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Topic - Dry toolers at Millstone today

Gareth H - on 05 Dec 2010
I wish this was a joke, sadly its not.

I came across 2 'climbers' at Millstone this afternoon top roping embankment 2 and 3, they were attempting to dry tool up the cracks with little success and much scraping of crampons. To say that I was angry was an understatement, my wife said I handled the situation very camly despite me seething.

I and later another passing bloke spoke to the pair about what they were doing and very very strongly suggested that they stop immediately. Neither seemed particularly concerned about the fact that they were dry tooling grit and the climber (Callum from London) had the following reasons to counter my strong arguements:

Well its not like its stanage
Millstone has a history of pegs and aid climbing , without that none of these routes would be climbable
Its not dry tooling, its winter climbing
All rock climbing damages the rock
There is ice in the cracks

Obviously I countered these with some very strong opinions, the pair seemed to think they were following in the foot steps of winter climbing pioneers whereas what they were actually doing was scratching (badly with crampons) two 3 star grit routes. After a while the belayer seemed to concede and suggested to his mate Callum that they call it a day.

The climber seemed totally unconvinced and I suggested to him that the next person passing by would be far less likely to be so reasonable and polite. I checked on the pair from the top of the crag 10 mins later and they were no longer climbing, they seemed to have taken our advice. Unfortunately we spotted them 3 hours later leaving the crag heading for the car park, who knows what further damage they caused.

I have provided links to the photos I took, someone must know these two and they both need to realise that their behaviour is totally unacceptable. I mentioned that I would post the photos on UKC, the belayer unconcerned replied to his mate 'smile for the camera'

I'm a proud Peak local and have never witnessed such a blatant disregard for local and national ethics, I'm sure many others will feel similarly enraged by this.

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