Johnny Dawes recently redpointed 8b+ – his hardest climb since 1990 – with an ascent of Inuit at La Pedriza (Anterior) in Spain, near Madrid. Johnny’s return to fitness at 54 is especially impressive considering his diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune illness which affects hormone balance by suppressing thyroid activity.
Spanish climber Talo Martin helped Johnny with the process of climbing Inuit. He is currently making a film about Johnny’s journey back to fitness and kindly recorded an interview with Johnny for UKC using our questions, which we’ve transcribed below.
Prior to ticking the 8b+, Johnny also managed an 8a and later did the moves in his trademark no-hands style on a top-rope. This year, after losing 9kg, he completed his first major goal, Inuit, on his second attempt.
The film is due for release in early 2019, featuring footage of Johnny on James McHaffie’s 9a Meltdown – his project from ’85 – wearing old-school EB shoes and including shots from La Pedriza.