Book Review: 1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick
“Imagine an alien came down to Earth, stuck a probe into a climber’s brain – one who’d been climbing for over thirty years – and then transmogrified the contents into a big book of climbing tips. Well, 1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick is just such book.
This is no regular instruction manual – it’s much more useful than that. This is a massive collection of all those little tips that make a real difference when at the crag, in the mountains, or when you’re planning your next big trip. It’s for anyone who hangs off stuff, or just hangs around in the mountains. These tips are based on three decades of climbing obsession, as well as nineteen ascents of El Cap, numerous Alpine north faces, trips to the polar ice caps, and many other scary climbs and expeditions.”
This is the intro to the new print edition of 1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick from Vertebrate Publishing. It’s a beautifully summary of exactly what this book offers – tips, tricks, and information that every mountain enthusiasts wants and needs in the mountains.
Now we all learn through experience, right? Think about your favorite big mountain athlete, guide, or legend. They know way more about the mountains that you do. Take Andy Kirkpatrick for example. This man has seen and done things that very few others have done. He has dedicated his life to super cool pursuits in the mountains. Along the way he has picked up all sorts of wise wisdom that only comes from experience. That’s what this book is about. Not sure who Andy Kirkpatrick (@) is? Besides being the author of this book, he’s kind of bad ass. Check out his website to learn more.
The 1001 tips that Andy Kirkpatrick has chosen to share in his book will appeal to every level of climber from rookie to expert. Some things you may read and say I knew that and other things you’ll read and think wow that’s genius. It covers the entire spectrum of mountain related topics – crevasse rescue, repair kits, sponsorships, first aid, multi-pitch climbing, big walls, and the list goes on.
Here are the topics and a quick summary about each chapter in 1001 Climbing Tips:
- BASICS [1–240] – From how best to rope up and the importance of climbing partnerships, to racking your gear correctly and how to sleep in a harness. This section is designed for both novice and experienced climbers.
- SAFETY [241–327] – The name of the game in climbing is staying alive and coming home in one piece. This section covers loose rock, rescue, dealing with heat and what to do if you get caught out.
- BIG WALL [328–434] – Knowledge on tackling large multi-pitch climbs, with advanced topics such as pegging, jumaring, hauling and speed climbing. These tips will be an aid both to those new to multi-pitch climbing, as well as more experienced climbers.
- ICE [435–481] – Tips on all aspects of ice climbing, including movement, protection, looking after your gear, mental strength and – of course – not falling off.
- MIXED [482–503] – With a focus on Scottish and Alpine winter skills, these essential tips focus on how to use your tools on snowed-up rock, leading, gear and footwork on mixed ground.
- MOUNTAIN [504–802] – Essential reading for mountaineers, hill walkers and rock climbers, this section has almost 300 tips on living and staying alive in the mountains, be that in the UK, Alps or Greater Ranges.
- TRAINING [803–876] – A range of tips on how to overcome fear, improve strength and endurance, as well as diet and nutrition advice for climbers.
- STUFF [877–1001] – A mix of esoterica, such as how to rap off a fifi hook, what books to read, how to make your own kit, how to get sponsored, photo and video advice, and how to go to the toilet in tricky spots.
As a reader, you can read this book cover to cover (I did). Or you can skip around and read each section as it is relevant to your outdoor adventures. Or you can set it on your coffee table and learn something totally new and awesome every time you open it up. The key is to take this huge encyclopedic list of tips and apply it to your mountain pursuits.
Here are a couple of tips directly from 1001 Climbing Tips that we liked:
- #38 When making loops of rope try and make each loop a little shorter than the one before. This means that as you pay the ropes out, the loops won’t snag into each other.
- #207 If you begin to get pumped, try and get to a hold where you can take some strain off your arms and shake out. Shaking out with your elbows above your heart is more effective than doing it in the traditional way behind your back.
- #893 Smile. If you haven’t laughed or smiled for 24 hours, you need to rethink what you’re doing.
Do you like those? There 998 more tips like these in the book.
Originally, this book was published as an e-book in 2013. It was titled 1000+ Climbing Tips. We bought it, reviewed it, and are better mountaineers because of it. Yet this new print version is even better. It’s updated and edited and now features 192 full-color pages packed with 1001 tips, inspirational photos, and amazing diagrams/graphics/images. Unless you’re heading on an extended expedition and traveling light, buy the print version.
1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick was published by Vertebrate Publishing on 9 May 2016. It has been nominated for the print industry’s Golden Ink Awards.
To sum it all up, this book deserves a spot on your bookshelf. It is a excellent source of expert level mountain tips and tricks that every mountain enthusiast will enjoy. Read it once or read it once a week. You’ll learn something new every single time you open it up.
Vertebrate Publishing sent 1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick to A Mountain Journey for review. We give it the double thumbs up.