Scottish Tooling - Good Crowds, Criac and Crankin'

The second and third rounds of the 2012 Scottish Tooling Series saw excellent turn-outs at the Glasgow Climbing Centre on 17th November, and at RGU Sport on the 24th of November. Over 50 competitors took part in the Glasgow event, with a healthy mix of different ages and abilities, all competing fiercely and throwing themselves at the variety of routes.

STS 2012 Glasgow - Concentration, Determination and Struggle!, 40 kb
STS 2012 Glasgow - Concentration, Determination and Struggle!

Following the usual format of the STS, in the qualifiers, climbers paired off to complete a range of 15 different routes in as good a style as possible, with an excellent variety of challenges – pumpy roofs, thin sketchy face routes, technical rock-over slabs, powerful boulder problems, and even an 'in the dark with a headtorch' tricky traverse!

The finals were held up the headwall of the main lead wall after a technical traverse to start. The Junior Boys event was won by a powerful performance by Tim Millar, improving on his second place from Round 1 in Kinlochleven, and Emma Powell took the Junior Girls title, despite still recovering from defending her title at the Battle of Britain bouldering comp the week earlier!

Stevie Johnstone shaking out!

Amy Goodill and Louise Humphries put in very strong performances, coming 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Adult Female finals, and both taking spectacular falls from the headwall. In an impressive display, Fiona Murray managed to get a few metres higher and so won her second 2012 STS event in excellent style.

In the Adult Male finals, Pete Holder pinged off a small hold partway up the headwall and so took 3rd place, whilst Scott Grosdanoff topped out to huge applause to take second place. It was left to the powerful Steve Johnstone to beast his way up the route, topping out (as Scott had done) in impressive style and to yet more huge applause. There was a moment's pause whilst the judges confirmed Steve the winner as he'd scored more points than Scott in the qualifiers. To complete the prizes, Susan Jensen took the Female Vet prize, and Simon Yearsley the Male Vet prize.

Robert Gordon University has shown its support of the tooling series and drytooling previously, by hosting training sessions and competitions. This year they were able to do one better, by hosting the third round of STS.

With a mix of log, chain, tyre and schmoolz climbing, the athletes got to challenge themselves with routes testing both their stamina and their technique. The wall and the route setters, Pete Hill and Louisa Reynolds, tested the ability of all, by providing 14 bouldering and roped routes, with all the above-mentioned challenges.

Even with these obstacles, the drive of the athletes to try and flash as many routes as possible, led to seven of the male participants having a straight flash of all routes on the day. The juniors had some of their best scores so far and the women had a nail-biting finish, with several completing scores over a hundred.

The final round takes place this weekend, at Glenmore Lodge, where routes will be both indoor and outdoor, on the walls and the granite towers. As always they will have many exclusive challenges, only seen at Glenmore. It will also be host to the final climb-off between competitors, for the series prizes.

Following the Series Finals, Will Sim will be around in the evening to present his excellent lecture, 'High and Dry'

Since its inception in 2008, one of the hallmarks of the STS has become the overall style and feel of the events: yes it's about competing and trying to win, and it's about getting fit and strong for the coming winter season.... but the series has always fostered a real feeling of friendly competition, a good supportive atmosphere, and an excellent community spirit. The cheers and supportive screams which encouraged the finals at Glasgow and the sessions in Aberdeen were summed up by one watching competitor as '...good crowds, good criac, good crankin!'

Emma Powell powering up the STS finals route at Glasgow CC
Alastair Mclennan-Murray learning to Steinpull on the sharp end.

The Scottish Tooling Series is Sponsored by Petzl and Big Tree Campervans and Hot Aches Productions.

For more details and full results visit

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