Monday, September 01, 2008

Close encounters of the poisonous kind

Heading to Jaanankallio

Something a bit Constable-esque about the clouds and haystacks don't you think? Yesterday was the first day since I think April that I've worn a woolly hat for climbing. Autumn is on it's way, indeed this morning, suitably for the first day of September, the thermometre said 0.0 degrees at 7 am!

Snake in the grass

Whilst walking over toward the cliff, I suddenly noticed a something slithering in the grass, at first it was so black it looked like the world's biggest slug, but was moving quite a lot faster than a slug would! Just another hundred yards on we met another, this one though was too out in the open so rather than making a "run" for it, turned on us and pulled its head back hissing loudly. Of course the most obvious thing to do in a situation where an angry/scared snake is getting ready to bite is... to try to get close enough to take a good picture, duh.

What you lookin' at?

Vipera berus looking unhappy at getting a Nikon shove in his face. Then again do snakes ever look happy? Black adders I have now found out are called "melanistic individuals". If you compare it to the picture I took of one with the more common pattern, a couple of summer's ago in Eastern Finland you can see the huge difference in colouring.

The crux of Haliba, 6b+

Sometimes going climbing is about a lot more than just the climbing. Last weekend we saw two moose run across the road just as we were getting towards the crag. This weekend the close encounter was more venomous, hence more exciting as we walked over the field to Jaanankallio, near Hyvinkää. Climbing-wise, I didn't do any routes that I haven't done a number of times before and the one 'project' that I tried, I failed pretty hopelessly on, getting psyched out by wet holds on not even the hardest section when trying to lead, and then not being able to do the crux when having another go on a top-rope. But it was a good weekend all the same, a climbing trip on both saturday and sunday, interesting wildlife observed, but family-man balance still kept. I'm just going to have to grow two inches to be able to do the crux of "Haliba".

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