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