Monday, July 05, 2010

High summer on Kustavi

The summer slides by. The days started getting shorter over a week ago although you wouldn't notice it yet. There is something about the almost non-existent nights that seems to stop me from sleeping at normal times, I stay up into the early hours then want to sleep late into the morning. But summer is a time to do things, so this weekend I went to Kustavi, an island just off south west Finland to brave the heat and climb.

Orchids at Pärkänvuori

The first stop was Pärkänvouri with its plentiful moderate routes and enough shade and breeze to stop the heat from being oppressive.

Me in a crack at the aptly named Kräkiniemi, Apollo, 5 (HVS 5a)

After a good afternoon we watched the first half of Germany beating Argentina whilst eating burgers in a petrol station café before heading to a camp-site to pitch our tents. After a refreshing dip in the sea we headed to Kräkiniemi for a full evening of climbing. The evenings never really end, and we left the crag at 11 pm and headed to our tents.

Sunset at midnight over Mussalo

Time for tape - Tony gets ready to do battle

Sunday morning dawned clear and hot and the sun was on my tent at 4 am. I ignored the building warmth and went back to sleep until a more reasonable hour. We brewed coffee on the Jetboil and ate cornflakes watching the turns dive for fish out on the water. We decided to head to Riskeläisvuori to climb, on the basis that if it got too hot we could go for a swim in the sea below the cliff.

Using the tape. Tony on Pajavasara, 5 (HVS 5a).

Anni topping out on Volter Kilpi, 5- (VS 4c)

Tony enjoying Jätekuilu 5- (HS 4a)

We did a handful of routes - as ever with Kustavi, some were hard for the grade whilst others felt easy. My highlight was leading Jätekuilu, a technical chimney climb deep inside the cliffs big fissure. Falling off it - well, out of it more accurately - would be hard, but upwards progression came from wiggling more than climbing. I grazed my nose at the narrowest point. Cavers will understand.

Summer, it's hot and there are lots of mosquitoes, but otherwise its great.

In the afternoon we did one route at Haukvuori, but as most of the cliff was like an oven in the sun we went back to Pärkänvuori but to its imposing and shady north side.

Trad Master. And Tony.

The fissure of "Trad Master" has to be perhaps the best line in Finland. Utterly nuts, but a route that deserves some international attention.

Me starting up Friends will be Friends, 5 (HVS 5a)

Tony climbed one powerful line and then I tied on to try "Friends will be Friends". This turned out to be a great route, starting with a wide crack to layback and jam before narrow cracks cut back left across an overhanging head wall.

About to finish Friends will be Friends

I'm rubbish at anything overhanging, but the hand jams and the gear were so good up there that even I couldn't fall off. A fitting end to a great weekend. Thanks to Anni for taking the photos that I appear in.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Thanks for a great weekend. I wish to complain about the photo caption "Tony enjoying Jätekuilu 5- (HS 4a)" it should be replaced with "Tony forced into a chimney". I admit that it looks like I'm smiling but that is because the chimney is almost over.

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