Climbing legend Johnny Dawes for Malta climbing workshops in September

Johnny Dawes (photo by David Metcalf)

Stone Monkey Workshops come to Malta!

I am delighted to confirm that Johnny Dawes  shall be conducting climbing workshops for climbers of all levels in Malta between the 19th and 25th September.  Johnny is a legendary figure in climbing circles and is perhaps best known for his historic first ascent of the Indian Face E9 6c in North Wales as well as “The Quarryman”, an E8 7a slate quarry classic.

Stone Monkey Trailer

Who is Johnny Dawes?

In his own words:

“I’ve dedicated myself to climbing since 1978 when I was fourteen. I did the climbs of the previous generations then kept going. New climbs on gritstone, rhyolite, slate, quartzite, including the UK’s first E8’s and the world’s first E9 taught me how mind and body work together.

Johnny Dawes on gritstone

Short n’ stocky my technique had to be spot on.

Some E6’s and E7’s I pioneered I did not practice, cleaning holds, solving moves as I went. Others required a rigour like that needed for a cryptic crossword. Far from being born able to move well, when I was born I couldn’t even walk. (Though I was already roped up) I had to explore how to do new types of move, establishing, scarily, bone crunchingly when my intuition worked or not, steadily honing a confidence that could be trusted, a knowledge of what worked in place of a vain hope. In lethal conditions near my technical limit I accustomed myself to knowing when I knew a move would work, and from a coaching standpoint very importantly, noticing how I knew.

15 years coaching experience has demonstrated to me that with application the skill of knowing a move is right and will work can be taught to anyone, or more truly, can be uncovered in anyone.

The instinct that occasionally turns a secretary at their desk, as they catch a sweet thrown for a fellow qwerty monkey into a professional fielder in the slips, has a climbing equivalent.

What do I do to reveal this instinct?

By simple low power coordination drills and apt well-timed guidance each student can be brought to notice their ancient inner primate kick in, demonstrating to them that it can do the move while they could not – one they may have been fearful of looking stupid on, of hurting themselves on or one they simply couldn’t fathom. When I’m not trying to flog my courses I call this process declumsification.

People of all ages have come since the early 90’s to the classes, elite and novice, on stone and plastic. The superfluous has sloughed off the workshop to leave a crisp clear whole.

Me, a gritstone guru, slatemaster or whatever I don’t know but a watchful student of movement I certainly am.

The combination of a clear toolkit of orthodox techniques to compliment the proprioceptive (how to move) course works well, allowing any climbing situation you encounter to be well responded to.
This central skill of reading, understanding and responding to the unique demand of each moves’ choreography is deeply effective but swift and easy to learn, by the time we finish you’ll know much more about, and have the tools to explore further:

what to do,
be able to work out and feel more keenly how to feel the move before you move, be able to listen to when to move.

Before getting powerful why not learn how to use your innate coordination cleanly?

Are you ready to give it a go?”

The workshops

Each outdoor workshop will consist of a half day session at a local crag. Participants can attend just one or up to six sessions if they wish at a cost of just EUR60 per person per session. More details of the content of each sessions will be provided soon but will be based on movement, sport, trad and deep water soloing technique.

For booking please contact Simon Alden on email or mobile phone 99299836. Bookings are on a first come first served basis. Do not miss this opportunity to meet one of the climbing “greats”!

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