/ NEW ARTICLE: 'Hell freezes over' - A. Kirkpatrick

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JoH - Editor - on 03 Dec 2006
"Each pitch was harder than the last, with snow giving way to old, fragile ice. The couloir became narrower, the ice running down it no more than a delicate vein of possibility."

Pour yourself a stiff drink and read on...


http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=274
CJD - on 03 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

a reasonable article*

<cough>






*n.b. I'm too proud to admit it made me cry.

oh...

rats

Sonya Mc on 03 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: One word. Wow!

And I admit to a wee lump in my throat at the end there.
John2 - on 03 Dec 2006
In reply to lasonj: There is some very fine writing being published on UKC at the moment. Let's hope that this is the start of a continuing trend.
Mick Ward - on 03 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Great article. And yes, I cried. Think I'll have that drink now.

Mick

P.S. 'Every one wanted to go down. Yet because we took this for granted no one said so, and so each of us assumed the rest wanted to carry on. Insanely, this is what we did.'

A beautiful example of the Abilene paradox.
Wes on 03 Dec 2006 - host86-144-234-189.range86-144.btcentralplus.com
In reply to JoH - Editor:

spot on.

Very brave and personable.

Looking forward to the book.

Nice one, Andy :o)
TRip - on 03 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: it was a great article. technically much better than bullock's article.

however the juxtaposistion style of writting, which andy seems to use alot is ok, however a whole book written like that would be very teidios.

good read all the same.
karlbaba on 03 Dec 2006 - 02-147.018.popsite.net
Oh God that was a well written and scary story.

Once he committed to that epic it was a time bombing waiting to go off. Who knows how the trauma will affect the rest of his life.







I mean having a baby...That would scare the crap out of me.


Sorry ladies!

I'm told once you're there, the love makes it worthwhile.

A theory I'll never test.

Peace

Karl
the real weeman - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

its beyond me how you can seemingly compare an epic during patagonian winter with child birth... but it works. amazing and touching article, it sent shivers up my spine.
Mick Ward - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to the real weeman:

> its beyond me how you can seemingly compare an epic during patagonian winter with child birth...

How can you not?

Mick
KeithW - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Damn. Shouldn't have read that first thing at work. Now I have to claim there's something in my eye.

And I can't get a stiff drink either.
Bobt - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Very good. Can totally empathise with the experiences and emotions of having kids. Didn't really begin to feel anything till my kids were about 10mths old.

Good how climbing literature seems to allow us to explore our darker emotions.
Craig Geddes - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to KeithW: Ditto. That is an incredibly powerful and potent piece of writting. Piece of writting is too small a phrase - it's an entire novels worth of emotion pain and drama in a tiny article. Phenomenal.
featuresforfeet - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Great stuff. Went to Andy's lecture on Reticent Wall last week ("my wife had a baby so i decided to kill myself") similarly good, though his writing style is very different to his lectures.
Burnsie - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:


A proper UKC badass article at last !
Anonymous on 04 Dec 2006 - 195.92.249.122 whois?
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Excellent stuff. As Bobt has said, good how articles like this explore the dark side of human nature.

It's also confirmed my decision to avoid having kids and doing any ice climbing at all costs.....

Ridge
Jonah - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: That's good.
tattoo2005 - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: What a wonderful story, my cheese toastie went cold, I forgot to eat whilst I was reading it. I was glad to read at the end that both the author, wife and baby made it through their own individual journeys. God, where's my hanky?!
ArnaudG - on 04 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Very good read. Didn't blurb, but sympathised greatly with the author relating to the birth of his child (but thankfully not to the epic in Patagonia). Detatchement, fear, "what kind of a partner am I to think those thoughts", "I don't want to be like those dads whose world revolves around their sprogs"... In the end it turned out all right. Question of balance I s'pose

A.-
Ric Potter - on 05 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: It's great to see some British climbing writing that acknowledges the issue (sic) of having kids yet being caught up in the whole mountaineering thing! Nice one Andy
Cosmin Andron - on 05 Dec 2006
Great story; well written. Grabs you with the first lines and stays with you after you turn off the computer! Looking forward to the rest of the book.
C
CENSORED - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: "I blinked hardly believing this was happening, then blinked again when I saw a change. Wanting it to be true. The baby was turning white, then pink. It opened its mouth, its hand jerked, its tiny body danced in the arms of the midwife, who raised her head and whispered 'She's a girl'. My daughter. Ella. "!

I filled up at that, having had few moments in the last 17 months & 1 day and eagerly anticipating the 9th of February. Nothing I've experienced has been scarier & less certain than the journey into parenthood.

Great article.

tobyfk - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to John2:
> There is some very fine writing being published on UKC at the moment. Let's hope that this is the start of a continuing trend.

That will presumably depend on the frequency of books appearing that need to be promoted. Both this article and the Nick Bullock one were essentially adverts.

andy kirkpatrick - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to tobyfk:
I think you're confusing me and Nick with someone else, and we'd both me driving around in BMWs if we thought like that. Both pieces were writen for climbers to read, not to line our pockets.

Anyway my book's several years away. The story is more about taking risks in writing, and then having the balls to let other people read it. I think the same goes for Nick.

Andy
John2 - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to andy kirkpatrick: For me a large part of the interest of your and Nick's articles lies in seeing how a page or two of writing will eventually (hopefully) be transformed into a full length book. As I'm sure you're both aware, the device of flipping dramatically between life in a prison / the birth of a child and mountaineering forms an interesting basis for a brief article but would become very tedious if extended to book length.

It's also interesting to see the different emphases in your articles - Nick's giving an insight into the sort of experiences which could make someone prepared to put up with the masochistic side of mountaineering while yours looks at the other side of the coin, the difficulty of integrating the mountaineering lifestyle into a relatively normal life.
Sonya Mc on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:
> (In reply to tobyfk)

>
> Anyway my book's several years away.

Well, just you hurry now and get that book written, never mind all this climbing nonsense! Look forward to reading it.
ArnaudG - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:
> (In reply to tobyfk)
> Both pieces were writen for climbers to read, not to line
our pockets.
And very good it was to.

>
> Anyway my book's several years away.

Well, stop surfing the web and get on with it! ;0)

A.-
Jon Dittman - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor: A good climbing tail. I wasn't really keen on the bit about having a baby. I sure it meant a lot to the author but for me it broke up an otherwise brilliant tail about climbing.
CJD - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to Jon Dittman:

er... it's 'tale'

guffaw!
MeMeMe - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to CJD:

A good climbing tail might come in rather useful though...
tobyfk - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:

My apologies. Still, inadvertently or not, the article is a good advertisement ...
Alison Stockwell - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:
> The story is more about taking risks in writing, and then having the balls to let other people read it.

Indeed. Especially through such a potentially aggressive medium as UKC. Exposing one's work on here is not for the risk-averse :-P
BMC Office - on 06 Dec 2006 - www.thebmc.co.uk
In reply to tobyfk: what an extremely interesting observation toby.

anyway, my take, while it might lack the same clarity :

A good tale.

First three paragraphs seemed to say the same thing three times.

I found the style - ie the parallel stories and alternating paragraphs - a bit dominating, in as much as it seemed more important than the story. There were many times, eg, the paragraph containing the idea that having a baby or doing a route made you a man, when the need to contain the idea in a single paragraph restricted the scope of the idea, meaning there was not enough space for it. This meant that you had to just state the fact, rather than illustrating it. A bit of the 'telling not showing' thing. This is the sort of thing much better handled by a bit of dialogue or an oblique observation, leaving the intellegent reader to infer those facts. In fact I think a lot of the piece suffered from this.

Also it prevented me from getting in to the climbing story, making it too stop/start. Also, it rapidly became very predictable causing me to tail off a bit at the end of each paragraph getting ready for the change.

Re: style again. If you cut out both bits and put them together seperately would you have two strong stories. I suspect with the climbing one you mighht, less so about the baby one. I think both need to be strong.

You go from refering to Mandy's baby to referring to 'our' baby. This is surely one of the most crucial points of the story. Yet I didn't find the event that caused this change in emotion. If it was there, it wasn't strong enough.


I tghink in many ways this might be good enough as an article, but as it is, wouldn't survive as a chapter in a book. It hasn't risen yet. I feel a chapter has to be much much tighter. Eg, some of the stories about Jim and the dancer seemed to be extraneous to the direction of the story. Surely everything should be forcing it along.

Also, I think litereature (as opposed to an article) should be able to exist purely by itself. I think that with saying what the objective was etc relied a bit much on the reader knowing that that was a gnarly thing to be doing. A bit like Nick's use of grades in his story.

Anyway, that's just a few things off the top of me head, and all purely a matter of opinion. Although all 'criticisms', I hope they don't come across negatively. After all I'm sure you don't need me to tell you you're a good writer.

niall grimes
fish08 on 06 Dec 2006 - notes.servalsystems.co.uk
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:
> and we'd both me driving around in BMWs if we thought like that.

Are you implying you would have bad taste if you thought like that? ;)

Maybe its my dyslexia talking, but I for one like the style.

andy kirkpatrick - on 06 Dec 2006
In reply to BMC Office:

I agree mr Grimes. I think maybe writing like this - although clever if you can get it right - might be a bit too restrictive. Also if you had a book with every chapter like this it might be a bit hard to dijest. It needs more space to breath prehaps. Some people who turn this one trip into a book, but I'm trying to get it down into a chapter.

Fun though.

andy
BMC Office - on 06 Dec 2006 - www.thebmc.co.uk

sure. good one all the same Andy
Bobt - on 07 Dec 2006
In reply to andy kirkpatrick:

The beauty of UKC is that fairly radical pieces of writing can get an airing where the mainstream mags might shy away.

I would never pretend to be in your league in terms of climbing experiences or tales to tell but I've still enjoyed writing the two articles I've had 'published' on UKC. Both were different styles and both had a different theme. A third one was probably too radical in both style and content but that's all part of the game. I suspect that you'd need to be careful about over-reacting to comments and becoming too sanitised. It's worth remembering that 'you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time'........ So you have to please yourself!
JoH - Editor - on 07 Dec 2006
In reply to Bobt:
> (In reply to andy kirkpatrick)
>
> A third one was probably too radical in both style and content but that's all part of the game.

AWB? Not at all. Its on the list.
Bobt - on 07 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:

Sorry I jumped the gun a bit, but I'm glad it's on the list.

Oh no! Now I'll be accused of blatant advertising. Now where did I put thoses BMW keys?
HamishD - on 12 Dec 2006
In reply to JoH - Editor:
I really enjoyed the way both stories were sequenced, made me want to read ahead on each story but couldn't as i wanted to read both stories.
Great article!

I would happily see an article such as andy's
replace many lesser articles that appear in climbing magazines. I feel that an article such as andy's is far better at connecting with emotion than an article than some of the waffly (how do you spell that?) articles that appear in climbing magazines on a regular basis.

cheers
hamish
ads.ukclimbing.com

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