Ned Feehally has been on an 8B ticking spree in the UK over the last month, completing five of the grade - a total which is "more than [he'd] normally do in a year in the UK!"
On a productive trip to North Wales, Ned began by climbing Malc's Start to the Pool of Bethesda 8B on the Jerry's Roof boulder. Ned told UKC:
"This was first climbed by Malcolm Smith in 2002 and I don't think it has seen a repeat since. I figured out the moves one session then had to go back two more times to get the right conditions to climb it. I probably spent about 20 hours in the car driving to and from this problem!"
A couple of days later, Ned climbed Ropes of Maui - another 8B in the Llanberis pass. This problem is a totally different style to Malc's Start being fairly sustained but with no desperate moves (if you're as strong as Ned anyway...).
Next, Ned travelled to the Ogwen valley where he bagged another 8B - Isle of Wonder.
Most recently, Ned ticked Fat Lip at Raven Tor. He commented:
"This 8B has seen a few ascents this summer (maybe 4 or 5 now?) so isn't really significant in itself, but it's the 5th 8B I've done in the UK this month, which is more than I'd usually do in a year in the UK!"
We asked Ned a bit more about his recent 8B mission:
What made you go to North Wales - was it just a random trip or was Malc's the main objective?
I ended up in the Pass because I got rained off elsewhere and couldn't think what to try. For some reason I have been climbing fairly well this summer so thought I may as well try to cash in on my good form and try something hard. Malc's Start is something I had always wanted to do.
Which problem is more your style - Malc's, short and hard or Ropes of Maui - longer and more sustained?
I'm not sure, I don't know what my style is really. Malc's comes down to one really hard move, so it took a bit of time figuring out the intricacies of this move. Whereas Ropes of Maui is fairly sustained, but because it doesn't have any really desperate moves on it I was able to bully my way up it without necessarily finding the most efficient sequence. I guess this is why I'm not much of a route climber!
Have you got your eye on anything else in the Pass or North Wales in general?
Not that I can think of. It's been good climbing over there recently as the conditions have been decent in the mountains. While the Peak has been warm and midgey, Llanberis has been much cooler and generally fairly windy. I expect now Autumn is settling in I'll concentrate on climbing more in the Peak. There's loads to do here.
You were recently in Rocklands - where are you off to next?
I'm keen to get to Font this winter. I just love it over there, there's so much quality in such a small area. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few short trips over the winter - weather permitting of course!
Watch a video of Ned on Malc's start below: