Jody climbs Pelkkiä Mustikoita (Fin. 4/Sev), that I had done the first ascent of just a week before. The clean slab partly visible to the left is Jody's new sport route Baby Steps 6a+, a really nice addition to the cliff.
Another view of Pelkkiä Mustikoita, showing its offwidthy nature. The route is probably the easiest offwidth I've done in Finland - so if you want to get some practice in the dark arts of the wide, borrow some big cams and get stuck in, literally and metaphorically.
Thanks to Jody for this picture of me on the crack of "Piton Route". "The Pool Cleaner Guy" heads up to the thin crack on the headwall at this point. "Piton Route" carries on to the up right. This is one of the Kauhala mystery routes; in that it has had a piton in it, and has done for as long as I can remember, despite no one seeming to know who placed it and whether it was climbed as an aid route, a trad route or perhaps even a winter line. Anyway I've called it "Piton Route" for the want of a better name. It goes at about 5- (VS 4c) and I found it rather 'old fashioned' in that hexes were more useful than cams. If anyone knows the history of the piton I'd be interested to hear.
La Sportiva Cliff 5s that I have as test shoes for UKC. They are a bit punter-looking, but I have realised a) I'm a punter anyway, and b) they are actually bloody good. A full review will be on UKC at some point in the future.
Muurla. Muurla is one of those odd Finnish crags that seems to have fallen out of fashion – if it was ever truly in fashion. It is a long, sunny, south facing escarpment above the old Helsinki-Turku highway. The bits of rock that stand proud of the forest below are very clean by Finnish standards. The cliff became famous amongst old school Finnish climbers because of the presence of what is probably the country’s first sport climb – Baby Face, an impressive, overhanging 7b put up by Henrik Suihkonen in 1989. But the Baby Face area is by no means the only one – there are some other sports climbs dotted about. They look a bit dated now: expansion bolts and bent-sheet Petzl hangers whilst the modern norm is chunky glue-ins. The bolting is also of the relatively minimalist 90s school. I’ve never found out for sure but always presumed this was because the of the cost of bolts back when people were paying for them out of their own pockets allied to the difficult of drilling Finnish granite (it takes a rapid toll on drill bits and batteries), rather than any real minimalist bolting ethic. It does mean however that the second bolt is often high enough to make taking a fall whilst trying to clip something you really want to avoid.