Monday, May 28, 2012

Daniel in Västervik

My friend Daniel has been hanging in Västervik for a few weeks and he grasiously showed Hammie and me around during our few days there.  It was great hanging with Daniel and I'm extremely greatful for his help with everything.  He had roughly a week to finish off his lengthy tick-list when we departed but he was climbing well so I'm confident he'll put a dent in it.

Hopefully Daniel maintains some of his climbing motivation when he returns to Gothenburg.  I've got lots of project to add to a new tick-list.

Here are a few pictures from Västervik

Daniel working Goofhead while Hammie hangs in the back.  Daniel humored Hammie during our trip by reading a an endless stream of books and being a jungle-gym.  He made quite an impression as Hammie asked about her "big friend" for several days after we left. 

 Daniel was very close to sending Goofhead and it sits high on his tick-list.  I'm confident it'll go down (maybe it already has)

 Daniel on Skullcandy, one of the few established problems in Forsby.  It's essentially committing to one big move that would be a lot easier if there wasn't potential for a bad fall.  

Of Wolf and Man took Daniel a little time to find the beta and went down easily the next day.  One less problem to worry about.

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Martin's Sloper Problem

Step one: buy house in the woods   
Step two:  buy detailed map of surrounding area
Step three:  use map to explore and find rocks to climb
Step four:  brush rocks and invite friends to you own private area

Martin recently used these four simple steps to further add to the bouldering around Gothenburg.  His little area has a couple projects and one of the best sloper problems around Gothenburg.  The woods around his place certainly contains more rock and makes me jones for my own house in the countryside. 

Johan nearing the mantel on Martin's Sloper Problem.  

Jesper preparing to grab the first sloper

Jesper grabs sloper #2

Robert eyeballs the 3rd sloper

Jesper slaps the top

Martin on his sloper problem.  I think he actually named it something else but I can't remember

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A New Season in Solklinten

As the weather warms we will inevitably be spending lots of time at my mother-in-law's summer house on Tjörn, and that means more time at Solkinten.  We were up there a couple weeks ago and I made it out for some exploration and yet again stumbled upon some good stuff.  It's amazing how this area keeps producing quality rock climbs as just when I think I've seen it all something else pops up.  I know I've been talking about trying to put out more information and a possible mini-guide and hopefully that will happen this summer.  The area needs something as the majority of the roughly 130 established boulder problems have been done only by myself and many of the best and most difficult require a little guidance to find.  There is also potential for hundreds of more problems (yes, I said hundreds) and while a doubt a mini-guide will bring many people willing to brush it might help contribute to development.

So until I get my act together people that want to visit the area should feel free to email me for information.  As always I'm eager share whatever beta I can with folks and if possible provide a guided tour, just keep in mind I might drag you to a new sector and hand you a brush.

Here are a couple of the brand-new things I found

This striking slab line proved to be more difficult than anticipated.  What I thought would be a quick stop to establish a great warm-up turned into a two hour ordeal to unlock beta and finally scrape my way to the top.  I called the slab "Wiggle-room" due to a worm-like feature and the tiny margin that separated the many fails from the actual send.

This is a gem of a boulder for moderate climbers.  What is not visible in this picture are 3 cool aretes and a couple face climbs all with perfect landing and just waiting to be done.  I didn't have my ladder or much time the day I found this boulder and the one problem I tried shut me down.  I was unable to properly brush the top or the stand would probably have gone.  While the stand start alone will be a struggle it's the obvious sit-start requiring thuggy power on slopey rails that I'm ampted to get back to.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Another Project in Lerum

The primary reason exploring has been so productive as of late is because we have been living in Lerum for the last month (for those unfamiliar with the geography of Sweden's west coast....Lerum is a small town roughly 20km east of Gothenburg).  Being here has afforded me new places to explore literally outside my back door.  It's easy to justify a quick exploration when you simply run from your porch or drive a few minutes.  I know I keep saying it but there is unlimited rock around these parts and those willing to put in the work can find amazing things.

Another small area I found is practically in town.  Jocke joined me for a day and we managed to put up roughly 10 problems and brush a few projects.  Here are a couple pictures of a sweet project.  Jocke has also recently added a few pictures of the area to

Jocke reaching to the "hold" one must then dyno to the top from.  This problem ended up being more difficult than I thought it would be and awaits someone to stick the big dyno from the bad hold.

Same problem from a different angle.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Curious Carpenters

One of the new areas I found is within eye-shot of a couple houses and on the first day there we were under the watchful eyes of a couple carpenters.  I can only imagine what they must have been thinking as they watched a grown man dedicate an hour-and-a-half to cleaning and climbing a small piece of rock.  I'm the first to acknowledge that what I do is ridiculous and those two working class joes would surely agree.

On the plus side that arete ended up being a great boulder problem.  I'm calling it "Curious Carpenters".

Kim on the opening move of Curious Carpenters.  It took a little time to find the beta for this problem as it ended up being fairly intricate.

Kim working the top of Curious Carpenter

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back in Action and Scary Projects

Been getting back into the swing of things here in Sweden.  My computer is still dead and my injuries are still plaguing me but I'm still getting out climbing and I've been able to borrow Lina's computer.  Could be worse, Lina after all has a broken foot.

Spring has come to Sweden as the forest is exploding with flowers and Swedes are shedding layers and soaking up sunshine.  Spring time in Sweden is fantastic and we've been taking full advantage of the lengthening daylight and perfect barbecue weather.  The only bad thing about spring is the leaves returning to the trees make finding new rock a bit harder.  No longer can I simply drive back-roads and peer through naked branches in search of stone.  But a few leafs aren't going to stop me as I've been exploring a ton and having frequent payoffs.

Here is one of my latest scores.  It's steep, tall and a stones throw from the parking area.  Now all I need is to rally pads and muster some courage.

She's a beaut

Kalle working the project.  I certainly goes but it will be scary.  We've made it one big move from the lip but commitment is an issue.  Anyone want to test their courage?