Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the Road Again

So the last couple of months have been slow. The entire month of November saw only 11 total hours of sunshine in Gothenburg and December hasn't been much better. Fortunately I'm leaving this God-forsaken place for the greener pastures of the USA where Lina, Hammie and I will be cruising around the west soaking up the sunshine and grappling boulders. All areas to be hit are still up in the air but Bishop and the Tanks serve as the starting points and when things warm up we may make it all the was to Squamish. We have until June 2nd so we'll see where the wind blows. If anyone has suggestions for our journey drop a comment and we'll try to swing by for some climbing and a game of pass the Hammie.

If anyone is in Bishop we should be there within a week where we'll attempt to get our weak and pastey bodies back into shape. See you there!

And for those sorry souls that remain in Swedish purgatory, I'm sorry.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boring Pictures of Boulders

Went down to Ronneby to visit with family and managed to get out bouldering for a couple hours. I made quick work of the project from last trip then drove around looking for boulders. I found plenty. You folks down south got your work cut out for you. I'm really hoping to spend more time down there and I'd love to see what others have found.

Also made the standard pit-stop in Värnamo to say hello to the locals and ogle at a sick boulder.

Here's a couple boring pictures of boulders that I'm hoping might encourage people to check out these areas.

Värnamo's biggest boulder

Super arete I brushed up

Pretty damn good boulder. Most of the lines are undone

Monday, December 7, 2009


I'm continually amazed how much climbing can be found around Gothenburg. Just when I feel like I've explored every corner of our fair city I stumble upon rock so obvious it has me questioning my ability to sniff out bouldering. In my defense, I'd inquired about bouldering in this area long ago but was told there was nothing. That's what I get for trusting others to do my scouting for me.

Slättadamm lies within the city and is a 1 minute walk from parking. It can almost be seen from the Tolered bouldering area and offers quite a lot of rock with several good lines. A bit of climbing has been done but there is room for more and I'm sure there is more rock in the area I haven't seen.

Trendens makt

Lars on one of the better lines in the area

Jesper shows his war face

Bethlehem Abortion Clinic

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spain Installment: El Escorial and Zarzalejos

Better late than never. Here is another bit from the Spain trip we took this spring. Hope you enjoy.

Spain: Bouldering in El Escorial and Zarzalejos from Walker Kearney on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Here's a few pics of Jänkarproblemet on Öckerö. Last Saturday was the first decent day in a long time and a posse was out on the islands.

Josephine gunning for the top

Kalle uses tall man beta

Lars trys to remember how he did it

Friday, November 20, 2009

Strumpeband and Jättesten

A couple weeks ago I got a tip from a friend about two rather large boulders located in a neighborhood in town. On Friday Goldielocks and I figured we'd use the a few hours to check them out and we were pleasantly surprised. There were several obvious lines and we put up four problems. The rock is quite good and there is room for a few more climbs. I just wish the boulders were one meter higher but it was fun nonetheless. A local that stopped to observe the monkeys told us the boulders were call "Strumpeband" and "Jättesten" (Garter belt and big boulder). Can't say I understand the naming of the first block but it made naming the problems easier.


The Garter-belt Toss

Garter Grove

The line on Jättesten

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Narrow Escape from the Evil City of Stockholm

Our weekend to Stockholm was meant to be a two day affair to visit friends and sample some rock but it turned into a desperate fight to escape from the city's evil clutches. The weather gods mocked us with constant rain, illogical street signs more than doubled driving time in the city, and our planned escape on Sunday was thwarted by the sudden disappearance of our car. Apparently when a dozen cars are illegally parked they tow the one from out of town, not the ones that have been there for a few days and have tickets filling up their windows. Stockholm hates me.

Despite the misery there were some bright spots.
I managed to climb for an hour or so Friday on the way to Stockholm. I circled a single boulder south of Mariestad, climbing every brushed problem on the block and wished there was more.
Once in Stockholm the only thing that kept the city from eating us whole was Jon and Katrin. They put us up in their cozy apartment for three nights, tolerated my whining and even cooked a feast. I was even coaxed to a climbing gym where I pulled plastic and managed to enjoy myself when I wasn't sulking.
Many thanks to Jon and Katrin for providing a bright spot in the city of darkness.

Sit start for full value on the Mariestad boulder

Another fun problem in Mariestad

Katrin and Jon's kitchen. We thought Hammie would be difficult but it was me that did all the whining.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Little Erik crushes my projects and shatters my ego

Little Erik was in town this weekend and while the weather was far from ideal the rock at Kullavik was dry enough to justify climbing. We put him on the project just left of "Let's go Bowling" which he promptly sent in a few goes, retaining the working name of "F**k it Dude". I had previous spent a couple days trying to do this problem and I continued my struggle as Erik casually repeated it while everyone commented on what I was doing wrong. Damn kids and their strong fingers. I swear the problem is difficult but you wouldn't know it watching Erik. The other "old"men and me decided we needed to break his fingers to put us all on a level playing field but then we'd have no excuses when he continued to out climb us.

After "F**k it Dude" Erik moved on to the super project on the same wall and did extremely well before blowing a hole in his tip. Then on to the Nihilist where the old men got some redemption. Seems Erik's youthful exuberance and steely fingers couldn't help him with this one as the wilyness required is a few years beyond his grasp. Kids these days.

Congrats to Erik for walking my projects, keeping my ego in check, and making me feel like an old man.

"When I was your age crashpads where made of broken glass and chalk didn't exist"

Sticking the crux of "F**k it Dude"

The high and beautiful project

The Nihilist

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stockholmites invade Bohuslan

Some Stockholmites (Jon, Katrin, Fredrik, and Jocke) where out west for the weekend. I took them to Hogen for an enjoyable day and many of the classics saw repeats. The climbing highlight was a new sequence on Little Lar's Hockeyljumskar that made it possible for mere mortals but the real send of the day was a delicious pumpkin pie whipped up by Markus that evening. Seriously, the pie was sweet.
On Sunday the Stockholm crew headed off to Boxvik and Spång played tour guide to Lina, Markus, Hammie and I at Smögen. Nice block by the sea. It was nice to get some climbing over the weekend as the weather gods decided to become anti-climbing late on Sunday and into the foreseeable future. Sweden does have it's downsides.
Thanks to all for the sweet weekend.

Spång warms up on one of the west coasts best

Jon enters the crux of Hockeyljumskar

Spång using the new beta

Sticking the crux, only to fall off the top. Heartbreaking

Hogen's best remaining project?


Friday, October 30, 2009

The Green Light and Quarry Boy

Johan got a green light from the doctor. Plagued by an injured finger for over a year he has begun to climb again. For Johan's inaugural climbing day we headed down to Sandsjö as I wanted to try Quarry Boy and Johan wanted to get his paws on real rock. Johan was frustrated and his skin fell apart but he remained in good spirits. It's nice to have him back.

As for Quarry Boy, the beautiful dihedral put up quite a fight. After considerable time I managed to piece together some cryptic beta and was almost content with knowing I'd go back for the send. Miraculously I summoned some last second motivation and scraped my way to the top, breaking off the right hand starting hold with my foot on the send. Quarry Boy might be one of the better problems I've done around Gothenburg and I thought that I'd killed it. Fortunately after coming down I was able to repeat the starting moves. If anything the problem is better as the only questionable hold was removed and the change in difficultly is minimal.

Johan feeling not so strong

Johan back in the saddle

The incredible Quarry Boy


Saturday, October 24, 2009

A trip to the east

I've done very little climbing on Sweden's east coast. I'm under the impression that the climbing is better here on the west side and that being said we seldom find a reason to make the journey. But last weekend Hammie had an appointment with the US embassy in Stockholm and we figured we would make a trip of it.

After a smooth morning at the embassy (Hammie should officially be an American citizen in 2 to 4 weeks) I hoped in a car with Jon, a friend in Stockholm and mastermind behind thebrunoshow, and headed up to Uppsala for an afternoon of bouldering. I'd climbed in the area once before which saved me the trouble of running around for hours in an attempt to see everything (good thing since we only had a few hours of daylight) and Jon graciously toured me to problems I'd never tried before. We started with a sweet problem called Prince Valiant and then to a balancey and committing arete (name for that Jon?) before a quick stop at Jon's project. The project climbs out a low roof and while it doesn't exactly capture what it is I look for in a boulder problem it seemed like fun and I'd be surprised if Jon doesn't do it next time he goes there.

After the roof project we stopped at a beautiful solitary boulder that begs to be climbed and was more up my ally. After a bit of a struggle I managed both the problems on the boulder (names?) and would have felt quite please with the day but a proposition for one more stop just couldn't be refused. We ended the day when the light no longer permitted us to see the key footholds on a heinous slab project. Thanks for the super day Jon.

Jon nearly sending his roof project

Jon on the left line of the beautiful solitary boulder

On the way back from Stockholm we stopped in Örebro to stay with some friends and check out a small area I'd heard a lot about. Rosendal was said to be a small area in a beautiful setting and the reports were right on both accounts. The area was limited but had high quality stone that makes for great climbing and there was one amazing block that alone would be worth the trip.

Unfortunately my attempt to climb-out the area was thwarted by a problem call Maestro as I managed to repeatedly fall off the final move despite it feeling piss easy if I just skipped the start. I guess it's sometimes nice to have things to come back to, especial since Lina really enjoyed the area and still has heaps of things to try.

Many thanks to Andreas, Jenny, and Noah for the great tour and being incredible hosts.

The view from Rosendal

Andreas puts on his war-face

Falling on the Maestro dyno one more time

Lina on an awesome dihedral

Andreas on the beautiful Dream Line

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ronneby Rock

Every time I go down south to Ronneby I'm always amazed by the amount of rock. It seems that potential areas are waiting to be found everywhere. On previous visits I'd attempted to find boulders myself and relying mostly on luck I had minimal success. For this last trip I decided to do some networking for local beta and eventually got in contact with Patrik and we arranged to meet up for an afternoon session. Patrik was described to me as the "nicest guy on the planet" and I must say that's probably not far from the truth. Patrik showed me enough to know I need to spend a lot more time in the region and while I only climbed on one boulder it was incredible.

The main line on the boulder was spectacular and would be a classic anywhere, with a hollow sounding hold being the only real negative (name?). The boulder offered several projects begging to be done and I spent most of the time on one to the left of the main line. While I managed to do the stand it feels incomplete as the sit is just too obvious. I also did a cool dyno around the corner that may be an fa but I'll have to consult the locals.

I think it was safe to say that the very south of Sweden has more to offer than Kjugekull and hopefully I'll be back soon for another sampling.

Many thanks to David (the Irish), Andreas (Zigge) and Partik (the nicest guy on the planet).

And I'd like state for the record that locals are awesome. The gangs in Värnamo and Karlskrona/Ronneby are wonderful and I'm sure I'll be bothering them again.

Patrik sending. The dyno I did is the line to his left.

Patrick trying the project to the left of the main line

The Prefect In-between

I've been getting out heaps lately but haven't had the time to update the blog. I'll try to do some catching up over the next few days.

Two weekends ago our little family headed down south to visit Lina's dad in Ronneby. The drive takes about 4 hours and as anyone with a baby knows this is way too long for a tiny girl to sit contently in a car seat. A short respite was certainly in order and as luck would have it there are several small bouldering areas located two hours down the road. Perfect.

We had sampled the bouldering around Värnamo on a previous trip this summer and even had the honor of local beta and a mini tour of a couple small areas. On that trip I had been shown a line that raised my heart rate but left me with sore tips and a bruised ego. I'd been jonesing for a rematch ever since. The beautiful prow requires a prefect mix of power, technique, trickery, and is a bit conditions dependent. Fortunately this round provided much cooler temps and a total lack of biting gnats, leaving me with one less project to occupy my mind. I called it "The Perfect In-between". Thanks heaps to Viktor and Dan for the local support. Come to Göteborg so I can return the favor.

Viktor trying "The Perfect In-between"

Lina getting back on the rock

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Video Installment: Boxvik

Right now I'm between cameras as I had mine stolen last winter and the loner I borrowed from my sister has been returned ( Thanks Heather). That means that instead of collecting new footage I've started going through some old stuff in an effort to clean out my computer. My new project is to throw together quick videos from the various areas and with any luck I'll produce about one every two weeks or so. I'm not going to promise too much with these vids but I'll try to keep them entertaining and maybe it'll help someone out there get psyched. This first one is from one of my pet areas, Boxvik. I've been fortunate to do much of the development there as there was a solid few months where I climbed there nearly every weekend. I actually had limited footage of problems being topped out but lots and lots of failing. Good times.
Hope you enjoy.

Also, if there is an area folks want to see footage from (Spain, Hueco Tanks, certain Swedish areas) please let me know. There is a good chance that I'll only do a couple of these so the higher on the list an area is the more likely you'll see footage.

Boxvik Bouldering from Walker Kearney on Vimeo.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Around the Blocks

Been getting out a bit lately. When it's not raining the temps are good but unfortunately I'm a bit on the weak side. I keep hoping to experience "the daddy effect" as my friends in fatherhood claim that a few months after their children were born they somehow managed to be stronger than ever. Apparently changing diapers and sleep deprivation is the training technique of the future.

Anyway, here are a few pics. The first two are from a small area in Bohuslan with about 10 problems (thanks once again to Spång for showing me this area). The next two are from a sweet wall that is practically in town and has for some reason seen almost no traffic. I called the best line Blind Man's Bluff and have a project on either side. To my knowledge none of these lines had been done before. The last pic is an old project in Bräcke that I sussed out and should send next time.

John on Wine-liner

Aja grimaces on a beautiful yet painful project

Peter on Blind Man Bluff

Blind Man Bluff

Peter on the Bräcke project

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Few more from Flag

Here's another vid from my few day's in Flag. It consists of the Puzzle Box roof and some of the 5 Star problems on Mt Elden. The Puzzle Box is just another sweet roof in Priest's Draw that I did my own circuit on (not nearly as impressive as Sam) and the 5 Stars are obscure dacite problems on Mt Elden. It's worth noting that there are actually five 5 Stars and the only thing that kept Mike and I from completing them all was an early afternoon downpour. So it goes. I guess I have something to go back to.
Many thanks to Jason Jackson (aka #1) for giving me the tour of the 5 Stars. It was nice seeing something new in Flagtown and actually made me think about moving back there.

A Few More From Flag from Walker Kearney on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sam Davis vs Mars Roof

I'm back in Sweden after my short trip to the States. It was far from the typical vacation for me as climbing wasn't at the forefront. I spent most days visiting friends and family or looking for a new van. Speaking of which, if anyone has a line on sweet rig that a family of three can spend 5 months living out of let me know. I'm thinking a raised roof conversion van or something with a pop-top.

Anyway, amongst all the visiting and van searching I still managed to get on some rock. I spent a few days in Flagstaff, AZ and met up with my friends Sam and Anna for a short session at Priest's Draw. While my roof climbing ability has suffered considerably from living in Sweden (the land of granite and gneiss) Sam's seemed to be in top form. He decided to do every problem on Mars Roof twice as the usual once through didn't even make him break a sweat. All the problems on Mars are pretty difficult and when you factor in the the endurance required it seemed like a worthy challenge for a climber of Sam's caliber. Well, Sam didn't seemed the least bit phased after topping out the roof for the eighth time. Maybe he'll have to start eliminating holds to up the anti.
Here is what a strong man doing laps at his local area looks like. Don't worry, I only included one lap on each problem (his second trip on each for the day) so hopefully this video isn't too boring.

Sam Davis vs Mars Roof from Walker Kearney on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pie Fest Vid

Here's a brief vid from Pie Fest. Just a taste of the good times.

Pie Fest 2009 from Walker Kearney on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

USA Update: Pie Fest

I've passed the halfway point of my two week trip to the States. It's hard to justify flying here for such a short time but with a wife and baby at home it was a hard decision to come at all. This trip was basically just for the annual Pie Festival in my home town of Pie Town as it is an opportunity to see friends and family.
This years Pie Fest was the biggest ever as an estimated 1000 people turned out to feast on pie and race horny-toads. The climbing contingent was also stronger than ever as over about 50 climbers made it out. Good times for all.
Here are a few pics from the festivities.

Welcome to Pie Fest 2K9

"Tell you what"

Getting a toad ready for the race

Gathering for the horny-toad race

Release the toads