This line is characterized by a thin seam that traverse where two large roofs meet. The initial sequence is fun and fluid. Sit start low on the right angling crack, and traverse the seam right. Then summon the strength of Bruce Lee to transition to the arete....[more]Browse More Classics in MN
This area was discovered by Dave Brandt in the summer of 2001 and developed with help from the Prairie Walls crew. Myself and a few others added lines here and there from 2002-2005. I was lucky enough to be around when both Dead Leaves and the Tetanus Kettle were sent (Thanks Nic O. and Jim M.)
A rough guide to this area was written up by Mike Munter in late 2004/early 2005. While lots of the names of the boulders and problems in this guide didn't match up to names give by first ascentionists, it was well written and great as far as showing people where to go. This is likely where much of the confusion as far as names/grades/FA's originates.
This is a great area with a few choice problems scattered in the woods. Not a mecca by any means but lots of fun.
I have to add a couple of things to what has been said already. Swede's is spread out, and so far I have found three main areas. The first, referred to as the Skink Boulders in the guide, is the first area you come across as you walk from your car toward the quarry. The main boulder is a big boy, but better problems are found down the hill on a second boulder. Problems like Swedish Lighting and Swedish Meatballs can be found there. As you continue walking, you will come to a "T" intersection. Ahead of you is the quarry. The left trail goes to the Lost Boulders, where some of the video was shot. The right trail goes around the quarry until you walk past a bunch of huge stacked granite blocks. Before the stacked blocks, look for a yellow DNR sign that is mostly hidden in the brush. Follow, bushwhack or whatever past the sign and you will find the Kung Fu boulders. Another nice set of rocks, but very mossy. It really doesn't look there has been much activity there, but it is full of potential. I have found Swede's to be kind of an adventure area and finding all this stuff is half the fun. There are more boulders throughout the area, but most of them are on private property.
Paul, you're right on as far as directions go. There is another area on the edge of the pond one hikes past as he or she approaches the Skink Boulders. It's approximately halfway between the parking area and the visible Skink Boulder. There are a few easier climbs with one hard one going up the left side of the triangular face of the boulder that's just inside the edge of the pond. You need thick ice to be able to climb on these boulders. Pocket Change (listed in Munter's guide at V6, is my hardest FA at Swede's, and likely the thinnest climb there). It follows the left arete and uses very small crimps on the face for one's right hand.
The Kung Fu boulders, as far as I know, have seen almost no traffic whatsoever. They definitely have potential for development.
As an aside, many of the problems in the Munter guide found on the Praire Walls website (aside from the climbs I just listed, those in the videos, and those on the Skink Boulders and the Lost Boulders not shown in the video) have likely never been climbed. Mike's guide is great, and I understand the need to not have 45 climbs at an area listed as "unnamed," but many of the lines there have not been climbed, and the ratings are purely speculative. When I lived in MN I made an effort to get out to Swede's every few months, and never saw any chalk on many of them.
I've not climbed at all at Blue Devil Valley or Cedar Rock Ranch, and would love to get more information from anyone who has climbed at these areas.
By Sam Daley From: Minneapolis, Minnesota May 9, 2011
First off I want to thank Dave Brant, Mike Munter, and Chris Craft. I really appreciate the effort that all of you have put into the development of this area. Without your exploration and documentation I would not have thought to make the drive west to find amazing granite bouldering.
I too have appreciated Swedes Forest to be, as Paul says, "an adventure area," and I hope that it can maintain the roughed natural feeling created by the contrast between wetlands, granite, evergreens, and oaks. However, I feel that the knowledge of this area and its development is important enough to consolidate, check, and maintain.
It is because of this, that I would like to help continue both the development and the documentation. I have started to add climbs to the database from the Prairie Walls guide. I would appreciate any corrections or additional information that people are able to contribute.