Aidan Roberts has climbed Wales’ hardest boulder problem on Carreg Mianog in Dyffryn Ogwen. Isles of Wonder sds (8C+) is a truly groundbreaking ascent in the history of North Wales bouldering.
Aidan first tried the line during his visit last summer and had trained specifically for the shouldery crux move since. Returning to Wales the training seemed to have worked, but it was still a few more sessions before the full link seemed possible.
Persistence pays though, and it all came good on Tuesday this week (interestingly the same day that Ben Bransby made the first ascent of Gwyllgi (8B) on the island.)
Pete Robins climbed the original 8B stand up version in 2012. Over the years a few people have toyed with the sitting start (for example, Neil Dyer did try it during 2012) but all have left the crag empty handed and dismayed at how brutally powerful the moves are.
Aidan has written a nice piece on his Instagram page explaining his connection with the line and how he came to climb it. You can read the full piece here, but this quote captures the final run up to success:
“Returning this summer, with a year’s training under my belt, it took just pulling on to see progression and quickly I did the moves for the first time. Subsequent sessions saw me making links. Yet still the full line felt elusive and ambitious. I became familiar with the winding walk in. My friend, Hamish (Potokar), provided unwavering support and just the day before I managed to climb the full line, he was able to scale the stand start.
It was a beautiful cool summers evening.”
Sam Lawson (Wedge Climbing Youtube page) was on hand to capture the ascent. This exciting footage will appear in the most hotly anticipated bouldering film of the year. [Editor’s note: Can’t wait to see this!!!!]