Dry Tooling comp; Ice Factor 8th October


I was coaxed well out of my comfort zone into the intense and impressive world of indoor dry tooling competitions yesterday. Climbing indoors, using leashless ice axes and competetive climbing; any single one of these would surprise many who know me well and they would have enjoyed watching my flailing antics! Luckily I’m not proud, really enjoyed myself, learnt a lot and met some great new folk.

Gillian on the last of the 3 ice routes; that bulge at the top hurt a lot but was nothing compared to the overhanging routes for the dry-tooling routes.

Gillian was my mentor and got us onto the ice first; all went well with 3 first time successes and I was enjoying myself despite aching forearms. I hadn’t realised that I’d started on the easiest routes of the 15 and things unravelled rapidly after this and I only topped out on one more. Gillian’s arms lasted far longer and she showed both grit and skill to top out on 3 more coming in 5th place in the female category.

The finals gave a chance to admire some supreme athletes with a combination of incredible strength combined with amazing gymnastic ability. The dutch girl who won seemed to climb at least half of the route whilst upside-down performing figure of 4’s and 9’s. She and 2 of the male finalists tried desperately to get high enough on a hanging log to reach the final clip but all in vain. Boyfriend Denis showed us all how it was done with a highly ungymnastic manouvre of humping the log and pretty much mantle shelfing on the heads of his axes to huge and deserved applause.

I’ve got no photos I’m afraid (fingers didn’t have strength for the shutter) but the STS site should have a great display soon-

Your feet have to stay in the boxes as well as your tools