Home > Profiles

Watch Hard Rock: a Tribute to Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson

To celebrate the life of Ken Wilson (1941 – 2016), the British Mountaineering Council teamed up with Hot Aches Productions to release this tribute.

Featuring never-seen-before interview footage with Ken describing just why he was so passionate about British trad climbing, reconstructions of his early climbing adventures, plus Steve McClure, Calum Muskett and Michaela Tracey climbing three iconic routes, this film is a 20-minute trad treat.

Many books have been written about British climbing, but one stands head-and-shoulders above the rest: the iconic Hard Rock, compiled by Ken Wilson.

It might have first hit the shelves in 1974, but this feast of climbing literature has weathered the following years as easily as a granite crag.

Over 40 years on, the routes lovingly described by the bold first ascentionists are often still the highlights of any trad climber’s year: The Bat, Totalitarian, The Old Man of Hoy, A Dream of White Horses, Diagonal, Vector, Valkyrie, Sirplum to name but some.

These 61 routes share 173 gleaming stars and all perfectly capture that unique feeling of British climbing adventure.

Hard Rock has now outlived Ken. His death left a hole in the climbing community, but his legacy will continue to shape British climbing.