Although winter is still to hit in the hills a great crowd were involved at the Glasgow Climbing Centre (GCC) for the final round of the 2011 Scottish Tooling Series on Saturday 12 November. This event is made possible by the strong support of the MCofS.
As well as being a round in its own right, the competition provides a conclusion to the full series which has been contested over four venues across Scotland over the last two months. The STS competition has attracted an interest from international climbers and this year we had guests from France and the Netherlands.
For this event, the competitors each tackled fifteen qualifying problems including a mix of long traverses, pumpy long routes and technical bridging problems. Although the problems weren't easy international visitor Jeff Mercier and his friends got stuck right into them and showed us that a flash of 150 points was possible on the day.
The finals got underway and the Veterans made the first forays onto the steep leading wall and into the hanging logs barring entry to the prow above. Simon Yearsley came out on top for his first STS round win beating his Series rivals Bill Davidson and Thomas Buggy into 2nd and 3rd respectively. Thomas had however done enough to claim the Series Prize with his third place finish.
The women came out next with the Series title very much up for grabs. On the day Louise Humphries came out on top beating Fiona Murray into second place but still not giving her enough of a margin to take the series prize from Fiona who claimed her 2nd prize on the day and defended her title of STS Adult Women's Champion.
The men's competition was not all over but Stevie Johnstone was in a stronger position than at the 2010 finals however he climbed with good style and made sure that everyone could see why once again he would be crowned the STS Adult Men's Champion.
Finally it was the turn of our international guests who displayed the strength and technical abilities that come from experienced competition training and climbing. The display was impressive in the finals as it was for the whole of their trip to Scotland. Jonathan Joly took home the bragging rights with an impressive fighting effort which saw him force his way onto the prow and into a high position before peeling off after making the large dyno move at the top of the lead wall.
The event sponsors for the GCC event were Petzl along with La Sportiva and Beal who along with the other prize sponsors (Black Diamond, Mountain Boot Company and Schmoolz) provided great prizes for all of our competitors.
One prize of note supplied by Petzl was the prize given to the most promising youth competitor. A pair of Ergo Technical dry tooling axes means that the winner Gregor Macgillvray will be able to continue his development and training with the best possible equipment and support for the future.
So with the final competitive event the competitive series comes to an end for another year just as the early winter season starts to blow in. The STS at Glasgow finished with a prize giving and party which left all the competitors and spectators making plans for the season to come.
The STS prize-winners will be together on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of December for the "STS on the Ben" weekend organised in association with Big Tree Campervans for more information about this event and how you can join in see the STS website.