/ NEW REVIEW: Cold Wars by Andy Kirkpatrick

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Andy Kirkpatrick - Cold Wars, 4 kbUKC Chief Editor Jack Geldard reviews the new book 'Cold Wars' by well known climber 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
matthewtraver - on 11 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

Really well-written and engaging review, thanks!
Stash - on 11 Nov 2011
In reply to matthewtraver:

the books great, better than the review..
Dave 88 - on 11 Nov 2011
In reply to Stash:

My thoughts exactly.
mcdougal - on 11 Nov 2011
In reply to Stash:

Important to have a photo of the reviewer, I thought.
Monk - on 11 Nov 2011
In reply to mcdougal:
> (In reply to Stash)
>
> Important to have a photo of the reviewer, I thought.

Isn't that standard format for all articles on UKC?
mcdougal - on 12 Nov 2011
In reply to Monk:

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.
In reply to mcdougal:
> to be fair I thought the same about Psychoverical; too much agonising and soul searching.

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.
beardy mike - on 12 Nov 2011
In reply to TobyA: To me Fowler and Kirkpatrick are at the opposite end of the scales, both in terms of writing and climbing. I enjoyed Psychovertical because the decriptions are so vivid. But then I enjoyed Fowler for his extreme understatement - you automatically know that when he says something was a trifle hard it was fricking nails. And it reflects both the authors charachters having briefly met both - Mick seems to be very very steady, and doesn't make a fuss about anything, whereas with Andy life it self seems absolutely desperate... of course this may not reflect reality at all, but then isn't that what books are about? Telling a story? If you never embelish anything it would be rather boring...
Oceanic - on 12 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

"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...
ice.solo - on 12 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

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.
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to TobyA) To me Fowler and Kirkpatrick are at the opposite end of the scales, both in terms of writing and climbing.

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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Jon Ratcliffe - on 13 Nov 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I was nearly killed reading the review, I could have easily spilled my hot tea (probably the hottest tea in the world at the time) in my eyes and then due to the inevitable teablindless hit myself over my own head with my mug IF I had fallen over while walking solo with my brew in hand, but I didn't, and so I sat down contemplating what could have happened and how things could have been so different, it was a close call.




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