Dry-tooling

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Dry tooling in Canadian Rockies AMPNW Canadian Rockies - February 2015 - 11.jpg
Dry tooling in Canadian Rockies

Dry-tooling is a form of rock climbing in which ice axes are used to climb rock that is not covered in snow or ice. It has its origins in mixed climbing, ice climbing and more recently sport climbing. Dry tooling is controversial among many climbers. Some favour it as a new and exciting kind of climbing, while others dislike it for its nontraditional methods and the permanent damage it can cause to certain, generally softer, rock formations.

Contents

History

Dry tooling without crampons Rock Climbing Mississippi Palisades (121).jpg
Dry tooling without crampons

The evolution of modern dry tooling started in the 1990s with British alpinist Stevie Haston in Italy establishing routes such as Welcome to the Machine, 009, and Empire Strikes Back (Grotta Haston, Cogne). In the United States and Canada, Jeff Lowe was influential in raising the standards, climbing routes such as Octopussy M8.

A common theme of these early routes was that rock was climbed to reach free hanging ice falls—ice falls that do not touch the ground. Protection was also mostly traditional hand placed pegs, nuts and ice screws. This reflects the influences of alpine climbing, mixed climbing, ice climbing of the early innovators.

More recently dry tooling has tended towards secure bolted protection and may not involve the presence of ice at all. The route is bolted and climbers can clip as they dry tool, similar in style to a sport climbing route.

Competitions

Unsurprisingly the rise in standards was reflected in a surge of interest in competitions on purpose built climbing structures. These competitions mixed ice climbing with dry tooling on artificial features such as resin climbing holds, free hanging wooden logs/ ice bollards and even bicycle frames. Each year The Ice Climbing World Cup is held at a number of venues around the world from Switzerland to Russia. What was claimed to be the "World's First Indoor Dry Tooling Competition" was held in Glasgow, Scotland in March, 2003.[ citation needed ]

Drytooling competitions in the UK have evolved from the Scottish Masters to Scottish Tooling Series (2008-2013) and now in the form of the British Tooling Series and Scottish Mixed Masters 2014.

Equipment

Dry tooling is performed using a combination of ice axes with either crampons or rock shoes. The evolution in equipment has been driven by the competition scene, resulting in leashless ice axes and lightweight ice climbing boots with integral crampons. Heel spurs were popular in the 1990s but their use has since been frowned upon by many activists and they have since been banned from competitions. [1] Many of these evolutions have been embraced by the wider winter climbing community.

Venues

Dry-tooling is practiced in areas such as Ouray, Colorado which is also the birthplace of modern mixed ice climbing.[ citation needed ] There are also many dry-tooling areas in Europe such as Kandersteg and Zinal. In the UK you can also climb on the esoteric chalk cliffs of the south coast.

Indoor

Many indoor climbing walls are now offering dry tooling to their customers. This tendency has also been reflected by the interest in indoor dry-tooling and making it attractive to a new crowd of climber without the alpine heritage.

A recent development of indoor dry tooling is the use of a special ice axe that has rubber loops on the ends instead of a sharp pick. The rubber loop can be hooked over the existing holds without damage to the wall or danger to the climber. Using this type of axe allows dry-toolers and ordinary climbers to use the wall alongside each other safely and conveniently. These tools are called DRY ICE Tools. There is also a youth-sized indoor ice climbing training tool called Icicles. [2]

Significant ascents

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Bouldering is a form of free climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses. While bouldering can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and to provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Unlike free solo climbing, which is also performed without ropes, bouldering problems are usually less than 6 meters (20 ft.) tall. Traverses, which are a form of boulder problem, require the climber to climb horizontally from one end to another. Artificial climbing walls allow boulderers to climb indoors in areas without natural boulders. In addition, bouldering competitions take place in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Climbing Activity to ascend a steep object

Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.

Mountaineering Sport of mountain climbing

Mountaineering, or alpinism, is the set of outdoor activities that involves ascending tall mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing and traversing via ferratas. Indoor climbing, sport climbing and bouldering are also considered variants of mountaineering by some.

Climbing wall Artificially constructed wall with grips for hands

A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with grips for hands and feet, usually used for indoor climbing, but sometimes located outdoors. Some are brick or wooden constructions, but on most modern walls, the material most often used is a thick multiplex board with holes drilled into it. Recently, manufactured steel and aluminum have also been used. The wall may have places to attach belay ropes, but may also be used to practice lead climbing or bouldering.

Grade (climbing) Degree of difficulty of a climbing route

In rock climbing, mountaineering, and other climbing disciplines, climbers give a grade to a climbing route or boulder problem, intended to describe concisely the difficulty and danger of climbing it. Different types of climbing each have their own grading systems, and many nationalities developed their own, distinctive grading systems.

Longs Peak Mountain in Colorado, United States

Longs Peak is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,259-foot (4346 m) fourteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 9.6 miles (15.5 km) southwest by south of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States. Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener in the Rocky Mountains and the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain was named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long and is featured on the Colorado state quarter.

Lynn Hill American rock climber

Carolynn Marie Hill is an American rock climber. Widely regarded as one of the leading competitive sport climbers in the world during the late 1980s and early 1990s, she is famous for making the first free ascent of the difficult sheer rock face of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, and for repeating it the next year in less than 24 hours. She has been described as both one of the best female climbers in the world and one of the best climbers of all time. One of the first successful women in the sport, Hill shaped rock climbing for women and became a public spokesperson, helping it gain wider popularity and arguing for sex equality. Hill has publicized climbing by appearing on television shows and documentaries and writing an autobiography, Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World.

Ice axe Winter mountaineering tool

An ice axe is a multi-purpose hiking and climbing tool used by mountaineers in both the ascent and descent of routes that involve frozen conditions with snow or ice. An ice axe can be held and employed in a number of different ways, depending on the terrain encountered. In its simplest role, the ice axe is used like a walking stick in the uphill hand, the mountaineer holding the head in the center. It can also be buried pick down, the rope tied around the shaft to form a secure anchor on which to bring up a second climber, or buried vertically to form a stomp belay. The adze is used to cut footsteps, as well as scoop/bucket seats in the hillside and trenches to bury an ice axe belay. The long-handled alpenstock was a predecessor to the modern ice axe.

Glossary of climbing terms List of definitions of terms and concepts related to rock climbing and mountaineering

This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Ice climbing

Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water. For the purposes of climbing, ice can be broadly divided into two spheres, alpine ice and water ice. Alpine ice is found in a mountain environment, usually requires an approach to reach, and is often climbed in an attempt to summit a mountain. Water ice is usually found on a cliff or other outcropping beneath water flows. Alpine ice is frozen precipitation whereas water ice is a frozen liquid flow of water. Most alpine ice is generally one component of a longer route and often less technical, having more in common with standard glacier travel, while water ice is selected largely for its technical challenge. Technical grade is, however, independent of ice type and both types of ice vary greatly in consistency according to weather conditions. Ice can be soft, hard, brittle or tough. Mixed climbing is ascent involving both ice climbing and rock climbing.

Sport climbing Form of rock climbing

Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that may rely on permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection, in which a rope that is attached to the climber is clipped into the anchors to arrest a fall, or that involves climbing short distances with a crash pad underneath as protection. This is in contrast to traditional climbing where climbers must place removable protection as they climb. Sport climbing usually involves lead climbing and toproping techniques, but free solo and deep-water solo climbing on sport routes is also sometimes possible.

Rock climbing Sport in which participants climb natural rock formations

Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

Yvon Chouinard American mountain climber

Yvon Chouinard is an American rock climber, environmentalist, and outdoor industry billionaire businessman. His company, Patagonia, is known for its environmental focus.

Ice tool

An ice tool is a specialized elaboration of the modern ice axe, used in ice climbing, mostly for the more difficult configurations. Ice tools are used two to a person for the duration of a pitch, and thus in some circumstances such as top-rope-anchored climbs, a pair may be shared among two or more people, where only one of them at a time is climbing. In contrast a classical "ice axe" is used one to a person for the hours or days a party is traveling across snow or glacier. In communities where it is common to refer to an "ice tool" simply as an "ice axe", classic "ice axes" are often referred to as "traveling axes", "walking axes", or "general mountaineering axes" to distinguish them from "tools".

CAMP (company)

CAMP, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of equipment for climbing and associated activities such as ski mountaineering and industrial safety. The company is based in Italy.

Mixed climbing Combination of ice and rock climbing

Mixed climbing is a combination of ice climbing and rock climbing generally using ice climbing equipment such as crampons and ice tools. Mixed climbing has inspired its own specialized gear such as boots which are similar to climbing shoes but feature built-in crampons. Dry-tooling is mixed climbing's most specialized skill and has since evolved into a "sport" unto itself.

Tom Frost

Tom Frost was an American rock climber known for big wall climbing first ascents in Yosemite Valley. He was also a photographer and climbing equipment manufacturer. Frost was born in Hollywood, California and died in Oakdale, California.

Jeff Lowe

Jeff Lowe was a famed American alpinist from Ogden, Utah who was known for his visionary climbs and first ascents established in the US and Canadian Rockies, Alps and Himalayas. He was a proponent of the "Alpine style" philosophy of climbing, where small teams travel fast with minimal gear. Lowe made over 1000 first ascents.

1975 British Mount Everest Southwest Face expedition Himalayan ascent requiring rock climbing techniques

The 1975 British Mount Everest Southwest Face expedition was the first to successfully climb Mount Everest by ascending one of its faces. In the post-monsoon season Chris Bonington led the expedition which used rock climbing techniques to put fixed ropes up the face from the Western Cwm to just below the South Summit. A key aspect of the success of the climb was the scaling of the cliffs of the Rock Band at about 8,200 metres (27,000 ft) by Nick Estcourt and Tut Braithwaite. Two teams then climbed to the South Summit and followed the Southeast Ridge to the main summit – Dougal Haston with Doug Scott on 24 September 1975, who at the South Summit made the highest ever bivouac for that time, and Peter Boardman with Pertemba two days later. It is thought that Mick Burke fell to his death shortly after he had also reached the top. British climbers reached the summit of Everest for the first time in an event that has been described as "the apotheosis of the big, military-style expeditions".

References

  1. Escalade sur glace: Les règles d’accès et de participation (pdf) (in French). Fédération française de la montagne et de l'escalade. 2010..
  2. Indoor Climbing (Dry Tooling) - Pete Hill ISBN   978-1-85284-584-1