Ep. 16 - Onward and Upward: The Scottish Dry-Tooling Club with Willis Morris and Oz Miller

Feb 7, 2024

We’re headed across the pond on this episode of Ice Ice Beta. Today, we’re chatting with Willis Morris and Oz Miller of the Scottish Dry-Tooling Club. The club has been called the developmental model of the future, a rolling circus, and bonkers by various authorities.

But what is the organization, how does it work, and why has it been so successful in just a few short years?

A few anecdotes to highlight their success:

  • They are the largest dry-tooling club in the world, with hundreds of members.

  • The GB Youth Ice Climbing Team, who are part of the Club, are one of, if not the, strongest, in the world. Meanwhile, most other national teams have few, if any, youth members.

  • And most importantly — by internal metrics — the psyche is very, very high.

With a rapid growth trajectory and big plans, the future is bright. After listening to Willis and Oz, you’ll likely agree — they’re quite convincing!


01:39 - Getting to Cheongsong, South Korea isn't as easy as you'd think

07:27 - Meet Willis and Oz

08:20 - Starting the Scottish Dry Tooling Club

13:21 - The growth of the Club and its influence on the climbing community

23:22 - Importance of culture

29:01 - Scottish winter climbing

32:33 - Every climber, even Dave MacLeod, can learn something from dry-tooling

40:50 - The future of ice climbing: winter sport climbing?

41:45 - Success at the comp level (and elsewhere)

55:14 - The future of the Scottish Dry Tooling Club

59:15 - Ice climbing in the Olympics?

01:04:13 - Advice for starting a dry tooling initiative


A big thanks to our sponsor, Blue Ice, for supporting this show!

Blue Ice is the best kind of ice, and also my choice when it comes to fast and light ice climbing gear. Their Aero Lites go in like a hot knife through butter and their climbing packs hit the sweet spot between function and lightweight. Designed to get to the point in the alpine, their gear is tested by mountain professionals between the Alps and the Wasatch. If you’re looking to get to the point too — and with a little less weight on your kit, check out Blue Ice’s gear at blueice.com or your favorite local retailer.

Resources and links:

If you’d like to learn more about the Scottish DTC, their Instagram has all the important links. It is @scottishdrytoolingclub.

As Willis mentioned in the interview, the 7th and final round of the UIAA Ice Climbing Continental Cup for the season is taking place in Sunderland, UK this Saturday, February 10. Live streaming will be available for the finals.


Episode cover photo provided by the Scottish Dry-Tooling Club.

Intro music by Hannah Noelle Enomoto (thanks, sis!).

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© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.