Westway Christmas Party and drytooling extravaganza

By Pete Dollman

Last Friday was the Westway climbing centre’s Christmas bash, featuring an open drytooling comp using Figfourson the Westway’s impressive outdoor lead wall to kick off the winter climbing season.

crowdm9-ramon

During winter the Westway’s steep concrete outdoor wall and it’s slabby neighbour are dedicated to Figfour use, with a selection of really interesting routes set with the tools in mind featuring dynos, powerful moves, bat hangs, free hanging logs and all the other ‘standards’ of modern mixed climbing. This is the only venue we know of where leashless lead climbing with Figfours is possible, making it a great choice for anyone in the south east wanting to get strong for those winter projects.The outdoor location promises an authentic winter climbing experience, presumably complete with hotaches once the temperature drops!

two climbers

The format of the comp was simple, three routes from M6 to M9, points for each hold and a time element to settle any tiebreak situations, with Superstar dj Sam providing beats and spectators and competitors energy and enthusiasm levels kept high by the Westway team’s awesome BBQ, mince pies and mulled cider combo. You don’t get that at White Goods!

Some brilliant climbing and some entertaining battles went down, both from seasoned veterans of competitive mixed climbing and those picking up tools for the first time. Local winter climbing activist and AK sponsored climber Ramon Marin took first place after topping the first two routes before being beaten by the clock doing battle with the double log M9 final route which nobody managed to top, Buster Martin put in an awesome display fighting his way to second and Adrian Baxter completed the podium lineup. Andre deserves an honorable mention, sadly pumping out on the final route after doing two laps on the powerful M7/8 before it.

podium

Check out the Figfour page on Facebook for more pics and info.

Big thanks to the Westway for putting on an awesome Euro style comp, setting some great routes and getting me fired up for the upcoming season, if you’re down that way get yourself over there and give the routes a go, epic!

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