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Andy Kirkpatrick


Blog

24 Jun 18 // Q&A

Clove Hitch Issue

Hi Tony Sorry for late reply! I’m not a big fan of clove hitches in any situation where they can take very high forces as they have little capacity to absorb any shock at all, plus they can bind in such a way that it does cause some melting on the sheath (this is cosmetic I think). A bigger problem is that the way the knot works you can end up creating a load point out of line with the spine..... READ

Don’t Drive at Night
22 Jun 2018

Don’t Drive at Night

Parked up at services in the Free State, a taxi van pulls up beside us, and the driver gets out, letting his passengers stretch their legs. A gun sticks out from the waistband of his trousers, the..... READ

Life’s Bearing
18 May 2018

Life’s Bearing

In a lot of countries, people talk about ‘God botherers’, people who come around unannounced and talk at you, very often not about God, but about themselves, not about Him, but Them. In Ireland,..... READ

Pounds and Pence and Pages
16 Feb 2018

Pounds and Pence and Pages

My new book Unknown Pleasures comes out this week, published by multi-awarding winning Sheffield publisher Vertebrate. When this news appeared on UKC, I noticed this comment: “AK is a great..... READ

Smile
09 Feb 2018

Smile

Every generation has something that can crack the reality of a young mind - not all young minds - but young minds strong enough to be able to take the damage and be changed. The age of media, starting..... READ

Extreme DIY  Balaclava
25 Jan 2018

Extreme DIY Balaclava

I was asked the other day about the one piece of gear that I used that’s most heavily modified, the conversation one on perfect gear. I thought about it for a minute, thought about all the kit I..... READ

Not bloody snowshoes
18 Jan 2018

Not bloody snowshoes

“Are your skis like snowshoes?” asked my mate Barney, as we rode the chair lift up from Les Houches, nodding at my short fat skis, 60cm shorter than his 190s. “No - they’re real..... READ

2018 Tour
08 Jan 2018

2018 Tour

“The Ranulph Fiennes of British Climbing” John HumphrysBBC This year’s show is like a Tony Robbins motivational event, only one taking place in a Stranger Things “Upside Down” world,..... READ

Goggles Question
28 Dec 2017

Goggles Question

Hi Goggles are a tricky but if you stick to a few simple rules they can work pretty well, but they take work. Here’s a list of random thoughts. Buy good quality goggles that fit your face and fit..... READ

Flesh Turns Black
17 Dec 2017

Flesh Turns Black

I've not been able to write much creativity while finishing Higher Education, and so have been using Instagram as a substitute - the 2000 letter limit a good way not to get sidetracked. Most things I..... READ

Belay Jackets Revisited
09 Dec 2017

Belay Jackets Revisited

The two questions I get asked most regularly via this blog involve either cordelettes or belay jackets - the cord ones about ‘how thick’, ‘how long’ and ‘how best to use’, which is funny..... READ

Finding Partners
25 Nov 2017

Finding Partners

Hi John People often ask me why I used to solo so much, Alex Huber (no mean soloist himself), even going so far to suggest it was some form of self-sabotage (two solo attempts on the Harlin must mean..... READ

“Bring More Beaks”
14 Nov 2017

“Bring More Beaks”

I got into a minor scuffle the other day on Facebook over the fact both I an Vanessa had placed some bird beaks on Mescalito last month, probably about ten in total. This was the around the same time..... READ

Walk on by
13 Nov 2017

Walk on by

A great climber once told me the story of how the first time he came to Yosemite, full of youthful wall dreaming, he’d sought out wall climbers for knowledge there being no technique books or..... READ

Unsent
10 Nov 2017

Unsent

I stare at the Facebook comment box, open but empty, from me to you. Have we met or are we strangers — I don’t know? Does it matter? I imagine you in that hospital bed — time passing at the..... READ

Storms
23 Sep 2017

Storms

Hi Everyone First off sorry for big gap in updates! I’ve been in the US for a month and a half and most of it has been far away from the internet. I got down yesterday from an eleven day ascent..... READ

perfect universe in order
31 Aug 2017

perfect universe in order

As I crept through the dark forest that ringed the lake, my flip flop feet weary of sharp sticks and stones, I caught sight of something small and white laying amongst the pine cones. Although only..... READ

Life at retail
29 Aug 2017

Life at retail

“I’m going to leave a nut” I said, crouched down, tugging at the rotten rap slings jammed beneath a couch sized boulder, “I don’t trust these slings”. “What! We’ve already lost two..... READ

Cams - Field repairs
07 Aug 2017

Cams - Field repairs

The following is an extract from my up and coming book Higher Education, the most exhaustive big wall climbing book yet written.  On hard, intensive walls, where cams are being placed and..... READ

Take!
12 Jul 2017

Take!

I once heard a scary story about miscommunication from a French guy I was teaching how to climb big walls.  He was climbing on some big sea cliff and was out of sight of his belayer when he found..... READ