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