Scottish Tooling Series Round 4 - Ice Factor

By Pete Rhodes

Pete was back in action again at the Ice Factor, this leaves him with just the final at Ratho to come! Get up there on the 27th!

The tooling series is becoming a very enjoyable part of this autumn. This being the fourth event I feel like I’ve gotten to know a great set of really cool and fun people and so arriving at the events has become a much more entertaining and less stressful event than the first. Everybody seemed to be excited for the change of weather and as the rain poured outside there was a lot of talk of conditions on the hills and plans being formed for the rest of the weekend. This was my first time at the Ice Factor and first go at indoor ice climbing. Its a seriously impressive facility and it looked like it was going to be another exciting day.

Starting off in the freezer we hoped we might get on the ice routes before they had been completely pulverised by the passage of slightly over-zealous competitors seeking a solid placement. The lines were fun to climb but not too tricky which made for a good fun warm up. We got back into the warm in good time and dried our boots off for the harder problems that were to come.

All the routes were really interesting with some very clever setting and interesting moves. After a few steady traverses We got on the top ropes and all three of us (my good friends Dave and George) promptly got spat off a pumpy and wild line when we were least expecting it. A slight bummer for sure but it always helps to get the first dropped points out of the way. I got back on it and battled to the top. The expected ‘figure-of-four-up-a-chain’ problem went by with the required red mist and I managed to hang onto the other problems with almost no other issues, save for coming off the last hold of the longest route - rubbish.

A score of 136 had me qualified in solid second. The chap in first had a full 150 but has climbed M14 so we forgave him! The wait for the final dragged on for nearly two hours and despite feeling really good straight after the qualifying finished something seemed to eb away during the wait. I knew I had every chance of getting a great result and the route was entirely my style apart from one crucial aspect - the second hold was a stein pull. I held a few fine in qualifying while I was super psyched but there is something about this techniques that scares the life out of me. Having sat in isolation for a very long time I strode out still feeling relaxed but as I pulled on and turned my tool over something drained straight out of me. I tried with all I had to get the tool to sit deep in the undercut but as much as I wanted to I couldn’t trust it and before I knew it I was sat on the floor in front of the very forgiving crowd.

So another third after such a good qualifying so I have to take the positives again. I am very keen to put this new found consistency and strength to use out in these cold conditions that seem to be coming in. The final at Ratho in a fortnight should be a great finale and anyone who has a chance should definitely come give it a try.

Adult Male.
1. Malcolm Kent
2. Jim Higgins
3. Pete Rhodes

Adult Female.
1. Fiona Murray
2. Siobhan Miller
3. Karen McIntyre

Junior Male – up to 17 years
1. Dylan Mackenzie
2. Gregor MacGillvrey
3. Rory Cargill

Junior Female – up to 17 years
1. Sophie Harper

Senior Male – 40 years plus
1. Steve lynch
2. George McEwan
3. Jock Calcut

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