Scottish Tooling Series - Strength to Strength

The Scottish Tooling Series now in its 5th year has gone from strength to strength and we wanted to share its success with you. The competition encourages the improvement of technical standards in competition and non-competition winter climbing. The final event will be the culmination of four rounds of competition across Scotland and will decide the 2011 Scottish Tooling Series Champions.

Simon Yearsley Flying, 118 kb
Simon Yearsley Flying
© Scottish Tooling Series

This article was first published by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, 30 kb
The STS competitions are run with the support of :

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland: MCofS
"Developing Youth Climbing in Scotland"

Round One Ice Factor - Sell out Success

The first round of the 2011 Scottish Tooling Series was held at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven on the 8th of October and was a complete sell out. Sixty competitors, along with supporters and staff, had a great time on a number of challenging qualification problems including two routes in the Kinlochleven Ice Cave.

The event brought stiff competition from Denis van Hoek and Marianne Van der Steen from the Netherlands who made the trip especially to compete and experience the Scottish mixed competition scene - see their video below. Marianne and Denis won their respective categories but for Denis it was no easy win pushed all the way by Malcolm Kent and Steve Johnston.

The route setting was headed up by friend of the STS Kev Sheilds who set a fantastic and interesting route up the ice factor main wall.
The event was sponsored by Grivel and Scarpa who also are the main equipment sponsors of the Ice Factor.

Jim Higgins showing the calm approach required in competition climbing., 184 kb
Jim Higgins showing the calm approach required in competition climbing.
© Scottish Tooling Series
Marianne van der Steen on her way to the round one Women's title., 128 kb
Marianne van der Steen on her way to the round one Women's title.
© Scottish Tooling Series

Round Two - Glenmore Gathering

The second round of the 2011 Scottish Tooling Series was held at Glenmore Lodge two weeks following the first round. The route setting was headed up by STS regular Mark Chadwick who with the help of Glenmore's Night watch team put together a great selection of pumpy and technical routes. The Lodge has facilities which allow climbing with crampons and axes on their outdoor granite towers. The exposure to the elements and the real rock makes this a unique event in the STS calendar.

The final held on the indoor tooling wall saw the finalists tested to the max with Thomas Buggy coming out on top in the vets, Gemma Gwynne Stevenson in the Females and Steve Johnstone in the Mens.

The day was completed with a fantastic lecture "Mixed Ambitions" by Greg Boswell. Greg talked about his amazing 2010 winter season. Greg's enthusiasm and honest story telling of his extensive winter adventures made for an enthralling lecture.

Stevie Johnstone crushing the men's final at Round 2, 154 kb
Stevie Johnstone crushing the men's final at Round 2
© Scottish Tooling Series

Round Three - Transition Extreme

A good turnout again for round three at Transition Extreme in Aberdeen. This is the second year that Transition have been hosts of an STS round and once again they put on a great show.

Just like last year the team at Transition Extreme bought into the spirit of STS by using the maximum potential of their venue to provide a great mix of routes. The competitors were faced with a huge variety of tests in the qualifiers including pumpy logs and chain routes, technical face routes, pumpy boulder problems and a new great glide through the hoops problem on the traverse wall.

This round of the STS was once again well attended and the familiar faces were joined by a good number of first timers who enjoyed the experience and we will hopefully see along for round four at Glasgow Climbing Centre. The key to the Scottish Tooling Series is the community of competitors who get together for each round of the series and how they welcome newcomers and old faces alike. Skills are learned and friends are made in an environment of friendly and fierce competition. If you think that these things can't co-exist then get yourself to the next round of the STS.

Pete Hill was the master route-setter for round three with a great deal of assistance from the team at TE including Duncan Paterson and Tom Stork - the bike rack at the skate park must have looked a bit sparse as most of them were put to use in the routes to great effect.

The finals were a good contest as ever and it was nice to see spectator interest at this round from the general and climbing public. This support gives encouragement to the climbers including a few first time finalists as they come out of isolation to tackle the final route.

Special Mention to Scott Grosdanoff who makes up for what he lacks in reach with great strength, technique and determination however on the day Neil Adams was the worthy winner of the Adult Male Category.

Upcoming Events

The Scottish Tooling Series Finals
Petzl , La Sportiva and Beal are the major event sponsor for STS 2011 with involvement in rounds 2, 3 and 4. The interest in the final round means that we will have climbers from France and the Netherlands in addition to a great deal of local talent competing in this final showpiece event.

STS 2011 Final round at Glasgow Climbing Centre on Saturday the 12th of November.
The Qualifying starts at 1pm with the final which is open to spectators from c.7pm.
The Party will start soon after to bring to a close the competitive season of the STS for another year.

STS on the Ben

Early season conditions are what the Scottish Tooling Series is all about and this year the Scottish Tooling Series in association with Big Tree Campervans have come up with a unique and exciting prize for the winners of the overall 2011 STS Series.

The event for the prize-winners and selected runners up and will give the opportunity for climbing at the top level with access to top and experienced climbers from the Scottish mixed climbing scene.

The STS adult winners and selected runners up will be based at the CIC hut on the nights of the 2nd and 3rd of December. Hosted by the STS team headed up by young mixed superstar Greg Boswell who will climb with a team of STS winners each day.

Big Tree Campervans Logo, 10 kb

Main Series Sponsors

Big Tree Campervans

Events Sponsors

Round One - Grivel, Scarpa

Rounds 2,3,4 - Petzl, La Sportiva , Beal

Secondary Sponsors - Black Diamond, Schmoolz, HotAches

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