I took part in the final round of the Scottish Tooling Series held at Glasgow Climbing Centre at the weekend. I wasn’t sure what to file this random and bizarre sport under! The competition basically involves climbing set routes at an indoor climbing wall with the strange combination of ice axes and rock shoes!
I have never tried dry tooling before but decided that a competition would obviously be a good place to start, so I turned up at the climbing centre not being really sure what to expect or what I had let myself in for!
We were given 5 hours in which to attempt 15 different routes that had been set but given a maximum of 3 attempts on each and using a scoring system to award points depending on how many attempts were needed and how high we got on the routes. Many of the routes included quite interesting and unique objects such as tyres, ladders, logs, metal rings and there was even a traverse which contained some bells, if you knocked against the bells and they rang you had to return to the start and try again.
What can I say it did not go well! I discovered that climbing on rock holds with long metal pointy things attached to your hands is quite difficult, logs are not as soft as neve, bells have a habit of ringing just when you think you have made it and not amount of real winter climbing can prepare you for having to ascend a ladder without using your feet!!!
But that all being said it was a huge amount of fun and I would definately do it again! I think I was 9th female out of about 12, so not so bad I guess for a first attempt.