Trip Report
A walk on the wild slide with Johnny Dawes!
Tuesday November 28, 2017 2:58am
Looking down the Devil's Slide with Johnny Dawes on his hands free "wa...
Looking down the Devil's Slide with Johnny Dawes on his hands free "walk"!
Credit: Bald Eagle

Warm greetings SuperTopoists from a cold sunny day in the UK!

It was an absolute blast to film the legendary climber and all round nice guy Johnny Dawes on Lundy Island at the BMC Climbing Festival in late August. On his first ever visit to the Puffin Isle, he wanted to attempt a hands free "walk" up the island's classic climb called "The Devil's Slide" which a few of you folks may have climbed.

Johnny came up with this fantastically outrageous idea the night before we sailed whilst "bivvying" in Bideford long stay car park of all places! Fortunately I had some filming gear with me so a plan was soon formulated. All we needed was a couple of mates to help out with the logistics and the weather to play ball. So on a bluebird but blustery Friday September 1st and the wind getting ever stronger just to add to the excitement, Johnny started his walk up the Devil's Slide...

Anyway here's a wee video of the day with a bit of aerial footage of one of the UK's greatest ever climbers to lace up a pair of rock shoes on his attempt to "walk" up Lundy's most iconic natural feature on the classic climb of the island. I have seen a one or two things in 25 years of climbing but this was something else...



All constructive feedback welcome and please feel free to share it to your Facebook friends so sit back and take a walk on the wild slide with Johnny Dawes! :-)

  Trip Report Views: 4,258
Bald Eagle
About the Author
Bald Eagle is a trad climber from the UK who likes to boldly go where quite a few people have been before... :-)

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Nov 28, 2017 - 06:02am PT
EBs! Cool!

Munge, go onsight it. Does watching a video of a climb prior to climbing it change the designation of onsight to non-virtual onsight?

Thanks guys for posting this up!
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
  Nov 28, 2017 - 06:06am PT
Sweet little film, interesting that he wore EB's...
So glad he placed gear!
GR
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Nov 28, 2017 - 06:23am PT
What a wonderful nutburger :)

DMT
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Nov 28, 2017 - 09:17am PT
EB's nice touch,
anybody know what the rating is on that with hands?
Cool share,
thanks.
Tad
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Nov 28, 2017 - 09:42am PT
Good thing Johnny didn't meet the local gang


I heard it can get ugly on that slab.

DMT
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Nov 28, 2017 - 12:44pm PT
Rock climbing with no hands. What an absurd and pointless thing to do with one's time. I love it!

Great footage and music selection. Nice tight editing. You could have ruined that thing by making it 20 minutes long and choosing bad music but I was captivated and really enjoyed it. What a fun little project. Thanks for sharing!

Scott
xCon

Social climber
909
  Nov 28, 2017 - 12:55pm PT
that's not relaxing...

put a hand down!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Nov 28, 2017 - 01:10pm PT

Coolness incorporated. He has still got extraordinary balance and nimble feet. And now also the advantage of a progressively lower point of gravity ^^^^
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 28, 2017 - 03:31pm PT
No hesitation in that lad! Looked like he was going for groceries. Thanks for posting.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Nov 28, 2017 - 03:38pm PT
As they say Brilliant!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 28, 2017 - 08:33pm PT
Inspiring and awesome. Most of us have bouldered out no-hands routes, but 4 pitches!? Thanks.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Nov 28, 2017 - 10:11pm PT
HS 4a.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Nov 28, 2017 - 10:55pm PT
Thanks for the TR!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 28, 2017 - 11:19pm PT
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
Dy-no-mite!

T Hocking, the climb he's on is supposed to be 5.7 with hands.
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Nov 29, 2017 - 01:33am PT
Your videos always have such a great stoke in them. Thanks !

Wow thanks a million Tami, clinker, 7SacredPools, Dingus, T Hocking, xCon, Marlow, Munge, donini, Darwin, Merced and mcreel for all your kind comments as it is muchly appreciated! Happy Wednesday! :-)
Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Nov 29, 2017 - 01:20am PT
HS 4a

At the risk of being a pedant the Devil's Slide is HS 4b using hands for aid! I would not want to deprive Johnny of a technical grade and speaking to him afterwards he thought the "walk" may have been E6 6b without hands! However he may have had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek... ;-)
Cheers
Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Nov 29, 2017 - 01:33am PT
Rock climbing with no hands. What an absurd and pointless thing to do with one's time. I love it!

Great footage and music selection. Nice tight editing. You could have ruined that thing by making it 20 minutes long and choosing bad music but I was captivated and really enjoyed it. What a fun little project. Thanks for sharing!

Hi micronut and as you say a fantastically pointless and absurd thing to do! Many thansk for the positive feedback and glad you enjoyed my wee video! :-)
Cheers
Dave
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
  Nov 29, 2017 - 07:59am PT
Really fun video to watch! Thanks
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
  Nov 29, 2017 - 04:01pm PT
EBs!?
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 29, 2017 - 07:47pm PT
^Greg has a point.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Nov 29, 2017 - 08:07pm PT
Wonderful.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Nov 29, 2017 - 11:16pm PT
Too cool.
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Nov 30, 2017 - 07:50am PT
Really fun video to watch! Thanks

Many thanks once again steveA, G Murphy, Darwin and Ghost for taking the time to post some nice feedback as it is muchly appreciated! :-)
Cheers
Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Nov 30, 2017 - 07:51am PT
Too cool.

Too cool for school phylp! :-) Cheers Dave
bit'er ol' guy

climber
the past
  Nov 30, 2017 - 11:16am PT
I bet JD never left a turd-in-a-bag at a crag
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Dec 1, 2017 - 12:54am PT
I bet JD never left a turd-in-a-bag at a crag

I'm sure you are correct! He certainly never left one by the Devil's Slide... :-)
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
  Dec 4, 2017 - 02:52pm PT
Beautifully done film and good fun!

And it jogged some memories for me.

In the mid seventies we had several no- hands bouldering problems in the local areas. One day, Mike Graham and I, for laughs, tried one of the slab climbs at Suicide Rock (Surprise, three pitches, 5.8) and managed to get up it without using hands.

Knees were ok,, and it turned out that standing up actually increases traction because the weight is right over your feet.

Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
  Dec 4, 2017 - 03:34pm PT
Great video!!!

Anybody hang around long enough to see the whipper
@ 6:45??
😳😬
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Dec 4, 2017 - 06:55pm PT
I was like - what whipper!?

Thanks, I didn't stick around long enough.

DMT
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Dec 5, 2017 - 12:47am PT
Beautifully done film and good fun!

And it jogged some memories for me.

In the mid seventies we had several no- hands bouldering problems in the local areas. One day, Mike Graham and I, for laughs, tried one of the slab climbs at Suicide Rock (Surprise, three pitches, 5.8) and managed to get up it without using hands.

Knees were ok,, and it turned out that standing up actually increases traction because the weight is right over your feet.

Many thanks for your positive comments Rick and I really appreciate your appreciation! :-)
Cheers
Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Dec 5, 2017 - 12:55am PT
Great video!!!

Anybody hang around long enough to see the whipper
@ 6:45??

Thanks a million Rollover and the out-take of the whipper at the end, due to strong gusts of wind affecting Johnny's balance, was probably as impressive as the walk what with him running down the slab like Wile E. Coyote chasing after Roadrunner! :-)
Cheers
Dave
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Dec 14, 2017 - 12:23pm PT
Bald, you always deliver the goods with your videos - I just really love them. Outstanding job by J.D. on this slab, although it did make my knees hurt to look at some of his moves.
cheers, and thanks so much for posting up another outstanding video.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Dec 14, 2017 - 01:19pm PT
Anything with the Johnny Dawes name attached is worth a look!
Thanks for putting the video together: it's both novel and entertaining.

When Jerry Moffatt visited the states in '82, he told fun stories about Dawes' raw power and go-for-it spirit. Met Johnny briefly in Yosemite during the 90s. He's an all-around bon vivant with a great sense of humor. With his innovative nature, intelligence and talent, Dawes really is a gift to world climbing!
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Dec 17, 2017 - 01:39pm PT
Bald, you always deliver the goods with your videos - I just really love them. Outstanding job by J.D. on this slab, although it did make my knees hurt to look at some of his moves.
cheers, and thanks so much for posting up another outstanding video.

Hey Mr Danger many thanks for taking the time to post some kind feedback and I really appreciate your appreciation! Yeah Johnny was a star, great fun to hang out with and displayed some serious Jedi skills! :-)
Cheers
Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Dec 17, 2017 - 01:41pm PT
Anything with the Johnny Dawes name attached is worth a look!
Thanks for putting the video together: it's both novel and entertaining.

When Jerry Moffatt visited the states in '82, he told fun stories about Dawes' raw power and go-for-it spirit. Met Johnny briefly in Yosemite during the 90s. He's an all-around bon vivant with a great sense of humor. With his innovative nature, intelligence and talent, Dawes really is a gift to world climbing!

Many thanks for the positive feedback Tarbuster and indeed Mr Dawes is a great gift to climbing! :-)
Cheers
Dave
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Dec 24, 2017 - 05:31am PT
Merry Christmas Baldy,
I guess Johnny didn't want to over protect the route?
Lol
Thanks for your wonderful videos!
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Apr 11, 2018 - 03:36am PT
Merry Christmas Baldy,
I guess Johnny didn't want to over protect the route?
Lol
Thanks for your wonderful videos!

Hey Ezra I'm very sorry but only just stumbled across your kind words so thanks a million for posting your positive feedback!

And for anyone interested hopefully I should be teaming up with Johnny in the next few months to film another one of his inimitable and madcap "walks" so watch this space... :-)
Happy climbing!
Dave
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
  Apr 11, 2018 - 06:31am PT
Fun video. Thanks for posting. Just got me reading up on the history of Lundy Island for the past 1/2 hour BTW. Fascinating place.
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Apr 12, 2018 - 02:11am PT
Fun video. Thanks for posting. Just got me reading up on the history of Lundy Island for the past 1/2 hour BTW. Fascinating place.

Thanks a million justthemaid for your positive words and I'm glad you enjoyed my wee vid. For a small island which is about 5km long and 1km wide Lundy is an amazing place with some of the best sea cliff climbing in the UK. From the moment you step on the ferry (the MS Old n' Buggered) it's like stepping back in time a few decades with no TV's, e-mails, limited mobile phone reception and completely getting away from the rat race. Well worth a visit for anyone if they are over this side of the pond! :-) Cheers Dave
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
  Apr 12, 2018 - 06:30am PT
Never heard of the place a week ago- now its definitely on the bucket-list.
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
  Apr 12, 2018 - 07:48am PT
well done fun
photo not found
Missing photo ID#528013
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Apr 12, 2018 - 10:25am PT
Loved it! What a great gag my one of the great climbers and characters in our tribe.

BAd
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
  Apr 12, 2018 - 11:15am PT
A fine demonstration of superior vestibular balance. I'll bet he can pass a field sobriety test in just about any condition... ;-)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Apr 12, 2018 - 11:21am PT
Hey, Baldy, you gonna be in London 22-24 June? You could film me getting a couple
of pints no-handed! That should top the charts, eh?
johntp

Trad climber
Little Rock and Loving It
  Apr 12, 2018 - 01:47pm PT
When Jerry Moffatt visited the states in '82

Was that his only trip stateside? I remember seeing him at Big Rock near Riverside, CA once BITD. He soloed English Hanging Gardens (basically a .11 highball boulder problem) looking casual.
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2018 - 12:35am PT
well done fun

Many thanks hooblie the whole day filming with Johnny and my mates was a barrel of laughs! :-) Cheers Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2018 - 12:40am PT
Loved it! What a great gag my one of the great climbers and characters in our tribe.

Hey Ksolem and BAd thanks a million for your kind words as it is muchly appreciated! Anyway I should be filming Johnny on another one of his inimitable "walks" in the next few months so watch this space... :-)
Cheers Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2018 - 12:46am PT
Hey, Baldy, you gonna be in London 22-24 June? You could film me getting a couple of pints no-handed! That should top the charts, eh?

Yo Reilly sadly not as I'm running a trip to the Roaches in the Peak District! Have a great trip and a no-handed pint or 3 for me... :-)
Cheers Dave
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Apr 13, 2018 - 01:04am PT
For anyone interested Johnny had a trial run or "walk" a few days prior to this filmed ascent on the Devils Slide.

Johnny rapping in.
Johnny rapping in.
Credit: Bald Eagle

Due to the flat, grey light and the slab was busy with lots of climbers clambering up the various classic routes we decided to forget about filming and just go climbing and have a laugh!

Goofing around!
Goofing around!
Credit: Bald Eagle

So Johnny had a go at "walking" up the E1 classic (about 5.9 in American money) called Satan's Slip with a rope above his head...

Starting up Pitches 1 and 2
Starting up Pitches 1 and 2
Credit: Bald Eagle

In a way this "walk" was even more impressive than the Devil's Slide being a few grades harder. Johnny did have 3 dabs on the crux pitch but this was largely due to my belaying mate not being able top take in the ropes quick enough!

On the crux pitch!
On the crux pitch!
Credit: Bald Eagle


Serious ninja skills... :-)

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Apr 13, 2018 - 07:48am PT
John TP asked about Moffatt, stateside in 1982:
Was that his only trip stateside?

No. Not sure how many trips in total.
Circa ~ 1984 or 1985, he was filmed climbing the Lost Arrow tip free with Ron Kauk.

Somewhere in there, maybe the mid-80s trip, Moffatt was involved in some bad boy partying with me, the Fish, Skip Guerin, Largo and one of Largo's henchmen. We all did a lot of compulsive talking, and Moffatt almost chewed his mustache off that night, ha ha, if that gives you any indication of the proceedings. Good thing we didn't have video of that!

I saw him at Smith Rock, fall of 1988, working Scarface, belayed by his cute blonde German friend or girlfriend, Chrissy.

We exchanged a few words at the base of that route, and that was the last I saw him, unless maybe he was at the Snowbird World Cup, 1989, or the World Cup Championships, Greek Theater, Berkeley in 1990, both of which I worked for Jeff Lowe, but I don't recall at the moment whether Jerry was present.

Just read Moffatt's biography recently, where he talks some about these visits, certainly the 1982 trip. That's a great read, BTW!
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