. “

Book Details & other formats

ISBN-10:

0099519526

ISBN-13:

978-0099519522

Publisher: Arrow (UK) The Mountaineers (US) Versante Sud (Italy) As Verlag (Germany)
Pages:

288

Amazon Kindle

"

‘Psychovertical is a powerful if intensely personal book, well written, sometimes brilliantly so. It charts Kirkpatrick’s fractured upbringing and subsequent escape to a life of extreme climbing and close calls… He is a clear, spare writer, and a highly visual one. The descriptions of climbing are among the best I’ve ever read… Kirkpatrick chooses words with the same care that he chooses a wire.’

".

Ed Douglas

‘Psychovertical is a powerful if intensely personal book, well written, sometimes brilliantly so. It charts Kirkpatrick’s fractured upbringing and subsequent escape to a life of extreme climbing and close calls… He is a clear, spare writer, and a highly visual one. The descriptions of climbing are among the best I’ve ever read… Kirkpatrick chooses words with the same care that he chooses a wire.’

Ed Douglas

Unknown Pleasures

“Stories that will terrify, stories that will make you chuckle, and stories that will make you confused, angry or even make you cry.” Collected writing on life, death, climbing and everything in between.

Learn More
Hardcopy

£24/$29.25

An old school printed book.

Digital

£10.44

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Apple iBook

£10.99

Read on Apple iBooks.

HIGHER EDUCATION

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 kilometre up, or maybe hand jamming your way to victory?
Have you read other books, watched endless videos, asked around but still don’t have a bloody clue how to go about it?
Yes you can climb 5.12 but you’ve been shut down by hauling?
Maybe you’ve never even set foot on a big wall because the weight of questions cannot be resolved, even though you’ve read all the books.
If only there was a way to long jump some of that learning curve….

Learn More
Hardcopy

£41/$55

An old school printed book.

Digital

£40.00

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Psychovertikal

Die Biografie eines Extremkletterers - und eine grosse Liebesgeschichte: Vom Rand der Gesellschaft in die Randzonen am Berg. Andy Kirkpatricks Biografie erzählt literarisch brillant von seinem extremen Lebensweg, seinen Abenteuern auf den schwierigsten Technorouten der Welt, von seinem Ringen um die Sprache und von der Schwierigkeit, seine Passion und sein Familienleben zu vereinen. Ein unerhört hartes und zartes Buch. Den Rahmen bildet Andy Kirkpatricks Solodurchsteigung der ‘Reticent Wall’, einer der schwierigsten Technorouten am El Capitan im Yosemite Valley. Doch ‘Psychovertikal’ ist mehr als die atemberaubende Schilderung einer Kletterei auf Messers Schneide - es ist die Geschichte einer Selbstfindung auf einem extremen Lebensweg. Sympathisch, ehrlich, intim und glaubwürdig erzählt Andy von seinem Kampf um einen Platz im Leben und um den nächsten Meter Fels.

Learn More
Hardcopy

£25

An old school printed book.

Digital

£16.99

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Kalte Kriege

Mit Cold Wars legt Kirkpatrick nach. Schonungslos und offen rechnet er mit sich und dem Bergsteigen ab. Im Zentrum steht die Schattenseite der leuchtenden Gipfel und grossen Abenteuer: Der immense Preis, der fu776;r das Leben als Extremer zu bezahlen ist als Vater, als Ehemann, als Mensch. Denn auf den wochenlangen Trips zu extremen Routen verlassen ihn die Gedanken nie, dass er die Familie verraet, den Kindern weh tut, sich vielleicht auch ins Verderben stuerzt. Warum er es nicht laesst auch davon handelt das Buch. Die Antwort heisst: atemberaubende Kletterabenteuer, unvergessliche Momente am Berg, Freundschaft. Sprachlich hat sich Kirkpatrick seit “Psychovertikal” weiterentwickelt. Seine Texte sind nichts fu776;r schwache Nerven, sie begeistern, packen, schockieren, stimmen nachdenklich. Lachen und Weinen geben sich die Hand, auch Humor und Philosophie. Die große Buehne für das Leben sind die Berge, und Kirkpatricks Erzaehlungen seiner Abenteuer gehoeren zum Besten und Ehrlichsten, was die derzeitige Alpinliteratur zu bieten hat. Ob es die Schilderung des Beinahe-Erfrierens in einem Haengebiwak an einer winterlichen Wand in Patagonien ist oder der Feuereifer des Ringens in einem der schwierigsten Bigwalls der Alpen: die Worte fuehren in eine Welt jenseits der Felsen, in die von Wollen und Scheitern, Halten und Lassen, vom Glueck der Gipfel und der Angst, nie mehr wiederzukehren, seinen Sohn und seine Tochter nie wieder zu sehen. Und so kommt es, dass zwischen den Bergtexten Erzählungen des Alltags stehen: Ausfluege mit den Kindern, ein Fahrradunfall, Weihnachten. Dass auch dort mehr improvisiert als geplant wird und alles anders kommt als gedacht, ahnt jeder, der Kirkpatrick kennen gelernt hat. So viel Persoenliches hat man zwischen Fels und Mensch selten gespürt.

Learn More
Hardcopy

€29

An old school printed book.

Me, Myself & I

Me, Myself & I - the forbidden dark art of roped soloing, for climbers who either need to know in order to make the ultimate climb come true, or those who just like technique ‘nerdiness’.

Learn More
Hardcopy

£30

An old school printed book.

Apple iBook

$39

Read on Apple iBooks.

PDF

£30

Read on anything.

Nutcraft - The Climbing Nut Bible

There are plenty of books on the market that cover nuts and other passive gear, but non that focus completely on this important topic (the foundation of all climbing protection).

Nutcraft covers standard climbing nuts, micro wires, hexs, tricams and exotica (knots, beaks and natural chocks), as well as how best to use them.

This is a perfect book for a novice climber.

Learn More
Apple iBook

Read on Apple iBooks.

PDF

Read on anything.

Aid Basics

Want to know how to carry out aid or artificial climbing? This book sets out the basics, including gear, setup and the basic technique that will work on most climbs.

This book, like most of my instructional books, tries to cut down the information to just what you need to know, and is not padded out with stuff you don’t. If you judge a book by its word count then I’m afraid this book will disappoint. This is not an essay of all aspects of big wall or aid climbing, but simply the best way to get from A to B for the leader. This book does not cover belays, jumaring or hauling (these are covered in other books) - just getting from A to B.

Learn More
Apple iBook

Read on Apple iBooks.

PDF

Read on anything.

1000+ Tips for Climbers

1000 Tips For Climbers is aimed at anyone who hangs off stuff, or just hangs around in the mountains. It’s not an instruction book, but more a massive collection of all those little tips that make a real difference.

Learn More
Hardcopy

£19.99

An old school printed book.

Digital

£11.27

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Apple iBook

£19.99

Read on Apple iBooks.

Cold Wars

‘I was aware that I was cold – beyond cold. I was a lump of meat left for too long in a freezer, a body trapped beneath the ice, sinking down into the dark.
‘I was freezing to death.’

Learn More
Hardcopy

£13

An old school printed book.

Digital

£8.54

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.

Apple iBook

£13

Read on Apple iBooks.

Psychovertical

“Metro” magazine recently wrote that Andy Kirkpatrick makes Ray Mears look like Paris Hilton. Words like boldness, adventure and risk were surely coined especially for him. As one of the world’s most accomplished mountaineers and big-wall climbers, he goes vertically where other climbers (to say nothing of the general public) fear to tread. For the first time, this cult hero of vertical rock has written a book, in which his thirteen-day ascent of Reticent Wall on El Capitan in California - the hardest big-wall climb ever soloed by a Briton - frames a challenging autobiography. From childhood on a grim inner-city housing estate in Hull, the story moves through horrific encounters and unique athletic achievements at the extremes of the earth. As he writes, ‘Climbs like this make no sense ...the chances of dying on the route are high’. Yet Andy, in his thirties with young children, has everything to live for. This is the paradox at the heart of the story. This book - by turns gut-wrenching, entertaining and challenging - appeals to the adventurer in all of us.”

Learn More
Hardcopy

£9

An old school printed book.

Digital

£7.99

ePUB & Amazon Kindle.