Onsight fever hits North Wales – E8 attempts

by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC It is often wondered what would happen to British trad if we ever spawned a F9a climber who is willing to go for it, way above poor protection and onsight.Bring on the BMC international meet: ´Nico the Belgian´ made swift onsight progress up Nightmayer E8 6c on Dinas Cromlech.He had already ´warmed up´ that morning on Resurrection, Right Wall and Lord of the Flies.Gaining the crux top wall of the E8, he fiddled in a small wire.Nick Bullock watched with his jaw open from the top of Left Wall and, slightly concerned, shouted over; “Make sure that wire´s good!”. “It´z Text-book” came back Nico´s smiling reply and he boosted upward.Just a few feet from the top he was stopped by a baffling and desperate sequence.He slipped from the poor and dirty holds and shot down the whole length of the Cromlech – ripping out several runners and being held by his “Text Book” wire. His climbing partner ´Sean the Belgian´ is also destroying our routes in a similar fashion.I accompanied him to Gogarth yesterday and he climbed The Cad on North Stack wall as a warm up.He had a list of routes that he wanted to do that day – the next one was The Bells, The Bells, followed by Positron.We (I) dismissed The Bells and I quickly talked him out of Positron:”How do you fancy climbing 3 pitches of overhanging wet rubble?” I said, knowing that if I was to keep up with him it would have to be on something ´specialist´.”Wow!, we don´t have anything like that in Belgium..” he said as we abbed in to the back of Wen Zawn and attacked Mr Softy… With Nico and Sean around for a few more days and teaming up with Nick Bullock and James McHaffie today, we might have to be on hold for some ground breaking onsight ascents.They´re heading back to Gogarth, watch this space.