tiistai 9. marraskuuta 2010

No comment...

It's been a long time since I haven't written anything, at all. You could say that I've had a "small" writer's block after the summer, but I'll try to be more efficient during this winter period. Although, I don't think much is going to happen at least in the climbing scenes in Finland. But I figured that I could do something, now that my hard time at school has ended and I'm impatiently waiting for my final results and my trip to southern Switzerland!

FA of Dark Sakai 8B in Magic woods, Photo by Clemens Arndt

A lot has happened since the last post. I went to a 2 month roadtrip to Magic Wood and Ceuse and all I can say that it was great! But somehow I almost liked being in Ceuse the most! Really nice french, austrian, australian, italian, norwegian, slovenian and german guys there with whom I got to climb.

The french generously borrowed me a rope and some quickdraws since I left mine with my finnish friends who left for Nice and then went back to Finland. My excuse for this, was that I wasn't sure if I'd stay in ceuse for that long. I'm glad I did! ( I also didn't have a tent... :) heh... )

Here's a small clip of what happened in magic wood during the first 3 weeks.

And here's a pic taken from Bah bah black sheep in Ceuse by one of the friendly french guys in ceuse!

Photo by Pierre Delas

After this magnificant journey I got back home, to Finland. Accompanied by some bad weather and depressing feelings. I had a lot of schoolwork to do at the moment and also I had to study for the final exams but that didn't work out so well... Instead of studying reall hard for my exams, I decided to have fun and climb. I went to the European Championships in Innsbruck and also to the Nordic Bouldering comp in Stockholm. And I sure don't regret that.

The final boulder in Stockholm, I came 3rd (pic by Daniel Väisäinen)

And just last weekend I had yet another comp. The Nordic lead comp and it was held this time in Helsinki, my hometown. The comp went well, I topped both of the qualification routes and in the finals I lost to Magnus Midtboe. I'm really happy about my performance! I mean, it's not an easy task to beat Magnus :).

Here's a link to a site where you can see some pics of the comp.

I'll probably post something when I'm in the middle of the action in Swizzy! I hope the weather will be in our side.

tiistai 25. toukokuuta 2010

Pictures from Myllis

Here are some shots taken by Anssi Laatikainen from Myllis.

Supermario 8A+

Unusual Suspect 8A

It has been raining now for a couple of days, but today was finally dry so I hope tomorrow will be a good day for climbing outside. I'm planning to go to Liljendal with some of my friends and we will probably try a problem called Pukaron paroni. I've seen a couple of pictures of the route and it looked really good!

Hope it's going to be sunny tomorrow so we can chill on the pads and climb a little if we're not too tired ;)

keskiviikko 19. toukokuuta 2010

One Love

I climbed this problem a while ago, but we decided to film it with Sakari McGregor and I can tell you that it was EPIC! First try was in a smooth rain and I had my shoes constantly wet and the friction was sh*t. The second time, which was the "succesful" day of filming was in a good +25 celciusdegrees warmth and with constant sunshine. Not so cool... But here's the clip

One Love 7c, Sipoo Finland from Sakari McGregor on Vimeo.


Today we went bouldering in Myllis hoping that it would be dry. The past week had been pretty dry and hot so there was a good chance that it wouldn't drip water like it always does.

I warmed up with the usual routes like Potsmoker, 72 markkaa and the nameless next to them and then I had my eye on the project between Potsmoker and Endless hangover. The friction felt surprisingly good even though it was around 20 celciusdegrees.

The project is very simple. It starts as a sitdown from the same holds than Potsmoker and then you have to do three really easy moves until you get a small crimp. Then you take another small crimp and jump to a relatively good but sharp hold. After that you do the same last moves than in Endless Hangover. Even if it has some same moves than the problems next to it, it's still a clear line. I named it Hattivatti and gave a grade of 8A. But the ones who will repeat it can give a better opinion for the grade.

After the proj I gave a quick burn to the traverse called Eskimo, 8A+, which has around 30 moves and ends with a 7C+ boulder. Luckily the moves felt good and I did it on my first try this season. I got quite pumped and I was really surprised that I managed to do it with such a bad endurance.

Not long after that I started working on Koopa, 8A, which is a huge dyno from two crimps to a "meathook"- jug. That didn't take long either. I think it went on my 5th try or something.

I had a very good day today and I'm psyched to go to Swizzy this summer. I hope that I'll have the same drive in Switzerland than here!

torstai 6. toukokuuta 2010

Åland update

I came back from the island of Åland a couple of days ago and now I finally have enough energy to write something on my blog.

Flashing a new Highball called Luonnonvalinta in Kasviken,
picture by Alvi Pakarinen

The trip went very well and I had a lot of fun. There was a lot of nice people whom I got to know and I got to climb a lot. I climbed every day for 5 days and the result was a couple of hard ticks, fatigue and of course bloody fingers.

Mikko Manninen doing the FA of Luonnonvalinta 6B, picture by Alvi Pakarinen

I managed to do almost all of the routes from my want to do list, but some of them I just couldn't do. Perhaps I'm just too damn weak.

Sending Hello Africa 7C+, picture by Alvi Pakarinen

I was really close climbing Normipäivä 8B, but I fell from the very last move. It is the hardest move, but it was soooo close. Unfortunately after my best try a friend of mine broke a hold from Normipäivä. He did the last moves and got to the topjug when it suddenly came off. Luckily he didn't hurt himself. The breakage was quite predictable because it had some cracks around it, so it was just a matter of time when it would be ripped off. Later on I managed to come up with some kind of a new beta for the ending but it felt a little bit harder than before. So I'll use this as an excuse on why I didn't climb it :).

Giving a good burn to Normipäivä 8B, picture by Sakari McGregor

Saturday was probably the best day of my trip. I went to Kasviken really motivated and the climbing felt really good. I started working on Dodo assis and I did the moves quickly and then started to try it from the beginning. It felt good but I still managed to fall from the last moves... The route is really simple and clear and you can see the beta from the video below. All you have to do is stick the heeltoe. After I sent Dodo I went to Mongooli and tried to figure out a good beta for it. Luckily there was a local called Tomas Johansson who gave me some good hints for it and then I succesfully flashed it. That was definetly one of the highlights of my trip.

Dodo ss 8a+, Kasviken Åland from Sakari McGregor on Vimeo.

Here are my hardest climbs of the trip:

Dodo assis 8A+
Mongooli 7C+, Flash
Hello Africa 7C+
Supermartikainen ss. 7C+
Uskonpuute 7C, Flash

I had a really good time there and I'm hoping to go back soon and try to climb the problems that I didn't do this time.

torstai 29. huhtikuuta 2010

Off to Åland

Today we are leaving for Åland, an island between Finland and Sweden. It's going to be really fun because there's a lot of people coming from Helsinki.

I'm so motivated to go there because I'm starting to run out of projects here in Helsinki. So it's really cool to go to another area with lots of hard climbing.

It's raining today so there's a fat chance that we're going to be able to climb tomorrow. That kinda sucks, becauseI have many problems that I want to send and all of them are hard. So I have my hopes real high. I really wish it's going to be dry enough to climb at least most of them.

Here's my want to do list:

Mongooli 7C+
Supermartikainen ss. 7C+
Hello Africa 7C+

Drakguld 8A
Ålandsbanken 8A
Dodo assis 8A+

and of course the most important problem Normipäivä 8B

Nalle climbing Normipäivä 8B, picture by Marko Siivinen

maanantai 26. huhtikuuta 2010

A day in Sipoo

Yesterday I went climbing with Kuutti Huhtikorpi and Markus Fogelholm and we decided to go on a sundaytrip to Sipoo. We weren't sure yet on which block we would climb on but we figured that we could choose the area when we'll get there.

When we arrived in Sipoo we got to the conclusion that me and Kuutti will go try Feel Good Inc. and Markus would go try One Love, 7C+. Markus did some quick work on One Love and climbed it in less than 30 minutes. At the same time me and Kuutti were cranking hard on Feel Good Inc. It felt really hard at first and it had two moist holds so we had to dry them up before every try. That didn't help at all...

Crux move of Feel Good Inc.

After some effort and a little bit of luck I managed to do all the moves except one. A big move from two underclings to a pretty good hold. That partivular move is the third move and the two moves before that aren't that hard so I thought that I could just start working it from the beginning.

That definetly paid off :). I took some tries from the start but fell on the big move. But then I figured it out and sent the whole problem instantly. Luckily no mistakes were done on the crux section nor the ending. So cool! Another 8B on my ticklist.

The same day we went to check out a highball project that Nalle had tried last spring. When we got there Nalle was fixing up the camera and then he did the first ascent. It looked amazing and also really scary. We were really motivated to try it also because it had some tricky looking moves and cool holds. We began to try it and Kuutti did a quick repeat to it thanks to his steel nerves. He didn't look down at any time and he just kept on climbing all the way to the top. A couple of minutes later I did the 3rd ascent.

Pictures taken by Anssi Venho

torstai 15. huhtikuuta 2010

My first 8B boulder!

I have been psyched about Hypergravity, 8B, since I saw it the first time. It was maybe about 2 years ago that I went there for the first time, and then I couldn't even climb a 7A+ next to it. But now times have changed and I'm feeling stronger every day!

I've been really motivated about all the hard boulderproblems near Helsinki, but especially about this one. Earlier this day I tried to call all of my friends who would want to go climbing outside and particularly to Sipoo. Three of them unfortunately couldn't go but then luckily Sami Haapakoski decided to go there with me. He was also psyched about trying Hypergravity so it was the perfect scenario.

I believe that Hypergravity is Finlands first 8B boulder and the first ascent was made by the notorious Nalle Hukkataival already in 2004. Soon after that it was repeated by Tomi Nytorp in 2005. Now I managed to do the long waited third ascent.

We got there quite quickly and we started warming up a little and then we went straight away on our project. We chalked up all the holds, gave them a good brush and tried all the moves.

Nalle sending Hypergravity in Chuck Fryberger's newest flick CORE

It starts from and obvious box shaped hole which is inside the rock. It's big enough to get a kneebar in it, but frankly it's a bad idea. The first moves are tricky because you have to do a cool bicycle, but the hard part about it is that you don't dab. Then theres the crux. It consists about two really hard moves and 3 easier ones before you get to the jugs. It's practically over when you get to the jugs, but you still have to top it out.

After I had done all the moves, I started working on the problem from the beginning. I fell a couple of times at the start and a couple of times at the crux section. But after I took a small break it all clicked. I managed to do the first moves quite easily and then I just powered through the cruxmoves. It felt amazing. It all happened so fast and I didn't really think about it until I got to the jugs. I guess I was only focusing on the next move and the next. Suddenly I got the rush of excitement and accomplishment. I climbed my first 8B!

tiistai 13. huhtikuuta 2010

Working on Globalist

At last the good weather is starting to show here in Finland. These last days have been quite sunny and dry so almost all the boulders are starting to dry out. I've also been checking out the weather forecast and for now it's very promising. Hopefully this dry season ables us all to crank hard and send everything!

Today I was bouldering in Sipoo with Anssi Laatikainen and Sami Saxell. The drive felt really short and the walk to the boulder didn't feel either. Although we accidentally turned to the wrong road thanks to me... Sry guys :).

But after we got the rock we started warming up right away. There was some snow below the boulder so it was hard to even stand on the pads let alone falling on them. Keeping your shoes dry was clearly not an option.

Mikko Manninen attempting "Whacking day", 7B+

After some intense warm up I managed to climb one of Nalle's routes there which is called "Whacking day" 7B+. It has some cool moves with some slopy holds and a precise heelhook. After that I was psyched about trying Globalist, and it felt hard... That didn't come as a surprise but still. I managed to do all the moves to the crux but then I got kind of shut down. There's a deadpoint to a small 2-3 finger crimp and then around 3 other moves which are also really hard all the way to the top.

Brushing the holds of Globalist, 8B+

It's really cool to have a great project nearby. And this one feels really hard. I'm still a bit more enthusiastic about Hypergravity because I think it's more my style and it's also a little easier than Globalist. But yea, have to go there another time and maybe with some more skin and strenght.

Doing the first moves

Just about to deadpoint on a really small crimp.

All pictures taken by Anssi Laatikainen and his iPhone.

sunnuntai 11. huhtikuuta 2010

First time climbing in Turku

Yesterday I went to Turku with Markus Fogelholm and Marko Siivinen right after I got from school which was at around 1 o'clock. First we spontanuously went to check out Lahnajärvi where lies a problem called Stylewars. It was completely wet and it had an at least 1,5 meter of ice below it so that the startingholds were at your feet.

That went well. So after we got back to the car and head to Mynämäki everything was going great, but of course when we got to the boulder it was dripping water from it's every hold. By then we were all getting quite frustrated about our trip but we decided to go check out Luolavuori because it is known that that block would dry really fast.

For our fortune Matahari, 8A, was all dry and we finally got to the actual climbing. The friction wasw close to perfect and we started warming up and trying the first moves and the topout of Matahari. I didn't know the sequence and it looked a little bizarre so I called Ilari, who climbed it a couple of days ago. He gave me a very good beta which he used and it also worked really well for me. A couple of tries later I got to the "crux" which was for me the move from the gaston to the small sidepull (sry, no picture). After a few falls I decided to rage it and in the end the effort payed off :).

During the same session Marko and Markus climbed the standstart to the same problem which is 7C. A good day for our crew :) Later on Ilari Kelloniemi and Matti Kivinen came also to Luolavuori and they started working on a project which is another sitstart to Matahari but from the right. It looked awsome but I wasn't that psyched about it because I had totally wrecked my skin. Still the urge of trying a new route was too powering so I had to try it. The moves felt quite easy and after a couple of tries I managed to get to startingholds of Matahari stand and from there I got to a "flow" mode and sent it. That was an exhilarating moment :D. I named it "Gipsy grooves" and the grade is in the range of 8A. I also want to thank Matti for inventing the name for it!

Still after all that, the day wasn't over yet. We had to go and try another problem called Banaanipuikkoja, 7C. The friction felt really good and it took me only 3 tries to do it. After I sent it Marko did a quick repeat to it and then did also Ilari and Markus. Not bad, huh :)

Turku has some great rock and great problems. Hope to be able to go back there soon. Just have to wait that my finger can heal a bit, that the weather doesn't mess everything up again and that some gents are kind enough to give me a ride.

Here are some pictures taken from Matahari

Pictures taken by Marko Siivinen