Dave MacLeod climbing the Indian Face E9 6c Fri Night Vid

© Hot Aches Productions

This week's Friday Night Video covers Dave MacLeod's 2010 ascent of Indian Face, on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu (Cloggy). The film was featured as an extra on Hot Aches Productions Long Hope DVD and tells the tale of Dave climbing the worlds most notorious E9.

The Indian Face was first climbed by Johnny Dawes back in 1986 and before Dave's ascent had seen two repeats from Neil Gresham and Nick Dixon. Since Dave's ascent in 2010, it has had four more repeats.

The route is a very bold and technical slab climb with minimal protection but relatively (for an E9) easy climbing. It has gained almost mythical status in British climbing, partly due to the first ascensionist Johnny Dawes being one of the UK's true climbing heroes and partly due to a lack of repeats over its twenty four year lifespan. As fashions in climbing have moved toward harder, steeper and safer routes, The Indian Face has remained a desperate and deadly challenge reliant more on skill and technique than finger strength and muscle endurance.

The reported French grade of the route is around F7c, and this is at the very lowest end of the E9 scale, but the technical and continuously smeary and balancy nature of the climbing, coupled with the death-fall potential, make an onsight lead a terrifying proposition - hence the E9 grade.

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29 Mar, 2019

That was brilliant. First film I've seen that really makes it clear how terrifyingly sketchy that thing is.

29 Mar, 2019

Indeed, I found Dave's breathing on the sound track during the climb haunting.

29 Mar, 2019

Spots of rain on the lens at the top out 🤦‍♂️🥳

29 Mar, 2019

Two things.

1) What a brilliant piece of filming and more importantly, climbing.

2) Scarpa, FFS keep making brilliant shoes that work amazingly one every situation. Like the Stix. And stop changing them. We like them as they are.

But mostly 1)

Andy F

29 Mar, 2019

Absolutely nothing to add to 1). The way he motors through that top section is breathtakingly incredible. It also increased my amazement at the audacity and capability of Dawes, who, after all, did not have the prior knowledge that the thing was actually humanly possible.

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