söndag 19 december 2010

Gritstone Ice

[caption id="attachment_432" align="aligncenter" width="607" caption="Climbing a very rarely formed ice pillar on Gritstoneberget outside Stockholm. December 14th. Photo: Erik Lindvall"][/caption]

onsdag 15 december 2010

Southward bound

For some reason I'm really psyched about the winter that has arrived way too early and actually pretty exited that the ice is building rapidly. I never thought that I would care much for ice climbing other than as a substitute for proper climbing but it seems I was dead wrong. I’ve really been looking forward to this season. And what seems even more alarming is that I seem to have got all caught up in the alpine game and the other day I bought tickets to Buenos Aires with El Chalten in Patagonia as the final destination. One month of alpine climbing or at least the chance to do some of it if weather provides an opportunity. How did this happen? Ok, I've always enjoyed long routes in the mountains every now and then and been on a few trips to Greenland for example, but that's mainly been long rock routes with some alpine approaches. But this? Now I'm actually looking forward to climbing some icy couloirs and chopping ice out of cracks. Naïve probably!

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="619" caption="The hills outside Antalya"][/caption]

Now we, Sofia and I that is, just spent a week in Geyikbayiri in Mediterranean Turkey. This was our first trip together without kids since we had any at all and it was a holiday for sure! One week of limestone sports climbing on sick karst formations in beautiful settings, nice and perfect temps and more or less full board lodging, as far from dirt bagging you can imagine. So good! Climbing in and around the caves offers varied and three dimensional climbing on mostly tufa formations and a lot of the routes we climbed were 35m+. We rented a cabin at JoSiTo’s campground which served pretty decent food as well. For breakfast there where various options such as Scrambled eggs or fruit salad and dinners where rather huge portions of home made cross over cuisine. In short, a perfect holiday destination.

[caption id="attachment_421" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Goat."][/caption]

 We also got the opportunity to take a rest day and go into Antalya and paid a visit to a 600 year old Hammam, a Turkish bath house, or spa if you prefer. What could possibly be better than getting scrubbed by a big hairy Turkish man? The experience was definitely worth the money. The rest of the day was spent in the old town drinking freshly squeezed orange and pomegranade juice and, checking out turkish fast food and haggling. A part from that Antalya wasn't quite my cup of tea.

Summing the climbing all up I think it’s a long time since I climbed so well, consistently on sighting nearly everything that came in my way and feeling a playful ease while climbing. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been climbing a lot and training a fair bit, if it’s because this type of climbing suites me, if the ratings are a tad soft or just because I simply didn’t really care if I would fail. Never the less it was fun to boost the ego a bit. Sof flashed 7c and 7b+ and I managed to do 15 routes betwwen 7c and 8a on sight  (10/11 7c,  3/4 7c+ and 1/7 8a) in five days of climbing. I didn’t try one single route twice. Now it’s time to get fit for Patagonia. Bombah!

[caption id="attachment_422" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Morning yoga on the porch."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_443" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Crag dogs"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_444" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sofia climbing in to the mist at Sarkit"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Olli Petteri Manni"][/caption]