After Adidas Rockstars Mina and I had a fun two days filming with 5.10 in Nuremburg for a promotional video that will be released soon. From there we had an epic journey to Västervik. 2 Planes, 2 buses 14 hours of travelling was all worth it when we arrived in the picturesque archipelago town, situated on the South-east coast of Sweden.
Myself and Mina were greeted by Dave and Ned in a brand new Volvo 4×4 that we had been given for the week. Then we were taken to our adorable seaside wood cabin surrounded by dense forest. Safe to say we were treated incredibly well. I cannot thank the people of the Västervik Climbing Festival enough for their hospitality and generosity.
The climbing around the area is full of good quality rock and great lines in amazing settings. It was lovely to spend so much time in the forest.
I wasn’t sure what it would be like spending the week climbing on rock again. I had managed to squeeze in the odd day outside here and there over summer but with the competition season now over I could really get stuck in and begin the transformation onto rock. Of course climbing on plastic and climbing on rock share a very similar skill set but I find there are some major differences that take me a while to adjust to. Mostly I find it’s getting used to climbing above bouldering mats and holding such tiny holds that you don’t find indoors.
After such an intense competition season my body and mind were both ready for a break which meant that I actually felt quite drained during my time in Sweden. I slept for over 10 hours each night, ate lots of food and even managed to fully chill out in the evenings. Not having internet in our cabin was bliss!
I only managed to climb two full days in Västervik and they were both amazing. There is so much that we didn’t even get to see and I would love to get back there! I climbed some really cool boulders that were all great lines including David o Goliat 8a, East Coast Warrior 8a and The Office 8a. I even put up my first ever first ascent! I am really excited about this! I called it Yorkie and it’s a 7c+. Ned put up a few new things too. It’s nice to leave feeling like we have contributed in a very small way to this great area.
Photo David Mason
Photo David Mason
Every day in Västervik was amazing, even our rest day. We were taken on a boat to a small island where we sat by the sea and had a picnic of freshly baked cake (still warm) and cookies. Thanks Sanna! We then went for a dip in the chilly sea and ended the day in the Sauna before heading back.
Photo: David Mason
View from the island
I would like to mention Stefan Rasmussen and Jim Wasmuth. They have dedicated so much time and effort to the development of this vast climbing area. Their passion and love for bouldering has created an amazing destination that has and will be enjoyed by climbers from all over the world. They made sure we knew where we were going, pointed us at boulders and even gave us a few of their projects.
I had a really fun week climbing with Ned, Mina and Dave and my passion for climbing on rock has been once again renewed. I am really looking forward to focusing on different aspects of the sport for the next few months before the training for comp season commences.
Next stop for me will be HERE!