Sunday, 22 December 2013

Final Preparations

Training at Rope Race

As competition season get’s rapidly closer its time to put the finishing touches to my preparation. All summer I’ve been looking for a venue to add the comp style prep I desperately need. We tried Blackpool, which was amazing for the length of routes and angle but the holds kept coming loose. The wall really needed to be ply clad and with t-nuts to make it work. That way we could kick in as well. Lots of sessions at the Works and White Goods followed just trying to get the mileage in. I was still seeking a venue close by though that I could use anytime of the day so once the dark nights started creeping in I could step up the pace. Stand up Alan and Sharon at Rope Race in Marple, Stockport. The wall where I first started climbing 15+ years ago. They had a downstairs bouldering room which wasn’t getting used that much and were happy to hand it over for us to dry tool in. The added bonus for them was it was something else for their customers to use.
A few furious hours of setting and the wall was ready to go. 

As if by magic an old friend of mine Scott Muir got in touch shortly after. He’d just designed a set of wooden holds for his climbing company ‘Dream Climbing Walls’ and wanted someone to test them and give some feedback. I’ve known Scott for getting on ten years I’ve never seen anyone like him for the psyche to train, he developed prototypes for what became these holds when he was training to compete.
The holds came through the post in 3 big boxes a couple of days later. Unwrapping them I was gobsmacked at the amount of time and detail  he’d put into making these holds. They were things of beauty which is hard to believe for something made out of ply. I was scared to use them they look so nice. I must say I was a little reserved at first how well they’d sell, as surely it can’t be that hard to make wooden holds at home yourself? But after 5 weeks of using them there my favourite holds on the wall. They give you so many options with stein pulls, side pulls, slots etc and the beauty is if you really want to get worked these things are what you need. The placements in the holds are so positive the first thing to go is always your arms. Why is that any good? Well if your trying to get really pumped the last thing you want to do is fall of a marginal hold a few minutes into your circuit and loose all the pump you’ve built up.

The holds are now starting to look a bit less shiny and perfect, they’ve shed their  sharp edges - now there bedded in you can really go for those big moves with confidence and get pumped out of your tiny mind. I can’t wait for the World Cups now!


Jack Sprat said...

those holds are soooo awesome!! please, please let me know when/where I can buy them, they look incredible! good luck with your future endeavors!!

Andy Turner said...

Hi Jack, you need to get in touch with Dream Climbing Walls for the dry tooling holds - they are brilliant.