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The G-Force wins 2nd prize in climbing series

Written by Fiona December 10 2012

As the G-Force faced the climbing wall at the start of his final climb in the Scottish Tooling Series at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach. I knew G was exhausted after a week of feeling unwell and a day of climbing numerous routes in the final round of the series. But my heart – and stomach – was willing him to give this final route his best shot.

Scottish Tooling Series 2012

Scottish Tooling Series 2012

It wasn’t an easy route, but then it was the last one of the series – and it was only for the top three climbers in each category (junior boys and girls, male and female seniors and male and female vets). This was the G-Force’s first ever go at the series and it was an amazing achievement to see him reach the finals earlier this month.

And so he set off to see if he could complete the final route, weilding his new Nomic ice axes (a birthday gift from his very kind girlfriend!) and traversing his way along a tricky climb. The first few moves proved fairly easy but as he reached an overhanging session, it was obvious that his arms were pumped. Try as he might to climb higher, his arms just wouldn’t do as he wanted the and two-thirds of the way to the finish, the G-Force could climb no more and fell off the wall. (Luckily a belay system allows for falls without fear of injury.)

He was still smiling, however, and he knew that he’d done the best that he could. I still felt sad for him that he hadn’t reached the end of this route as a big crowd of spectators looked on. I know just how much it would have meant to him to have finished the final route.

The final climb of the final round of the STS was a thrilling as I’ve witnessed. The juniors, seniors and vets offered up lots of action and one of the last finalists gave the audience the biggest thrill. Harry Holmes, competing in the seniors, hung upside down for more than five minutes as he tried desperately to clip his rope into the final caribiner. Despite numerous attempts and a huge swell of support from the crowd some 20ft below he just couldn’t complete that final bit of the route. The poor man was totally exhausted.

And the final results? The G-Force took third place in the final round and came second overall in the series. To win the 2013 series, climbers needed to compete in three rounds out of four. G was pipped into second place by winner Andy Laing, of Edinburgh. The points difference was only a couple and G was a bit disappointed not to come first – but I kept reminding him how well he had done even to be on the podium.

In any case, I reckon his second place pri ze – three nights in a campervan courtesy of Big Tree Campervans – was better than the first prize of a pair od Petzl crampons. (No doubt G would have preferred the crampons but I get to share his campervan prize).

To see the other results check out the Scottish Tooling Series website. I was only spectating but listening to the feedback of many at the competition – and hearing and seeing how much the G-Force enjoyed taking part – I would recommend that anyone who likes their climbing should give this contest a go next year.

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