Korouoma Ice Festival 2011

Every December I go to Finland for Christmas. And while there, for probably six years in a row now (except for one year), I've been participating in what we call the "Korouoma Ice Festival" in Korouoma canyon, Posio, Finland. Korouoma has the best ice climbing in Finland and is located only about 100 km from Rovaniemi. It's a brilliant place to be in the middle of the winter.

It is not a real climbing festival. There is no organization or agenda. It's just a bunch of friends getting together for a few nights to climb ice and catch up. At some point we started calling it a festival just as a joke. Our group stays for up to five days in the canyon in a cabin that has a wood stove. It is the perfect time to catch up with old (and smelly unless girlfriends are present) friends. Unfortunately, once we have caught up, verbal energy is mostly used to propel bad jokes.

Our climbing is usually nervous, sketchy and sometimes somebody breaks an ankle. We have had a few emergency evacuations (always with the same guy) by skidoo. One of the most tricky things for success during the climbing days is to to find the balance between being gutsy enough to climb within your actual capacity but not to overdo it. It's not fun to climb only the easiest lines but it's not productive to scare yourself shitless on something too hard. We have to remember that December is usually the beginning of the season for most. Being humble usually works better in the long run. Build it up, work on technique.

This year I had only a few days for climbing. It wasn't enough. Next year I'll make sure I'll have more time.

I put up some photos of the festival from last December, 2011. View the photo gallery for the 2011 Korouoma Ice Festival. Below are a few sample shots.

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Summer trip to Rovaniemi

A three week visit in Rovaniemi, last June.

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Gallery: Rovaniemi 2010

I added in the gallery section a few photos from last June in Rovaniemi (featuring the "Londonians" JP and Caroline). I'll keep filling this album as I get further in the photo process.

Clickety-click:

http://www.coldpaws.ca/gallery.php

Tomorrow is the day for departure on a big hike at the northern end of Cumberland Sound. It's been such a busy weekend that we are really looking forward to getting out of here and chilling somewhere where we can't worry about anything because it's not there to worry about. And there's plenty of nothing to worry about there.

I don't think we'll be accumulating a lot of kilometers this time - it would be nice simply to find a few cool spots and stay at them for as long as we feel like, enjoy the camp life, do some bouldering and fishing, scramble some hills in the evenings.

This change in hiking strategy actually stems from the big realization that hiking is just a fancy word for walking. "Hey, let's go walk for seven days on the tundra." Neh,

On another note, my boulder climbing project here in Pang, my nemesis, is still unbeatable. I've worked through it's three sections individually but need 300 % more effort to link them. It's all overhanging an no footholds except the roof edge (in other words, heel-hooks all the way). I'm waiting for the day when I surprise myself and do two sectors in a row. According to my calculcations, that will be around 2017. But I've upped my frequency at the rock and hope to do that this year. The rock is probably 7something on French bouldering grade, maybe 7a or 7a+. Could be less. I don't have anything to compare it to. The route will be called Eesti Aerobic.

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