Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dry Tooling: Shadowy group declares war on the geeks!

Morris Dancing. A bit like dry tooling but more fun and less harmful to ecosystems.

I was amused when I read an article from The Guardian which was sent to me by a friend. Written by Kevin Rawlinson and carrying the snappy headline 'Mountain climbers face off battle over method of scaling the heights' , the unintentionally hilarious piece detailed a shadowy band of Cumbrian trad extremists waging war on dry toolers under the banner of 'the People's Climbing front of the Lake District'!

Now some people who tune in occasionally will have picked up on my distain for the dark art of dry tooling, which for the uninitiated, is climbing rock faces using winter climbing gear and usually on fixed protection. Thankfully, the DT geeks are usually banished to dark and dank venues which are deemed unsuitable for real climbing. Anyway...the  shadowy People's Front have targeted Hodge Close Quarry near Coniston where they have trashed the fixed protection before sending an email to the BMC saying 'it does not approve of encouraging the destruction of traditional rock routes in the Lake District'. I'm not sure if there's a You-Tube clip of them wearing balaclavas in front of a pirate flag and a framed picture of Ken Wilson; threatening a holy jihad on unbelievers and.... Stevie Haston?

Telegraph pole climbing: A sub-sport of dry tooling

Naturally this extreme action has led to harrumphing in the circles of power and influence with leading mountaineer and Cumbrian resident Alan Hinkes declaring 'It's a shadowy thing because they are not declaring who they are' ( Yes they are Alan. They're the People's Climbing Front).. 'which is vigilantism in one way' 

It would be tempting to set up a North Wales branch of the movement and call it 'The Popular Peoples Climbing Front of North Wales', but then we're getting into Monty Python's Life of Brian territory....'Are you the Popular People's Climbing Front?'...'Feck off...we're the People's Climbing Front'..if there's one group we hate worse than the Alpine Club it's The Popular People's Climbing Front!!!'

Actually, I don't feel that strongly about dry toolers. To me they're just an odd assortment of harmless eccentrics like Morris Dancers and those South Sea Islanders on Vanuatu who worship Prince Phillip. Mostly 20/30 something males called something like Jonty or Henderson who still live with their parents....The dry toolers...not the South Sea Islanders. For these over grown boy scouts,the latest shiny ice axe is just another version of their old Luke Skywalker light sabre....bless.

So despite my sincere sympathies with my climbing soul mates up North, I would just say to them, live and let live lads. You know what the man said......'All we are saying, is give Piers a chance'.

1 comment:

  1. I must have missed out somewhere because I live in my own house and both my parents are dead, but I still go dry tooling. Go figure. Everywhere else in the world dry tooling is accepted as just another colurful facet of the climbing scene. Here, people trash it and sneer at those who do it. How very quaint and how terribly, terribly quare.