Nail-biting Scottish climbing comp set to launch in Glasgow
You could be a climber yourself or simply a spectator. Whoever you are, I’d thoroughly recommend the Scottish Dry Tooling Series that launches this weekend in Glasgow. No, it’s not the best title that I’ve ever seen but “Tooling” in the climbing sense offers a thrilling display of winter climbing skills in an indoor environment. You’ll see from the pics that it’s an exacting and high-pressure sport that requires experience and good fitness. The series has also attracted some top climbing names including Scott Muir and Kev Shields
The five-part 2010 Scottish Dry Tooling Series (STS) starts at Glasgow Climbing Centre, Govan, on Saturday October 9. The competition requires climbers to scale indoor climbing walls using ice axes and winter boots , instead of bare hands and rock shoes. If this sport sounds precarious to you, and not a little bonkers, then you’d be right!
Dry tooling is a discipline of climbing rock that is more often utilised outdoors on rock. It has developed because there are times when climbers need to move from ice, where axes and crampons are most useful, to sections of rock face. On the rock they must be proficient at finding the right nooks, crannies and holds to make secure moves while still using the axes and crampons.
And like so many winter sports, the discipline has been turned into a competition. The indoor competition will see climbers in action as they bid to complete a range of tough routes without falling or weighting the rope.
The event has also attracted junior superstars Stevie Addison and Jonathan Field, who are both members of the British Junior Climbing Team. Have-a-go amateurs will also take part in the contest that is sure to offer many thrills and falls.
Thanks to secured ropes and harnesses the contestants can climb without fear of plummeting to the ground. But there will be times when the contestants may make a wrong move or slip – and that’s when they will fall from the wall stopped only by a rope.
As well as bidding for a podium position in one of three age categories for both male and female climbers, a host of great prizes are up for grabs. Headline sponsor Big Tree Campervans is offering the overall male and female winners in age categories 16-40 and 40+, a three-day hire of a Big Tree Campervan. For juniors there’s a climbing rope prize.
After Glasgow, the series heads to Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore on October 23, followed by Transition Extreme in Aberdeen on October 30 and the Ice factor, near Kinlochleven on November 13. Don’t miss a host of masterclasses and lectures at Glenmore Lodge, including a talk by Kev Shields, who despite being born with most of his left hand missing has risen to become one of the UK’s most respected climbers. The final event and series prize-giving takes place at EICA Ratho, near Edinburgh on November 27.