British climber Johnny Dawes was the bomb back in the 1980s, putting up major new routes and, indeed, even pushing the U.K. scale to two new levels. Now, at 50, he’s pushing something totally out of the box: climbing without your hands.

It is such a preposterous and brilliant idea, and delivered with such British aplomb, that I keep thinking it might be the world’s greatest climbing put-on. Watch it as if it’s totally fake and you’ll find yourself cracking up; watch it as if it’s real and you’ll be nodding your head and saying, “Yeah, Johnny!” It could go either way.

The climbing world seems to think it’s real, and so do I, but it lives in that great big ambiguous middle, and for that it’s bloody fantastic.


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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.