Johnny Dawes

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Gordon

Trad climber
South Florida
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 24, 2008 - 04:21pm PT
This past weekend I watched a new DVD called The Australian Project featuring a crew of powerful young climbers. (Nice kids, but the DVD is crap.)

Afterward, in frustration, I pulled out my old copy of Stone Monkey featuring a young Johnny Dawes dancing up hard Gritstone like Baryshnikov. The added section on his ascent of Indian Face in 1986 is especially gripping. Dawes was, obviously, well ahead of his time... an incredible climber!

Does anyone have any personal stories about him?



Phantom Fugitive

Trad climber
Misery
Mar 24, 2008 - 08:13pm PT
I spent an afternoon with him in '03(?) in Boulder. Afterwards we went out for drinks.


He explained his "equations" for movement and climbing by scribbling on napkins. The remaining marks, graphs, and sanskrit left us scratching our heads and feeling absolutely clueless and painfully unaware. I continued doodling cartoons on my napkin, with a curved hand to hide my my juvenile chicken scratches, one which had a confused climber with a dunce cap on.

After watching him climb some of his test-pieces on film, I see the mathematics applied, and ... it still makes no sense to me how he does what he does. He is playing a different game than most of us.


jer
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 24, 2008 - 08:31pm PT
I met him when he was staying with Mark Chapman in the Valley 15 or 20 years ago; seemed like a nice enough bloke. He had a curious nature.

Other than that brief meeting, all I have to go on is that Moffatt was in awe of the guy and that says a lot.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jul 29, 2010 - 09:48am PT
dawes tread boldly.
boorowed this gloss of neil on dawes' end of the affair from an old issue of climbing.

mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jul 29, 2010 - 10:28am PT
Some of his unusual ideas really work. Spinning your arm generates angular momentum and pushes you into the rock. It's the same reason why people do this naturally when they're getting ready to fall off a log crossing a stream. You don't normally think to do this on purpose, but if you do, it can help to keep you attached to a slab. I sometimes have fun going out to boulder on slabs after watching Stone Monkey for inspiration. Kind of like reading "Master of Rock" before going out for a session of dynos.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 29, 2010 - 11:01am PT
New stuff from Johnny.

His partner bails on the pitch!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZhXQkwcjNw
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 29, 2010 - 11:28am PT
Nice trailer for the new dvd from the old VHS!

Lycra god!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOz5VKMp3CY&feature=related
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Jul 29, 2010 - 12:16pm PT
No personal stores, but Stone Monkey is still my favourite all time climbing vid.
Jobee

Social climber
El Portal Ca.
Jul 29, 2010 - 01:35pm PT
Johnny rocks.

Excellent; he's at it again!

Where ever you are John, big smile coming your way from Yosemite.

-Gave me the ride of my life (in his rally car mind you), through the streets of Sheffield!

oh yes, the guy can drive too.



Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 23, 2010 - 12:29pm PT
...from Climbing archives
noshoesnoshirt

climber
Arkansas, I suppose
Aug 23, 2010 - 12:44pm PT
Thanks for the scan; haven't seen that article in years
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 23, 2010 - 01:27pm PT
I always thought that pic of him on that slab (I think that's the Very Big and the Very Small, maybe the hardest slab ever done) is one of the more memorable climbing pics I can think of.

klk

Trad climber
cali
Aug 23, 2010 - 02:16pm PT
victorian overmantle is really hard.

i couldn't get it while i was in the peak.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 23, 2010 - 02:46pm PT
Here you go Weege.
This will make your skin crawl, and make you want to be more than you are, more than we are...or make you want to hide.

It's uncomfortable and beautiful at the same time.
King Arthurs Sword? Holy Sacred Crimpers!! AAARRRGGGHHHH!

http://vimeo.com/2395966

Feckin' brilliant, the black and white...and the cig at the end is priceless. Why can't we make films that are so understated and masterful?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 23, 2010 - 03:09pm PT
And there is Coz's arguement for SFHD too.

Something too sacred for rap bolting.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 23, 2010 - 04:26pm PT
Still inspiring from the standpoint of a real individual.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jWhBWGo-2M&feature=related
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Mar 28, 2014 - 04:37am PT



Good stuff.



fluffy

Trad climber
Colorado
Mar 28, 2014 - 09:42am PT
I always thought that pic of him on that slab (I think that's the Very Big and the Very Small, maybe the hardest slab ever done) is one of the more memorable climbing pics I can think of.

I tore it out and stuck it on one of my kitchen cabinets back in 95. Mindblowing. So's the one of Quarryman.
Ian Parsons

climber
UK, England
Mar 28, 2014 - 02:00pm PT
In about 1980 I joined in with a few other climbers at an impromptu slideshow at a friend's house in Worcester, UK. Having recently done The Shield, that was my contribution to the event. There was a small boy, whom I hadn't previously encountered, getting very excited about the various aid-climbing shots; he was jumping up and down on furniture, pointing at unlikely-looking bits of rock, and saying things like "Look - it's got features; it'll go free!" The infamous rurp groove was greeted with "You could layback that!" I obviously played the gnarly veteran - all 27 years - and pointed out that we'd had nothing that could be called a "hold" for two days and he should stop talking rubbish.

He clearly had the vision way back then; in view of free-climbing levels achieved on El Cap over the intervening decades I expect he'll be proved right in the end.

schwortz

Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
Mar 28, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
New stuff from Johnny.

His partner bails on the pitch!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZhXQkwcjNw

i'm pretty sure i know and have climbed with the partner/belayer...he's a pretty good climber...

dawes is awesome and stone monkey is an all-time classic
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