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Cold Wars

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About the Author

Andy Kirkpatrick has a reputation for seeking out routes where the danger is real, and the return is questionable, pushing himself on some of the hardest walls and faces in the Alps and beyond. He was born and raised on a council estate in Hull, one of the UK's flattest cities, and suffered from severe dyslexia, which went undiagnosed until he was 19. Thriving on this apparent adversity, Andy transformed himself into one of the worlds most driven and accomplished climbers, and an award-winning writer. In 2001 he undertook an eleven-day solo ascent of the Reticent Wall on El Capitan, one of the hardest solo climbs in the world. This climb was the central theme of his first book Psychovertical, which won the 2008 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. Cold Wars is his second book. Andy lives in Sheffield with his two children.


"A book which celebrates all that is best in mountaineering literature and the Boardman Tasker Award in particular." (Bernard Newman, Boardman Tasker Prize 2012). "The book is often as varied as it is textured, and with every break I looked forward to returning ... a book that is both hilarious and haunting." (Alison Osius, Rock & Ice Magazine). "This is Andy Kirkpatrick at his best." (Tom Richardson, Climb Magazine). "The rarest of things, a mountaineering book that really matters." (John Horscroft, Climber Magazine). "Kirkpatrick's wry sarcasm, his deft character sketches of his climbing partners, and the often ridiculous situations of the game of big-wall climbing lead to many laugh-out-loud moments. The portrayal of Kirkpatrick's developing insight into his motivation and his growing realisation of the importance of life outside climbing make this a climbing autobiography on a par with Steve House's Beyond the Mountain, only with more jokes about poo and Johnny Depp." (John Chivall, TGO Magazine). "Brilliantly written, painfully thoughtful and yet still an incredibly easy and gripping read. Human and brilliant at the same time." (Jon Doran, "A good second book from one of the the UK's best climbing showmen which will hopefully open the door for a third, as this man surely has more mountain stories to tell." (Jack Geldard, "It's laugh-out-loud funny at times, and amazingly honest at others. Read it - but then you would have done anyway." (Rosie Fuller, Adventure Travel Magazine). "Cold Wars is a funny, poignant read and I enjoyed it very much." (Alastair Humphreys, "A hugely entertaining and moving book, which will appeal to mountaineers and non-mountaineers alike, and no doubt will become one of the modern classics." (Ken Applegate, Scottish Mountaineer). "The book weaves an impressive line between man and mountaineer ... and manages to break out of an over-worked genre by dint of the author's honesty and vulnerability." (John Appleby, To Hatch A Crow). "A superbly written insight into the life of a world class performer torn by internal battles, never satisfied because to stand still is to go backwards and infuriatingly not recognising that he doesn't need to be be measured against anyone." (Dave Mycroft, "A book that is moving, powerful and hugely entertaining, often within a single chapter, Cold Wars joins Psychovertical as one of the new classics of mountaineering literature." (Nicola Underdown, "Cold Wars is a superb book. For those like me who don't climb, it is a fantastic insight into a specialised world with pithy comment on the difficulties faced by those who inhabit it. For those who climb big walls in winter, you may well be in it. Regardless of who you are, go and read it." (British Army Rumour Service).

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