Sunday, April 26, 2015

The 28th Birthday Bingo in Kustavi

My 28th birthday was this weekend. I decided to do what I did last year: climb a pitch for every year. I miss long days on rock so climbing 28 pitches is the perfect birthday present for myself. Me and my friends were conveniently going to Kustavi anyways, so I was set up for success. We left Tampere 8am Saturday morning and started racking up at Kräkiniemi around noon.

I got this bingo card from my friends. Thank you!

I had a designated belayer, my lovely friend Katja.

This girl knows how to give a belay!

I also had a bunch of lady friends supporting my cause.

Liisa teaching introduction to crack climbing.
Piri knows the moves, Lea and Jatta are learning.

Topropes were very welcome. I managed to get one toprope in for every lead in Kräkiniemi. Lucky me, my friends are rope guns. Most of the routes are 5s.

1. Amelie oikea L
2. Amelie vasen TR
3. Amelie both cracks TR
4. Masto L
5. Majakka TR
6. Mörköränni L

In Mörköränni (5-).
Katja likes Mörköränni too!

Key to success, in my opinion, is to: Wear comfy shoes with comfy socks. Rack up once and stay racked up. Climb fast, and be willing to pull on gear if a move doesn't go. Eat and drink when ever possible. Pick routes based on what you can comfortably free climb. And most importantly, to have fun and make sure your partner is also having fun.

7. Lumikko L
8. Kuutamo L
9. Vanha rouva TR
10. Juuret TR
11. Apollo TR
12. Itä-blokki oikea L
13. Itä-Blokki vasen L
14. Varjo L
15. Punainen planeetta TR
16. Myrsky viinilasissa L

Hanna climbing Punainen planeetta (6-)
Hanna's happy belayer, Henna. >D
Thank you for the TR Hanna! Me TRing Punainen planeetta. Pic: Katja

I got 15 routes in from Kräkiniemi in three hours. Linking routes next to each other worked pretty nicely. Toproping saved time too. We took a one and a half hour lunch break before continuing to Hopia.

5:30 pm at Hopia. Nine more to go.

At Hopia I started with the classics: Lastenhuoneen avaimet (4+) and Pioneeri (5+). This was the first time I felt tired. Pioneeri was very, very hard for me. 10 more pitches seemed like a lot and I was afraid that not having bolted anchors would slow things down. I am very grateful for Katja: She insisted on pulling the rope so I would recover in between climbs.

5:30 pm I was a little tired. Pic: Liisa

I got the flow back after Aallon helmi (5). I have not climbed most of the 4s and 5s in Hopia so I actually had a lot of fun climbing new routes. Ropes got stuck only twice - success!

Hanna and Henna climbing Pioneeri (5+). I feel you Henna. Pic: Hanna

17. Lastenhuoneen avaimet L
18. Pioneeri L
19. Aallon Helmi L (on niin helmi!)
20. Hopeasurffari L
21. Chili tee L
22. A-kuppi L (helmi!)
23. Paha kala L
24. Säkkipilli TR

My belayer bushwhacking after pulling the rope. The rain is coming.

25. Veli Hopia L
26. Idanha L
27. Suursyömäri L
28. Kotkan kynsi L (Oh my... had I known. :D)

Bonus route

29. Myyrä L

Whoops! I climbed one too many. Oh well.

After topping out the 28th route Myyrä at 9:20pm. (really the 29th route)

We had burgers for dinner and apple gobbler for dessert. Thank you everyone! I got a cool birthday present too, a Mega Jul! Katja, please teach me to use it. Tök tök tök.

I forgot my sleeping pad. Katja's pad has a hole. Poor us.
Climbs were still partly wet at 2pm Sunday afternoon.
Liisa's Hopia tour. Let's go eat doughnuts. Pic: Lea

Thank you for the fun weekend ladies! <3

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pinsiö-Olhava -linkup

The climbing club Vertikaali organized a bouldering festival in Pinsiö last Sunday. Vertikaali, thank you for hosting a super fun event!

Riikka warming up on Läppäri (5).
Sausage for everyone! Emma, great posture. Pic: Mika Silander
Getting humbled by Tantraatio (6a+). Pic: Marika Kyrölä
House of Pain: "Jump Around". Pic: Marika Kyrölä

I had to put some serious effort in finding the key foot hold in Polttoväli (6c). It's a tiny crystal in the middle of the face. (see me in the pic... very, very tiny) I discovered it last year and figured out a way to do the crux move without the standard jump-cut-feet-stick-it-sequence. Great success, for real this time.

Sami making final moves on Sandstorm (5). :D

The next day Lauri and I took off for a short two day visit to Olhava. T-shirt weather was forecast. Psyched! We took this pic for our friends right before heading out from Tampere. Little did we know.


Unfortunately, the weather was not quite what we had hoped for. As soon as we got to Olhava, the clouds rolled in. I had sunglasses and a tank ready to go, but ended up climbing in double layers and a puffy. Sending temps.

The 4+ warm up didn't really warm us up. Pic: Lauri

Lauri sending the coolest line in Olhava: Super Cool (12a).
Rapping after climbing Ukkosenjohdatin-Josse (10b/c) variation.

I have the Prius-life wired. Prius is compatible, fuel efficient, and easy to parallel park. But I wish to have a van one day. (Max, take a hint ;))

I want a van.
The van has a 9ft charging cord. Uninterrupted SoMe updates!

Just so you understand what I have to work with right now.

My lovely Fiat Seicento Sporting, the size of a moped car.

Back to the climbing. We climbed Kaari (10a), Torpedo (11b), Miehuuskoe (11b), Kauhukakara (11d), Luonnonlapsi (10d), and Stradarotta (11b). Lauri sent everything, I sent Miehuuskoe and Kaari. Despite the chilly weather, the climbing was very enjoyable. Especially because I made progress in climbing on gear. I still got scared while I was climbing but not nearly as much as I did a couple weeks back at the Red.

Tomorrow I'm off to Kustavi with seven lady friends of mine. Sunday is my birthday so I have to get 28 pitches in this weekend. I've consulted Matti and Lauri, and done my own research. I should be able to pull it off with the help of my friends. Can't wait!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bye bye Kentucky (Get humled by the warmup)

I was not aware of the trad climbing potential of the Red until I went through the North guide book. Max and I decided to use one rest day for trad. I picked two classic, easy routes at the Long wall: Autumn (5.9+) and Rock Warrior (10a).

I got terrified leading the 5.9+ warmup.

Everyone gets scared, yes, but this was the irrational kind of fear, which had nothing to do with any actual risk or my ability to climb. I was a little nervous about placing gear again but, honestly, I was expecting to fly up these things since the grades were well below my limit.

It had been six months since I last placed trad gear so in retrospect I blame the transition. Transitions are challenging for me. Being able to go from indoor bolt ladders to placing gear smoothly is a skill I don't yet possess. I can't even make the transition between sport and trad very smoothly yet. It probably has to do with the lack of climbing years - lack of experience. I have not made this transition very many times and I assume to pick up from where I left off.

I had a talk about this with some girlfriends of mine at the gym the other day. As it turns out, they just experienced similar fears in Bohuslän. If you live in an area like the Southern Finland you have two options. Either you travel to keep the flow going or you accept the seasonal nature of climbing and get used to the transitions.

Max cleaning Rock wars (5.10a). Max had to tell me: "Emma, 
you have a piece at your waist. How about making another move?"
Classic! :D
The white birch looking tree had beautiful red flowers.

Sports clipping is not scary at all!

Max pre hanging the first four draws
for  a 12c in the Solarium.

Then Max sent 12c 3rd go.

Similar rest but no send. Sad day for Emma on Manifest Destiny (12a).

On our last day in the Muir Valley I had really only one climb I wanted to do: Air Ride Equipped (5.11a). It looks scary because it is crazy steep. I had just one hung the 5.12a next to Air ride, so (once again :D) I assumed to fly up this easy 11a. Only one thing can happen after having thoughts like that.

Get humbled by an 11a!

The first move of Air ride equipped is harder than any move on the 12a next door. I fell about five times trying the first move. Max asked me if I would like to stick clip the first draw. "Stick clip? Noooo, I'm fine."

There is a fine line between being persistent and being stupid.

I fell another three times, but now from the sloping jug higher up.

"I might want to stick clip."

Then I fell another three times. Finally I got it after about 15 minutes of falling all over the place.

A huge group of college kids were following me the whole time. I felt bad for cutting in. Did I mention I cut in? YES. I actually cut in, because I wanted to climb it before we leave. I was glad the rest was fun heel hooking and pulling roofs on jugs.

Corn tortilla goes burrito. Delicious unprepared, dry corn tortilla! Authentic!

I bet you'd rather have this one.

All in all the grades at the Red felt very inconsistent, which was a little surprising to me since the walls we climbed at see a lot of traffic. Maybe I am an inconsistent climber? On the other hand, not letting grades scare me and climbing routes that looked fun was, well, more fun. The bolting was very friendly.

Out of the 40 something routes I climbed, here are the ones I enjoyed the most. For your convenience, they are not in any particular order.

Glory and consequence (5.7+) The first move is tricky for the grade but very, very fun. 
Bitter ray of sunshine (10a) Climb the cool water groove!
EGBG (10a) This route is tall and has it all! Pull a roof, stem, rest, climb jugs, pull mini-roofs, clip the chains and enjoy the view at the top of the cliff.
Air ride equipped (11a) I wonder if the name has to do with the perma draws. Figure out the first 11a(++++++) move. Heel/toe-hook and thigh-jam your way up the steepest 11a you have ever been on.
Manifest Destiny (12a) Thin steep climbing to a no hands rest to big moves pulling a roof. No send but a lot of fun.
Banchee (11c) One of the best climbs I've done anywhere. My favorite climb of the trip.
Rock Wars (10a trad) This is one of the most beautiful lines I have climbed. Thin flake to a no hands rest to a pumpy traverse to the anchor.
Psyberpunk (11c) is one of the few vertical/slab climbs.
Immaculate Deception (12a) This route is beautifully positioned on the arete on the right side of the Sanctuary. An aesthetic climb! Figuring out the short person beta for the bouldery moves in the beginning was very satisfying. On my first go I fell from the 11easy jugs at the top. Great success!
Oompa (10a) and Loompa (10b a proud bolt to bolt go) were both super fun!
Return of the Manimal (10d) and Hey there Fancy Pants (10c) are the best routes in the Bruise Brothers wall. It is a great warmup and beginner wall.

On our last day in Lexington Jamaica took me shopping.

Re-hydrating with TJ's tiny cucumbers. Shopping is exhausting!

Bye bye Merkka!