Yay, again an excuse to go drytooling for the whole day!
Theres not much opportunity (yet) in the Netherlands to get a full drytool-workout.
This weekend I headed to Venlo, over 2hrs driving South-East from Bergschenhoek.
The 'Fliegerhorst' had their 'open-day'. They had a competition, via-ferrata, climbing, slacklining, readings, bouldering, walking and drytooling in their program. And I was the one responsible for the drytooling.
I gave two demo's for quite some audience. There were people who'd never seen iceaxes before and people who'd tried some years ago and are now eager to try again.
I took wood-blocks with me and hung them in the roof of the tower. Creating an figure-of-four roof climb with a start on the straight wood wall. It was fun, real fun having the opportunity to just climb as much as I wanted with my axes.
I had a microphone under my helmet, making it possible to talk and climb at the same time. So I could explain in detail about all I 'figured' ;)
Afterwards I had an autograph session. So weird signing children's t-shirts, posters and writing special requests on photo's of me drytooling.
Though this is a perfect way to promote my sponsors, train a bit and bring drytooling to a broader public. Hopefully one day it will give respect for the sports, get us into youth drytooling teams, special made drytool walls in the Netherlands and maybe finally into the Olympics?
Next to the demo's people who joined the competition had to climb the wood wall and all others were invited to try out the wall as well. It gave me the opportunity to show that drytooling and iceclimbing really is a sports and to show that it's not 'just slamming some medieval tools into a simple ice wall'.
Most climbers, experienced and strong as they were didn't even get half way on the wood wall and never even thought of getting into the roof :)
They day was enthusiastically organised by volunteers of the local climbing club. They did really well with the non-stop speaker Pierre, photographer Waldo, loads of volunteers to belay (thanks Koen) and help with via-ferrata, climbing, bouldering, they even had free hamburgers, a pretty professional sound system and more.
I also joined the competition and had to 'walk the line' (slackline), leadclimb the most difficult route on the tower (6b) build a tower out of beer-crates and I was not allowed to join the iceclimbing ;) I would be first but left the victory to local Koen. I won a tick-remover (check link for the joke in Dutch) and he got a beautiful flower-chalkbag.
Pictures: Waldo Waldo Ruiterman & me.