Sunday, 11 November 2012

Round 1, Scottish Tooling Series, The Ice Factor

This weekend was the first round of the 2012 Scottish Tooling Series. I have been looking forward to this for a while and so have been trying to get some training in so that I would be in the best position possible to better my second place from last year.
The day started pretty badly as I over slept. I was meant to get up at 5.30 am and have a leisurely breakfast and drive up in time for registration at 8.30. Instead I got up at 7, made a quick coffee and left. I forgot where I was going on my way out of Edinburgh and was half way to the fourth road bridge before I remembered that I needed to go west, not east, so that wasted a bit of time. I knew there was no chance of me getting there in time for registration so I phoned ahead. I managed to arrive in Kinlochleven at about 9.20, just while the introductory talk was going on.
I was to climb with Pete Holder. I first met Pete at the Northern Tooling Series, which he won and I came second in. Pete has been getting a lot of practice in down at The Works in the lake district so I was interested to see how he did. We got under way climb and despite a bit of a shaky start things seemed to go well. I managed to flash 13 of the 15 problems and got 2 on my second attempt. I fell off problem 3 just because it was very hard. I also slipped off the start of problem 9, just because I wasn't paying attention. This gave me 144/150 points, and I qualified for the finals in second place. I was behind Steve Johnstone, who got 150/150. Pete came in 3rd with 141/150.
The finals were to take place on the hanger wall, which was set to a reasonably steep position today. It started with a short traverse then straight up to the top. There were 5 men in the final; Steve, Pete, Cass, Scott and me. I was the fourth person out, as it is done in reverse qualification order, with 5th place coming out first. I figured Pete, Scott and Cass were all strong enough to complete the route, and hearing the crowd cheering made me think that they quite possibly had. I bouldered around whilst in isolation, trying to do as many dyno's as I could, as I'm not really very good at them.
It was my turn and as I came out of isolation I could look at the route and see which was the highest swinging quick draw, as this give me an idea of how high Pete got on his attempt, which was before mine.
I started off pretty steadily and made light work of the traverse. I got to the 5th clip quite easily but the 6th I found a bit more difficult, as my feet slipped whilst clipping and I nearly came off. I managed to get back on and clip then move up again. I got to the 8th clip, which was just before a massive move up. I was getting pretty tired now so I tried to rest as best I could. My gloves were starting to slip on my axes but I went for the move anyway. I didn't reach the hold and I couldn't control the fall back onto my lower axe and came off.
Stevie was up next and he cruised up to were I came off, although by a very different sequence. Stevie managed to make the move I didn't, although he didn't make it look easy, luckily. He topped the route and was crowned winner. I came second, thanks to getting a couple of clips higher than Pete, who came 3rd.

My high point
 There will hopefully be some videos to follow.
The full results are here.
UKC have done a write up of the event here.

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