Tragic accident in Chamonix area
Two Finnish climbers, Juha Hirvonen and Antti Ahola died yesterday in a tragic accident on a glacier of the western slopes of Aiguille de Blaitière, France. Both were motivated, talented, positive and friendly characters and it feels heart-breakingly stopping and sad that these lifes were taken much too early. Most sincere condolences to the families and the loved ones. Warm memories will remain. -rh-

   New hard testpiece by Andy
Andy Gullsten opened yesterday an old project in Mustavuori. 'Post Orgasmic Depression'' starts with the steep middle groove and follows sloping crack to the left and up. The line has been bolted by Tatu Autio. The initial grade suggestion is whopping 8c. Congrats!

   Early summer cranking
Starting with rope, couple from earlier spring and June: Roosa Huhtikorpi climbed 'La Sombra del Viendo' (8a) and also did couple of hardish on-sights including 'Festa Fotre' (7c) in Margalef, Spain. Markus Lehtonen climbed 'BabababaGurgur' (8a+) in Haukkamäki, Salo area and did quick work with 'One Minute Silence' (8a) in Haukkavuori, Ruokolahti. Sauli Kiema climbed 'Wild Side' (8a) also in Haukkavuori. Timo Toivonen has climbed 'Texas Ranger' (8a+) in Ruhankallio, Tervakoski. Valtteri Pulkkinen did 'La sombra del viento' (8a) in Margalef and week back 'La Cara que no Miente' (8a+) Siurana 2nd go. Sami Koponen who moved to capital area has started to fill his Nummi tick list. This far he's dispatched at least 'Adlon' and 'Nummisuutari' (8a). Samuel Hammer has climbed 'Adlon' and 'Tornado direct' (8b) in Nummi giving personal suggestion of 8b+ for the present version with broke hold. Couple of days ago Pamu also did 'Amen break' (8b) in Mustavuori, Mäntyharju.

On boulders Ilari Kelloniemi climbed world class list of hard lines in Switzerland. The hardest include 'The Riverbed', 'Steppenwolf', 'Deep Throat' and 'Dark Sakai' all 8b. Juha Olli climbed 'Kukkoritari' (8a) in Huhtanen, Imatra, and Kuutti Huhtikorpi 'Painajainen assis' (8a) in Killeri, Tampere area. Samuel Hammer's rampage to Lökkiö resulted ascents of 'Korben Dallas' and 'Localist' (8a) among others. Sami Romppainen has opened new fantastic looking line 'The Gentle Art of Making Enemies' (8a) in Varkaus area. He also climbed 'Wicked and Weird' (8a+) in Lökkiö couple of days ago. Anssi Vehno climbed rarely repeated 'Senorita' (8a) in Vaasa. Maybe the nominee for the most hilarious fist ascent goes Andy Gullstens recent 'accidental' send of 'Kreskiano sit start' (8a) in Hurissalo a week back. The man clearly does not know his powers... Last minute logs in 27Crags show that Axel Lindfors has climbed 'Hottentotti' (8a) in Myllis. UPDATE: Let's add 'Localist' (8a) by Sami Koponen and 'Wicked and Weird' (8a+) by Samuel Hammer from this afternoon :-)

   Silbergeier by Nalle and Tomi
Nalle Hukkataival and Tomi Nytorp joined their forces and climbed 'Silbergeier' (8b/8b+) in Rätikon, Swiss alps. This is one of the hardest multipitch routes in the world offering 6 pitches of vertical and super technical climbing. The route was opened by Beat and Conny Kammerlander on 1993 and has seen only a handful of repeats. What makes this even more impressive, the route is first ever multipitch for Nalle!

Detailed info about 'Silbergeier' here.

   On-sight spree by Andy in Haukkavuori
During the weekend Andy Gullsten had probably the best ever on-sight sessions seen in Finland! In Haukkavuori, Rautjärvi area, he climbed following routes ALL on-sight: 'Kultakanta' (8a+), 'Wild Side' (8a), 'One Minute Silence' (8a), 'Kultakuume' (7c+, for which he suggests 8a), 'Veri Vetää Itään' (7c+) and 'Peruslager' (7b+). Whoa!!!

   Matti A. Jokinen 1932-2014
The great pioneer of Finnish climbing, Matti A. Jokinen has passed away.

I knew Matti as an inspiring and diverse character who maintained his passion for climbing until the very end. His attitude convinced me and probably countless of other fellow climbers that climbing (despite of those occasional high gravity days) could be a life long journey and an unwaning joy. -rh-

   8b's by Pamu and other spring ascents
This spring has offered good bouldering weather all over the Southern Finland. Routes have been repeated and personal level pushed by many climbers.

Two weeks back Samuel Hammer climbed 'One-Up' (8b) and yesterday 'Syyshämärä assis' (8b) with new beta. He has also climbed 'Totoro', 'Millyways' and 'Optical Illusion', all (8a). On April he did well with rope also by on-sighting 'La Mosca' (8a) in Montsant, Spain. Ilari Kelloniemi who has been on beast mode on all the spring, flahed yesterday 'Jack's broken heart' (8a+) in Magic Wood, Switzerland. Couple of weeks back Sauli Kiema repeated 'Jaakobin Paini' (8b+) in Nummi. Sami Koponen has been sending literally everything he touches all over Southern Finland, the hardest including 'Totoro', 'Hottentotti', 'Gluteus Maximus' and 'Paddington', all 8a. Add here sports climbs 'Buu Klubben' (8a) and first repeat of ' Hyper Mario' (7c+). Olli-Pekka Saxell has done '7 veljestä' (8a/+). Pasi 'Sjömonster' Sjöman has done heap of hard boulders including 'Optical Illusion', 'Totoro' and '7 Veljestä'. For the last he suggests personal grade of 7c as a piece has detached from the starting hold leaving a better hold to start with. Anssi Venho has climbed 'Korben Dallas' and 'Kellarijengi', both 8a. Anssi Laatikainen and Juha Paatinen climbed 'Localist' (8a) in Lökkiö. Anssi Kankkunen and Ville Mustonen did 'Unusual Suspect' (8a) and Ilkka Unkuri 'Paddington' (8a).

   Niccolò Ceria in Åland
Italian powerhouse Niky Ceria has been on a two week trip to Åland (Ahvenanmaa). According to his fb-page 'Normipäivä' (8B) got it's first ascent after a hold broke and he also opened a new fantastic looking line 'Nitro' (8B) in Kasviken. Probably a story coming shortly to his blog.

UPDATES: Other hard repeats include 'Living the Dream' (8b+) and 'Dodo' (8a+)! Video below.

Bouldering in Åland (Fin) from niky_ceria on Vimeo.

   Andy in Melloblocco
Anthony Gullsten took part in Melloblocco, a yearly bouldering event in Val di Mello and Val Masio, Italy. The event has been organized since 2004 and has become increasingly popular year by year. Among casual climbing there's a competition where the climbers try to climb as many of the named testpieces as possible. Andy placed the shared first position with 6 climbed problems in a very hard company. Check the details in the pages of Melloblocco. In video Andy sending one of the problems 'Il Cappone'.

   'Hypergravity' (8b) in a session by Ilari
Ilari Kelloniemi has been having super strong spring. Yesterday he managed to climb 'Hypergravity' (8b) in Sipoo in a session. This was the first ascent after a hold breakage. He also flashed 'Isildur assis' (7c+). A week back Ilari hit Lökkiö area, where he did 'Wicked and Weird' (8a+) 3rd go, 'Localist' (8a), 'Korben Dallas' (8a) 2nd go and flashed 'Molester' (7c+).

   'Jungle Speed' (9a) in a session by Andy
Despite of warm weather, Andy Gullsten has climbed 'Jungle Speed' (9a) in one session! The route situates in sector La Capella, Siurana. Couple of days earlier he flashed 'Cronica' (8b) in sector L'Olla.

Andy has been on the road now for about a month. On the way to south he has stopped in Fontainebleau where he did lines such as 'La Théorie des Jeux' (8b) and 'Big Dragon' (8a+). In Switzerland he did 'Heritage' (8b+) and a proper heap of 8b's such as 'No mistery after break', 'Schule des Lebens after break', 'General Disarray', 'Santoku', 'Kings of sonlerto' and 'The crack line'. Impressive indeed!

   This is Kovasikajuttu
Long-term routesetter Sami Romppainen has opened probably the hardest boulder line in Savo. 'Kovasikajuttu' starts with about 10 reachy compression moves on a 40-50 degrees overhang and follows an easy crack of about 4 meters to the top. All in all there are over 20 moves from start to the top of the 8 meters high boulder. The end part of the route goes between two stones over a ravine so falling is not an option here. Sami feels that the grade is somewhere at 8a/8a+ range and he's not hesitant to say that the line is among the finest in Finland at this grade level. By knowing Sami's eye for quality lines and by looking the photos this is easy to agree with!

   'Ramadan' (8b) in a session by Anna
Anna Laitinen and Samuel Hammer have been having a good start for their trip to Spanish sports crags. On the first day they both did 'Memorias de una sepia' (8a) in sector Siuranella, Siurana. The route was flashed by Samuel. Today Anna sent 'Ramadan' (8b) in a session! Probably more hard sends to come...

   Jari's Own Rules
Jari Koski has opened a new great sports climb in Elimäki area. 'Omat Säännöt' (own rules) situates in Ytmäki and offers > 10 meters of physical and technical climbing on slightly overhanging wall. Initial suggestion for the grade is 8a which probably isn't far from the truth. This is Jari's second testpiece in the area after excellent 'Half Century' (8a) in Rotkokallio. His creation 'Vanha Soturi' (7c+/8a range) from last summer is still waiting for the first repeat. The line situates in Askola, north from Porvoo.

   'Entre dos Caminos' (8a) flash by Kata
Katariina Rahikainen has been having very productive climbing days in Spain. Yesterday she became probably the first Finnish woman to flash 8th grade by doing 'Entre dos Caminos' (8a)in Chulilla. She also did 'La Quebranta' (7c+) on 2nd go. Other good climbs from the past days include onsights of 'Super Zeb' (7c) also in Chulilla, and 'Scala Dei' (7c) in Montsant. Nice!!!

   Season starting
To every climbers delight, season has started earlier than expected (although, for some it never really ended)! Season's first hard FA was done by Andy Gullsten, who opened a sit start to 'Fatman' establishing 'Fat chicks can't jump!' (8a+) in Hilatien kattokivi, Kirkkonummi. Abroad Anton Johansson did 'The Great Shark Hunt' (8b) in Chironico third go. Jani Lehtola has climbed ultra-classic 'Karma' (8a+) in Cuisinière, Fontainebleau and Sauli Kiema 'Kirk Windstein' (8a+) and 'Miss Schweitz' (8a) in Cresciano.

   'Gioia' (8c+) by Nalle!
Nalle Hukkataival has this evening sent 'Gioia' (8c+), one of the most iconic and extreme testpieces in the world of bouldering! The line situates in Varazze, Italy, and was opened by Christian Core on 2008. This far it has seen only one repeat by Adam Ondra on 2011. Hopefully a video to come. Madly inspiring! Congrats!!!

   Bouldering Finnish Championships in Kuopio
The competition took place today and thaks to a smooth and high quality video streaming, everyone could enjoy the event even from a home sofa. Arrangements by Voema team and routes by Tomi Nytorp seemed to be top-notch!

Female podium: 1. Roosa Huhtikorpi (4/4 flashed!), 2. Katariina Haime, 3. Anitra Taskinen. Male podium: 1. Anthony Gullsten (again, 4/4 flashed), 2. Ilari Kelloniemi, 3. Sami Koponen. Congratulations! Detailed results from the finals here and from qualifications here. The results include also senior male and female categories.

   A good day for Kata!
Katariina Rahikainen managed to send two of her projects in Oliana today. The routes 'Michi' and 'Mon Dieu' took both 6-7 days of work but were sent on a same day. And yes, they are not just a walk in the park but 8a and 8a+ respectively. Congrats!

Kata has been having very good winter trip to Middle and Southern Europe. She has done several eighth grade routes, the hardest this far being 'Flix Flax' (8a+) in Terradets.

   BK Isatis opening comp
Assortment of choises for an indoor climber grew even bigger in capital area as the new BK Isatis opened it's doors last weekend in Mekaanikonkatu 15, Herttoniemi. The hall offers big variety of bouldering profiles with a huge overhanging prow not seen in any Finnish climbing gyms before. The other services include cafe, gear shop, yoga, conference rooms, sauna etc. Rather complete package one would say!

The opening competition on Saturday gathered 200 climbers. Categories were many and the results can be found here. For a set of great photos surf here (photos by Juha Immonen).

UPDATE: Results from the Sunday's finals here.