Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home... (a climbing photo essay)

...or you are going to get squashed in the Grigri.

Saturday was cold and only partially sunny, but enthusiasm was high for paying a second visit to a crag we first went to just a fortnight ago. Going to a new crag is always exciting as whole new range of unknown little adventures await - particularly at this cliff as, so far, it is undocumented and most of what we know of the existing climbs comes from a five minute tour with one of the locals who rapidly chucked beta of very questionable quality at us as we scrambled after him along the base of the cliff.

Donuts. A central theme to any Finnish climbing day.

After the obligatory stop for coffee and donuts we got to the crag and then did one easy warm up route. At this point I decided it was now or never and racked up for what to me looked like one of best lines on the cliff - Urkupilli, 6- - a soaring 25 mtr hand crack that traverses below various small roofs.

The road ahead. Toby climbs, Big Toni belays.

Toby on Urkupilli 6- ("The Organ Pipes" E1 5b)

The climb was not without its moments of excitement, mainly because from the ground I completely misread the size of the crack and headed up with far too much large gear that wouldn't fit and not enough medium size protection, which was needed. The last few moves were done with the last gear some way below my feet and pumped out my box after various failed attempts to shove in too large cams to protect what I thought was going to me my imminent plummet. But fear sometimes does the trick and gave me just enough "umpth" to do the last couple of jams and heave over the top, where I collapsed panting like a beached whale. Silly perhaps; but at least it keeps me off the streets and away from mugging old ladies or vandalizing phone boxes.

The price of victory

Jody awash in a sea of granite (the first ascent of "Reach Out" HVS 5b)

Arno leading "the Great Flake" F5+ (I'm not sure what the route's real name is but will find out)

And thanks to Arno for taking the snaps where I'm actually climbing.


ed said...

i don't think it's very fair to label your good friend jody a 'donut'... is that what you call all your climbing partners? (looks ace by the way)

ed said...

ps - it looks like Northumberland...

Anonymous said...

Yep, very unfair. I am a 'doughnut'.