Tuesday, September 8, 2015


The traditional Häggstaträffen was arranged in Stockholm last weekend. I was honored to be "the special guest”, which included being spanked by an 8b trad route, and giving a lecture later in the evening. Previous years special guests have been some pretty known climbers, such as  Daniel Andrada and Ines Papert, so I did my best not to suck.

The weather wasn't too good, but it was very nice to climb with Swedes for a change. In Austria I've been climbing a lot by myself, which of course has been good training for my next trip. Still, it was nice to be reminded again about the friendliness of Swedish climbers.

Swedish climbing association also interviewed me and did an article about the event. You can find it from here (in Swedish).

Ett stort tack till Stockholms klätterklubb för en mycket bra arrangemang och till alla som kom till träffen!


 Everything is better in Sweden, even the characters in instructions have some fancy moves

 Posterspotting at Addnature

 My bivi was also a bit nicer than usually


 Fredrik on Rampfebern, 6+

 Some parents can't climb because of the kids, apparently others can climb with the kids

Some slackline action

This girl was pretty good!

Getting ready for Sjötaket

Half of the route had fallen down, which meant that there was a chance that the route might be easier. However, this doesn't really help if you can't make it to the new part.

After the dinner it was time for my lecture.

Two happy almost-8b-climbers

Häggstaträffen was a bit bigger event back in the 80's. In 1982 two Finns arrived to the event, which was the last time the event was international.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Des Kessels neue Kleider

This summer has been hot and sunny in Austria. We have mostly climbed at Hohe Wand, which is in the shadow after 3 pm and is actually pretty nice to climb at in the evenings. Still, we have waited for some cooler weather to climb again at Stadelwand. When the temps suddenly dropped to below 20, it was time to head towards Höllental. 

Des Kessels neue Kleider (UIAA 7, 650m, 17 pitches) goes at the right side of the "kettle"

Anu on the nice slab in the beginning. Our plan was to simul climb the route with two stops to collect the gear.

  The slab gets steeper

 The route goes mostly on solid rock

 Lost in the sea of limestone

 Some traffic on the wall

 Aiders and a bailing maillon suggested that the team ahead of us was not in a hurry…

Waiting in line. But this happens when you try to simul climb popular routes on a Sunday. 

Anu on the crux pitch. This was quite tricky, and it was actually a relief that we “had to” belay normally. 

Tired? Have some sugar! 

Starting the last block. We waited a short while for the other team to reach easier ground where it was easier to pass them. 

Richterweg seen from our route

 Finally on the top. Despite of the traffic, we managed to climb the route in 4:45. 

 Last time we found some water on the way down. Now there was just a dry hose. Anyway, this wasn’t a big problem...

…as they sell beer at Kaiserbrunn

Our gear:

50-meter rope
34 draws, (8x60cm long), 
7 extra biners 
4 x 60 cm slings
2 x120 cm slings 
1 x 200cm slings  
5 ropemans
3 tiblocs

Link-cams 1 & 2
offset alien green/yellow
C3 #0

(Trad gear was not really necessary, one link-cam would have been enough)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer vacation, part 2


 Fat-O looking forward to some fisting action

Olli on Monster spatz 6a 

This is me in 2013. I tried to be a badass and climb shirtless... I couldn't get up and ended up sliding down the whole crack. Twice. 

This time I decided to save some skin and climb with a shirt. It was still pretty difficult climbing. It's not the easiest 6a you can find.

 We also met some other friends. Here are Chiara and Lucas from Domodossola.

 Lucas on The Doors, 8a+. Cadarese is only 30 minutes from Domodossola, but this was the first time he tried this famous route. Apparently they have too much climbing around. 

Foglie Cadenti 6a+

Anu on The Black Dihedral 6a+

 Olli & Hannibal 7a. This might be also doable on trad gear

 It’s quite steep!

Crack a go go 7a

 A random guy taking some airtime

 A bad friction day

 It was still quite ok to train

 Me on Pink can

 Close but no cigar. I couldn’t find info about the grade but it’s pretty hard.

Checking out some new projects. The approach is not too bad.

Btw. We got some very nice photos from another team on Torre Grande. I updated the previous post with the photos.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer vacation, part 1

Zillertal, 24/7

I'm sitting in the rain, trying to chop some onions without a table. I had totally forgotten how much pain in the ass camping could be. It's been years since we opened the tent last time. Going back from campervanning to tent-camping was a bigger step down than I ever would have expected. No heating, no shower, not even a f***ing table. We have been in this sport climbing mecca for only a few hours, but I'm already done. If I have to sit in the rain, I'd rather do it in the Dolomites.

Dolomites, 25/7

I'm sitting in the rain, once again trying to chop some onions without a table. My rain jacket doesn't hold water, which I kind of already knew. The rain jacket has only one job to do, to keep me dry, but for some reason it just sucks all the water in and stays wet for days.

Anu asks if there is anything we could do to make this more fun.

"Yes, we could drive back home"

In Mödling, the sun was shining, climbing was good, and beer was cheap. And it never took more than an hour to drive back home. But this is also the reason why we decided to drive a bit further this time. It's way too easy to get stuck at nearby crags.

Dolomites, 26/7

The weather forecast is like a wet slap in the face. It's going to rain every day for the whole week, but surprisingly the best weather should be today. And in fact, this might be true. At least it's not raining anymore.

Few minutes later we are racking the gear. It's too late to climb anything big, but as long as we are moving fast, at least we should be able to climb something.

Tofana di Rozes. Our route was Southeast Arete V+, 14 pitches, 482 meters of climbing. It's the sharp arête in the middle of the photo.

 Anu getting ready

 The first pitch was quite steep and loose...and the rest of the route was pretty much the same

 We were simul climbing and for some reason I expected that there would be more fixed gear. There was usually only one or two pitons for every pitch...  I had a single trad rack, which would have been great for normal pitching, but was way too thin for simul climbing.

So I climbed until I run out of gear and then made an anchor to collect gear again.

It wasn't very fast climbing, but still faster than traditional belaying as we could climb 3-4 pitches in a row

 Anu enjoying her first route at the Dolomites

Despite the name, the route doesn't go on the arête, but instead wanders around it. Routefinding was sometimes difficult, as it was pretty easy ground everywhere, and there was no fixed gear to follow.

The route tops out through a hole

The top was a bit cloudy

Exposed trail

Views on the way down

Holy moly! I drank only half of my water?!

 So this is how the locals do approaches

 Tofana di Rozes in clouds. Cinque Torri is barely visible on the background.

Well, that was a big pile of loose shit

 Cinque Torri

 Torre Grande

 Anu on Via Finlandia VI+

 Via Finlandia is only five pitches long, so it's a good choice for days when the weather forecast doesn't look too good.

 Most of the pitches are a bit overhanging

And yes it's pumpy

More photos from another team nearby

Me on the 4th pitch

 Anu on the top of the 4th pitch. Torre Seconda on the background.

 The last pitch was a nice black wall

This was my second time on Via Finlandia. It's still pretty good!

Time to find some rappelling anchors. Tofana di Rozes on the background.

We had a 50m single rope and a 60m 6mm Rapline for pulling down the ropes. I'm testing a new method to tie the ropes together, without a biner. In my experience, while using a pull-down rope, the screw biner (which is usually clipped back to the single rope) is the reason why the ropes get stuck. It's also very difficult to swing the ropes free as the biner keeps the knots close to the single rope. This method still needs more testing, but so far, it seems to be better than the traditional method with a screw biner. Using this, I also attach myself to the pull-down rope, so it's not dangerous if the knots go through the rappelling ring.

More advanced top roping skills, trying to help out another team with a stuck rope

 Torre Quarta Alta and Bassa

 Torre Seconda

 Tofana di Rozes, once again

 More smoky pillars

 Camping Cortina with the usual weather on its way

Enough with this

 A mandatory stop - La sportiva factory shop

 Finnish celebrity climbers spotted (spotting?) on the sweater tag!


Nothing wrong with loose rock and shitty weather, but trad climbing in the sun is also a way to spend the summer vacation.