Bouldering in the unspoiled wilderness of the Åland Islands, Finland
The list of climbing spots I desire to visit is pretty extensive; I’m always adding new places. Some of them I’ve ticked off, but many are still waiting, while others will remain on the list for years. Every climbing destination has unique and special features, interesting cultures and different shapes and textures of the rock. The differences between the areas creates in me a positive energy which goads me to check out different places, with diverse boulders and also the scenery surrounding them.
The Åland Islands are a relatively unknown bouldering destination and, unless you live in northern Europe, you have probably never heard of them. What tickled my interest was an image of a Nalle Hukkataival’s ‘problem’ that I saw almost seven years ago. The line is called Living the Dream and I was immediately taken by the shape of the boulder. Thanks to some info I got from some local guys, I knew that an area of 400 lines had been developed by Swedish and Finnish climbers, and from the tales I heard, Living the Dream was deemed the mega-line, and all the sectors were awesome and wild. The motivation to go to Finland was getting stronger and stronger, not exclusively for bouldering, but also to see those beautiful landscapes that have always captivated me. However, it proved difficult to find people to go with me, since it has always been a destination a little outside the box. Fortunately though, I convinced my brother and a friend of ours to make the trip. Our expectations were high, as was the desire to climb on these northern islands.
Words by: Niccolò Ceria
Image by: Rudy Ceria