UKC

FRI NIGHT VID: Hard Rock - A Tribute to Ken Wilson

Our Friday Night Video this week is from BMC TV and Hot Aches Productions, celebrating the life of Ken Wilson and his classic book; Hard Rock. It might have first hit the shelves in 1974, but this feast of climbing literature has weathered the following years as easily as a granite crag.

Over 40 years on, the routes lovingly described by the bold first ascentionists are often still the highlights of any trad climber's year: The Bat, Totalitarian, The Old Man of Hoy, A Dream of White Horses, Diagonal, Vector, Valkyrie, Sirplum to name but some. These 61 routes share 173 gleaming stars and all perfectly capture that unique feeling of British climbing adventure.

Hard Rock has now outlived Ken, who died last summer. His death left a hole in the climbing community, but his legacy will continue to shape British climbing.

Featuring never-seen-before interview footage with Ken describing just why he was so passionate about British trad climbing, reconstructions of his early climbing adventures and BMC ambassador Steve McClure, Calum Muskett and Michaela Tracey climbing three iconic routes, this film is a 20-minute trad treat.


Forums (123 comments)

Well it's taken me several weeks to find time to watch this - I've really been very busy. But I'm glad I did. Not that it was an easy watch. I never knew Ken very well and always had a great respect for his drive and...
Don't worry - I'm only too well aware of the irony! Oddly enough, I don't think I ever got any grief from Ken about my climbing. I think he just reckoned my heart was in the right place (I hope it is) and, if I was into...
"Although it's technically easy and there are a lot of bolts in it, it still feels adventurous, " I can see that grave spinning .... Ken was too often a pain in the arse because he cared too much. If we all behaved...
I beg to respectfully differ. I came back this afternoon totally mentally drained from a first ascent. Although it's technically easy and there are a lot of bolts in it, it still feels adventurous, intimidating and a...
What a lovely, lovely post. Absolutely catches the joy and magic of it all. Ken and his various publications must have had such an influence on so many people. I few years ago, while ghostwriting a book about a...
Great video and I imagine it's all been said above but to add my comments. I started climbing not that long ago (20+) years but, even then, sports climbing was not a large part of most people's climbing life in the UK....

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