Kustavi (Gustavs) – The Finnish Mecca Of Crack Climbing

I find myself more and more interested in cracks and jamming, so Kustavi was a natural destination after returning to Finland. It's located in the beautiful coastline of south-western Finland and has a great diversity of crags dedicated to traditional climbing.

Hopiavuori in Kustavi area is the place to learn how to jam.


The north facing wall of Kräkiniemi is a great place to try and practice traditional climbing. There's a handfull of easy routes, that are also easy to protect even by a beginner.
I doubt that you can find a more comforting place to start traditional climbing than the 10-15 meter high slab at Kräkiniemi. 
Quite many of the routes have a clippable anchor, so you can concentrate on placing the cams and nuts without spending excess time at the top.

If you're looking for something really easy, the route Masto (4) is an excellent choice for a warm-up. Amelie (4+) at the rightmost corner of the sector is no harder than that. It actually has three variations, so you can climb up in a way that feels most comfortable to you. Apollo (5+) and Juuret (5+) also look very nice and quite continuous for the grade. For me they remain yet to be climbed, since I trembled up my first trad climbs at Kräkiniemi and didn't even dare to try anything harder than 4.


Basically the whole crag is a classic. With such an easy access, beautiful scenery and magnificent lines I can't but wonder why it isn't more popular.
Hopiavuori is filled with routes that have absolutely no holds apart from the crack itself. 
A bit of a downside is, that the routes seem to be quite tough for the grade and Hopiavuori only has a few trees as anchors. From a total beginner's point of view it's a dealbreaker, since top roping is pretty much impossible. I guess it goes without saying, that I only climbed as a second at Hopiavuori. But! If you can find a hero to go up before you, Hopiavuori is the best of places to practice all kind of jamming.

Crack after another.

Dead Ringers (7/8+) and Pasuuna (6) at sector Pioneeri.


Kaasavuori is a bit farther away from Kräkiniemi and Hopiavuori, but it's definitely a place worth visiting. It's a bit higher and has several nice lines. For a beginner like myself, I can recommend Tihku (5) and Käspaikka (5-). Most routes don't have an anchor, but there are plenty of trees instead. If you're looking for something harder, many have complemented the route Villi Länsi (6). That being said, equip yourself with a rough brush, since Kaasavuori is a less climbed north face and the routes might need some cleaning up. You can reach Kaasavuori by a free ferry from Vartsala.

I think Merenneito (6-) is supposed to be a bit greenish. 


Pärkänvuori is actually closer to Uusikaupunki, but you might still want to check it out. There are some nice and quite easy routes on the south-west side and a dozen longer and tougher routes on the north-east side. If you consider yourself a king of cracks, visit the north-eastern side and just pick your project. Sirgelimies (4+) and Rikun reitti (5) on the other hand can be recommended for a beginner. Friends will be friends (5) seems like a cool line as well. Beware though, since the rock sounds quite hollow in places at least on the south-western side.

What more is there to Kustavi?

There's a whole bunch of crags in the Kustavi area, that I haven't introduced in this post. For me, they are yet to be explored. You can find most of them on the site jammi.net, but unfortunately the guidebook is in Finnish only. Some of the crags are listed on 27crags as well.

You can also find a small supermarket, some coffee shops and booths selling delicious local fish at the center of Kustavi.
As a cherry on top, there's a free sauna at Klipunkari beach
It's heated in the summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 17 to 21. A perfect plan of the day? Climb, buy some fish, go to sauna and swimming  and then eat the fish at Klipunkari beach enjoying a still Finnish summer evening.

Spoil yourselves with sauna and refreshing sea water at Klipunkari beach.


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