Steven (12) and Nikki Addison (10), are a tribute to the team from Extreme Dream who put so much effort into their youth team. Steven is intending to attend the World Championships again this year. They were managing to embarrass most of the adults by making some of the hardest routes look like 'childs play' – excuse the pun.
The Glenmore Lodge event on Saturday was the 4th of 5 rounds in the Scottish Tooling Series. The sun was shining; the competition was on granite walls outside with a backdrop of the Cairngorms in perfect winter conditions. The big question was, were people going to come to the competition or go on the hill? The answer was a short one. They came to the competition. Out of the 54 places available, there were 45 taken and 15 attended out of a possible 18 for the beginner and master class workshops run by Andy Turner. The lecture theatre was full for Andy's talk after the event. So what is the big pull?
On a Q&A session in the lecture theatre before Andy's talk I was asking attendees, why they are so supportive and what they have enjoyed. It came across loud and clear. The main reasons are:
- Having a series has allowed climbers to meet other climbers regularly and do what they do best, climb and talk about moves, venues and climbing. They have made new climbing buddies at their own levels.
- The banter between everybody has been great.
- The novice to the six pack gurus have been attempting the same problems and having a laugh. There are routes for every level and no prejudice between categories or standards. This has proved very important for climbers who have never tried tooling and didn't want to look stupid by entering a competition.
- It is a great learning ground to watch, learn and try moves that you would not be able to 'practice' when out on the hill. Going into winter being fine tuned with more moves under your belt is a strong head set to have.
- Knowing there was a series gave more of an incentive to get strong and climbing fit and again that will carry through to winter climbing. There are some very strong winter climbers that are making the most of the winter conditions we have right now. That training started early.
- The atmosphere although competitive is more friendly and festival like than serious.
Andy Turner said, 'Tooling over the last couple of years is becoming more respected. This Series is great training for Scottish winter so people can appreciate the skills you can develop to open up a spectrum of different climbs.'
Jon Jones and Phil Sanderson set the routes on the granite towers with all the extras a competition needs, like wooden posts at ridiculous angles etc. They managed to create very realistic challenges and having to wear crampons added yet another element of variety. The loud music is an obvious 'must have' to keep it real and it was going all day.
Steven (12) and Nikki Addison (10), are a tribute to the team from Extreme Dream who put so much effort into their youth team. Steven is intending to attend the World Championships again this year. They were managing to embarrass most of the adults by making some of the hardest routes look like 'childs play' – excuse the pun. At the other extreme, were the over 40's who show that age is just a number. George McEwan and Peter Hill who took the top two spots for their category, were pulling moves that any yoga expert would be proud of. Then you get to the ladies, there aren't many, but boy do we have a good time! Emma Holgate said 'The good thing about being a woman is that there are so few who enter, you are guaranteed to be in the top ten!' The Senior men's category is the largest and never fails to disappoint with ability. It is great to have so much talent to look and learn from. Rhyss Dobbs said ' It has been a great arm pumping, lactic burning, muscles of death experience – the diversity of the venues has been ace and meeting new climbers who are here for the banter and the challenge is fantastic.'
'The good thing about being a woman is that there are so few who enter, you are guaranteed to be in the top ten!'
The Series Final will be held at The Ice Factor tomorrow followed by a suitably timed party to celebrate the end of the first Scottish Tooling Series. For those who have not attended other events, this day will run as a stand alone day too ie you can take part as a competitor.
For full details atwww.glenmorelodge.org.uk/tooling. Call 01855 831100 for The Ice Factor.
BIG THANKS to the Scottish Tooling Series Sponsors: Tiso, Marmot, Grivel, Petzlcharlet, Climber Magazine, La Sportiva and the support of The MCof S.