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In climbing I do things that I enjoy and want to do not the ones that are currently in fashion.
Muriel Sarkany
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 Climbers
Mick Fowler, b. 1956, Great Britain
Dean Potter, b. 1972, USA
Steph Davis, b. 1973, USA
Wojciech „Voytek” Kurtyka, b. 1947, Poland
Wolfgang Güllich 1960-1992, Germany
 Climbers

Johnny Dawes, b. 1963

Johnny Dawes is a rock’n’roll guru, a dancer in the vertical plane. If it were just our souls that went climbing then he would be the best there’s ever been.

Ed Douglas

 

Johnny has something you can’t aquire like you can stamina or power. It’s just a pure talent.

Neil Gresham

 


2003

Drummond Base E8 6c, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, solo after top-rope practice
Zen Boy E7 6c, Stanage, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent
Sentinel Groove E6 6c, Chatsworth, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent


2001

Started giving climbing lessons


1998

Film “Hard Grit” released


1995

Avoiding the Traitors E8 6c, Burbage South, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

The Salmon E7 7a, Bamford, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

Smoked Salmon E8 7a, Bamford, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent in one day, at least F8b

Face Mecca E9 6c, Clogwyn Du’r Arrdu, North Wales, second ascent


1994

The Angel’s Share E8 7a, Black Rocks, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, solo, desperate route with unusual moves: no handholds on the pebble-less slab result in several rock-overs which require timed momentum from the previous rock-over to enable a foot to be placed higher

Jumpin’ on a Beetle E7 6c, Black Rocks, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, solo

Film “Best Forgotten Art” released


1990

The Very Big and Very Small E9 7a/b (F8c), Slate, North Wales, first ascent
The world’s hardest slab at the time (70-degree angle).

Tabou Zi Zi 8b, Buoux, France, repeat

Mauvais Sang 8b, Buoux, France, repeat


1989

Living in Oxford E7 7a, Burbage North, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

 

1988

Hardback Thesaurus E7 6b, Gogarth, North Wales, first ascent, French 7c climbing and skyhook protection in the upper part, climbed without pre-inspection. Dawes took a 70’ near ground fall on one of his numerous attempts.

Professor Whittaker E7 6b 6a, Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales, first ascent, climbed without pre-inspection. Long runouts off bodyweight gear placements.

Bobby’s Groove E6 7a (F7c+), Vivian Quarry, Slate, North Wales, first ascent

Jodicus Direct E6 6b/c, Lochaber Area, West Scotland, on sight flash ascent

Knuckle Sandwich E7 (6b, 5c, 6c, 5a, 6b, 6a), Strone Ulladale, Isle of Harris, Scotland, first ascent with Paul Pritchard

 


1987

The Scoop E7 (6b 6a 6b 6a 6b 6b 6a 6b), Strone Ulladale, Isle of Harris, Scotland, first free ascent of 1969 Doug Scott’s A4 line, with Paul Pritchard

Llanberries E7 6c, Tremadoc, North Wales, first ascent

The Wonderful World of Walt Disney E5 (6b, 6b, 7a, 6a), Twll Mawr, Slate, North Wales, first ascent

The Gay Blade E6 6a, Twll Mawr, Slate, North Wales, first ascent, with Bob Drury


Film “Stone Monkey” (by Alan Hughes) released. The film won six awards, including the prestigious Trento festival.


1986

Chautauqua E7 6c, Robin Hood’s Stride,  Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

Dukes Wall E7 6c, Dukes Quarry, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent


The Quarryman E8 (6c, 6b, 6c, 7a), Twll Mawr, Slate, North Wales, first ascent, with Bob Drury

It’s Johnny classic. The crux move is one-finger mantle on a mirror-like slb. It’s something Johnny reveals in but would appall 99 percent of sport climbers. The route also involves lying across a groove and palming into crucifix. There’s no other way of doing it. There isn’t a conventional hold on the route. There’s nothing to pull on, it’s all palming and pushing and squeezing and grunting.
Neil Gresham


The Medium E7 7a, Slate, North Wales, first ascent


Gaia E8 6c, Black Rocks, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, FIRST E8 ROUTE

Johnny: I was thinking “stupid pratt”. I was in the wrong state of mind. The weird thing about my climbing is that I do my best routes when I’ve got the most instability in my life.


Kaluza-Klein E7 6c, Robin Hood’s Stride, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, powerful arete with bad landing, much easier for the tall

Slab and Crack E7 6c, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, tiny holds and hard moves above marginal R.P.’s 

Darmah E7 6c, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, strenuous wall climbing with spaced stacked pegs for protection


Conan The Librarian E7 (6b 6b), Wen Zawn, North Wales, first ascent with Simon Donahue

Janus E7 7a, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

End of the Affair E8 6c, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, rounded laybacking and edging, up an arete, way above a gnarly landing

Come to Mother E7 (6a 6a), Gogarth, North Wales, first ascent, on-sight, with Paul Pritchard. Very steep and rotten quartzite. Unprotected first and second pitch with poor belay in between. Route collapsed six weeks later.

Velvet Silence E6 6c, Black Rocks, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, on-sight free solo

Indian Face E9 6c, Clogwyn Du’r Arrdu, North Wales, first ascent
Milestone in Welsh climbing. The route was generally recognized as the boldest undertaking on British rock at the time. Thin, sustained, deadly serious and mostly on layaways and smears.
 
Johnny: It’s frightening!!! No protection really, 6c moves 100ft up, that’s fairly dangerous. I think!!! Unrepeated for eight years.

 

1985

Offspring E5 6b, Burbage South, Gritstone, Peak District,  first ascent

Raped By Affection E6 6b, Llanberies, North Wales, repeat of John Redhead’s route

Naked Before the Beast E6 6b, Llanberies, North Wales,  repeat of John Redhead’s route and adding own variation (6c)

Sad Among Friends E6 7a, Stanage, first ascent

Dawes of Perception E7 6c, Vivian Quarry, Slate, North Wales, first ascent, thin slad climbing above bad wires, only the quick reactions of the belayer, by jumping into lake, can save you if you fall

Windows of Perception E6 7a, Slate, North Wales, first ascent

White Lines E7 6b, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent
The route went unrepeated until the late 90s.

 

1984

Monopoly E6 6b, Millstone, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

Wall Street Crash E6 6b, Millstone, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

Braille Trail E7 6c, Burbage South, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

Benign Lives E7 6b, Froggatt, Gritstone, Peak District,  first ascent

Committed E6 6b, Curbar, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand E6 6a, Millstone, first ascent

Ulysses E6 6b, Stanage, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent, on-sight free solo

 

1983

Jugged Hare E6 6a, Froggatt, Gritstone, Peak District, first ascent

 


LITERATURE

Numerous issues of “Mountain”, “High Magazine”, “On The Edge”.


Articles:
1. Cutting Edge, “Mountain” 1989, July/August, No.128

2. Ed Douglas, The Leaping Boy, “Climbing” 1996, No. 164.

3. Dave Pegg, Dangerous Crocodile Snogging, “High” No. 144, November 1994.

4. Dave Pegg, Return of the Stone Monkey, “High” No. 137, April 1994.

5. Paul Pritchard, Home is where the hardware is…, “On The Edge” No. 46,  February/March 1995.


 

 
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