Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last bits of Umeå action

There has been a lot of development in Rösås (before the ban of course), and five new routes/projects have been established. The easiest is Anu´s Flapjack (6c+), a nice but tricky route. Nearby Ässä mix (7b) is a steep route with big jugs. Two no-hand kneebars in the steepest section!! A few meters to the left is super steep and bouldery Missä X (7c+). The steepest line in the cave is an open project. Also, I decided to bolt the old project at Ravinen. It’s too hard for me, but something for Urban, Mikko and other hard core crimpers in Umeå.

I also climbed a new route to Blåberget. “Ranka” (7a) is an impressive arete, a bit similar to Kanten but easier and even more exposed! Climbing is very technical: compression moves, pinches and hooking.

The route starts from a big ledge, 25 meters above the ground. It’s possible to reach the route by climbing Skiljelinjen´s first pitch (6b+) or a hard and bold variation to Steneld, or rappel from the top. Ranka is completely bolted, you need 11 draws.

The variation to Steneld is a straight line and a logical “individual” 1st pitch to Ranka. It is basically 20 meters of Steneld and then after the crux you climb straight to the Skiljelinjens mid anchor via short crack. I cleaned the crack, did all the moves, but I didn’t have time (=balls) to climb it. But it’s very doable and open project for anyone.

So, a lot of new climbing around Umeå, have fun! Here is a topo to Rösås.

Btw. Swedish climbing association did a short interview about me. You can find it from associations new website

Flapjack 6c+

 The new sector in Rösås is pretty steep! Me coming down from Missä X 7c+

Blåberget. Ranka is the obvious arete in the middle of the photo.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

No more folköl

After four days of driving we finally arrived in Austria. Our campervan didn’t break down, which was a nice surprise. I feel sorry for everyone who lost the bet.

I’ve been in Austria only for a couple of times before (usually just driven through) and never in the eastern part of the country. Many have asked if we speak German or have relatives or friends in Vienna. No we don’t. Yet.

More important things: Climbing. Vienna is not really known for it’s climbing, and we knew very little beforehand. However, as we just bought our second guide book, we are slowly getting an idea. The sport climbing guidebook covers 3000 routes and 1000 boulders within 80 km from Mödling, the town we are planning to live in. Shorter routes are similar to Frankenjura, a lot of limestone walls and pillars.

Yesterday we bought a guidebook for longer (up to 17 pitches) routes. The guidebook is called “Genusskletter-Atlas” (pleasure climbing atlas) and it covers 1000 easier (up to 6b) routes. One of the areas in this guidebook even has its own guidebook with additional 1000 routes.

So, it seems there is plenty of climbing around. On our first day in Austria, after checking out two apartments (we are still homeless...), we checked out three climbing areas and nine crags. All this was closer than the closest crag in Umeå.

Besides climbing, Vienna/Mödling seems to be a nice place to live in. Sun is shining, people are friendly, beer is cheap and it’s not folköl.

 Many have asked why we don’t sleep in our campervan when driving to Austria. Maybe this photo explains.

 First night we slept in Västerås at our friend's place, second night in the ferry from Sweden to Germany. Third night at this hotel in southern Germany. They had a Finnish sauna!

 This area is right besides Mödling. Here are several climbing sectors, even though there is no climbing in the crags in the picture.

 Anu likes approaches in Mödling. 

 I think this could be called as a children friendly crag



 Frankenjuraish road

 Frankenjuraish limestone cock


 Steep & juggy!

Indoor climbing wall close to Mödling. 1200 m2 climbing area, 18 m height and longest route is 28 meters long. Hejdå IKSU!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hejdå Umeå!

This is probably the last post from Sweden. At the moment we are packing the campervan and tomorrow we’ll be heading to Mid-Europe.

Four years was the time we planned to stay in Umeå, and even though it stretched to almost six years, I‘m not complaining. Life in Sweden has been good. However, now it’s time to move on.

Our third life begins in Austria.

Hejdå Blåberget!

Hejdå beautiful blondes in Sweden!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lust och fägring

Lust och fägring is one of the hardest routes in Blåberget, and with only three bolts the hardest ”partly bolted” route. This blank face was first climbed by Krister Jonsson in 2005 and for some reason the second ascent was not done until 2011. The first repetition was done by Jonas Wiklund, who called the route a sandbag and proposed a grade 7c+. The route was originally graded with a Swedish grade 8 (7b+/7c).

Both I and Anu tried the route in Blåbergsträff, and now we drove back for a tick. It’s actually pretty convenient that we can nowadays work on same routes.

What comes to the route, it’s very technical, but there are no hard moves. It’s a slab and you can take a no-hand rest in several places. The downside is that as your feet are already burning, the no-hand rest actually just makes it worse.

At first the route felt very difficult, but on the other hand we were most of the time just trying to figure out the right sequence. Once we found out how to climb the route (btw, it’s very different route if you are 180 cm or 163 cm) it felt pretty easy.

On the other hand even the hardest routes tend to feel easy after several tries. Still, if I compare the route to similar routes, like År av ensamhet (7b) or Kanten (7b+), I think it’s about the same difficulty as Kanten or a bit more difficult. So, for me the original grade does not feel like a sandbag, especially as grading in Blåberget is generally hard, but maybe it’s on the harder side of the scale? 7c?

Another thing. According to Sverigeföraren there are four(?) bolts and “It’s possible to set an ok cam in finger size a bit higher up (3-4 m above the ledge). Otherwise bolted.

I think this is a bit misleading information. You can put 3 - 4 solid protections before the first bolt (we are a bit pussies so we put 6...), a very good cam to the horizontal crack between the second and last bolt, and a #3 cam 5 meters after the last bolt.

So, in total we put 9 pieces of protections and clipped three bolts.

Here is our gear list, if it helps someone:

#0.2/0.3 Mastercam offset
#3 BD C4
#000 BD C3
#0.4 totem
#0.4/0.5 alien offset
#00 BD C3 (= #0.1)
#0.3 totem
#1 BD C3 (= #0.3)
#3 BD C4

Anu & Lust och fägring

Monday, May 19, 2014


Blåbergsträff is something every trad climber in Umeå should take part of. Unfortunately most of local crackoholists have already moved from Umeå. Also, "Toughest" -competition was arranged during the same weekend. When we arrived to Blåberget on Friday night, we were the only ones there. 

We were here for the first time in 2008, things have changed. Even the approach looks different

 Johan on År av ensamhet 7b, one of the best routes on Blåberget

 Gustav on Vulkanus 6

 This is one of the seldom repeated traverses, wonder why

 This is what Swedish trad climbing is all about: fika with tape gloves

 This little fellow was under our camera bag, be careful out there!

 More fika

 UKHK has usually offered some beer, a lovely idea, only ruined by the fact that it's  2.8% folköl.

 It just tastes terrible

 Swedes getting wasted

 Many years of complaining finally paid off! This is what I got!

 Damn right!

 Gustav didn't get one

 Party goes out of control, Johan drinks his folköl through a candy pipe

 It was actually a very nice evening. It was also nice to see that Tommy still comes to the meeting every year!


Sunday, May 11, 2014


Rainy days, especially combined with "dagen efter" are made for boulder hunting. And no, we didn't find a new Mosjön or Niemisel. Maybe more like a new i-20 and a new Starrberget. There are a lot of stones and crags in Northern Sweden, but I guess the real question is if it's worth the drive.

The first block was pretty big, but offers nothing special.

Rock was pretty rotten, but holds were nice

One-finger pocket!

These pockets were a bit exceptional in Northern Sweden as they were not done with a Hilti.

A nice finger crack

Another boulder, big but worthless

Most of the big stones look good in Google maps.

They are big but annoyingly low 

We were not the first ones here!

Some of the blocks were pretty easy to spot

Yet another lowball

This was one of the best boulders we found

It¨s big enough and overhanging on many sides

Helt okej!

Yes it's big but...

Yet another "maybe something"

A random block in the forest

Maybe not worth a 80 km drive?

I almost stepped on a bird

Big but a bit too vertical

Åselestupet might be good for fishing, but definitely not for climbing

This was a pretty nice block with a good approach

Not very high, but maybe something...

The crag behind the boulder was pretty worthless

This crag on the other hand might be something.... 15 meters of vertical climbing

There are room for maybe 10 routes, but hardly worth an 80 km drive...

Too high for bouldering, too low for sport climbing