Dry Tooling in the Lake District

Dry tooling: the art of climbing bare rock using ice climbing equipment

One of the things I love most about climbing is the many and varied forms it takes, from Himalayan peaks to Peak District boulders. On foot, on skis, warm rock, frozen waterfalls, disused quarries, climbing indoors - variety is the spice of life, and within the sport of climbing there is plenty to choose from.

In other parts of Europe they have developed dry tooling venues to give climbers the opportunity to practice this slightly bizarre element of climbing in dedicated locations, and so avoiding damage to other rock faces. In recent years the likes of Paddy Cave and others have developed some venues in the Lake District. Because my work often takes me to other countries, I had not go around to visiting my local venue near Hodge  Close, so when friends suggested going I was keen to check it out. We warmed up on Overtime (M6) and Stein Pull (M6), then went on to try (with limited success) First Blood (M9+). It is fair to say that we had a really good time on a wet day in an old quarry. I would like to thank the folks who have put so much work and enthusiasm into developing this facility. We will be back to recommence battle with First Blood!

Top: me on Stein Pull M6

Left: Chris Moore on Overtime M6

Right: Chris Moore on First Blood M9+