Glasgow & West Scotland

Behind the scenes of climbing documentary Psycho Vertical

Andy Kirkpatrick Image copyright Andy Kirkpatrick
Image caption The new documentary revisits a 12-day ascent Andy Kirkpatrick made of El Capitan when he was a young man

A professional climber's account of coping with severe dyslexia and making one of the world's hardest solo ascents has been made into a film.

Pyscho Vertical is based on a book of the same name written by Hull-born Andy Kirkpatrick after completing a 12-day solo climb of Reticent Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite, California.

El Capitan
Image caption The formidable granite rock formation El Capitan

El Capitan is a vertical granite rock formation that rises to 900m (3,000ft).

Its challenging climbing routes have different degrees of difficulty and can take days and weeks to complete, with climbers having to eat and sleep, using lightweight, collapsible cots while wearing harnesses.

This week, two Americans set a new speed climbing record for an ascent of a route called The Nose.

Andy Kirkpatrick Image copyright Andy Kirkpatrick
Image caption Andy Kirkpatrick describes himself as a "mixed up kid from Hull"
Andy Kirkpatrick Image copyright Andy Kirkpatrick
Image caption The climber's first ascent of El Capitan was followed by several return visits to the vertical granite rock formation

A chance meeting between Kirkpatrick and Glasgow-based film-maker Jen Randall at El Capitan in 2012 led to the film project.

Randall, a climber and a graduate of Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, makes award-winning documentaries with her company, Light Shed Pictures.

Andy Kirkpatrick Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Andy Kirkpatrick's book won him a top mountain literature award
Jen Randall Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Film-maker Jen Randall travelled to Yosemite for her documentary

The documentary follows Kirkpatrick as he prepares for, and makes, a new 18-day ascent of El Capitan.

Next month, the film will be given its world premiere at Canada's Banff Mountain Film Festival and European premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival before being shown in Glasgow.

Andy Kirkpatrick and Jen Randall Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Making the documentary involved Kirkpatrick making a new 18-day ascent of El Capitan

Describing himself as a "mixed up kid from Hull", Kirkpatrick's book recounts experiences of severe dyslexia in childhood and later life, his "lost adolescence" and personal relationships in between accounts of pitches up El Capitan.

The book won the The Boardman Tasker Prize For Mountain Literature in 2008.

Jen Randall Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Jen Randall is herself an experienced climber

The climber, who has frequent return visits to El Capitan to climb its routes, has made a name for himself tackling vertical climbs, often in challenging winter weather conditions.

In 2014, he made a 14-day first ascent of the South Ridge of Ulvertanna in Antarctica in freezing temperatures.

Jen Randall Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Jen Randall is a Glasgow-based film-maker

Randall, who has shared this selection of behind-the-scenes images and stills from the 64-minute documentary, ran a crowdfunding campaign to finance the making of the film.

Andy Kirkpatrick Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Psycho Vertical will be given its world premiere next month
Andy Kirkpatrick and Jen Randall Image copyright Jen Randall
Image caption Randall has shared a selection of stills and behind-the-scenes images from her film

All images are copyrighted.

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