Font 8C Dutch wad Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen recently enjoyed a week in North Wales and more than lucked out with conditions enjoying fresh and breezy dry weather. In recent times Alex Megos has been over a couple of times and left with hard repeats and first ascents, but Euro wad visits to the boulders are few and far between.
The first day of Michiel’s visit was a bit damp so he drove straight from the ferry to the ever-reliable Parisella's Cave. After flashing Rockatrocity 7C, Michiel ticked Hatchatrocity, the extended 8A start. The classic Lou Ferrino 7C+ was also despatched before Michiel made an impressive and rare ‘single session’ ascent of Louis Armstrong 8B.
The following day the weather was more favourable so Michiel headed into the Llanberis Pass. After an unsuccessful play on Pool of Bethesda Michiel ticked the roadside favourite, Diesel Power 8A, then headed up into the Barrel Cave where he flashed Stone Temple Pilots 7C+/8A. He then turned his attention to the popular extended start, Ropes of Maui 8B*, which was quickly despatched.
The next day was spent in Nant Gwynant at the Elephantitus Cave. Michiel repeated the 8A dyno, Downset and enjoyed a flash of the crag classic Elephantitus 7A.
After a rest day Michiel went to Isles of Wonder 8B and once again came away with a ‘single session’ ascent. He commented: ”Great problem, terrible hike, perfect view!”
His last day was spent at Sheep Pen and Michiel climbed The Menace 8A, commenting that it felt hard and put up quite a fight.
Michiel was impressed with his North Wales experience and commented that he thought it was better than some of the less major popular euro-venues.
*Ropes of Maui also received an ascent recently by Luke Fletcher who has just become a Llanberis local. Luke did Stoned Temple Pilots in a few goes then managed Ropes after four goes for his first problem harder than 8A. Luke reckoned 8A+ was more accurate although most of the wads who have done it haven't quibbled with the original 8B grade. It's actually had more ascents than the line of the Cave - The Tracks 8A, which interestingly Luke has struggled on thus far. Ropes of course has also been flashed, albeit by the incredibly strong Nathan Philips.
(NWB reporter: Chris Doyle)