Andy Kirkpatrick in action. Photo: Andy Kirkpatrick

Andy Kirkpatrick in action. Photo: Andy Kirkpatrick

Lightweight clothing specialist Montane will sponsor one of Britain’s leading climbers.

The Northumberland-based brand has teamed up with Andy Kirkpatrick best known for his big-wall climbs.

The author of Psychovertical and Cold Wars has climbed El Capitan in Yosemite 18 times, three of them solo and one in a single 18-hour push.

In 2002 he completed a 15-day winter ascent of the west face of the Aiguille du Dru, a 1,000m pillar considered one of the toughest climbs in the French Alps or anywhere in Europe. A further achievement was a 12-day solo of the Reticent Wall in the Yosemite Valley, one of the hardest climbs of its type in the world.

In 2006 he skied across Greenland with his partner, Paralympic athlete Karen Darke. The couple covered the 600km from coast to coast in 28 days, a feat made more incredible by the fact that this was the first time he had clipped his boot into a ski binding.

He has taken part in four epic winter expeditions in Patagonia, including winter attempts on Torre Egger and Cerro Standhart with Ian Parnell. More recently he completed the first winter ascent of Suser Gjennom Harryland on Troll Wall in Norway. Along with his climbing partners, two Norwegian skiers, they made it up the 18-pitch route in 12 days.

He said: “I haven’t climbed Everest, skied to the Poles, nor sailed single handed around the world.

“The goals I set out to accomplish aren’t easily measured or quantified by world records or ‘firsts’.

“The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude; they are about breaking barriers within myself.”

Andy Kirkpatrick recently returned from a trip to the North Face of the Eiger where he attempted the 52-pitch, 2006 Russian route.

On the climb he and his team used Montane clothing and equipment in cold and treacherously wet ice-climbing conditions.

Montane will be supporting Kirkpatrick in his forthcoming climbing exploits and will also be working with him to create products born from his experiences on some of the most demanding mountain faces in the world.

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