I’ve been writing a technical book on pegs for a couple of months now, kind of an extended article covering everything you could ever wish to know about pegs (for winter, alpine, big wall and trad). So far it’s about 15,000 plus words long. And yes that IS a lot of words about pegs.
What I set out to do was wring out every tiny detail I knew about placing, testing and cleaning pegs, because I believe that it’s the tiny details that matter most when it comes to learning new skills (or in the case of pegs - old ones).
The reason’s for doing this is that since I’ve stopped writing for magazines - and have to find work elsewhere - it’s not financially viable to spend a long time writing up gear and technique related articles, even though I know there’s a real need for them out there globally (my sites gets hundreds of thousands of hits from places like Iran, Iceland and Japan).
Another problem is that no one would ever dream of publishing such super techie material, in either book form (not enough sales), or in a magazine (far too long). I could just stick it all online and charge people but I don’t believe in paysites, and I’m not savvy enough to sort out advertising, so hit upon selling the work in the form of a pdf and mag/book instead.
And so I’ve got this book floating around on my computer ready to be fired off (needs proofing first though) but still wonder if in fact I’m wasting my time…. but I’m heading of to the Jorasses at the end of the month, and have found my portaledge’s broken (bent while climbing up El Cap with Phil), and so I need to raise some cash for a new one…
But before I make the effort to finish it, I want to check there is a demand, so I’m going to see if I can get 500 emails over the next few days from people saying they’d consider buying it (price of the PDF is the same as a large fancy coffee at Starbucks, which is were I spend many days writing it), then I’ll finish it next week.
A Mars Bar bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?
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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.Follow @ Instagram