Isles of Wonder Sit, 8C+, receives third ascent

© @tomomckay

Solly Kemball Dorey has made the third ascent of Aidan Roberts' 8C+ boulder, Isles of Wonder SDS (f8C+), at Carreg Mianog Boulders, Gwynedd, Wales. 

The ascent comes just over a year after Solly made an ascent of the 8B stand start, Isles of Wonder (f8B), established by Pete Robins in 2012.

The first ascent of the sit-start came at the hands of Aidan Roberts, who initially felt he was 'too weak' for the boulder, and so trained throughout the following year in order to make the shoulder-intensive lower sequence possible.

Upon making the first ascent, back in the summer of 2022, Aidan graded the boulder 8C+. At the time, it was just the second boulder in the UK at the grade.

Ten months later, in May 2023, the boulder received its second ascent at the hands of Will Bosi. Fresh off his ascent of Burden of Dreams (f9A), Will made quick work of Isles of Wonder Sit, finding a new beta with a slightly higher heel-hook, which both shortened the sequence and bypassed some of the intense shouldery movement used by Aidan. As such, he felt the boulder was closer to 8C.

Whilst Solly opted for a method that was closer to Will's than Aidan's, he has agreed with Aidan's original proposal, suggesting 8C+, which would make it his first at the grade.

Solly climbed the boulder on the final day of his most recent trip to Gwynedd, having fallen on the final move three times. Sharing news of the ascent in an extended social media post, he said:

'For those who ordered a yappicino'.

'The war is finally over, a year and a half of training, three month-long trips, the last two being cut short due to injuries, multiple different replicas, and true mental warfare. This one came right down to the wire, and was a roller coaster for my head having almost got through the sit section one session, to not being able to link two moves together for the next three, then falling on the last move, to not being able to get through the sit section again - and with a storm approaching, even the idea of one last chance was futile'.

'I always thought climbing was 75% in your head and 25% strength, you can be as strong as you want, but if you don't think you are going to be able to do a boulder you ain't gonna, and this just reiterated that to me'.

'Even if you think you are going to do it, you have to let it go and just get into a flow state and truly enjoy the process - which includes enjoying walking up in the rain to put a tarpaulin over the top and hop[ing] that somehow it keeps enough rain off that you get one more chance, and all other things that don't sound as fun as just climbing the bloc'.

'I always have a million things I want to say about a boulder and everything that went on while trying it, but as soon as I'm on top of the bloc it's like everything in your brain disappears and you're left in [such a] state of just amazement that you actually did it that you can't think of anything else. I can't even remember doing the bloc, it's like you just wake up at the top'.

'The send day was still a battle. Went up and dried it as best as, then left to watch Dom Rowe dispatch his proj. Brought a crew back up with some psyche. It wasn't a given, cons were in, but it was slowly seeping. One go after the next I'd get to the last move feeling better but getting more tired. One last go before my knee explodes and it all clicked'.

'In terms of grade I have to disagree with 'Mr no creds', the idea that the bottom section of this is 8B is ludicrous. If that's 8B, I haven't climbed anything harder than 8B. Maybe I haven't, but it took me 20+ sessions to get through that "8B" section and thirty minutes to get through the top 8B section'.

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29 May

Who is 'Mr no creds'? Will?

29 May

I presume it's sarcasm and he means Will.

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