/ NEW REVIEW: Cold Wars by Andy Kirkpatrick
"...tales of derring-do on very cold mountainsides underpinned with his fears, inadequacies and inabilities in normal life..."
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4164
Really well-written and engaging review, thanks!
the books great, better than the review..
My thoughts exactly.
Important to have a photo of the reviewer, I thought.
> Important to have a photo of the reviewer, I thought.
Isn't that standard format for all articles on UKC?
Fair enough now I look there are photos of authors on all the articles and, to be fair I thought the same about Psychoverical; too much agonising and soul searching. No excuse but I'd just come home from work in a bit of a grump, sorry Jack.
That's why I thought it was actually very good. I've read a lot of mountaineering literature over the years but Kirkpatrick's stuff is so good because he writes engagingly about being scared or intimidated and feeling guilty for wanting to climb or doing something stupid. Mick Fowler's books are great fun too, but his hyperbolic understatement either makes you suspect that he isn't really describing how it really feels to him, or somehow he was born without a fear and guilt gene. The latter seems very unlikely, so its more likely to be the former!
But I can see Jack's points in the review as well - Kirkpatrick has taken up some odd challenges over the years which often seem more about resilience to suffering than they are about climbing. He doesn't always explain why that is although we could possibly speculate.
"Yet to the experienced alpinist the book reads like a catalogue of bizarre mountaineering decisions, like setting off on the Dru in winter to face multiple days of terrible weather. It begs the question; Why? The Dru being an easily accessible alpine peak in a valley furnished with some of the most accurate and readily available mountain weather forecasting in the world".
We don't all live in Chamonix though. Some of us have to decide if the route we want to do is feasible in the conditions that coincide with our time off.
Although obviously the sensible thing to do would have been to sack it off and ski some powder...
i like andys writing, even when hes contrived it still sounds raw and you can see the struggle he has for writing which i find more humbling than his climbing - which i also admire.
i do find his format boring tho, and hope Cold Wars isnt more of the same.
in psychovertical i found the reticent wall chapters go dull fast. endless repeats of 'fcuk im going to die, just have to go for it, fcuk it up, survive & have another go'. by the 3rd chapter of that i was skimming to get to the alternating chapters about him and his early years.
his descriptions of climbing i felt were limited - as they always are (tho must say he did better than most at expanding the descriptive palette). whereas his descriptions of estate life and shoestring trips to the alps were refreshing. in many ways he still sounds like a messed up kid.
i will still read it tho, cos i like the guy a lot, and no doubt he has many more books in him to work on his style. i just hope the rawness doesnt give way to too literate a product because his flawed-from-the-start climbs go perfectly with it.
Agreed. I think that's why he came to mind.
I read Andy Cave's book finally this year, and that is more like Kirkpatrick in style although less ADHD! ;-) But a bit like Mr Solo was saying above, I enjoyed the stories of mining perhaps more than the climbing.
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