Kouvola Ice Trip

Dark and cold morning, waking up was really hard at 04:00 but the first sip of espresso helped me to get my eyes open. I checked my gear, started the engine and I was ready. Ready for a 3 day Ice Trip to Kouvola’s Lintoja ja Pyörämäki with Juho Knuuttila.

At 07:18 to be exact I arrived to Kouvola’s train station to pick up my friend Juho. This was the first time I met him in person, and just a month a go we were exchanging twitter messages and making plans about this trip. Amazing really! After a brief hi’s and hello’s we checked the navigator and started driving towards Lintojanvuori which is a great area for ice climbing with a lot of climbing to do. We arrived just before 08:00 am, gathered our gear and after eight we were walking towards for our first climbs of the day.

Our climbing started at the ‘Car Park Area’ and Juho warmed up with some lead climbs and I did my ascents on top-rope.

Car Park AreaI decided to top-rope all of the climbs as I wanted to get more experience in ice climbing and accumulate those meters before heading out to do any ice leads. My first climb was The Groove (WI3+) and The Righthand Route (WI4). I felt a bit stiff and a bit nervous for some reason, guess it was just the lack of experience. Hands felt really cold after each ascent. Though it was a great start for the day.

Moving on to the next crag Juho did some great leads again and I followed him by top-roping. One thing I did learn was to bring a notebook of some sort to record these ascents so I could remember them. In the main area I felt my power going suddenly from 100 to 0 and I fell a few times and even managed to leave my axe hanging on the ice on the Blue Icicle. We finished the day in the Far South Area.

We found the camp site and laid down our tent near the Pyörämäki area. Which is to say a more convincing and has more taller ice climbs than compared to Lintojanvuori.

Pyörämäki Base Camp
Getting to Pyörämäki was a bit harder than Lintojanvuori due to all of the snow. We where walking in the snow waist deep at some point but once we made it to the Main Fall it was all good. Amazing scenery and a huge wall full of ice was rewarding. I climbed the Mainfall Lefthand (WI3). After few climbs we moved towards the fang and my job was to set up the top rope for it. I rappelled down and saw this huge fang like ice structure which looked rather scary. Until next time!

Fang!Juho had some unfinished business with the Two Step Corner (WI4) and rocked that lead on the third and final day. I did my revenge on the Blue Icicle (WI3) where I fell on the first day and I did few ascents on Main area right fall (WI3). Finished the day on the Screw Loose (WI4) where my arm started to hurt like hell and had to leave the route unfinished.

All in all I was happy. I managed to get more experience on ice climbing and on the third day I really started to relax and learn the tricks of good placements. It was a good training ground for the mighty walls of Korouoma where I will be heading out on the 28th with Juho Knuuttila and Juha Hulkkonen.

Ice Climbing!

Boiling water

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