Andy is well documented for talking about how his motivations come from the will to push beyond expectation and be the best you can be, rather than chasing measurable firsts or records.
There are few things more personal than being alone on the wall, and Kirkpatrick knows this better than most.
The climber continued: “when you solo a big climb everything belongs to you, the high and the lows, the failure and the success.”
“Often starting just feels like a relief! It’s all psychological, especially just starting. There’s just so much doubt and worry and juggling before you begin. It’s far from fun.
“I hung on for a week in pretty terrible weather and got buried alive twice in my tent”
“Trying to solo the Eiger last year was pretty bad. I hung on for a week in pretty terrible weather and got buried alive twice in my tent. I told myself I couldn’t go down unless I took one more step up, so I hung on a little too long!
“When you’re defeated by the weather or conditions, it’s actually not so hard though. It’s much easier than when you’re defeated by bad judgement or a simple lack of will.”
For both MacLeod and Kirkpatrick of course, it’s unlikely that a lack of will or bad judgement will ever pose too much of a problem.
It takes a particular kind of drive to put down the guide books and set your own course of action, and a very particular skill set to be able to follow through on those plans.
These are men not content with sitting back and doing what many have done before, no matter how challenging; who find themselves fixated on individual goals that are as much personal as they are physical, and struggle to rest until that challenge is complete.
These are men who thrive on self-sufficient battles and refuse to rule out what has been ruled out by others; who do it themselves, and lay the way for the rest to follow.
To read the rest of Mpora’s D.I.Y Issue head here
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