Friday, June 28, 2013

Vingsand Bouldering. Worth a trip?

Before coming to Vingsand I'd heard very mixed things.  Some people loved it but just as many said it was just ok and they'd probably not go back.  After being here only a couple a days I can see why it's given mixed reviews.

Vingsand bouldering is split into many small areas with some consisting of only a few problems.  The rock is generally very good and heavily featured which makes for lots of steep problems.  There is undoubtedly tons of rock up here and the potential for development is staggering but much of the rock doesn't make for that great of climbing.  It also seems that most of the development has been focused on caves/cliff-bands and if you're into long steep problems then I reckon you'll love Vingsand.  On the other hand if you are more into striking lines on boulders the pickings are slimmer.  It's been hard to find those lines that really inspire me (there are definitely some) and while the roofs and caves are fun it's not generally what gets me all hot and bothered.

So is the climbing worth the 15 hour bus ride?  If you throw in a couple friends I'd say definitely, but if it's just the climbing you're in for then it's a matter of taste (isn't it always).  For me the climbing doesn't put it high on the list of places to come back to but keep in mind I've only been here two days so I certainly haven't come close to seeing everything.  I can say the good stuff here is quite good and regardless what you think of the climbing it is still pretty sweet here.  The amazing scenery is what one would expect from Norway and the days are pretty much endless.  We've been getting late starts but still manage to get our fill as you can climb until midnight if you want.

All in all I do like Vingsand and could spend a few more days here but tomorrow we will take our battered bodies to Harbak, which from all my research seems superior to Vingsand.  Good times will be had.

The potential is staggering and rock is everywhere.  

Thomasina on a great "warm up" problem.  Good warm ups are a little lacking but we make do.  I'd say that Vingsand probably isn't going to appeal to boulders that don't climb moderately difficult unless that are in to cleaning their own problems.

The Diamond.  This one is too rich for my blood but is an amazing boulder problem.  It makes me want to be stronger.  Wish there were some more problems like this within my range

Andy on Eldorado.  This is a great problem that I really wanted to do but it managed to beat me in the end.  I'll blame it on being wrecked and bleeding from the day before.  Without excuses how would I maintain my egos. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day one in Vingsand, Norway

So after over 15 hour in a bus and a slight mix up on the pick up (pm and am makes a big difference) I arrived in Vingsand to hang with good friends and check out some bouldering.  Here are a few pictures from the first day.  I reckon I'll give my reflections on the area after I've had more time to fully scope it out.

Buses in Scandinavia are awesome.  Not only are they free from the unsavory types (mostly free, I was after all on the bus) but they have free wifi, electrical outlets and some even have complimentary coffee or tea.  That said it still suck spend all day in a bus and trying to sleep on the overnight trip was the standard fare of limbs falling asleep, a sore neck and general feeling of not having slept when you arrive.

My comrades and the trusty steed

Thomasina and Cedar on a picturesque approach to an area 

Andy warming up

Cedar crushing a roof

Thomasina on one of the many roofs at Vingsand

Another roof

This was taken at around 2300.  Not to love Norway in the summer

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Norway Bound

My good buddy Andy Klier is getting in touch with his Norwegian and initially was meant to come down to Sweden for a visit.  There was a slight change of plans after he sampled the bouldering in Norway and our friends Thomasina and Cedar joined him.  Since Andy wasn't coming to me I decided to go to him and have 15 hours in a bus to look forward to.  Not that I'm complaining too much as I'm sure I'll climb some sick problems while I'm there.  Here is a little video that help convince me to join Andy and understand why he doesn't want to leave.

Bouldering in Norway from Boulderkeskus on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Big caves and climbing in your underwear

As I posted last time, there are quite a few new areas that have recently been discovered.  One of them is destined to be a hard man favorite as it will have a high concentration of hard problems.  So far I've only done 2 problems and some of the best lines are untouched but will undoubtedly be difficult.  Lots of potential at one place for those with the requisite strength.

Also worth noting is that this area is another Spång find and might be a little access sensitive.  I'll try to iron that out.  Here are a couple pictures

Spång inspecting his recent find, a massive roof with a slew of potential climbs

Jonathan dialing in the topout before we got to work on the project.  Those moves up there aren't gimmes, especially if your tired, as Jonathan found out.

The roof faces south which mean this will be a great spot in cold weather.  It also means if you come in the summer remember shorts, or be confident enough to climb in your chonies.

Jonathan strikes a pose as the baking sun slowly encroaches. 

I managed to squeak out this problem and Jonathan was sooooo close.  He was just lacking a little endurance as I don't think shedding any more weight was a viable option.  I called the problem "Ungdomar i Kalsonger", which translates to "youth in underwear".  If you continue right from where Jonathan is in the picture you climb into the other problems we did.

Sticking the big crux move

The tensiony cross-through 

Hold the swing and then only 9ish moderate moves left.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A big roof and other new problems

I haven't been getting out as much as I'd like to lately, which is unfortunate because I have a serious backlog of new problems/areas to develop.  Hopefully I'll start getting out more than once a week and projects will go down quickly.

In the meantime, here are a couple pictures from just one of the areas I've been developing.  This one is up in Bohuslan.

This big roof has a few lines and one mega climb out the middle that undoubtedly goes but might be quite hard.  

Geir on the first long move out the roof.  Coming out of this span will be the crux.

Another view of the big roof.  

Just right of the big roof is a wall sporting an awesome sloper problem.  When I first saw this line I though I'd do it in a couple tries but it proved harder than it looked as you have to milk a giant sloper.  It required a considerable effort before it went down.  Great problem on perfect rock.

 Fredrik getting his slope on

A fun problem on the far left side of big roof

Geir working a project on the big roof.  Power and trickery are both needed on this one

Just around the corner from the roof is a nice looking wall that has yielded a few problems.  Mr Jutfelt fires the fa of one of them

The easiest solution to this problem is a big dyno.  Fredrik of course had minimal trouble but I flailed for awhile before latching the top.