Name: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Profession: Climber, writer and comedian
1. Are you living rurally or in a city – and why?
I live in Sheffield (home of „The Full Monty“) in the UK, which is one of the hubs of UK climbing, due to being 15 minutes from the Gritstone edges (Stanage, Froggot etc). The UK has no real alpine mountains (apart from the Cullin ridge on the Isle of Skye) or big walls, so nowhere in the UK is close to any proper climbing.
2. How do you start your day?
I get my kids to school then try and answer emails (I do a lot of coaching via email), and then some writing. I basically do not climb in between trips AT ALL! I just don’t find the time in between kids and writing. In the last 12 months I made a winter ascent of the Troll Wall, climbed 2 new routes in Queen Maud land (including 1st ascent of 27 pitch route Ulvertanna over 14 days), climbed El Cap 3 times (2 push ascents without bivys), Moonlight Buttress in Zion, and tried the Russian route in the Eiger in winter (climbed 27 pitches up M7 and A5!), and that was it – no cragging, bouldering or wall training in between (Dave Macload once said if I started training I’d be the best climber in the world : ).
3. How do you keep yourself fit?
I do no climbing training, and just get fit when I’m training. I’m also generally very fat (100kg), but find this is very important for endurance on long multi day routes (in antartica I lost 15kgs over 2 months!). I have a very low normal heart rate (40), and am naturally very strong (I once had to carry my girlfriend down from El Cap – 65kg on my back for 9h).
Because I don’t train by climbing I have never had any injuries climbing, and for a 42 year old climber my body works better than the guys I started climbing with (many are guides and are having trouble climbing now). Before a big trip I do non climbing training to get my body ready for the strains of climbing. This entails deadlifts (100kg x 100), rowing (5km in sub 20mins, or 10 in sub 40min), sprinting, and some basic exercises (press up and pull ups).
4. How do you relax?
5. What do the mountains mean to you?
They are a curse, and also the only place where I feel I can be the best person I can be.
6. What are you currently reading?
„Solitude (Flamingo)“ by Anthony Storr and „The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes“ by Steven Pinker.
7. What is your common food when you are outdoors?
Tea and dehydrated food these days (find it takes a lot of the hassle out of cooking, and there are some very good brands out there now (like Fuizion).
8. Where and how did you spend your last holidays?
I don’t really go on holidays.
9. Are you having special plans for the next months? If so: which ones?
I’ve just come off a 2 month trip to Antartica, and went straight on tour in the UK (had a week off to go to Zion and climb Moonlight buttress with a BBC TV presenter), and am now back on tour. I finish next month and have some free time before guiding two guys up a big wall, so plan to start writing my 3rd book (A Map of Scars) – so pretty busy!
Andy Kirkpatrick hat einige der technisch schwierigsten Routen der Welt geklettert. Bekannt ist er auch für seine Winterbegehungen. Das amerikanische Magazin Climbing beschrieb Andy Kirkpatrick als einen „Kletterer mit einer seltsamen Vorliebe für das Lange, das Kalte und das Schwierige“. Obwohl er hochgradiger Legastheniker ist, hat er zwei sehr lesenswerte Bücher geschrieben: „Psychovertical“ und „Cold Wars“.
Mehr über Andy Kirkpatrick erfährst Du auf seiner Website.
Demnächst erscheint hier eine von Andy geschriebene Geschichte über sein chronisch ungemachtes Bett. Und woher das Stück Holz stammt, das er an das Bett geschraubt hat.