"1001 Climbing Tips" Author Shares His Top Five Tips

Elite big wall and alpine climber Andy Kirkpatrick reveals his favorite climbing tips out of the 1001 he outlines in his new book "1001 Climbing Tips". Hear more from Andy in our Webisode on March 21, 2018.
Mountaineers Books Mountaineers Books
March 12, 2018
"1001 Climbing Tips" Author Shares His Top Five Tips

Author Andy Kirkpatrick, who also happens to be a renouned big wall and alpine climber, recently wrote  1001 Climbing Tips, published by Mountaineers Books. That's a lot of tips! Since Andy is known for big, cold, scary climbs around the world, we thought we'd give him a challenge: Out of the 1001 tips in your book, what are your top five and why?

ANDY's Top 5 Tips

I wrote the book quickly and in a way it was an exercise in knowledge strip mining, seeing if I could write a hundred tips a day for ten days straight!

Tip 252 is a life saver and something all climbers should do, which is always clip the rope ends to their harness when rapping, as it stops you rapping off your rope (still all too common - and a knot in the end may not save you), and means you never have more than 50% of the rope below you, meaning less snags and hazards. This is vital in stormy weather or on very snaggy ground. 

Tip 250 makes me laugh and is a good one for new winter climbers, which is to always put your helmet down right side up, not upside down, which stops it sliding away on snow slopes, the motto: “happy turtle” and “sad turtle.”

In these technological days, tip 914 is handy as it covers C.H.E.W, my own little motto that stands for Cold to Hot, Everything Wet. This is a vital tip when moving in and out of tents and cars or when using cameras in your clothing layers. If you’re taking something from a very cold temperature, such as a camera or laptop, into a warm temperature, then stick it in a dry bag or plastic bag to stop moisture condensing onto it (this can damage electronics).

Tip 879 is an exotic technique of feeding your rope through two belay devices in order to make an auto locking one handed belay device, handy if your belayer can only use one arm (a good self rescue tip).

Having spent a good deal of my life camping on snow, I like tips 765 to 768 which cover digging a snow pit in the vestibule of your tent. This allows you to step down into your tent, instead of crawl in. The hole creates a cold sink, lets you be in a sitting position when cooking, and gives you somewhere to throw  a stove that’s misbehaving! 

Hear more

Get more tips from Andy in a free online presentation, Wednesday, March 21, from 12-1pm. Register to save your seat even if you can't make it to receive a recording of the event to listen to whenever you'd like. This is Episode 9 of Mountaineers Books Web Series.