“A pitch of such appalling difficulty as to be almost beyond the realms of human comprehension,” said Paul Williams in his 1989 guidebook. The Indian Face might not be the UK’s hardest rock climb, but it’s probably its most infamous. This tenuous climb, high on the sides of Snowdon was the UK’s first E9. With hardly any protection, falling off from the upper sections is thought to be fatal.
When Johnny Dawes made the first ascent in October 1986, it made headlines for being “the world’s hardest climb” More info on UKClimbing: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/f…
Johnny Dawes & The story of Indian Face is a documentary about rock climbing that takes place in Clogwyn Du’r Arddu. It was directed by Alun Hughes in 2006 and produced by Hughes Film. It features Johnny Dawes, Joe Brown, Nick Dixon and John Redhead.
Fun Fact: Top climber James McHaffie reckons that Master’s Wall was actually our first E9. He told us “It got graded E7 but people repeated it the wrong way. And the guidebook was wrong. It’s not been verified apart from my view and ascent but I’m positive it’s as hard as The Indian Face.”
This film is part of The Alun Hughes Collection. BMC TV is hosting the films of the The Alun Hughes Collection on our YouTube channel. All films remain copyright Alun Hughes.