Thursday 12th September; Gävle, Sweden
This is now my third morning waking up on Fredrik’s sofa in Eastern Sweden, drinking tea, sticking some music on and writing for the blog, while i wait for the guys to finish work. It’s pretty similar to my Canadian trip two years ago and, to be honest, is a remarkably relaxing way to spend a climbing trip. The guys normally finish around 3:00pm and come home, finding that I haven’t left the flat for the day, and we head out to one of their local venues.
Fredrik has been really keen to show me some of his nearby haunts and rightly so: yesterday we went to a lone boulder called Sätra with some great lines like Dr Snuggles 7a+and Drutten 6c+, tucked away beside a forest track. While not climbing in abundance here, the quality of climbing was really good (the awkward and slightly scary topouts notwithstanding), the rock rough and practically untouched but still clean and not so sharp it rips your hands apart. It helped to have some other local climbers around too, to get a feel of what the Swedes are like, and as I often say, they’re great people.
Tuesday was spent a little further away, bushwacking through the undergrowth in another area known as Trödje, again only a short drive away from Gävle. Without some local knowledge, these climbs would be immensely difficult to find, as we almost randomly twisted and turned before arriving at a chalked up bloc. Trödje has some equally good lines as Sätra, although I little more spread out. Lill Hitler was definitely a highlight for me, much to Fredrik’s dismay after I dismissed one of his favourite problems in the area; it’s just this one suited me a little more. There does seem to be more potential in the forest here too, but that may just be my impression from the brief couple of hours we were there.
Discussion is abundant at the moment about what to do for the weekend now: the original idea of driving down to Kjugekull not really practical given the distances involved. It doesn’t help that quite a few of his climbing friends are injured, meaning they’re reluctant to go too far, so we may well be exploring areas closer to home. Not that I mind either way, I’ve tried to explain: it’s all foreign and exotic to me!