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.

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.