Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Rock Vandal" - Rollarit, a Helsinki classic

Toni storms up "Rock Vandal" Finnish 5, Rollarit, Helsinki

Rock Vandal (HVS 5a/5.9) is the best route at the slightly crappy, but still much loved, Rollarit - a small cliff just next to Helsinki's outer ring road. It's always been noisy there, and now since the road has been improved to the new harbour, it is yet noisier. Never mind - it's still the closest roped climbing to town, and you can even walk there from the last metro stop in about 15 minutes if you have a sense of direction; just watch out for the old concrete reinforced trenches in the woods, readied in the 1940s for a last ditch defence of the capital from a Russian attack that never came. Rollarit isn't granite like everywhere else, it is softer on the fingers and there different types of holds. I'm not sure what it is, some sort of dolerite perhaps, but it is a change from the normal Helsinki granite crystal crimping or skin-ripping cracks. You can't go wrong on Rock Vandal - the most obvious corner, slashing its way up the highest part of the crag. A bunch of nuts, a few small to medium cams, and the strength to hang on and place them, and you won't get too scared either. Rack up and head for the sky.

3 comments:

Tony said...

Let's check out Mantra. It could provide some competition for "the best route" at Rollarit. I like Rullaportat too, although the photogenic dead tree in the photo you took last year has fallen down.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Mantra is a bit disjointed, starting direct seems almost impossible so you climb in from the route next door, then there are some OK-ish moves up to the ledge, then something like two brick hard moves - that I can't do - then according to Toni its much easier to the top.

Anonymous said...

The trenches in the woods are from WW1 times, when Russians built them to protect their naval base in Helsinki. Anyway, the attack never came...

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