11 April 2016


Category: Climbing

Forums can be great places to discover little jems and jewels from experiences you had, sometimes things that help you on your way next time round, others that just make you laugh.

I found this one after I climbed Sea of Dreams last year from ‘Lambone’ over on Supertopo that I often think about, about how I view myself and how others do:

Congrats Andy! Met you at the base when you were fixing. Glad you had a safe full-value climb!

It’s funny…the first day you shouldered full loads at the bridge and headed up to the base, I saw Tom walk over and ask you what you were getting on.

I was like, “Hey Tom what are they up to?” To which he replied “Sea of Dreams.”

I dunno why, kinda by instinct I guess…I just shrugged and giggled…“ha, yeah right! BAIL!!!!” Dunno why, perhaps because so few people actually get on the hard routes anymore that it seemed unlikely.

Tom immediately schooled me, “You obviously don’t know who that guy is do ya Lambone?” Followed by, “You shouldn’t be so quick to judge climbers you don’t know.”

Damn straight. He was right, I didn’t recognise you as the guy who I’ve learned so much from and been inspired by over the years.

Glad you proved me wrong! Served me up a nice dose of STFU 😉

And then there are those that are just funny, like this one from Jim Herson, who passed the four of us as we staggered down from the Nose a few weeks back (story here).  Some background to this is that Cian had cleaned the last pitch of the Nose, and being new to big wall climbing, plus being dark and keen to get it done, had left two draws on the bolts.  Jim Herson had done a ten hour ascent the following day and picked these up for us.

We met you guys on the descent. I’ve never met a happier bunch of climbers after a day, no less ten days(!), on El Cap. Seriously, you guys must have had some great fun.

I had a funny encounter with Sinead.

me: “I think I have a couple of your draws.”

Sinead (in a lovely, thick Irish accent): “Really! Oh my. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing.”

me: “Huh? I found them on the last pitch.”

Sinead: “Thanks but I don’t think I’m missing any.”

me: “I think you are.” (digging through my pack) “Here, are these yours?”

Sinead: “Oh!!! They are mine! What did you call them?”

me: “Draws. You know, quickdraws.”

Sinead: “Oh my!!!! We don’t have that word. I thought you meant ‘undies’”

me: “I see the confusion. You seemed kind of casual about it. Just out of curiosity, how often do strangers offer to return your undies?”


A Snickers bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?

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Andy Kirkpatrick
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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Books by Andy Kirkpatrick
Unknown Pleasures Higher Education
Me, Myself & I Nutcraft - The Climbing Nut Bible
Aid Basics 1000+ Tips for Climbers
Cold Wars Psychovertical
Current Inspiration


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