A man who has faced the challenge of mountain peaks now shares his sometimes life-threatening experiences, injecting humour along the way
BRITISH mountaineer Andy Kirkpatrick has a reputation for climbing in extreme conditions. He also has a reputation as the most extreme speaker on the mountaineering circuit, with stand-up talents to rival the top comedy acts in the UK.
When Hell Freezes Over focuses on his winter expeditions to Patagonia, a treacherous mountain range at the southern most part of South America.
Andy's show at the Beck Theatre gives a taste of what it's like to go on a major expedition, with tales of being trapped on mile-high summits in hurricane winds, buried by avalanches, and pushed close to hypothermia while lashed to the side of a mountain. This promises to be a 100mph ride through the father-of-two's white-knuckle experiences.
Having been described by one London newspaper as 'making Ray Mears look like Paris Hilton', Andy comes across as relaxed, balanced and funny.
"I have been climbing for many years now and have been lucky enough to have some really good experiences and some bad ones," he says. "My show, so I have been told, appeals to nonclimbers and armchair climbers because there are certain universal themes running through it - challenging your fears, gaining different perspectives and being out in wonderful landscapes.
"My worst moment was when we were trying to bed down for the night on a ledge 1,700ft up a sheer rock face when a wicked 120mph storm struck. The wind was so strong and lasted all night, blowing our tent and all our equipment away.
I really thought 'this is it' but then I thought 'well I'm not going to go without putting up a real fight'. Thankfully the storm died before we did and we made our way safely down the mountain.
"When you get home from an experience like that it makes you less concerned when the neighbour might want an argument about putting rubbish into the wrong wheelie bin."
Andy's show comes with a high recommendation from climbing god Sir Chris Bonnington, who said: "Andy is one of the funniest of Britain's top climbers and represents what is best in modern British climbing: boldness, innovation, sense of humour, irreverence, commitment and an appetite for risk."
Andy Kirkpatrick's When Hell Freezes Over is at the Beck Theatre on Tuesday, November 18. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £14.
Please note, the show contains some strong language.