Ropes of Maui: new 8B in the Pass

15 July, 2014
Pete Robins on the day it all came together to claim his eighth 8B with the first ascent of Ropes of Maui. ©Ray Wood

Pete '8B' Robins has added a new Font 8B/V13 to the Llanberis Pass, by climbing the obvious start from a sit-down at the foot of the hanging rib leading into Stoned Temple Pilots (8A); finishing as for that problem. It's only the second 8B to be climbed in the Pass, the other being Malc's Start to Pools of Bethesda.

Named Ropes of Maui it adds six moves of around 7C+/8A difficulty before joining Stoned Temple Pilots at its specified start. The problem took Pete around ten visits although on a couple of occasions it was a bit on the warm side. Frustration was beginning to set-in as he was consistently making it through the new climbing only to drop the hard shoulder-press move on Stoned Temple Pilots but finding that problem straight-forward in isolation.

Pete said afterwards: "The best thing that my previous experience on projects has taught me is that it'll always happen in the end. As for the grade I think it's right. Nobody wants to see their problems downgraded but it was 8B of effort for me and fantastic climbing." This is the eighth 8B problem Pete has climbed and they've all been in north Wales.

Ropes of Maui lies in what is best described as a cave, formed by a huge boulder leaning against another block, just above and right of The Barrel boulder. The cave is handily illuminated by a narrow opening at its apex that all the problems finish through to top out. Its small entrance could be easily dismissed as unlikely to hold anything of interest to a boulderer. But take a few steps inside along the narrow corridor and the possibilities on the overhanging wall are immediately obvious.

Credit has to go to Chris Davies and Dave Noden for developing the venue they dubbed the The Hall of the Mountain King in early 2010, adding Stoned Temple Pilots and The Tracks (8A+) respectively. You can read Dave's account on his blog. The cave has the advantage of being pretty much perma dry and climbable all year round but a lantern is probably useful to illuminate the lower half on a heavily overcast day.

Pete Robins about to start the Stoned Temple Pilots section of Ropes of Maui during an earlier unsuccessful session. ©Ray Wood