'I'm much better than people understand. I'm a much better climber than they realise.' It's only with hindsight that Johnny's statement, despite being mildly tongue-in-cheek, was proven to be correct. Rarely has anyone moved on rock like the Dawes and the number of ascents The Indian Face has had since 1986 is a testament to this.
"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 was the UK's first E9. With hardly any protection, falling off from the upper sections is thought to be fatal.
Johnny Dawes & The story of Indian Face is a documentary directed by Alun Hughes from 2006 and produced by Hughes Film. BMC TV is hosting the films of The Alun Hughes Collection on their YouTube channel over the coming weeks.