It's been quite a while since writing my last post here. That's because after this season started in the beginning of March I've been quite busy training, trying all my projects and just repeating all the old stuff in order to get into shape for the projects. Even though the plan has worked pretty well and all the old stuff and hard projects in the cave have been feeling pretty easy the projects outside have still stubbornly remained unclimbed even though I have gotten a lot closer.
Projects in Luohua and Pyhäntä are already three years old and still resisted heavily so when the weather got warmer I turned my focus fully on Rovaniemi and Martti Servo where an old sit start project to Turvasanat awaited. It was a closed project for many years but luckily last summer it was opened for all to try.
On last summer it took 4 days to figure out the moves but I wasn't even close on sticking the hardest second move from the start. I thought I was close but this summer showed otherwise.
This season in the end of May we went eagerly to try it again and hopes were high to send it on first trip. What a childish faith you have some time. Even though conditions were perfect, +8 degrees and some strong wind, it soon became clear it was too cold. I couldn't even do all the moves I had done last summer. The surface of the stone is so smooth that you need some moisture to get any friction.
Next week I returned and managed to do all but the hardest second move from the start. That trend continued couple of months until after about 10 days of trying and 58 tries later just being able to do the first move and try the second move I was able to catch the move and hold that really sloping pinch with small thumb catch. It only lasted a fraction of a second until left hook slipped and I was off on the ground again but that was a breakthrough, the move was possible.
It took a session more and on the 11th day on the project I was able to stick the 2nd move again but could not catch the third move because left hand was slipping. On the next try I was able to stick the 3rd move but left hand slipped from pinch. I got another really good try and was able to stick the 3rd move and lift the heel ready for the 4th long reach to the right hand starting hold of Turvasanat but my left hand on the pinch was slipping again so I punted. F*********ck, I was so angry to myself why I just didn't had tried that move.
The weather got warmer and even mornings were too warm so we decided to go to Lofoten, where already opened, propably a hard 8B boulder called Springflo awaited. I hadn't done any specific training to that kind of roof climbing but had trained as usual on small crimps on 40 and 70 degree overhangs all winter so I knew I might have a change as I had done all the moves last summer already. It took one session to quickly refresh the beta and I managed to do the first two crux moves on first try and hardest move on second try. Okay, this feels much easier than my project in Rovaniemi, I thought.
On next day I could link it all the way to last crux move but did not have enough strength to get my fingers properly to the tiny undercling crack. Same happened also on the last day of the trip even though I was tired. The weather turned bad so we decided to come back home. It was still hot as hell in Northern Finland so we decided to take another trip to Lofoten to finish the projects.
The weather was not in our side. On first day moves of Springflo felt really good, even though it was raining and air humidity was close to 100 percent. But as the top out slopers were soaking wet there was no point wasting any skin but to have a rest day.
On next session I felt somehow tired, maybe that was because being too week to push some german car out of Kalle strands mud couple of days before, certainly it was not because of only couple of hours climbing. Anyway during the warm up I was making the first crux move when suddenly I found myself in the pads with the small crimp pieces in my hand. A half pad crimp had became a quarter pad crimp. Shit, this was supposed to be a sending day. Luckily there was another crimp a little bit further away which I had not used before and it felt even better, thus being further away. I quickly figured out the crux moves again but it still took couple of hours to refine the beta. I took one try and got to the last hard move but could not to continue. The same happened after one rest day, I was able to change my feet and start the hardest move but it hurt so much I could not finish the move so I had to come back home again empty handed. One rest day more might have saved the day or then not. I really though about going back again to Lofoten, third time for this summer but luckily the weather cooled down a bit in Rovaniemi.
The weather was still not perfect back in Rovaniemi for the send but I decided to try it anyway, just for training purposes, to gain better fitness level for the project. The last break through came after a 4 days rest when I was able to battle the project 8 hours and take about 20 to 30 tries. It increased my fitness level so that I was able to try it with only one days rests. That helped a lot on not losing the beta for the start and finally after couple of really frustrating falls from the last moves I was able to send it.
In numbers it took about 31 days, about 160 hours, more than 300 hundred tries, of which 128 times trying to catch the second move not being able to hold it, and about 13 000 kilometers of driving. In grade wise this was clearly harder than anything I have done or tried before so 8B+ was only decent proposal in my mind for the grade. Only time and repeats will tell where it settles. The main thing is that it is now done and I can concentrate to my other, maybe even harder projects.
Some might say this is madness, maybe, but I think this is just bouldering in Northern Finland.