/ NEWS: Indian Face Solo .... without ropes!

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UKC News - on 18 May 2010
[Cloggy, 2 kb]...A fall from there would end only on the ground. This didn't stop Joseph Smith, who took multiple ground falls on his attempts to climb the route in the purest style. Remarkably he came away unscathed and went on to complete the route...

The Indian Face. Ground Up. No Ropes. Sticky Rubber Shoes.

Yes, it's unbelievable! But is it true?

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=53473

Phil Kelly - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Can't wait to see those photos!

Phil
newhey - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Are you lot bored at UKC Towers or summin?
Tom_Harding - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Really??
Tom Last - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Was it DJViper?
archiecb - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

well it is no surprise he was wasn't bothered about contacting you if you put an article like that on the site. Now he will just think you are calling him a liar.

;-)
crag_hopper_Jay - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Well if he has fair play, and if he hasn't that's some serious show boating to the misses.
bhoobah on 18 May 2010 - mail.lexrecords.com
In reply to UKC News: what is the point of this? generating page impressions/traffic/ad revenue?
Darren Jackson - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Southern Man:

If it was DJViper, then surely he'd have referred to Tryfan with it's correct name of Mount Ogwen?

No, I doubt it's the Viper, but I'm really pleased that somebody finally got around to doing the thing solo and onsight. Hopefully, he'll now give Echo Wall the same treatment... And then fly back home on one of his pigs.
Fraser on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Err, emails from Joseph and Mary??? Hello....

Must have been an immaculate ascension!
Franco Cookson on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: So he fell off from the top crux twice? What a nutter. Bon effort.
Fraser on 18 May 2010
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Err, emails from Joseph and Mary???

Sorry, I see now that Jack changed the names himself!
johncoxmysteriously - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I've no idea what you're trying to do, but haven't we had rather more than enough of this sort of spoof article? Certainly put me down for having had *far* more than enough, anyway. Once every ten years is funny. Once every three months is tedious.

You do realise, I suppose, that some of your readership is dim enough to believe this sort of thing?

jcm
Franco Cookson on 18 May 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>

>
> You do realise, I suppose, that some of your readership is dim enough to believe this sort of thing?
>
>


oi!
James Paul Robinson - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Franco C: Nice to see you provisionally got the blame..... Hahahaha
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

The odd thing is that the e-mail exchanges are real!

Chris
Tom_Harding - on 18 May 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

UKC wouldent make this up, far to obvious and as you said not funny. I like a good mystery...
franksnb - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs: that or the spelling mistakes are the touch of a truly subtle UKC hoax
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> I've no idea what you're trying to do, but haven't we had rather more than enough of this sort of spoof article?

I strongly doubt the ascent, but this isn't a spoof article. Those emails are cut and paste (with names changed).

It is a good illustration of some of the things we get sent and have to decide how to deal with.

Alan
Mike Peacock on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: It's all the more impressive when you consider the fresh coating of powder that was down low on 3rd May :p
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikepeacock/4576173246/sizes/o/
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Mike Highbury - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
> [...]
>
> I strongly doubt the ascent, but this isn't a spoof article. Those emails are cut and paste (with names changed).
>
> It is a good illustration of some of the things we get sent and have to decide how to deal with.
>
> Alan

And so you decided to publish and be damned
El3ctroFuzz - on 18 May 2010
Anything above 5m is a long way to fall.

If he climbs like a brickllayer, why hasnt it been repeated so easily so much.

Is it only possible for people who climb like bimblers to get up it?

Maybe the route get some more traffic.
Serpico on 18 May 2010 - unallocated.star.net.uk
In reply to UKC News:
Time for a new profile - UKC Rumour?
In reply to Everyone: The emails are real.

I found the final email to be very interesting.

I thought the whole thing was worth publishing.

I hope some people find it interesting too.

Thanks,

Jack
Clinger - on 18 May 2010
Why is everyone so quick to dismiss the guy?

Yes, I know it'd be a truly astonishing story, and I agree it should be looked into and verified, however I prefer to take people at face value and only downgrade my opinion of them if subsequent events require it.

So I say well done to the guy.

Actually, come to think of it... If he doesn't particularly want the ascent recorded, then why even verfy it? Respect the guy's desire for privacy, don't record it, we all go back to normal and he has some fantastic memories to last him the rest of his life.

Just my 2p's worth.
Tom_Harding - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Might have been an idea to put 'Unconfirmed solo ascent of indian face' or somthing. Its worded as though you are convinced after checking the details yourself.
Dave Warburton - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Lightened my day of revision. Don't see the issue with people on here having a go. People are so serious these days.
Franco Cookson on 18 May 2010
In reply to Clinger: Agree with the belief before proof otherwise, but you surely understand the reasoning to attempt to discover whether this is fiction or not? It makes future ground up ascents of this route less news-worthy.
Simon Caldwell - on 18 May 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> Certainly put me down for having had *far* more than enough, anyway.

You don't have to clip the bolts if you don't want to.

Sorry, wrong stock inane response.

You don't have to read the article if you don't want to.
lowersharpnose - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Tom_Harding:

Its worded as though you are convinced after checking the details yourself.

It doesn't read like that to me.

Yanchik - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

And your decision was to publish it under the heading "NEWS: Indian Face Solo ... without ropes!"

I'm sure your advertisers appreciate your decision, lots of traffic generated, lots of click-throughs.

"NEWS: Bears defecate in a sylvan environment, Pope wears a silly hat, Alan James disingenuous and UKC full of ssss...." - forgive me, "UKC suffers from a low signal to noise ratio."

You could try employing an Editor, I suppose ?

Y
jogwen - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

"The climb has some micro wire protection low down, but essentially all the top half of the route, which has the hardest climbing, is unprotected."

Is soloing it really that much more dangerous than leading it then? Soloing it means you have a lot less faff and no rope drag so you can concentrate harder on the climbing?

Managing it with no top rope practice first is remarkable though.


Darren Jackson - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Clinger:
>
> So I say well done to the guy.

It's got wind-up written all over it.

P.S. I ran a 3:15 mile before breakfast this morning. Do I get a well done too?... It might have been quicker as well, if I hadn't had to stop towards the end to wrestle a tiger.
scooott - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Funny read, and hard to believe anyone could fall for it :P.

Who refers to holds as 'grips' anyway? Only non climbers, that I've heard.

The comment about attaching a camera to his pants was particularly inventive too, a little more subtlety and it would have worked a lot better.
lowersharpnose - on 18 May 2010
In reply to jogwen:

Indian Face has not been climbed by this chap.

Andy Stephenson - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: perhaps not so much a wind-up as a case of mistaken identity? I could solo Indian Face, as long as I was allowed my own interpretation of the line...
jkarran - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

> (In reply to Everyone) The emails are real.
> I found the final email to be very interesting.
> I thought the whole thing was worth publishing.
> I hope some people find it interesting too.

Stranger things happen at sea...

It doesn't quite ring true </understatement> but then it's an odd way to go about a windup. Amusing enough reading either way :)
jk
highclimber - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: an email exchange is not proof of an ascent. I'll believe it when there is hard evidence - Show yourself 'Joseph Smith'!
Flashy - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Andy Stephenson:
> (In reply to UKC News)I could solo Indian Face, as long as I was allowed my own interpretation of the line...

Yeah, I soloed a line about 100 miles east of Indian Face. I think this last unclimbed problem used to be referred to as 'Grotto Slab' but since its first ascent I have renamed it 'Indian Face Direct'.

This is quite funny if the girlfriend genuinely has been wound up, believes it, and is so proud she's blabbed to anyone who'll listen. Given this guy's supposed comments it's more likely it's a wind up and not actually funny, just a bit dull.

Flashy - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Flashy: Also, I can't believe anyone is actually saying "I need to see some proof!" Are you all in on the wind-up as well?
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wilkie14c - on 18 May 2010
In reply to jkarran:
It'd be great if this guy was just boasting to his burd knowing she'd google TIF afterwards and big up his rep! She could well be all believing in all of this not yet realising she's been had :-)

Don't know what all the fuss is anyway, I've done the first 1/3 of the route on TR, its hard but not death.
David Peters - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Surely that should read Indian Farce ?
dlyonsewing - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

this story is just not true
Tdubs - on 18 May 2010
In reply to dlyonsewing:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> this story is just not true

Come on now man, thats quite an assertion. Lets not get carried away.
banned profile 74 on 18 May 2010 - 87.113.22.96.plusnet.pte-ag1.dyn.plus.net
In reply to blanchie14c:
I've done the first 1/3 of the route on TR, its hard but not death.


thats because its the last 1/3 thats hard and death
tcashmore - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Freeclimbing rather than soloing ? After 20 years ...
IainRUK - on 18 May 2010
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to UKC News) an email exchange is not proof of an ascent. I'll believe it when there is hard evidence - Show yourself 'Joseph Smith'!

There needn't be proof of ascent.

There never really has been, of course there have been a few high profile frauds.

The other day i was reading a 'New climbs 1968' book, which had loads of routes around North Wales, later found to be totally made up.
highclimber - on 18 May 2010
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to highclimber)
> [...]
>
> There needn't be proof of ascent.
>
> There never really has been, of course there have been a few high profile frauds.
>
> The other day i was reading a 'New climbs 1968' book, which had loads of routes around North Wales, later found to be totally made up.

I think its called ballpointing
Postmanpat on 18 May 2010
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> If it was DJViper, then surely he'd have referred to Tryfan with it's correct name of Mount Ogwen?
>
>
Check out the Viper's profile. Mount Ogwen has been renamed Tryfan. That seals the deal. Hats off to the one and only DJViper. Respect......
antoniusblock - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Postmanpat:

Joseph Smith? The same one who started up the mormons? If it is he must have a good training reigime!!
wilkie14c - on 18 May 2010
In reply to beastofackworth:
> (In reply to blanchie14c)
> I've done the first 1/3 of the route on TR, its hard but not death.
>
>
> thats because its the last 1/3 thats hard and death

that's one i've got so far :) :) :)
wilkie14c - on 18 May 2010
In reply to antoniusblock:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Joseph Smith? The same one who started up morrisons? If it is he must have a good training reigime!!


That's Richard Hammond I think...
SFM - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Darren Jackson:
>
>
>
> P.S. I ran a 3:15 mile before breakfast this morning. Do I get a well done too?... It might have been quicker as well, if I hadn't had to stop towards the end to wrestle a tiger.

Did you use the shortcut I told you about....saves on a lot of that running lark.

mic_b - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: A truely outstanding ascent! Congratulations, I'm sure at 7b+ / 7c it's possible for someone with the skill to solo ground up so why not.
flaneur - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

To give this tosh the same headline status as impressive ascents by Alex Honnold and Dave Birkett is disrespectful to those climbers.

A supposedly interesting metanarrative (get me!) is no excuse.
highclimber - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: I just find it very hard for this guy to have been climbing for 20 years and him not know or, worse, care how significant this ascent is (if, of course, it's true).
jogwen - on 18 May 2010
In reply to lowersharpnose:

Quite possibly, but being nowhere near good enough to even consider a climb of this grade, I'm still interested in what people think of the difference between soloing and leading an E9 - is there a point up the scale of exposure where the rope actually becomes more of a hindrance than a help?
Franco Cookson on 18 May 2010
In reply to jogwen: When the gear is too crap to stop you hitting the ground.
robw007 - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Whats the point ............ ?
Monk - on 18 May 2010
In reply to jogwen:
> (In reply to lowersharpnose)
>
> Quite possibly, but being nowhere near good enough to even consider a climb of this grade, I'm still interested in what people think of the difference between soloing and leading an E9 - is there a point up the scale of exposure where the rope actually becomes more of a hindrance than a help?

That actually raises quite an interesting point. If you habitually solo, then the trad grade becomes almost meaningless - only the sport grade would really count. Indian face would be roughly on a par with soloing a well protected E6.
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F McCann on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:
This chap 'Joseph Smith' quite clearly isn't a climber at all. In his e-mail response to Jack this becomes quite apparent from his use of terminology and by the way he misunderstood some of the questions he was being asked.

1) He talks about climbing boots as if they are a rare commodity.
2) He refers to solo climbing as "free-climbing", a mistake that many non-climbers make.
3) He doesn't understand the meaning of 'style' in reference to an ascent.
4) He doesn't seem to have a concept of what a route is. He considers Tryfan a route. In which case Cloggy (to him) is also a route; he probably just knows it as the 'Indian Face'.

I've been very cynical here though. It is possible that he is a very talented climber who is completely removed from the climbing community, and so has never gained the knowledge that we consider so elementary.

I doubt it though. I suspect he's just a little mistaken.


JLS on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

While walking in the area I captured this image of The Indian Face shortly after "Joe Smith's" O/S attempt.

http://tinyurl.com/2f9z9mt

I'm glad he had the b*lls to get back on and have another go. It's a shame I didn't have the time to hang around and video his successful ascent.

Well done "Joe", I know you did it.
wilkie14c - on 18 May 2010
In reply to JLS:
Is the red line a safety rope or something? Thats cheating ;)
jogwen - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Franco C:
> (In reply to jogwen) When the gear is too crap to stop you hitting the ground.

Which is the case on Indian Face as I understand it ... hence why bother with the rope?

robw007 - on 18 May 2010
In reply to blanchie14c:
No its the mark he left behind when he fell off!
wilkie14c - on 18 May 2010
In reply to robw007:
LOL! nice work
Quarryboy - on 18 May 2010
In reply to F McCann:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> This chap 'Joseph Smith' quite clearly isn't a climber at all. In his e-mail response to Jack this becomes quite apparent from his use of terminology and by the way he misunderstood some of the questions he was being asked.
>
> 1) He talks about climbing boots as if they are a rare commodity.
> 2) He refers to solo climbing as "free-climbing", a mistake that many non-climbers make.
> 3) He doesn't understand the meaning of 'style' in reference to an ascent.
> 4) He doesn't seem to have a concept of what a route is. He considers Tryfan a route. In which case Cloggy (to him) is also a route; he probably just knows it as the 'Indian Face'.
>
> I've been very cynical here though. It is possible that he is a very talented climber who is completely removed from the climbing community, and so has never gained the knowledge that we consider so elementary.
>
> I doubt it though. I suspect he's just a little mistaken.

I totally agree I have been climbing for only 3 years now and as I understand it his terminology was just dribble and how can you have been climbing for 20 years and not know how to tie the basic figure of 8 knot (whitch I lernt permanently in about 10 mutinies or belay ???) even my dad who never climbs above VS knows that
highclimber - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: so, hands up for those that think this claim is BS?
cyberpunk - on 18 May 2010
In reply to highclimber: This is Bs.
JSA - on 18 May 2010
In reply to highclimber:

The first line says it all for me "To be honest i cant understand why you would be so intrested".
Ben Gilbert - on 18 May 2010
In reply to the inspiral carpet:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> The first line says it all for me "To be honest i cant understand why you would be so intrested".

agreed
highclimber - on 18 May 2010
In reply to the inspiral carpet: climbing 20+ years and doesn't give a sh1t - stinks to high hell of a wind-up
Keeg - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
I'm not sure I understand why you've changed the names of the people involved.
Phil West - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I thought it was a very good article. Perfectly showed us a side of website news reporting and editing that you wouldn't witness unless you had to put up with so many of those emails you describe. I don't envy you having to read dross like that, never mind having to sort the truth from the lies, wannabees, trolls and idiots. Is it real or is it Memorex?

mkean - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:
A chap who climbs 6c but hasn't got a clue about anything, isn't this 8a.nu fodder?
JimR - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: broom vroom eek eek.. That was the sound of a squadron of pigs rocketing past..
Phil West - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Phil West:

Ps. The person who wrote those emails is younger than 41.
johncoxmysteriously - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Monk:

>Indian face would be roughly on a par with soloing a well protected E6.

I don't know about that. After all people did that 20 years ago.

jcm
Franco Cookson on 18 May 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Stands to reason what Monk says as it would be the same french grade. (not counting the slight looseness) Out of interest which safe mountain E6s have been soloed?
bouldery bits - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

It's DJviper, surely!
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ruaidh - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Maybe the guy is dellusional?
El3ctroFuzz - on 18 May 2010
In reply to F McCann:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> This chap 'Joseph Smith' quite clearly isn't a climber at all. In his e-mail response to Jack this becomes quite apparent from his use of terminology and by the way he misunderstood some of the questions he was being asked.
>
> 1) He talks about climbing boots as if they are a rare commodity.
> 2) He refers to solo climbing as "free-climbing", a mistake that many non-climbers make.
> 3) He doesn't understand the meaning of 'style' in reference to an ascent.
> 4) He doesn't seem to have a concept of what a route is. He considers Tryfan a route. In which case Cloggy (to him) is also a route; he probably just knows it as the 'Indian Face'.
>
> I've been very cynical here though. It is possible that he is a very talented climber who is completely removed from the climbing community, and so has never gained the knowledge that we consider so elementary.
>
> I doubt it though. I suspect he's just a little mistaken.

Best reply so far.
stewieatb on 18 May 2010
In reply to F McCann:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> 1) He talks about climbing boots as if they are a rare commodity.
> 2) He refers to solo climbing as "free-climbing", a mistake that many non-climbers make.
> 3) He doesn't understand the meaning of 'style' in reference to an ascent.
> 4) He doesn't seem to have a concept of what a route is. He considers Tryfan a route. In which case Cloggy (to him) is also a route; he probably just knows it as the 'Indian Face'.
>
> I've been very cynical here though. It is possible that he is a very talented climber who is completely removed from the climbing community, and so has never gained the knowledge that we consider so elementary.
>
> I doubt it though. I suspect he's just a little mistaken.

Agree with all the above, plus, as someone mentioned above, by the tone of the emails the guy isn't 41.
The Green Giant - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I want to hear Johnny Dawes opinion...
matt pigden - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: As much as Im beyond sceptical about this, I have to say when I'd only been climbing about 6 months I went to the Peak and not having a guidebood looked at routes that looked ok. Deciding Sunset Slab looked good and an easy angle set off to set up a top rope for my girlfriend. I had a coiled 11mm rope tied on my back, full rack jangling around my waist climbing a route I had no idea about. At the crux, realising it was harder than it had first appeared, but not wanting to lose face, untied the coiled rope and flung it to the top of the crag. I managed to get up it, shaking and wobbling all the way. That same weekend, having obviously not learned my lesson, I went on to solo Long Johns slab. Having nearly fallen off the crux, a passing local climber went on to give supportive advice as I somehow got up the thing in particularly poor style. Now all Im saying is Im a pretty normal guy with less than perfect strength or balance but managed some fairly hard routes in the total absence of experience or knowledge. As my knowledge and respect for the rock (or more importantly the ground) grew I became more fearful and it took me years before I managed to climb that kind of route again. My awareness held me back due to more understanding of the consequences of failure.
I think it is a big leap between wobbling up Long Johns slab 6 months into my climbing career at the age of 18 and a 41 year old soloing Indian Face, but it highlights that fear and awareness of consequences is a major hold back and if this guy has been climbing every weekend for 20 years but has been so removed from other climbers that he has little fear or knowledge of the consequences I wonder what might be possible. Maybe he some form of social disorder such as Autism or something where he has little or no fear or cannot see beyond the 'moment'. All these are ifs and maybe's and are fanciful but maybe the difference between some of the best climbers and those that are just good is about perception of reality. The inability to recognise danger and thus able to operate in a bubble. Maybe being a top climber is as much about being socially dysfunctional as it is about anything else. Im definitely not saying he did it, but thinking about whether it would be possible just highlighted and reminded me of my own experiences and made me think about the reality we define ourselves and how that is shaped by the media and our peers. I for one think I know that the rock is friable on Indian Face but having climbed at Cloggy have never actually confirmed that the holds on Indian Face are friable. If you believe the holds are bombproof then you will trust them. Its only what i've read that makes me think the holds are friable. Maybe there is a guy out there who has pottered away by himself with no fear or knowledge passed between climbers about this route. Maybe he is so free of fear that he is able to operate without hinderance. If nothing else, spoof or no spoof, at least it makes you think, what is actually possible when you remove emotions. You decide to climb Indian Face, you stand at the bottom and you climb indian face. If you have no fear, what is to stop you? You'll either do it or die trying. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. Personally I dont believe he did, but it makes interesting thinking. So thanks UKC for giving me something to think about.
franksnb - on 18 May 2010
In reply to matt pigden:

"what is actually possible when you remove emotions"

without fear climbing would seem pointless to me. If the guy has no fear, I can't understand why he would do it every weekend, it would be a chore?
pigeonjim on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I cant believe a Mod lead troll has so many replies.
Mr Lopez - on 18 May 2010
In reply to matt pigden:
Took me 3 attempts to read your, otherwise rather good, post.
Please use full stops... :)
mcdougal - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I think this thread says more about some of the participants in this forum than about the elusive Joseph.

Maybe Joseph is a fantasist but, without proof either way, it'd probably be wiser to reserve judgement.
wilkie14c - on 18 May 2010
In reply to mcdougal:
agreed. complete fantasist and he's sucked his burd in too or everone has been had over by the UKC troll team. Takes your pick.
niallk on 18 May 2010
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> (In reply to matt pigden)
> Took me 3 attempts to read your, otherwise rather good, post.
> Please use full stops... :)

Plenty of full stops in it, dyslexia or otherwise. Perhaps the odd paragraph break would make it easier on the eye.

alexrp - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I'd love it to be true.

Somehow, I don't think so....
JimR - on 18 May 2010
In reply to alexrp:
Following on from his fathers groundbreaking feat, Jesus hurts himself falling off an easy DWS, "I'd forgotten water was so hard!" he said.
In reply to UKC News: Any chance Joseph is a chap called Dave Birkett?
matt pigden - on 18 May 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: Im pretty sure Dave Birkett can tie on though.
Sean_J - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: So what's the next email you're going to publish as news for us? Cheap prescription drugs online? A Nigerian prince who wants to give us all lots of money, perhaps?
tommyzero - on 18 May 2010
In reply to F McCann: In creative cultures you have 'outsider' artists (musicians or visual artists) they are so far removed from any art influence or art education that they seemingly create works that come from deep within and have a unique 'untainted' quality about them. Is there some kind of parallel between an 'outsider' and this guy? Is he one of the first outsider climbers?

I applaud the publication of the article. For me you are missing the point if you think along the lines of verify it or not.

"Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of 'the rat race' is not yet final."
—The Great Shark Hunt, 1979 Hunter S Thompson.

William Faulkner - "the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism — and the best journalists have always known this."
Marc C - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Joseph Smith (not the Indian Face ascentionist) was the founder of the Mormons and related how he'd dictated the Book of Mormon after seeing the words in divining stones kept in his hat. I'm betting the Indian Face Joseph Smith has also experienced a vision that didn't require him to leave his armchair.
Tom Last - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Marc C:

Can't see millions of people falling for this one mind you...
alexrp - on 18 May 2010
In reply to tommyzero:

I like the idea that it's possible for a complete outsider to the climbing community to solo Indian Face. Maybe it could be done by someone who's not weighed down by the baggage of the legend of IF, E grades etc.

However, would such an outsider even know Indian Face existed? I'd certainly never heard of IF until I'd been climbing for a while. But then I don't live in Wales......and I knew how to tie a Fig 8.
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Tom Last - on 18 May 2010
In reply to alexrp:
> (In reply to tommyzero)
>
> I like the idea that it's possible for a complete outsider to the climbing community to solo Indian Face.

I seem to recall that the second ascent of The Old Man of Hoy was made by a couple of local kids (soloing) soon after Bonnington et al. Did I imagine that though or actually read it somewhere...?
lithos on 18 May 2010
In reply to Southern Man
:
how did they get down ?
alexrp - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Southern Man:

Well, I hope it's true. It would definitely add weight to tommyzero's argument.

I see photos of the Old Man of Hoy and it's begging to be climbed. I can understand why people outside the climbing community would notice it and think of climbing it.

I'm not sure if the same applies to Indian Face.
Slaney on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Reading 'Josephs' letter doesn't quite ring true with me - reading it, it just doesn't convince me.
JimR - on 18 May 2010
In reply to JimR:
> (In reply to alexrp)
> Following on from his fathers groundbreaking feat, Jesus hurts himself falling off an easy DWS, "I'd forgotten water was so hard!" he said.


.....as he limped off

Andy S - on 18 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: I don't believe him - there's something about that email that doesn't feel right (particularly the last bit where he talks about him going back and getting some photos of him climbing it!),

I'm prepared to be proved wrong!
3 Names - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Andy S:
> there's something about that email that doesn't feel right

Really

bouldery bits - on 19 May 2010
In reply to Andy S:
> (In reply to UKC News) I don't believe him - there's something about that email that doesn't feel right (particularly the last bit where he talks about him going back and getting some photos of him climbing it!),
>
>

Indeed. There seems to be an oxymoron as the girlfriend says that this is "his last freeclimb" (solo I think...) yet he is also going back to do it again!
murdster on 19 May 2010 - cpc2-gate9-2-0-cust510.gate.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to UKC News:

UKClimbing... the climbing tabloid.

The fact that you put this 'story' up is pathetic.
johncoxmysteriously - on 19 May 2010
In reply to Franco C:

I'm not sure I said 'mountain' E6s, but people soloed Menopause (OK not theoretically E6) and Lord of the Flies 20 odd years ago. Plus, for example, Revelations, whatever trad grade that would be.

jcm
Tom Last - on 19 May 2010
In reply to lithos:
> (In reply to Southern Man
> )
> how did they get down ?

Not sure, I may have imagined it, but not in response to this and I'm pretty sure I've read it somewhere. Maybe in Patey's One Man's Mountains or Alvarez's Feeding the Rat - I think they both touch on the FA of the Old Man.
Wee Davie - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Totally inspiring stuff. What I love is these underground heroes just get on with it. You can tell they don't want to court publicity, and that just makes it even better.
There's a guy on here who done the 2nd ascent of Guerdon Grooves. Is it R2D2 or summat? He doesn't want a big fuss either. Awesome, just awesome.
bouldery bits - on 19 May 2010
In reply to murdster:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> UKClimbing... the climbing tabloid.
>
> The fact that you put this 'story' up is pathetic.

And yet you'd complain that the story was old news if it was put up in a month or so.

Misha - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

This is clearly someone having a laugh - there are too many completely improbable details to make it serious. Quite amusing though.
Misha - on 19 May 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to UKC News) Any chance Joseph is a chap called Dave Birkett?

I was also thinking that this could perhaps have been Dave Birkett winding up the UKC team after a low key ascent of the route. But why would he do that?
Mr Lopez - on 19 May 2010
In reply to niallk: You know what i meant...
kevin stephens - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Shouldn't this thread be moved to Down the Pub?
sweenyt - on 19 May 2010
In reply to kevin stephens:
I bet they're pissing themselves in the UKC office at this thread... 10/10
Franco Cookson on 19 May 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Lord is not a safe E6.
NearlyDutchDan - on 19 May 2010
In reply to matt pigden:
"Maybe being a top climber is as much about being socially dysfunctional as it is about anything else"

I love that comment ! :-)
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stroppygob - on 19 May 2010
Listen up friends, word in the valleys has it that "Joseph Smith" is actually...


...Johnny Dawes.

he's not ready to go public with this yet, and needs to get his alibis ready for the four different women he's seeing at the moment...

He's not counting his previous ascents as the route has changed so much since he did it, that he thinks he should be allowed to call it as he sees it.

Word also has it that he was visited in the night by the ghost of "the villian", who inspired him to try it before he got to old.

You aint seen me, right?
summo on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: It's all lies, next they'll be telling us some foreign kid came here on holiday and caned it up some of the hardest routes at Malham and Kilnsey, in the space of a week! ;)
tommyzero - on 19 May 2010
In reply to alexrp:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> Well, I hope it's true. It would definitely add weight to tommyzero's argument.

Good gosh! My point is not an argument at all. I re-iterate that I think arguing if he did it or not misses the point of the article, completely.

My post (as are most of my posts including this one) are purely metaphysical mischief.

If nothing else after the reading the article I spent the day day-dreaming about fear and soloing. Only recently I top roped a 5b that was probably 6m high and had a crux move 2 or 3m above the ground. I flashed it and instantly the thought occurred to me to solo it, which I did. It was euphoric as it is the first time I've ever soloed something notable and I got the bug. After the reading the article I was back in that head space. For the rest of the day there was no rat race. Just me, Captain Kirk, Johnny Dawes and the mountain. And boy did we make love to the mountain!

Hexman - on 19 May 2010
Well done Joseph! I look forward to your girlfriend's next email about your ascent of Rum Doodle.
Mike Stretford - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Good insight into the crap you have to put up with.

The stuff about taking pictures, the location and the timing all render it an obvious wind up. If they really wanted to stir things up with a 'lone unknown climber does solos something hard' angle, they should have gone for one of the grit routes... that would have at least been believable.
gritstoner - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I bet Joseph actually did it. After all, the grips were really grippy!

And remember, he put his special new boots on, so that would have definitely worked.
Graeme Alderson on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: No one seems to have spotted the obvious clue as to the veracity of this claim.

The girlfriend is called Mary and I reckon Jack forgot to change the name. Now who's married to a lass named Mary ;-)
torquil on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Funny thing is I did solo on cloggy that day (the not quite as hard, right-hand variant of Indian Face known as Primitive Route) and I have to say the grips weren't that grippy at all, nor were my rubber boots that sticky. In fact the only thing gripped was me as all the grass ledges were all covered in snow and the corner cracks all wet.

Great post though, I'd like it to be true ....
Darren Jackson - on 19 May 2010
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
>
> The girlfriend is called Mary and I reckon Jack forgot to change the name. Now who's married to a lass named Mary ;-)

I reckon it's odds on that UKC would already have contact details for Birkett though?

My bet is that 'Joseph' is really Gordon Brown... How else might he fill his spare time now?
zajon - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: All this is well and good but what has he done on grit!!! ;)
Franco Cookson on 19 May 2010
In reply to zajon:

Tedious.
McBirdy - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Great thread! Classic UKC. Pointless, but compulsive reading...

Just my 2 pence worth...

This is 'flying' as a story because IF has such a reputation in the climbing community.

The folk who believe in Joseph and his amazing technicolour climbing story are clinging (gripping) to the idea that this guy had no idea about the reputation of the route blaa blaa blaa (these same people presumably believe in aliens, homeopathy and god). They'd like to believe he was a total outsider just quietly doing his thing etc etc etc. If so, then why on earth would he decide to climb Indian Face as opposed to any other route? There are plenty of other hard lines out there to pick. I don't buy it.

You simply couldn't climb for 20 years and get to 7b+/7c standard, know about IF and want to climb it without picking up some of the most basic jargon. 'Grips', 'freeclimb', 'sticky boots', 'hook', 'line', 'sinker'.

This is either a spoof (easy to do with a couple of webmail accounts) or a scrambler who has no idea what/where IF actually is.

Thumbs up to UKC though - excellent diversion from more important things!

Ben
gethin_allen on 19 May 2010
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
> [...]
>
> I reckon it's odds on that UKC would already have contact details for Birkett though?
>
Also, isn't Dave Birkett's wife a excellent climber in her own right. So she'd know all the terminology etc.
Graeme Alderson on 19 May 2010
In reply to gethin_allen: It was a joke!!!!
gethin_allen on 19 May 2010
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
It was a joke!!!!...I Know. I should start using smileys on my posts as a lot of people seem to take them too seriously.
Although, you could be right. It could be Birkett pulling a collective UKC leg. Someone did comment about the picture of him in the article about walk of life that "He looks like he has done something rather naughty but it is pretty confident about getting away with it."
This could be the prank, although he's probably got much better things to do.
munro - on 19 May 2010
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Was it DJViper?

what a hilarious character :)
Jamie B - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Clearly he didnt climb Indian Face. Apologies for not daring to dream, but anybody prepared to entertain that idea is as naive as he is.

The question that still intrigues me, is what did he climb and why did he think it was Indian Face? Or was he just spraying to impress the girlfreind?
jimpy on 19 May 2010 - client-86-23-37-243.brhm.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to UKC News:

a lol article. i could care less whether its true or not.
stewieatb on 19 May 2010
In reply to James r p: I take it you mean you couldn't care less. As in, "I do not care, and in fact, I could not care any less". Pet peeve americanism.
Rampikino - on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Sorry, but after reading this I'm well pissed off.

I mean, nobody even blinked when I went up Everest last week, backwards, on a pogo stick. Naked.
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highclimber - on 19 May 2010
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> Sorry, but after reading this I'm well pissed off.
>
> I mean, nobody even blinked when I went up Everest last week, backwards, on a pogo stick. Naked.

no, cos I had my eyes closed to not see your bits bouncing!
Graeme Alderson on 19 May 2010
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> I mean, nobody even blinked when I went up Everest last week, backwards, on a pogo stick. Naked.

Old hat.

Now if you had descended on a space hopper whilst carrying a tray laden with 4 bowls of steaming hot Mulligitawny soup. And not split any. Well then I would have watched. Unless there was footy on the box of course.

Flashy - on 19 May 2010
In reply to James r p:
> i could care less

So you care a certain amount? WHY?
Franco Cookson on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

This reminds me of an old saying my granddad used to court:

'What's the difference between and Ape and UKC?

An ape doesn't publish thousands of unfunny joke articles every year'
psd on 19 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Nevermind the bollocks - clearly this is an attempt to divide the UKC readership into those who remember the Viper and those who weren't around back in the golden age.

I suspect the dread hand of Sloper in all this...
subalpine - on 19 May 2010
In reply to Franco C: but a fool replies to them;)
jimpy on 19 May 2010 - client-86-23-37-243.brhm.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to Flashy:
because it was an impressive achievement
subalpine - on 19 May 2010
subalpine - on 20 May 2010
Dribble223 - on 20 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

To be honest this has given me something to read today, and the replies have had me pissing myself with laughter at times.

I don't care if its real or not, I (like many on here) am off to bag the 900,345th on sight of some random VS this weekend. I'll never make the news (unless its being collected by a seaking), but i enjoy reading stories like this because its nice to have a dream.

If this guy is a dreamer, then here's to dreams because his dreams take him places i'll never climb :)
Tom Last - on 20 May 2010
In reply to Dribble223:
> (In reply to UKC News)

>
> If this guy is a dreamer, then here's to dreams because his dreams take him places i'll never climb :)

The walls of the asylum?
Philip on 20 May 2010
It says he's 41. He's practically a pensioner.
Philip on 20 May 2010
and dj viper hasn't update his profile with a record of the ascent :-)

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/profile.php?id=21378
Pursued by a bear - on 20 May 2010
In reply to Papillon:
> Good insight into the crap you have to put up with.

That's how I took it: a 'here's what you don't see us doing' from the UKC team.

Though if it had been me sending this, I'd've been sorely tempted to put the date it was climbed as 13 May.

T.

Andy Stephenson - on 20 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: I suspect that it was a genuine solo ascent, just not an onsite solo...
In reply to UKC News: Andy Mitchell is 41 years old. He's just top roped Walk of Life suggesting Birkett had to help him tie into his harness so he could climb.

Point to note people - point to note!
Kipper - on 20 May 2010
In reply to scooott:
> Who refers to holds as 'grips' anyway?

South Africans.
GeoffRadcliffe - on 20 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: Checked the logbooks and there are only 2 entries for Indian Face (both top-roped). Why was I not surprised?

However, I noticed that there seemed to be quite a lot of people with Indian Face on their wish list. I was curious to know who might be a contender for the next ascent, so I checked their logbooks (if made public). Most of those I looked at had logged their hardest route as E1 or less. It seems that there are a lot of very ambitious climbers around.
scooott - on 20 May 2010
In reply to Kipper:
> (In reply to scooott)
> [...]
>
> South Africans.

Do they also clip cameras to the back of their pants so they can photograph their own feet on hard and very dangerous ascents?
El3ctroFuzz - on 20 May 2010
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe:
> (In reply to UKC News) Checked the logbooks and there are only 2 entries for Indian Face (both top-roped). Why was I not surprised?
>
> However, I noticed that there seemed to be quite a lot of people with Indian Face on their wish list. I was curious to know who might be a contender for the next ascent, so I checked their logbooks (if made public). Most of those I looked at had logged their hardest route as E1 or less. It seems that there are a lot of very ambitious climbers around.

i can climb E1
Yet i can also climb 7b sport.

My mate climbs E2 and can only climb 6b/c sport.


I consider myself far from a sport climber.
Your 2 pence has no weight.

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Fraser on 21 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

The spoof has now made its way across the Atlantic to the Rock & Ice realm:

"Britain’s Legendary Indian Face Soloed Onsight … Bull*hit!

The May 18 ukclimbing.com headline was astounding. Indian Face Solo … without ropes!But the accompanying story was far more outrageous.

According to the report, written by website editor Jack Geldard, a women contacted him claiming that her boyfriend had onsight soloed Johnny Dawes’ 1986 headpoint Indian Face (5.13a X), a route that has seen only two other ascents in 24 years.

Geldard posted the e-mail correspondence and claimed that: “after a little Google and Facebook investigation it became apparent that the couple involved are indeed real people and this is not a wind up.”
The soloist, a 41-year-old given the pseudonym Joseph Smith, claimed to have climbed the 165-foot slab in “stickies” or rubber boots, and he described his style as, “a bricklayer wearing water-skis doing ballet. I’m self taught.”

The whole affair smelled funny, to say the least, and the website’s forum lit up. Predictably, many people called it a hoax, but Geldard replied that, “the e-mails are real.”

A surprising number of people defended the claim. One person, who used the avatar “Clinger” asked, “Why is everyone so quick to dismiss the guy? Yes, I know it'd be a truly astonishing story, and I agree it should be looked into and verified, however I prefer to take people at face value and only downgrade my opinion of them if subsequent events require it. So I say well done to the guy.”

Welldone, indeed. Indian Face, a dark and forbidding rhyolite wall located high in Wale’s Snowdonia National Park, is probably the most storied modern climb in the British genre of scary trad. Tall and continuous, with creaky side-pulls, protected by a quiver of body-weight brass nuts and with ground fall potential at the crux—even Dave MacLeod (best-known for pants-filling routes in Scotland like Rhapsody, the world’s first E11) opted out of leading the line after top-rope inspection.

Neil Gresham (who writes the Ask The Coach column for Rock and Ice and has climbed at a world class level on trad, sport, mixed and ice climbs) made the most recent confirmed ascent in 1996 and has called his lead “without doubt the most scared I’ve ever been.”

All ascents of Indian Face have relied on extensive top rope practice—except for Joseph Smith’s rubber boot onsight solo this past Tuesday.
Listen to first ascentionist Johnny Dawes and second ascentionist Nick Dixon talking about their experiences on the route here:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=45484 "

dickie01 - on 21 May 2010
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe: I noticed that, they also had rhapsody, walk of life and some other supergrades - aim high!!
dickie01 - on 21 May 2010
In reply to El3ctroFuzz:
who mentioned sport?
Rich Kirby - on 21 May 2010
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to UKC News)
y.
> Listen to first ascentionist Johnny Dawes and second ascentionist Nick Dixon talking about their experiences on the route here:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=45484 "

Forgotten how good that video is ....some great lines.

Indian Face, "Its like meeting a beautiful woman that turns out to be a psychopath ...thats not that rare really".

Love the last bit where someone leaving the pub & says "good effort having a cigarette in a no smoking pub", JD - " Oh dear, I don't even smoke".

GeoffRadcliffe - on 21 May 2010
In reply to El3ctroFuzz: Who is talking about sport climbing? E1 and E9 are a long way apart and you would have to be ambitious to think that you would climb possibly the boldest and hardest route in the UK if your hardest route was E1.
thommi - on 21 May 2010
In reply to frazer: ha! wheres wale? :-)
Fidmark - on 22 May 2010
It is my great displeasure to inform you that I am "Joseph Smith". Contrary to the doubters I did indeed solo Indian Face, but I never plan to do it again. Ever. For my next project I will be attempting a 5+ Lead at my local climbing wall in Paisley.
beardy mike - on 22 May 2010
In reply to Fidmark: I am SPARTACUS.
stewieatb on 22 May 2010
In reply to mike kann: I am Spartacus!
Dominion - on 22 May 2010
In reply to Rampikino:

> I mean, nobody even blinked when I went up Everest last week, backwards, on a pogo stick. Naked.

I bet billions of people blinked, unless you only took a fraction of second to do the ascent. And you'd need a pretty strong spring on your pogo stick to do that...

;-)
djviper on 22 May 2010 - 94-195-199-187.zone9.bethere.co.uk
In reply to UKC News: rather bizarley although my surname is indeed SMITH and my fathers first name is JOSEPH im innocent on this one, broke my back about 3 years ago in a car crash and its strickly scrambleing only now, (still cant spell for toffee) although i have to say i wouldbe proud if it was me, i love the bit about the one handed photo!
JJL - on 22 May 2010
In reply to Fraser:

Thanks for highlighting that excellent video again. doesn't Johnny look/sound like Ricky Gervais in it though?
MorganPreece - on 22 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: He says "ive got some photo's" has anyone seen them?
El3ctroFuzz - on 22 May 2010
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe: Bullcrap, why couldnt i do it? U know me at all?

Maybe im Joseph smith!
nbonnett - on 24 May 2010
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

chalkless as well by the looks of it on Sunday
GeoffRadcliffe - on 24 May 2010
In reply to El3ctroFuzz:
> (In reply to GeoffRadcliffe) Bullcrap, why couldnt i do it? U know me at all?
>
> Maybe im Joseph smith!

Maybe you have also done Troll Wall!
royal - on 24 May 2010
In reply to UKC News:

I'm Joseph Smith, and so is my mum.
Hephaestus - on 24 May 2010
In reply to UKC News: I think we should pay tribute to Mary, who is obviously brighter than Joseph suspected. Not content to have spotted his b/s chat up line, she has gone for the jugular in response and generated a national response to his lies.

I can't imagine, after the insane flaming from the UKC public, that he will ever, ever attempt to feed her a line again.

So I pay my respect to a perceptive lady with an amazing creative streak. Maybe she really is the second coming.
TradHolden - on 26 May 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

BTW I solo'd "If 6 was 9" the other day. On sight. No-one saw me but i text my grandma in Italy to tell her I was OK.... I'll get the pictures developed ASAP.

That joke ice climbing article was quite amusing. This is just pathetic.
El3ctroFuzz - on 31 May 2010
Whats happened with this?
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sonar - on 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News: Seems a bit unlikely, but......
I imagine there are some old school climbers cranking it up super hard routes. On the fringes of the climbing community not in the least bit interested in the culture,lifestyle and recording routes.
So maybe,just maybe this odd story is true.
uncontrollable - on 07 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Does UKC feel like giving a concluding comment?
Jamie B - on 07 Jun 2010
In reply to midwich:

> I imagine there are some old school climbers cranking it up super hard routes. On the fringes of the climbing community not in the least bit interested in the culture,lifestyle and recording routes.
> So maybe,just maybe this odd story is true.

It's not.

I can see why you might romantically desire the above to be possible, and there are certainly a few dark horses onsighting E7 with little fanfare. But having the ability to lead the definitive E9 chop-route is another matter; it is inconceivable that such light could be hidden under a bushel.

Franco Cookson on 07 Jun 2010
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

Well said. Too oft sense is abandoned for a romantic notion.

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