Monday, March 22, 2010

Finland update

I left Spain a few days ago and now I'm back in Finland for a couple weeks. I had enough of sport climbing for a long time and am very psyched to boulder again! A few months ago I heard about a cool project near Helsinki and now that I'm back in Finland, I finally got a chance to go check it out. Today we went to go look at it, but the weather and record amount of snow turned our trip into an epic expedition.

Moving around in the snow was hard and really slow, but eventually we found what we were looking for and it was absolutely amazing! About 6-7 meters tall, steep, rounded feature with a Fontainebleau-esque top-out. The project is on bulletproof granite with small crimps that are far apart. Here's a few photos. The wall is frosted and the holds look better than they are, but you get the idea.

It's hard to tell how difficult it is yet,  but it definitely seems like it could be very, very hard or even impossible. And then there's the sitstart... Either way, I'm very satisfied with this project. I've been searching for a hard project near my home for a long time now and here it finally is; an incredible line that will be a huge challenge.

We shoveled all the snow off the top, so that it won't seep when all the snow starts melting. I'm very psyched to start trying this as soon as possible, hopefully within the next couple weeks. It's about time for the weather to get better. I hope I get to try this before I leave for Switzerland in a couple weeks. If so, I will post some updates.


  1. Anonymous22/3/10 02:34

    this wall looks amazing, extremely unique...Im assuming your going to try and go directly up the middle through the blankness and dot feature. Look forward to hearing about it, crush it!

  2. Anonymous22/3/10 05:05

    Were you allowed to try FRFM? Or did you just not get the chance.


  3. Anonymous22/3/10 06:36

    Beyond the ridiculous level you're climbing at, you always seem to find the most beautiful, incredible lines. Really. You're a real hero for me, thanks for keeping us all informed, good luck!

  4. I think straight up the middle is the only possible way. There's an obvious stand start from one of the coolest starting holds ever and also a very hard and obvious sitstart.

    I'm very picky when it comes to my projects. I want the lines that I put up to be inspiring, not just another V-hard boulder problem. To be honest, I could be putting up more hard problems if I just settled for a little less in terms of quality, but it is not my style. Like I've said, sometimes finding an amazing project at your limit can be harder than actually climbing it.

    No, I did not get to try First Round, First Minute.

  5. What about Unesco direct? A bit more left from where you tried -07. Inspiring enough? If so, let me know when you projecting because that f.a. would be something I'd like to witness.

  6. Unesco direct is amazing, but I'm not sure if it's possible. I would have to check it out on a ladder/rope to see if it goes or not.

  7. I believe the krux is before the mid-section, maybe the start and few moves after that. Holds get better in the upper-section.

  8. Awe inspiring. Now go climb this thing and become even more of the legend you already are..!

  9. amazing.... you have found the "place" nearby our scouting hut. We've been there several times and it's seriously a very fabulous place.

  10. Anonymous26/3/10 18:44

    But what about Spain? Did you climb any 9? DId you try them? Let us know!!!

  11. @Marpa

    I think the only 9 I tried in Spain was Demencia Seníl. I only tried it 2 times and wasn't very syked on how sharp and painful it is.

    My goal in Spain was simply to get some endurance, which I accomplished by climbing on the long routes in Oliana.

    When I went to Spain, my main motivation was to try a very well known project, but I was not allowed to try it.

  12. Anonymous26/3/10 22:55

    I hope we will see a new vid when you did it :D

  13. Anonymous28/3/10 07:19

    why werent you 'allowed' to try tags?

  14. Anonymous28/3/10 13:29

    Is the "place" really in a protected area?

    If it is, you should respect the regulations and NATURE and leave it unclimbend.

  15. Please, use your name when you leave a comment. That way it is easier for me to answer the questions. If every comment is just anonymous, it is hard for me to answer and I may disallow anonymous comments. Thank you.


    There will be video of the project.


    Yes, it was red-tagged which is just another way of saying that I was not allowed to try it.


    It is not in a protected area. The rock formation itself is "protected", which technically means that it can not be destroyed to make way for new road for example. It does not mean that climbing on it is forbidden.

  16. Well sorry about the dreaded red tag that got in the way of your plans for can be a terrible thing sometimes...Good Luck on your current project...wall looks amazing and is begging to be climbed!

  17. How do you feel about red tagging in general? Just to let the foreigners know: It is very strongly used in Finland.

  18. Red tagging is regressive for the sport and almost immature someone might say. No matter which way you look at it, it always boils down to selfishness.

    People always use the amount of work they have put into a project as a justification to close it. What if I found someone's closed project on my own, re-brushed it and re-bolted it. (work which I obviously would have done, unless it had been already done by someone else) I should be allowed to try it then, no? The answer is most often NO!

    I encourage other people to try my projects and I think that is the way it should be.

    You can't really claim a First Ascent if you won't let others to try your project. The word 'first' has no meaning in it, if no-one else even had the opportunity to try to do it before you.

  19. yes your´e right.. but what about in a situation where someone has a 6star project that is way above youre limit? i think it would kind of suck if a ninja like u would come and flash everything ive been working on for a long time.. on the other hand trying youre projects makes no sense to me :) one reason people hide their projects is this i think? of course in a well known area it is a different story.

  20. Anonymous29/3/10 18:28

    i guess you can always go, clean and bolt a few projects yourself and all of sudden all those regressive projects are open for you? one would say it would be fairly selfish to go and say hey i want to climb this, this and this project, no?

  21. I'm glad you restrained yourself from climbing the red-tagged project. There will always be differing opinions on all aspects of climbing, but we all must remember to *respect* each other at the crag.

    Anyway, I heard a story once of a couple of French climbers doing a red-tagged project somewhere in the US, with the bolter below screaming bloody murder. The French climber made it to the top—he would've bagged the FA—and jumped off without clipping.

  22. Anonymous29/3/10 19:09

    Girl Talk! Was that not what Dave Graham defined red-tagging to be once?

    It is completely nonsense to red-tag projects - specially in bouldering. Whenever I have discovered new projects, I alwayes tell my friends about them. I can understand a guy who has put a lot of time and efford into cleaning and bolting a route and therefore wants to get the FA. But seriously, when a route or a boulder is made ready to climb, it should be open for everyone to try.

    Good luck with the project Nalle. And thanx for climbing stuff we all get so inspired and motivated by.

    - Peter

  23. I agree on parts of your comments on red tagging but quite strongly disagree on the selfishness part. Seeing red tagging (especially routes) like that is quite black and white thinking really. Not everybody having red tagged projects are thinking the rock is mine...ALL MINE!!! :-) There are many other ways to feel about projects.

    I might also go with Marko on some extent that it´s quite easy for you to say "come and try my projects" as you yourself can do every problem and so every red tagged prob on the planet :-)

    Also a year here and there given away for someone lovingly projecting a problem or a route is quite far from the concept of regression. Some cases it is exactly that, I totally agree. I don´t know about time limits for making the FA but sometimes the red tag on a route seems absolutely just selfish.

    Anyway I think red tagging in a way can also be progression for the sport as it makes some people search and clean/bolt/etc new stuff. Not everybody is a paid bolting machine filling every crag for everybody like in some countries. If one does a very hard work money and timewise it would be polite to let that person enjoy his "creation" a while. There are quite a lot probs to do while waiting.

    And... If someone likes to honour or dedicate a route to someone (child, dead granddad, pet dog, sun, favourite dessert...) it would be (again) just polite to let the person do so instead of making everything a race who does everything first.

    Just to broaden the aspects of seeing things...

    Keep up to good work you do! All the best and stay healthy :-)

  24. just saying29/3/10 20:54

    with all of the rock in Spain (or just in Margalef for that matter) it seems that you could take the time to bolt something and clean it yourself. What seems selfish to me is to expect that you can just go climb anything you want without putting in the work. In this case you made up your mind you wanted to go try someone's project (why this out of all the routes in Spain? what is the motivation?) and now are complaining! It does take time, energy and effort to set up a route and do the FA. Maybe next time if you went through the trouble of bolting something yourself you would understand. No offense meant, but just sayin'

  25. Suradetch29/3/10 21:05

    I agree with your point of view Nalle.


    For red-taggers who don't know:

    sharing: unselfishly willing to share with others; "a warm and sharing friend"

    caring: feeling and exhibiting concern and empathy for others; "caring friends"

    If community is so important in climbing then shouldn't we all be willing to share with one another?

    Best of luck with your project(s) Nalle!

  26. What a shame...

    If Sharma sent FRFM with Nalle and Ondra and all the Spanish aces gunning for it, it would be quite different than if Sharma sent FRFM and it was red tagged and heralded by various media with no mention of red tagging...

    I mean, imagine if Nalle came in and did it in 2 or 3 days. It would be like, whoa! Or, if Nalle tried it and then talked about how impossible it seems, it would be like, whoa! (in a different sense).

    Now there is no whoa!

    Just a shame... Makes me less inclined to buy Big Up's next release, actually...

  27. Nalle,

    has Chris himself told you that FRFM is a closed project? If yes, has he explained why? If no, why didn't you seek for some explanation from him directly?


  28. Anonymous29/3/10 21:55

    Ohh. The red-tag topic is also going on at Joe Kinders blog.

    Scroll down a bit..

    - Peter

  29. Anonymous29/3/10 22:00

    EDIT: Don't scroll down but up..Can see now that the link takes you to the comments on what is Joes take on red-tagging..


  30. Anonymous29/3/10 22:47

    Just my thoughts about the route Nalle was declined to climb in Spain. If the route was FRFM I don't understand why Chris wouldn't let others try it.

    Fair enough he bolted it, but it's been quite a long time since he did it, yeah I know it hasn't been years and so, but still it has been a while. He has put time and effort trying it, but still hasn't topped it out, so why not give others a go???

    Let's say I would find an awesome line which is way above my limit, and told Nalle about it. He would come and take a look, probably flash my "badass" line. Yeah I lost the FA that would have taken me years to achieve, it wouldn't change the fact that it's still an awesome line.

    "just saying said..."

    Nalle just said that he welcomes others to try his projects, yeah he maybe isn't the bolting machine, but it does take time and a lot of effort to clean up a huge boulder...

  31. @anonymous:

    Very well said! I see no reason why red tagging would be different in sport climbing, but as I don't really know the ways of the sport climbing community, I respected this. Nevertheless, I strongly believe closing projects is wrong and if this had happened with a boulder problem, I would not have hesitated to try it.


    Can you explain me how is it not selfish to take something that belongs to everyone (a piece of rock) and make it so that you and only you are allowed to touch it. As I see it, this the very definition of selfishness.

    Like you say, there are different factors that may affect the situation, but that doesn't doesn't mean that closing a project isn't wrong in general.

    You also say: Just to broaden the aspects of seeing things...

    I don't think I'm being very narrow-minded when I say that sharing with others is good and doing the opposite, especially with something that belongs to everyone, is bad.

    @Just Saying:

    Very good point, although I think things change when a project gets filmed for a big climbing film and gets branded, if you will, as possibly the hardest climb on earth. I mean if something becomes THE project that everybody knows, including even me, who has no idea what's going on in the route climbing world, is it still just a normal red tagged project?

    You ask why this route out of all the routes in Spain? Simply, because it was one of the 3 routes in Spain I had seen video of and it looked cool.

    It's not like I went to Spain just to sneak some poor dude's closed project. In fact, this particular route wasn't even closed before I got there.


    I would prefer just to discuss red tagging in general if possible.

    I would also like to repeat what I said in my earlier post:

    You can't really claim a First Ascent if you won't let others to try your project. The word 'first' has no meaning in it, if no-one else even had the opportunity to try to do it before you.

  32. !Nevertheless, I strongly believe closing projects is wrong and if this had happened with a boulder problem, I would not have hesitated to try it."

    nalle. for many people making first ancents is the only reason they climb. would you climb fa to a 6c boulderproblem that would not mean anything to you, but would mean everything to the projector? u do understand that would also be pretty selfish? that was my point, dont know about jolli..

  33. Marko,

    So you have a personal problem with Nalle... get over it. This is a discussion about the ethics of red-tagging, not the definition of "selfishness". Using your logic one can say that sharing is in fact a selfish act by everyone who is on the receiving end of sharing(which in case you didn't recognize, is complete and utter crap). Leave the man alone, he's provoking thought and healthy discussion, something you clearly aren't.

  34. Marko,

    The issue at hand isn't a 6c boulder problem that is some local's project.

    The issue is not allowing one of the best climbers in the world to try a route that is in the limelight and is being tried by another of the best climbers in the world.

  35. Also,

    the other negative is that we don't get to see how Nalle, one of the strongest boulderers around, would have faired on one of the hardest routes around... Too bad...

  36. I don't necessarily agree with Marko, but he has a good point when he mentions climbing "someone's" project that would not mean much at all to you, but would mean the world to the other person.

    I don't like to use a possessive form when talking about projects...

    Anyway, there are many situations where it's polite to let someone keep their project, but also on the other hand if someone chooses that they still want to try it, there should be nothing standing in their way. The work you've put in, the dead pet you want to name it after or that you simply want to do it first are pretty weak excuses. What if someone comes back with a bag of fertilizer, grows the moss back, re-brushes it, re-bolts it and names it after his mom who died of cancer. Does that still give him the right to try it? I can honestly say that doing the work for opening a problem has never been an issue for me. Still, that's what people most often base their argument on. It's hard to redo the work already done, without actually going to the store and buying that bag of fertilizer.

  37. What doesn't make sense to me is that I'm pretty sure Dave Graham tried the project not too long ago. Was he not supposed to? Was the red-tag not there yet?

  38. Nalle,

    Project looks amazing.

    Conflicted re: Redtag thing. I have to admit, when I heard the Girl Talk story, I felt pretty bad for the setter. I didn't loose any respect for DG for pressuring the guy to let him send, but I could understand if the guy had said no. Certainly there should be some statute of limitations, and given that the route setter guy in this case is away for like a month, it's a mess. But I really think it is dangerous... I should say it this way: I think you should be cautious about forming an absolute position on the issue without having bolted a route before or having an honest discussion with the redtagger first.

    Of course maybe you already have done so and that helped you take the line you have. Anyway, my point is I am not gonna loose any respect for the route bolter here, while at the same time wishing you had been allowed on it -- I really respect your skill.

  39. Sorry, also re: selfishness / rock has always been there no one can possess it:

    Consider that in the absence of the route equipper, you may well never /ever/ have tried this route, because well, though the rock would exist, no one may have ever walked up to it and said "This could be a route and not just rock". So bolting the route itself is pretty selfless and pretty sharing in the larger sense, particularly given the time investment.

    Now in the smaller sense, it is still hard to say that red-tagging isn't selfish. But maybe a selfishness allowable for the effort engaged, like it is selfish to buy a plasma tv on your birthday but for fuck sake it's your goddamn birthday.

  40. Heh... loved the fertilizer part :-) Usually some sour milk gets the job done quite fast too.

    Usually people having projects are not TELLING others to leave them alone for a while but more like ASKING for some time to solve it first. That´s how I see it anyway. I´m against possessive thinking too. Being polite on other peoples feelings is another thing.

    This is not a straight comparison, but quite close to red tagging: A kid builds a hut in the woods from the sticks and stuff he gathered from around in the nature that "belongs to everybody".

    Rethorical question: Is it still right that someone would come and rip down the hut to build his own even if they´re might be plenty of sticks around to use? I think no.

    I think I´m talking about the certain moral issue of having a project and it´s not something that Nalle or someone else would think about this issue. I can live with that.

    In many cases I think red tagging wouldn´t be so nice and even if Sharma would be that little kid also having built his FRFM hut... I might think it still would be free for everybody to try as it is in the cutting edge of the sport.

    So I really understand your case as you have much less stuff to project than the rest of us :) Also... Is it forbidden for the best climbers to close projects? Maybe :)

    So far I don´t think YES! or NO! in red tagging issue, so I just like to respect other peoples feelings in any case. Maybe more YES concerning routes and NO when red tagging boulders. If I myself have a hard project that seems to take too long to open I have offered it to other people and would feel great if someone would do it. In some cases I even would like it better if a good friend would do the FA than me.

    I´m ok waiting for someones project to open. It doesn´t rock my world if I can´t do it this instant. But on the other hand I do understand people who think red tagging is useless.

    Lots of jada jada and nothing provocative to offer, sorry for that :)

    And... I really would love to see you on some of our really-too-hard-highballs here in the east! :)


  41. Anonymous30/3/10 12:00

    concider it this way: in catalunya there must dozens of grade 9 routes, short, long, steep, not so steep, big holds big moves, crimpy, tufa climbs. lots to choose from, the most world class quality!

    for me it seems that by doing a chris sharma project one would have had a maximal media coverage which turns to be more sponsor money... if it was personal reasons only - become a better climber, pushing own limits - you could have gone and try any other route already being done?

    i'm also suprised that you mentioned having tried demencia senil but it being too sharp. have i understood right that the named route shares a part with the project that you were not allowed to try? seems obvious to me that the project would have been too sharp aswell for you?

  42. Marko:
    I see your point, and agree, in 6C meaning the world to someone and not that much to Nalle (anymore).

    What I can't see, is Nalle getting all excited, and even further so, actually getting into the car to "get" someones 6C.

    I think the cutting-edge climber's don't necessarily feel the need to climb everything that is out there. But I still feel it will be beneficial for the sport that they would be allowed to climb the things that get them excited. Or at least try.

  43. no, i dont have anything personal going on with nalle and im not gettin exited :) we are friends and i have never even cared about making first accents. but anyway, we both know a lot of OUR common friends spend most of their spare time in the bushes with a steel brush searching for new stuff... and i know nalle respects their work allot.

    heikki: everything below 8a is 6c to nalle..

  44. Anonymous30/3/10 17:37

    Dave Graham has tried FRFM

    wtf is Nalle talking about? Did CHRIS himself tell him he couldn't do it? or maybe it was someone speaking for Chris who really shouldn't have been?

  45. @Haydawg:

    This is definitely a case where I would allow a person to have their project, if they had a vision that I couldn't see myself. My experiences with closed projects mostly consist of the most obvious lines that get picked out first.


    Just because some other kid wants to play in that hut too (because it's built in the coolest place), doesn't mean that it needs to be torn down, does it?


    I did go and climb a lot of other routes. The situation is just ironic, because I remember the moment when all of Europe's bouldering areas were snowed in, I was watching FRFM in Progression (which was not closed before I got there) and decided to fly to Spain and try it.

    If it had been public information that it was closed (which it wasn't, nor was it even closed before I got there) I might not have even gone to Spain in the first place.

    Demencia Senil is on the same cliff, but a few hundred meters away.


    Yes, I'm not saying that you should run around climbing everyone's projects. It's very important to be polite and considerate towards others, but it should also work the other way around if you have your sights set on something.


    On a matter like this, I would not listen to what anyone else says, except the person who's project it is.

    I guess what I'm trying to say here is that in principal, closing a project is wrong, but there are factors that may "justify" it.

    The lesson here is that if you want to keep your project, don't put it in the next BigUp release, but if you do, at least don't let people think it's open and travel a long way to try it and then suddenly close it (and still not make it publicly known that it's closed)

  46. Have you seen this?

    It's in Spanish. I'm not sure if it's 100% serious but basically the guy (he's a climber who has opened many lines in Catalonia, north of Spain) says (red text) that, due to the massification that many climbing areas in that region are suffering lately, every new line is more or less "reserved" for its creator (you have to ask for permission).

    If the post is not a joke I would bet it has something to do with the FRFM issue (I believe the author hangs out with a well know American climber who lives in Catalonia).

    Anyway, I think red tagging means bad karma.

  47. I don't understand this debate. Really.

    If a rock climb was an absolute finite resource, then perhaps I can understand why it may make close projects a reasonable proposition, but they're not. It makes no difference to the climbing experience if someone else has done it first (sport climbing), it seems like ego.

  48. After 20 years of climbing looking up to guys like Hill, Gullich, Moon and for the last 7 y or so holding Sharma to the same esteem, if everything Nalle said is true and there's no other side of the story but " you can't try it cause I bolted it and I have to send it first" no matter the reasons, with all the shame I have to say what I never thought I will: " SHARMA YOU SUCK".
    We don't buy a piece of rock, we can choose to equipp it , invest time and energy in it, money ( although when Petzl is one of your sponsors you're pretty much backed up for equipping a route or x- nds) and it's or should be for the betterment of our sport and comunity.
    I thought you looked to inspire the next generation man, that some day yours or somebody elses kid would come along and inspire us all again and set new standards. If not "50 words for pump" or "jumbo love" would not be climbed yet cause you didn't bolted them. ( I know it wasn't him that sent "50..." first, I'm just makin' a point)
    What the F$&k , you have an image live up to it man or all that Dosage I-V, King Lines , Progression that I own and be proud to show anyone that's picking up our sport is worth shit!

  49. Why don't you (and all the other guys) post on BigUp and blog? This has to be known by all the community, especially if you consider that Mr. Sharma is known as the one who wants to develope new areas... For himself only!

  50. I'm not saying Chris is a selfish person who's only developing areas for himself. He's a nice guy and I have a lot of respect for him as a climber, but this whole red-tagging thing (which I know isn't the first time he's done that) definitely made me think differently of him. I think someone who so many people look up to and admire, should not be setting this kind of example.

    Also, why would you put a cool looking route, which other people are not allowed to climb, in a climbing film and not even mention that it's closed. I mostly watch climbing films to see climbs that I get syked to try. To me, this was like: Check it out! Here's a cool line, but you're not allowed to try it, haha! Except the 'you're not allowed to try it' part comes only after you've travelled all the way to Spain.

  51. Selfish? Oh, come on. Someone who has given as much to the climbing community as Sharma has earned the right to be a little selfish every now and then.

    If the cost of having Sharma bolt amazing hard lines all over the world is the occasional red-tag... well, that seems like a pretty easy pill to swallow.

  52. I like what Ian is saying, though I still see both sides. I will present my scenario another way:

    Imagine FRFM was not a hidden gem, in fact ridiculously the opposite. Imagine everyone and his mother talked about it for years, the line was in some big budget videos... there's a huge sign that says "this is the route of the future" at the bottom.

    But no one has bolted it. Now show up at the climb. What do you get to do? nothing. You get to look at it. In this way the situation is not analogous to bouldering. No matter how you look at it, without the route equipper, there would be no climb. You can say, "well everyone knew about it, it would be bolted eventually"... but the fact is it wasn't until Sharma made it happen. He deserves respect for making it happen, and unless he starts chipping the rock or an egregious amount of time passes, perhaps it is reasonable that he can decide who can try the route.

    So re: CMI -- I certainly understand how it could be read as black and white, and you could come down on one side. I wouldn't go throwing away your heroes just yet though, it's a single page in a big history.

    And I tend to think we are blowing this out of proportion cause it's kindof a fun debate. But Nalle et al. can confirm or disconfirm.

  53. Anonymous31/3/10 11:14

    Chris has shared his thoughts about red-tagging
    you can find the text at Bjorn blog

    Chris has replied


  55. Anonymous31/3/10 11:48

  56. Anonymous31/3/10 11:49

    whoups.. sorry for double posting..

  57. This is a very bad story..
    Nalle I respect you very much as a climber-boulder
    But, for me, in this case you wrong.
    I had the same experience in my crag I bolted some routes and I chose one for me and put on it a red tag.
    One very good friend of mine didn't agree with me and we had a bad discussion.
    But the most of my friend agre with me.
    The world is full of routes, bolting is a very hard job.


  58. Your point may or may not be valid, but I strongly feel your approach to handling this matter is immature and inappropriate.

    Disappointing to see this from someone who generally is quite wise.

  59. Anonymous31/3/10 14:06

    Well I guess both point of view are valuable: red flagging may be a pain in the ass, but putting great efforts on a line and seeing people coming just to try it may be hard too.
    I don't think someone needs to be right or wrong in this story. Many (me included) were excited about FRFM beeing tryed by so many strong climbers (Andrada, Graham and Nalle), but I can't imagine Sharma doing this without reasons. Perhaps it hasn't been mentionned here that more than putting bolts in it, he has probably spend many many hours hangin' on the rope trying it.
    Don't forget that beeing a bit emotional is just "human".

  60. Anonymous31/3/10 14:38

    @nalle: I think someone who so many people look up to and admire, should not be setting this kind of example.

    But don't you think that this is a matter of your own ethics and morality? Why force it on others? Climbing ethics especially differ from area to area, and from country to country. There's even differences between the styles of climbing on this issue. There never will be a common standard to fit everybody in this issue. And that might even be a good thing IMHO.

    Also, some people look at Sharma or Ondra as their role model. Others look at people like McLeod, Ron Kauk, or even Will Gadd. Difference?

  61. Anonymous31/3/10 15:03

    I think Nalle is setting a good example, just by having his own opinion about red-tagging and not changing it because of other peoples opinions.

    Also has he forced it on others???

  62. Nalle, I have read Chris's comments on Bjorn Pohl's blog and still don't understand one thing. Chris says that inviting his good friends - Dani Andrada and Dave Graham - to try FRFM with him is a different thing from inviting all the top climbers in the world to compete for the first ascent. But if this is the rationale, it was well known at the time that Tomas Mrazek was trying Neanderthal with Chris. I am not sure whether Tomas and Chris have climbed much together before… At first I thought that Chris may have banned you from trying FRFM because this would obviously suit your strengths perfectly, and you would have very good chances of sending it first! But then on the other hand, Neanderthal being a long, endurance route would suit Tomas’s style perfectly, who has been training endurance for years and competing very successfully in the World Cup.. It all makes absolutely no sense to me.

  63. Anonymous31/3/10 15:26

    @Sakari: Also has he forced it on others???

    @nalle: I think someone who so many people look up to and admire, SHOULD NOT be setting this kind of example.

    I'll repeat myself:

    But don't you think that this is a matter of your own ethics and morality?

    Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to put anybody down in here. I am just posting a sincere question. I fully support Nalle (and everybody else for that matter) in standing up to their opinions. This is not so common these days. Having an open discussion on these, on the other hand, means that somebody else might not agree with you, or ask questions on them, no? ;)

  64. @pav

    maybe the fact is that neanderthal wasn't as media exposed as FRFM?

    or is it that mrazek is not a menace in the same exact context, he is not trying to get his piece of cake in the world of "outdoor pros" and gets his coverage from comps mainly?

  65. @gian:
    I would have thought Neanderthal got plenty of coverage, too. It was featured in Big up films, 8a website had a mini-article on it… Plenty of coverage.

  66. Having read Chris's reply I feel that his request is more than justified. It was not like he was nowhere near completing the route and therefore was unlikely to do it anytime soon. Also before traveling to Spain it would have been wise to have investigated if it was indeed an open project - guess the lesson has been learned now.

  67. I find it interesting how I'm being judged for doing absolutely nothing at all, except respecting Chris's request and the effort he has put in the route.

    I did not start this conversation, it just escalated from a few people asking questions and got blown way out of proportion. I don't think internet is the proper forum to be discussing this matter anyway and I would prefer closing this conversation.

    @Sash and Greg:

    Yes, I think Chris' reply is very justified, that's why I fully respected his wish. He couldn't be closer to completing it. It was closed after I arrived in Spain, but only for certain people.

  68. I posted a short reply here:

  69. Chris is also being "judged" here Nalle, if you do not like the public being involved with this debate you should not have a blog or publicize your climbing! regarding BigUp or others not saying it was a "closed" project, they never said it was an "open" project either. they merely called it Chris' project, which is what it was from the time he saw the line and bolted it until now. Again, you are mischaracterizing this by saying 'the route was closed only to you.' Just because Dani and Dave tried it does not mean they wanted/ or were going to do it! You on the other hand announced to the world on the internet that it was your intention to go to Spain to try and do FRFM. To me what seems selfish is that you would expect a red carpet awaiting your arrival to try and send someone else's project that they are close to doing!
    p.s. anyone out there calling Chris or Nalle jerks for their behavior in this situation is an idiot. They both had personal motivations for what they did, the only issue is that these motivations conflicted with each other. Both guys are incredibly talented and nice guys it seems.

  70. Nalle u seem like a really cool dude and all. Climbing appears to be more of a life style than a hobby. Its also obvious that you like to keep the public in the loop, but for reals bro !!! who gives a shit what other people think man. Most people will never know what it is 2 climb at an elite level. It also appears that there was some sort of issue with FRFM but this hole internet thing has turned it into some straight online drama. Don't let that shit get you down Man, just stay positive and continue crushing.

    abe -

  71. Cheese.
    So many posts!!
    Do you have time to train for all this nonsense?

    -Anssi L

  72. Coming from the world of Bouldering I can see how you may not understand the concept of ownership that is applied to sport routes (and only applied to sport routes incidentally not trad). The difference? Is simply in the effort and expense of equipping the line, the steeper the line and more blank the rock the harder it is to equip properly. I recently belayed a friend as he equipped a new steep line with glue in anchors, it took seven hours of pain and extreme effort to get the anchors placed! Is it really fair to expect to walk up to the now equipped line and be allowed to just have a go?

    I have several projects stolen from me by 'better' climbers who have never bolted anything themselves and so never actually contributed to the development of the sport. These lines cost me a lot of money and time to equip, why should I just be 'OK' with others walking up and claiming the FA? The FA is the reward for all the hard work, take that away and the effort is all meaningless, 'second ascent' doesnt cut it.

    In my experience all ppl who bleat for projects to be open to all have never bolted anything in their lives. Put in the hard work and then see how you feel, have someone steal the FA and then see how you feel! How many routes have you bolted Nalle? I can understand the pressures surrounding routes at the top level but you cant really have one set of standards for top climbers and another for the rest of us. Without the 'carrot' of the FA as a reward for bolting there is little incentive for people to develop routes, after all thats whole point of bolting it in the first place isn't it? -To do the route - first! My experiences with project theft have left me disillusioned with climbers and the honour system we are all supposed to be operating under. I am very unlikely to bolt new projects despite the vast horde of hardware (bolts) sitting in my cupboard. If you want to sport climb then you need to respect the rules. As much I admire your climbing achievements, you cant expect the rest of the world to simply rewrite the rule book just for you

  73. @greg:

    I am not sure why so many pull out the 'hardwork'-card. Yes you tell about a route that took you 7 hours of work to bolt, but I work more than that everyday. I guess most people do 8 hour workdays everyday. So 7 hours is less than a days work. Wouldn't call that putting in 'a lot of time'. And on the route at discussion, FRFM is a steep route, but a fairly short one, so I would imagine it took even less time for a professional, like Chris, to bolt a route like that. To put it into even more proportions, I think the first stills/videoclip I have seen of the project were in march 2009, so it must have been bolted more than a year ago. In that scope, during a year, Chris has propably spent a lot of time trying to climb it and some more time training for it. So the actual bolting of the route has taken propably less than one percentage of the time worked on it. Would not consider it significant as such. And I'm pretty sure that after Chris sends it someday, he won't mention in an interview that sending the route was really really hard, because he had to bolt so hard.

    And about the costs of bolting, yes, there are some costs no doubt (drills, anchors, bolts etc), but I'm sure non of those are from Chris's own pocket. I'm sure that he is provided with the appropriate gear for no cost.

    What I do see impressive though, is the envisioning a route on where there is just a blank face. And the dedication to train hard and the dedication to push yourself to do the climb.

    I have no experience of the culture of Sport Climbing in Spain, so I don't know how long people usually reserve their projects for, but for me, more than a year seems like quite some time.

    Personally, I'd prefer that somebody, anybody, just climbed it, and we could have amazing footage of it to enjoy! Hopefully Chris finishes it soon!

    Anyhow, with all the good climbers such as Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Nalle, Paul Robinson, Adam Ondra, putting up new amazing stuff out there I'm just really excited on watching the sport evolve!

  74. @greg

    i do not understand why as a bolder you specifically need the FA as a reward.

    recognition, honours and funding independently from the ascent sound more appropriate for me, and truly happen in some cases : there are areas where the main bolter/developer is the most famous/respected/influential figure in the local community depite not being the strongest climber around, nor keeping the FAs strictly for himself.

    to make an example out of 1000, this november I remember toni arbonés inviting any decent climber in the campsite to check out his latest sector...I went in one morning with a strong polish climber and we helped as we could to clean, check that the lines truly followed a logical "path of less resistance", suggest ended with the strong guy making a second-go FA of a line toni was still projecting and had good chances of doing soon. Toni looked perfectly fine with that, he belayed and loudly encouraged the guy. That episode left me a very positive impression and made me even more inclined to reccomend siurana as a trip destination and toni's campsite as the place to stay...

    why does have to be different when we are talking of the current elite? why can't we separate the honours for the vision and bolting activity, and the recognition of climbing ability?

  75. Sebastian

    The whole situation got out of control because you didn't choose your words carefully when you said "I was not allowed to try it." That initial response shows some disdain for the situation. but now you're saying that you had a conversation with Chris and respected Chris's wish to not climb on it. He's put in a lot of time and effort in bolting and cleaning routes and he's essentially a local in that area, so I don't think that it's too unreasonable to simply respect his wish. Opening up sport climbs is quite more involved than just sending a boulder problem so I think the attitude that there should be no closed projects doesn't apply as well in sport climbing. I agree with you that boulder problems should never be closed.

    It seems like you took the bouldering mentality of having every project be "open" and assumed that those morals applied to sport climbing. I think that's an honest "mistake" on your part, kind of like when one goes to another culture and makes the mistake of assuming that they have the same values.
    I will make the criticism of you in that your point of view that because the project was on a video you felt that it was open to the world. Also, you say that you were disappointed to only find out that you "couldn't" climb FRFM when you arrived in Spain. It seems as if it wouldn't have been too hard for you to get in touch with Cris, but it sounds like you didn't make the effort because you assumed that, like sport climbing ethics were the same as bouldering ethics.

    Anyway, just trying to be constructive and trying to give my 1/2 cents on an uncomfortable situation. Keep crushing!

  76. The "trump card" in this debate is, there is unlimited potential for new and different hard lines in that area, something neither Nalle or his supporters ever mention. If it is so easy to put up hard routes, like Heikki is claiming, then Nalle should ask his sponsors for free bolting gear and start opening new lines himself, instead of complaining on the internet about not being allowed to play with the Big Boys.

  77. @Sebastian:

    English is not my first language, so forgive me if my word choice wasn't perfect. I could also start writing in Finnish if that's better.

  78. I guess I never realized that climbing was SO serious.

    I'm a boulderer and very proud to call myself one, as I learn more and more about the sport climbing world. This trip to Spain was my first sport climbing trip ever and it may very well be my last. I had to deal with many aspects that were completely new to me, such as chipping in such large scale and very different ethics and rules of conduct. I found these to be something that I do not want to be a part of as they take a lot away from my climbing experience. Bouldering to me is much more relaxed and free of restrictions in many ways.

    I have never bolted a route, but I have belayed my friends bolting and been around enough to understand the work that goes into it. I have, however, found, cleaned and developed bouldering areas around the world and I can say that cleaning a big boulder can be just as much work as bolting a route. My newest boulder project here in Finland is a good example; I've made three trips there so far, to go clean it, and still it requires more work. I have put hours and hours of work into this perfect line which means a lot to me and I would be very proud to get the first ascent. However, I would like nothing more than to share the climbing experience with other people; if that is at the cost of losing the first ascent, so be it.

    I climb because I truly enjoy it, never because of pressure from my sponsors or anyone else. The moment I start climbing for some other reason than my own passion for it, that defeats the whole purpose for me and I might as well quit climbing.