Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autumn climbing

Some pictures follow from last weekend's climbing trip. The venue was Olhava, Finland's finest cliff, although it was rather soggy after a lot of rain the week before and felt grubby. Normally by late summer and lots of ascents, the cracks that the climbs follow are clean of dirt and pine needles, but not this year seemingly. I haven't been for a couple of years so it was great to be back visiting an old friend, even if on a personal level I was climbing with the grace and style of a house brick.

I tried out my previously unused camping tarp. A reasonable success, although the weather wasn't challenging. It really does feel like a halfway house between a tent and a bivvy bag.

(All photos are clickable for full page versions)

Mist over Olhava Lake. Taken from my sleeping bag early in the morning.

Tents are just SOooo last year darling. Tarps - that's what all the cool kids are doing these days. I'm just - like - totally "Thru-hiker" now.

Dave enjoys the exposure leading Kehrääjä (5, HVS 5a)

An unusually quiet camping area

Dave cruises Ukkosen Johdatin (6-, E1 5b), making it look very easy considering its about his fourth route of the year. Not that I'm jealous or anything...

The Tampere boys on Kantti (6-, E2 5b)

Deep breaths, don't panic, hard bit done...

Kantti from below.

Rather alarmingly, we saw a young Czech visitor fall about 35 mtrs down the cliff, utterly miraculously coming to a halt literally a metre above the ground. He was bashed and bruised but otherwise OK. He had been climbing on a top rope that his partners had supposedly attached via a munter/Italian friction hitch at the top of the cliff. Clearly it wasn't a munter hitch because when he fell he didn't stop until something happened to snag. This, I'm pretty certain, saved his life and - as we had only just arrived at the cliff - stopped our weekend coming to a rather abrupt and unpleasant early end.

Even if you are 'just' top roping, take care out there kids. He was very lucky - if you fuck up just once you may well die. Check, check, then check again.


Artturi said...

Very nice pics, thanks for sharing.

Keefus said...

Pringles and an Alpkit MiTi Mug; my kind of a campsite.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

It's actually a Primus "alu trail kettle" or some silly name like that. I couldn't afford an MSR Ti kettle when I was looking, and Alpkit hadn't started making them yet!

I have a small stove fetish - and just caved into temptation and bought a Jetboil because it 50% off. So if you want to buy a second hand Primus alu trail kettle.... :-)