Scottish Tooling Series Round 3 - Transition Extreme

By Pete Rhodes

Pete Rhodes was back in dry tooling action again just a week after the last round. Here’s his run down of the latest round of the Scottish Tooling Series up in Aberdeen.

Only a week had passed since the Glenmore Round of the Scottish Tooling Series as we arrived bright and early (though not as early as we left Edinburgh!) at the Transition Extreme Wall in Aberdeen. As soon as we got in the door we realised something. This was going to be tough. We saw the tell-tale carpet pads behind the holds spread over the full height of the wall, up to 20m! This would be a massive change from the 6 to 8 metre problems we’d experienced at the last two rounds. On top of that wherever you looked you couldn’t help but see a stein pull, upside down jugs covered the walls and most people were nervous!

The initial butterflies haven’t abated yet and on the first problem I blew all my points and by some grace of god caught my tool on a jug mid fall! An awfully shaky start which was followed by two silly slips on the next two problems which dropped me 6 points. This may have sucked but it loosened me up a bit. Knowing only your best three results count for the series and with a trailing excuse of a massive week of work and driving I had myself covered if it went badly and boy was it about to! The next problem started with a slightly silly Bachar-ladder-esque scramble to get to your tools hung on the wall. From there a thin set of moves led up the vertical wall and I was pretty pleased with how they were going until SMASH. My right tool popped and hit me square in my nose at full speed. Still hanging from my other tool but slightly dizzy I tried to re-goup but the capacity wasn’t there and my left tool slipped and I was off. On the ground I was amazed to see a complete lack of blood and took five to recoup my losses.

The day was in danger of slipping from bad to worse and so I manage to will myself towards a change of pace and headed for the four boulder problems. All of these were super steep and were some of the obvious test pieces. The ubiquitous figure of four problem on hanging chains went surprisingly easily as did the other two steep problems. A quick traverse and before I knew it I’d just bagged 37 out of 40 of the hardest points and was super psyched again! Off the back of this the remaining 6 problems went without a hitch and I ended up qualifying in a clear second place and was very glad to have regained some control.

Pre-final isolation was a little more fun than last week and the route looked like a real cool set of features with logs, chains, huge reaches and a very forgiving crowd. We’d also be leading which was much more exciting! The series is starting to give me a satisfying confidence in my abilities with tools at the moment and I was very keen to get on the route. Walking out and tying in I felt calm and ready to give my all. The first half of the route leading to the chain was reasonably steady and I recovered before reaching out and hooking the bottom of the chain. Rather than swinging around on tenuous feet I went straight into figure fours in order to get this pumpy section dealt with quickly. Above the chain a large roof loomed and despite feeling solid as I swung up the clock was ticking in my forearms. I did manage a sneaky look down to take in the spotlit climbing above the crowd which was pretty awesome. Skipping a chance to make another clip I steeled myself and lunged over the lip of the roof to a good ledge but as my tool got level with it I was out of juice and flying down onto the rope.

After all that I was third on the podium again! The chap in second got to the same hold as me but made the clip instead of trying to go higher and thus just pipped ahead of me. The series is getting very close and I’m keen to get training to put in an even better result at Kinlochleven in a fortnight. If I can succeed in this then the Ratho final will be very exciting!

For more information on the series check out Scottish Tooling Series

Adult Male.
1. Steve Johnstone
2. Ashley Dean
3. Pete Rhodes

Adult Female.
1. Fiona Murray
2. Anna Wells
3. Dorota Bankowska

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

Junior Female – up to 17 years
1. Sophie Harper
2. Amy Ryan
3. Sophie Hvide

Senior Male – 40 years plus
1. Steve lynch
2. Craig Harper
3. Paul Prentice

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