Friday nights at Sunderland Wall have never been so busy!!!! It has been great to see the interest the Schmoolz and the dry tooling taster sessions have created (we’re at loggerheads as to who is encouraging more people down to the Wall Johnny or myself ;-)). Friday last was no exception with around 30+ people eager to try out this diverse aspect of our sport and love. Richy had set a Telegraph pole route which aesthetically looked great and was even better once the climbing started…I tried this route first and used penetrative blows on the pole…..only to realise that each blow was millimetres away from hitting the rope I was relying on….So we changed it to hooks only for the guests….trying to place your axe precisely while swinging around on top of a pole is ‘interesting’ (climbers talk for ‘Bloody hell this is impossible’), but really great fun!
Two other specific dry tooling routes were set and it wasn’t long before the cues started to form….to ease the pressure on these routes we have about six sets of Schmoolz going around….and its great seeing these tools being used in unusual and quite unique ways. Even the old F***s seem to be able to get up the 16m wall on these :-).
As well as an increase in beginners last Friday we also saw an increase in competent climbers. As well as some of the North East’s strongest mountaineers we also had the Scottish Tooling Series Vets winner (Steve Lynch) and it was great to see the guys from Mountain Boot Company who are sponsoring the event/competition on the 11th February down to have a dabble….
For me the best part of these evenings is seeing people trying new things and not just enjoying themselves but being enthusiastic about it too. The craic and banter is great and there feels like a supportive attitude is starting to develop. Our aim for the Dry Tooling Event on the 11th February (have I mentioned that) is that we start to develop a more community atmosphere here in the North East….the way things were!....It seems to be working :-).
If you want to give this a try come along to the Sunderland Wall on Friday Evening and join in the fun. All equipment is supplied.
More details of the Event can be found at:
Northern Tooling SeriesNorthern Tooling Series
Hope to see you down there: Cliff Lowther