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rushgirl


Mar 11, 2007, 10:29 AM
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newbie chalk question
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I have been climbing consistently for a few months now (in a gym). I know most of the climbers I've seen use chalk, but how uncommon is it to not use chalk. I used it at first, but my skin seemed to react badly to it (burning skin, cracking skin, itching) so I stopped using it. I still have mild reaction because obviously there is still chalk on the holds. Last night I skinned my knee on the wall, and the same thing happened to my knee (burning ect). I guess I'm wondering if there is another option to use other than chalk and has anyone had good luck with it? Thanks!


overlord


Mar 11, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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a good friend of mine (also female) doesnt use chalk most of the time. she has very dry skin on her palms and fingers so she doesnt need it. so, if you have dry skin, you dont need chalk as the only reason to use it (apart from psychological feeling) is to dry your skin.

the only drawback is that if you do not have dry skin, youll make the holds greasy. but if its not your holds, why should you careTongue


kr0g3r


Mar 11, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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maybe you should try a different chalk. thats never happened to me so i wouldnt know how else to help.


abcorps


Mar 11, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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you could also try an eco-ball; it uses a drying agent to keep your hands from sweating (up to you whether you need it or not). You can find them online at REI or just about anywhere climbing gear is sold


aglane


Mar 11, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Re: [abcorps] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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Try doing without until you find that sort of help necessary.

Don't make my mistake--not as a newbie but a whatchmacallit, 'oldbie?' getting back on the rock after several decades--of thinking that chalk always helps. Took me a while to figure that chalk buildup on the rock is often a hindrance.


charley


Mar 11, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Re: [aglane] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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In my opinion chalk is not needed esp. indoors. That is unless you sweat alot and even then you can get along without it. You can dry your hands on a chunk of towel, put some deoderant on your hands, and use a brush on the holds caked with chalk. If your hands aren't sweaty there is no need for chalk.


coloredchalker


Mar 11, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Re: [charley] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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charley wrote:
In my opinion chalk is not needed esp. indoors. That is unless you sweat alot and even then you can get along without it. You can dry your hands on a chunk of towel, put some deoderant on your hands, and use a brush on the holds caked with chalk. If your hands aren't sweaty there is no need for chalk.

Dude, if your trolling then you got me.
In reply to:
chalk is not needed esp. indoors..
Have you done much indoor climbing, I think you would use less outdoors than indoors and sweat more in than out. Thats my experience.
In reply to:
You can dry your hands on a chunk of towel
. What, pause in the middle of a route to wipe you hands on a chunk of towel that is in a convenient place on your harness and doesn't require both hands... I'd have to see that.
In reply to:
put some deoderant on your hands
.
Again, What! Crazy I mean the deo I use (old spice) is like rubbing butter in my skin. What kind do you use, maybe I'll dump out my chalk and throw it in my chalk bag.


rushgirl


Mar 11, 2007, 1:03 PM
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Re: [overlord] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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I do usually have dry skin, esp in the winter. Someone at the gym tried to tell me that you get better hold on the holds and I should use chalk even though I don't need it to dry my hands. I kinda took that with a grain of salt, and it is good to hear that I am not wrong in thinking that.


overlord


Mar 11, 2007, 1:10 PM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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excessive use of chalk actually reduces friction between the sking and climbing surface. you should only use enough to dry your handsWink


Partner j_ung


Mar 11, 2007, 2:12 PM
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Re: [charley] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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charley wrote:
In my opinion chalk is not needed esp. indoors. That is unless you sweat alot and even then you can get along without it. You can dry your hands on a chunk of towel, put some deoderant on your hands, and use a brush on the holds caked with chalk. If your hands aren't sweaty there is no need for chalk.

The last sentence is the only one I agree with. Me and Chalk? Like this, man. Like this.


rushgirl


Mar 11, 2007, 4:48 PM
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Re: [abcorps] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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Thanks, I'll see if I can locate some the next time I am at REI.


ja1484


Mar 11, 2007, 5:48 PM
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Re: [j_ung] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
charley wrote:
In my opinion chalk is not needed esp. indoors. That is unless you sweat alot and even then you can get along without it. You can dry your hands on a chunk of towel, put some deoderant on your hands, and use a brush on the holds caked with chalk. If your hands aren't sweaty there is no need for chalk.

The last sentence is the only one I agree with. Me and Chalk? Like this, man. Like this.


Agreed. Sometimes chalk isn't that important, sometimes it makes all the difference. Get on a few really sketchy slopers without chalk, and see what happens as soon as you start to sweat the smallest bit.

Oh, and I live and do most of my climbing in NC. Come climb here in July or August and tell me you don't need chalk.

To the OP:

Try using gymnastic chalk with no additives, just plain old chalk. Many "climbing" chalks (such as Metolius) have a "drying agent" (which is just ground up anti-perspirent really) in them as well, and that may be what caused your reaction. There are also other reasons not to buy climbing chalk, mainly the fact that it's stupendously expensive. Order a 5lb bag of standard gymnastic off amazon for next to nothing and be happy for a long while.

The idea of an added drying agent is stupid too - magnesium carbonate IS a drying agent.


(This post was edited by ja1484 on Mar 11, 2007, 8:32 PM)


DJTHEMAC


Mar 11, 2007, 7:29 PM
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Re: [ja1484] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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This is a related noobie chalk question but:

I was climbing a challenging route for me (5.9) indoors, and I got halfway up and I noticed the holds were really slippery, I added some more chalk but it didnt improve friction at all. Thinking that i had reached the saturation point where chalk no longer helps, i fell off, washed my hands and resumed my climb. I climbed to the spot without any chalk and I still couldnt get any friction. Is there a point at which your hands become chalk saturated, or is it just that there is too much excess chalk on the holds themselves? Thanks


kr0g3r


Mar 11, 2007, 7:35 PM
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Re: [DJTHEMAC] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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try brushing the holds with a toothbrush. that will help with th excess chalk. and sometime indoor holds get overused and lose all friction, if thats the case replace the hold.


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 11, 2007, 7:54 PM
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Re: [kr0g3r] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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I try not to use chalk, because I have seen what it can do to a person....They become....'dependant' on the substance. You can then tell when they're scare on a route because they chalk. And then shift feet and chalk again. Then they look at the route sequence, and dip their fingers while doing so. Then they look down to check for rope drag, and chalk afterwards. I even ahve one partner who - I SWEAR - nervously chalked before grabbing her nuts for a placement one time. I couldn't let it pass, and had to razz her good for that one....

But...chalk does have it's uses. If you can't tell a difference without it(or find improvement with out it, since burning skin would sort of be a drag, I'd think), then don't use the chalk.

I just wipe my hand on my pants to remove the excess moisture when I need to. Unfortunately, that also becomes a nervosu habit. So - if you ever see me on the cliffs, wiping my thigh and then going for some gear.... you'll know I'm scared.


alwaysclimbing07


Mar 11, 2007, 8:00 PM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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A guy i used to climb with had the same problem, he used to break out when he used matolious super chalk, and even bison, so what he ended up using was X Factor chalk. its kinda scented, but it'll work well, and you shouldn't have to worry about breaking out from it or anything, its kinda hard to find, some rei's carry it, and if not you could probably get them to order it in for you, and if not just order it yourself off an internet site


ja1484


Mar 11, 2007, 8:34 PM
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happiegrrrl wrote:
I try not to use chalk, because I have seen what it can do to a person....They become....'dependant' on the substance. You can then tell when they're scare on a route because they chalk. And then shift feet and chalk again. Then they look at the route sequence, and dip their fingers while doing so. Then they look down to check for rope drag, and chalk afterwards. I even ahve one partner who - I SWEAR - nervously chalked before grabbing her nuts for a placement one time. I couldn't let it pass, and had to razz her good for that one....

I see no problem with this. It's like making fun of a basketball player for changing direction while dribbling. Yeah, sometimes people might get sketched on routes. It happens. I, personally, wouldn't take that particular opportunity to razz them...kind of a safety thing...


musicman1586


Mar 11, 2007, 9:25 PM
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Re: [DJTHEMAC] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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DJTHEMAC wrote:
This is a related noobie chalk question but:

I was climbing a challenging route for me (5.9) indoors, and I got halfway up and I noticed the holds were really slippery, I added some more chalk but it didnt improve friction at all. Thinking that i had reached the saturation point where chalk no longer helps, i fell off, washed my hands and resumed my climb. I climbed to the spot without any chalk and I still couldnt get any friction. Is there a point at which your hands become chalk saturated, or is it just that there is too much excess chalk on the holds themselves? Thanks

Indoor holds (happens outdoors as well, but much more common indoors) get built up with hand oils and get really nasty and need to be cleaned every so often, that's probably all that it was, I know here in my gym we've been needing to wash holds for a while but everytime we have a maintainance shift its raining, it's been like that for the past month or more Crazy

As for needing chalk or not, I never use chalk, I have some of the dryest skin in the world and even in texas with 90+ degree temps with 80-90% humidity I still don't use chalk, so it's all good, as for the person who made fun of the towel idea, I've know a person or two who didn't like chalk and so they've tied a small hand towel to their haul loop.


moose_droppings


Mar 11, 2007, 9:35 PM
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Re: [happiegrrrl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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happiegrrrl wrote:
I even ahve one partner who - I SWEAR - nervously chalked before grabbing her nuts......

Her?//!!

hahahaBlushBlush


rushgirl


Mar 12, 2007, 7:57 AM
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Re: [happiegrrrl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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I have found myself wiping my hand on my pants everyonce in a while. It is funny too because there is usually a streak of chalk that transfer to my hands on my pants where I wipe.


sweetchuck


Mar 12, 2007, 8:47 AM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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I have never used chalk, and there have only been a few times that I really needed it (and didn't have it). Not that I am hard core or anything, I just hate having things on my hands. I find that when I really need to chalk up I just run my hand over one of the many many holds everywhere that are covered with it.


bako_prc


Mar 12, 2007, 9:12 AM
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there is nothing wrong with subconscience, nervous chalking. to each thier own. i do it sometimes and it makes me feel goodTongue


FishSeal


Mar 12, 2007, 9:15 AM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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If your fingers need a little protection that the chalk can't give, consider taping. I find that I chalk less, and sometimes have a better grip with a bit of tape than with chalk. However, it is good to also practice without to avoid dependence on it. Remember to tape loosely and to replace it about every 1/2 hour if your climbing indoors. Fingers tend to swell with water when climbing and retaping allows your fingers to breathe a bit and also gives an opportunity to readjust for swelling.
Most of all though, have fun.

FS


ebonezercabbage


Mar 12, 2007, 9:48 AM
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Re: [rushgirl] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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It sounds to me as though you are allergic to chalk, which really stinks for you cause chalk is everywhere in this sport. I'd reccomend a mild hand cream ( nonoil-based for your hands ( and whatever else touches the wall ).

I used to use chalk all the time but have kinda got out of it. Now i just wear the bag with the residue in it. Works well enough on hot days to dry my hands, but its more about a mental thing for me now. I use it to calm down, take have a break and "chalk up." Works like a charm Wink


redpoint73


Mar 12, 2007, 9:51 AM
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Re: [ja1484] newbie chalk question [In reply to]
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ja1484 wrote:
happiegrrrl wrote:
I try not to use chalk, because I have seen what it can do to a person....They become....'dependant' on the substance. You can then tell when they're scare on a route because they chalk. And then shift feet and chalk again. Then they look at the route sequence, and dip their fingers while doing so. Then they look down to check for rope drag, and chalk afterwards. I even ahve one partner who - I SWEAR - nervously chalked before grabbing her nuts for a placement one time. I couldn't let it pass, and had to razz her good for that one....

I see no problem with this. It's like making fun of a basketball player for changing direction while dribbling. Yeah, sometimes people might get sketched on routes. It happens. I, personally, wouldn't take that particular opportunity to razz them...kind of a safety thing...

Its a nervous habit. And it can help you relax a bit if you are sketched. If you have a good enough stance to chalk, then the moves can't be THAT hard.

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