Ken's legacy lives on: Hard Rock the film goes public

Posted by Alex Messenger on 12/10/2017

Now free to watch online: BMC TV teamed up with Hot Aches Productions and created a film to celebrate the life of Ken Wilson and his uber-classic Hard Rock book. Here's how you can watch it.

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, who died summer 2016. His death left a hole in the climbing community, but his legacy will continue to shape British climbing.

READ: Ken Wilson, Mountain Man

Now, to celebrate the life of Ken Wilson (1941-2016), BMC TV teamed up with Hot Aches Productions to release this new film. 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 and Steve McClure, Calum Muskett and Michaela Tracey climbing three iconic routes, this film is a 20-minute trad treat.

(Well. We say 20 minutes, but it’s actually 19:41 long)

WATCH: Hard Rock: a tribute to Ken Wilson on BMC TV

Hard Rock premiered at Kendal Mountain Festival 2016 to a welcoming audience. We showed the film twice in the Basecamp and once during BMC TV’s excitingly off-the-wall event Breakfast Club. The crowds laughed and gasped in all the right places and cheered and clapped when the credits rolled; we count that as winning!

If you missed it at Kendal, don't worry, it's now been uploaded and is available for everyone to watch as many times as they want, whenever they like... Hooray! Check out our other film that premiered at Kendal: The Bothy Project.

Like Hard Rock? You’ll love our new tees and hoodies


The Hard Rock tick tee for all fans of classic lines. 

Inspired by our new BMC TV film, illustrator Liam Dangerfield has created some unique Hard Rock designs for our organic tees and hoodies. Now even cheaper to celebrate the film's public launch, BMC members can grab a bargain Hard Rock t-shirt for £8 or a super warm hoody for £15. Great stuff from the BMC Shop!

Check out the new Hard Rock tees

Check out the new Hard Rock hoodies

SEE: The BMC's brand-new clothing range


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Get 15% off our single trip European single-trip Rock policies until 30th April 2020.

We've been insuring climbers like you for over 30 years. That's why all of our policies come with:

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WATCH: BMC Insurance: Get out there

Want to know more? READ: 5 reasons why you need BMC Travel Insurance


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Anonymous User
15/11/2016
Being a bit nit-picky here and I'm sure the film is fab but...
Totalitarian isn't in Hard Rock - it has however been suggested as the most suitable replacement for the now defunct Deer Bield Buttress.
If I remember correctly, there are 60, not 61 routes in Hard Rock.
Anonymous User
16/12/2016
Please put the 'Hard Rock - Ken Wilson' film on DVD.
Thanks.

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