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The US magazine Climbing once described Andy as a climber with a “strange penchant for the long ,the cold and the difficult ”, with a reputation “for seeking out routes where the danger is real and the return is questionable, pushing himself on some of the hardest walls and faces in the Alps and beyond, sometimes with partners and sometimes alone.”
Andy is one of the UK ’s most accomplished mountaineers and big wall climbers – a skill which involves pitting oneself against a vertical climb of a over 1000 metres - scaling Yosemite ’s El Capitan, the hardest wall in America, over ten times. One of these ascents was a 12 day solo of the Reticent Wall , viewed as one of the hardest and most dangerous climbs in the world, and to date the hardest climb ever soloed by a British climber.
This route was so extreme that it could take up to eight hours to scale just 200 feet of rock, with the possibility of a deadly fall a constant possibility.
In 2002 Andy made a 15 day ascent in winter of the Laffiale route on the west face of the Dru, a 1000 metre pillar in the French Alps considered by many to be the hardest climb of its type in Europe, a climb that pushed him and his partner to their limits, and was featured in the award wining film Cold haul.
Andy is also well known for his expeditions to the savage spires of Patagonia, all of which have taken place in its fearsome winter season, a season in which very few have ever ventured or returned from intact! These climbs include many first winter ascents, and some of the most hair raising epic tales you will ever hear.
The stories from these expeditions have become some of the classic modern climbing tales, often redefining the words ‘epic’ and ‘cold’, and demonstrating that British climbers are still leading the way in cutting edge ascents.
Andy is also a writer, photographer and film maker, and lives in the UK with his wife and two children.
Areas of Expertise
Andy’s biggest strength is his ability to talk about his life and his climbs in an open and honest way that is accessible to the non climber, talking about what drives him to do things that many would consider suicidal, and more importantly where he finds the power to overcome the seemingly impossible.
Andy brings a sharp wit to all his talks, creating an incredible mix that will both entertain and inspire, giving presentations that will be talked about long after the event.
Andy’s main focus is breaking through mental barriers, learning how to achieve success when the odds seem to be outrageously out of favour, and life lessons learnt at the sharp end.
Andy Kirkpatrick gave a jocular and colourful presentation that left us all highly entertained. Delivered in the best spirit of climbing and mountaineering and under pinned with some serious messages on life. Well worth listening to.”
RAF ‘Training for war fighting’ symposium
”Amazing photo’s, absorbing, funny, irreverent and - through the use of great sound effects - Andy is able to really give you a feel of what it’s like hanging on a 2,500m face, whilst 125 mph winds whistle past...well worth the money on his own.”
“Andy began by telling us “the first step towards failure is trying,” - proving from the start that this was going to be no ordinary motivational speaker. Andy went on to jump, shout, and narrate without seeming to breathe; his audience responding with belly laughs and uncontrollable tears.”
Alpinist magazine party
“Quite simply, Andy’s a natural showman and - despite some glitches with his cunning twin-carousel slide show arrangement - his combination of relaxed, curiously wired, brilliantly-timed cracks, phenomenally dramatic shots of Patagonian winter climbing epics and terrifyingly realistic wind impressions, effortlessly beguiled the audience.”
Royal Geographical Society Mountain hardwear lecture
“Andy doesn’t just take the stage, he somehow manages to grab hold of the entire auditorium and pull it into a different, weirdly-hued world where tents explode in 200 mph winds and shivering through Patagonian winter nights is quite normal and almost fun.”