This summer's inaugural dry tooling competition series organised by the Association of Mountaineering Instructors was a success, with two of the planned three rounds running being hosted by Glenmore Lodge and Keswick Climbing Wall.
The weather for the Glenmore event, which was held on the outside towers, went against the forecast and remained dry. A good crowd turning up to try their hand at a number of routes, ranging from easy through to what was generally accepted as being extremely gnarly. Extras such as a tyre obstacle and swinging-log starts made some of the problems rather thought-provoking.
The atmosphere was very convivial, with most participants spending the entire day at the event, trying different routes, tools and encouraging each other whenever needed. Abilities ranged from first-timers through to seasoned axe-crankers, with an impressive display from an under-18 female entrant who had never dry-tooled before, powering her way to second place!
Two weeks later found us at Keswick Climbing Wall, and after an intensive Friday of route-setting, Saturday dawned dry, hot and bright. As this event was indoors, a number of folk who were expected to attend decided (quite understandably), to make the most of the superb weather and go cragging instead. Those that did attend the event again had the choice of easy through to thoroughly testing routes, with swinging tyres and log problems again adding a little spice. The generosity of the sponsors also meant that everyone who attended went away with a prize!
It is hoped to make these events a regular date on the calendar, albeit most likely during the Autumn months rather than the summer. Keep an eye on the notices and come along and take part; everyone is welcome, not just AMI members.
Our gratitude must go to the venues of Glenmore Lodge, in particular Nigel Williams and Jim in the stores, and the Keswick Climbing Wall, where Gavin Baxter and his staff could not have been more accommodating. Ian Broadley helped with the route setting and running the events, so my thanks to him. Thanks also to the sponsors: DMM, Mountain Equipment, Black Diamond, DB Mountain Sports, Edelrid, Needlesports and Cicerone Press.
Report written by Pete Hill
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Association of Mountaineering Instructors
Keswick Climbing Wall