An eclectic mix of writing, covering climbing equipment, technique, life & death (and all the stuff inbetween).

The Deadest Idea of All image Dark-Half  | Dec 24, 15

The Deadest Idea of All

There is a point in my Cold Mountain show where I bring up a picture of a seagull, an illustration I did for a film a long time ago.  When it appears you can feel the room thinking ‘why is this image here - what does this have to do with Antarctica?’ And I guess that is my very point, to make people ask just what that point is.  Ask yourself how often we really question what’s going on, that our expectation of the next word, the next image, the next clip, the next idea is something...

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Infinite Possibilities image Dark-Half  | Dec 18, 15

Infinite Possibilities

I don’t remember the first time I met Steve Bate. It’s often the case with people who become central in your life.  He probably entered as a person someone else knew, in a story they told, about their life, in which he played a part, just a name.  My first real memory of him was as a Kiwi who built a wooden shed for someone I used to know.  Then he became a Kiwi Steve - ‘the one who built the shed’ - that detail that he had tons of tattoos, his aim to end...

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Psychology Q&A image Dark-Half  | Dec 16, 15

Psychology Q&A

Every month or so I get someone doing a degree or PHD on some aspect of psychology or sports science looking for an interview, or share some insights into what I do. I always try and respond, after all I love talking about myself - I’m my deepest fascination.  I thought instead of just firing it back into the ether, where my name will be stripped from my words I’d share a typical set of questions I got this week here.1. You knew you were at times risking your life when you are mountaineering and yet you...

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On Denali image Climbing  | Dec 08, 15

On Denali

Hi DrewFirst off one big thing I always stress on such trips is to focus on your survivability (lots of blog posts about that), as you’re pretty much on your own if things go south, with no rescue in storms etc.  This means being totally solid in terms of mountain camping, mountain travel and basically being able to look after yourself and each other (kit and bodies, as well as your psyche/moral).On such a trip you need to be able to hit the ground running and not make small mistakes that will have big consequences...

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Getting your bearings image Dark-Half  | Dec 04, 15

Getting your bearings

Yesterday I wrote a blog about my impressions of Scotland post-referendum, half love letter to Scotland - a place I once called home - a place within a country I once called home - half reflection on how it had changed in a very subtle way (being more politically aware is good, but not if you allow a party more rope just because you hope it’s different).  It was also about nationalism (I’ve been reading a lot about Russian nationalism and fascism of late)  and how one’s beliefs and hopes in politics and politicians will...

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Broken Hearted image Dark-Half  | Dec 03, 15

Broken Hearted

I’ve had this blog sat in my head for two weeks now, rattling around as I rattled around Scotland, from Stornaway to Aberdeen, Inverness to Glasgow, Skye to Dunkeld, Edinburgh to Aberdeen.  Now I love Scotland, love the place, love the people, and once called it home for several years, living up in the Highlands.  What’s more I’m from a bonafide clan.  I’ve many Scottish friends and many English who live there (as well as Poles, Spaniards and Kiwis), and once you break through the often cold exterior of the place, a place...

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Behind the Curtain image Dark-Half  | Dec 02, 15

Behind the Curtain

Mornin’ Andy What a fabulous show you put on last night in Birnam.  We brought a couple of friends along who had not heard you talk before, and they too had a fab night.  Thank you Andy! I had mentioned in my previous email that I am just breaking into the public speaking scene, and I wondered if I could please ask you a few questions.  If you don’t want to answer all, or any, of the questions, I won’t be offended.1.       Your talk is around 2.5 hours long.  (Wow, the longest I have done is 50...

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The Dogma of Certainty image Dark-Half  | Nov 25, 15

The Dogma of Certainty

I got this comment the other day in relation to a blog on the misuse of a widely quoted defence of Islam:I don’t mean to cause any offence, but it’s better to stick to blogging about things you actually know a lot about - e.g. climbing - rather than heading off into the desert of your own ignorance, with this misinformed rant, full of prejudices cultivated by our racist politicians and media. Otherwise, this blog will go down the pan…Question: What do you believe? What are you? Are you left-wing or right or a little...

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Language is Courage image Dark-Half  | Nov 16, 15

Language is Courage

Perhaps it’s just bad timing, perhaps not, but I got this email this morning. Dear Andy There is only one way to fill the Emptiness you try to fill in your life. You are a child of God the almighty. He love you more than anyone else can do so. He send his son Jesus in the world and he died on the cross for all our sins. So that we are free of our guilt and can be reconnected with our father in heaven. He knows of all your fights an your needs. He can fill up...

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Staying on the Train image Dark-Half  | Nov 12, 15

Staying on the Train

I bought some shoes yesterday, black leather boots, sort of like Dr Martins, a bit too expensive for shoes, but hand made in England, solid, like maybe they’ll last a big chunk of a lifetime, so bugger the expense.  They’ve got leather soles that once I’d recognise as having some worth, in that in a fight they’d make good weapons, good shin kickers, perhaps even the threat enough to stave of some attack after closing time.  The reason I bought these boots was I like the sound they make, solid and hard, like the...

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