Friday, May 25, 2012


Hammie and I recently returned from a 4 day bouldering trip to Västervik on Sweden's east coast.  Västervik has become one of Sweden's primary bouldering destinations due to one man, Stefan Rasmussen. Stefan has single-handedly developed the region by doing the actual work of finding, brushing and establishing climbs.  If not for Stefan there probably wouldn't be any "climbing" and locals would simply whine about how they have to drive elsewhere to boulder.  It is the same story everywhere you go as maybe 5 percent of climbers do 90 present of the development.  I just wish Stefan lived closer so I'd have more company on my own exploratory escapades.  But enough of my bitterness.

The trip to Västervik was primarily exploratory as I wanted to see all the areas in the region.  This would be a feat in itself as the small pockets of development are spread out and can require more than an hour of driving from Västervik.  I planned my days to see as many areas as possible and while I missed a couple solitary problems here and there I managed to hit all the major spots around Västervik.  The amount of rock in the region is impressive and while Stefan has been busy some amazing lines in established areas remain untouched.

Here are a couple pictures from Västervik and there will be more to come

Tunablocket is one of the best boulders around Västervik as it is covered with sweet independent lines.  The King's Speech (the problem in the picture) is amazing and my favorite problem of the trip.  I'd gladly go back to this block, which is totally isolated from any other climbing, just to try the steep test-piece on the back side.

V0 is the name of the area actually located in the town of Västervik.  It only consists of a few walls and boulders but has quite a few problems as the topos can look like connect the dots.  Life is Peachy (Erik is pictured on an attempt from the sit-start) was my favorite problem of the area but for the most part I was uninspired by V0 as the lines seemed lacking.  But the climbing was fun and for locals it doesn't get much closer.  

The amount of potential around Västervik is staggering.  A couple of Västervik's "worst" areas could be the best if people would just brush.  Forsby for example is a sizable boulder field but Stefan has only had time to establish a handful of the steeper lines.  There are plenty of striking lines of all difficulties and styles and a few super lines just sitting there.  During my afternoon there I managed to brush up several things and send two of them.  The picture shows me on one of the problems I put up (trickier than i thought) while Hammie works on cleaning a problem of her own.

The Green Wall is one of Västervik's newer area and consists of a long, steep wall next to a dirt road.  It contains mostly hardish problems coming out a small roof and I didn't get to this area until my fourth day as I hadn't been to psyched on the pictures I'd seen.  Perhaps it was the low expectations but I was pleasantly surprised as the problems climbed well and looked way better in person.  I recommend checking it out and even want to go back myself. 

More from Västervik to come

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