/ Sweaty hands

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chers - on 27 Jun 2012
I'm trying to cut down on my use of loose chalk, especially as a lot of walls wont allow loose chalk and I think maybe I rely on it too much. However, I find chalk balls just don't dry my hands enough. I seem to get very sweaty hands very quickly and end up chalking up every couple of moves. I've seen a few people not using any chalk at all and don't know how they hell they can hold on!! Does anybody else get his and have you found any solution? I've tried a few differnt brands of chalk ball and none seem to work for me. I'm wondering if liquid chalk might be better?
BGoodman - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: I've found that chalk balls just don't work for me, and struggle in some walls with constantly sweaty hands. Liquid chalk I found worked well as a base layer almost? If that makes sense, putting it on before starting a climb but then using a chalk ball as well. It doesn't really last long enough from my experiences with it to get you up a whole route on its own, if you have to chalk up every couple of moves especially.
Mike Nolan - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: Loose chalk is only a bad thing if you get caught.

I don't know how people manage with chalk balls, they're awful! As long as your chalk bag isn't filled to the brim, I'd continue to use loose chalk until you get told not to!
chers - on 27 Jun 2012
good to here its not just me! A chalk ball on top of a little bit of loose chalk helps, but I do want to cut down on the stuff!!

Changing topic slightly...why do some walls allow loose chalk and others don't? Can't just be because it means they need to hoover a bit more, can it? :)
Skip - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

>
> Changing topic slightly...why do some walls allow loose chalk and others don't? Can't just be because it means they need to hoover a bit more, can it? :)

my local wall claim it's an air quality issue????

phleppy on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: You may have a medical issue where your hands can sweat more than most or an actual condition called hyperhydrosis, it's fairly rare i think.
Liquid chalk can work very well however it just may not do for you.
BGoodman - on 27 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: I use loose chalk now, and just have very little of it in my chalk bag so it isn't dropping out everywhere. I was at Kendal when the GB youth team trials were on, the air was horrendous and it was raining chalk constantly so I can see where the walls are coming from. I also find loose chalk gets in my eyes all the time, though that's probably just me being useless..
Kevin Woods - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: My chalk ball usually ends up making a pool of chalk at the bottom of the bag. Very useful stuff, and the chalk ball kind of keeps the whole lot together. So one vote in four for the chalk balls
Kevin Woods - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: Favour oops
_MJC_ - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: Yeah i have the same problem. It's really annoying because having to chalk up so often wastes a lot of energy, at the least.
hedgehog77 - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: dont drink coffee. I stopped drinking it and dont sweat as much and my head isnt as skatty now i dont feel stressed on routes which stops panic sweat! Worth a try.
Quiddity - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to hedgehog77:

> dont drink coffee. I stopped drinking it and dont sweat as much and my head isnt as skatty now

Cure worse than disease. Why would you do that to yourself.
galpinos - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

1/ Liquid Chalk - Apply it a few times through the session and top up with a little chalk from your chalk bag as required.
2/ Wash your hands - when I find my hands get sweaty, I give them a proper wash (with soap and everything!) and it makes a massive difference. Wash them before climbing and during a session if required.
Biomed2012 - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: Why don't you just use a chalk ball but poke a load of extra holes in it! makes the chalk last longer, technically isn't loose and you get enough out every dip! simple
SGD - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to Biomed2012: Buy a refilable chalk ball, they naturally leak chalk therefore you always have some loose chalk hanging around in your bag and if you are really sweaty you just open the draw string on top of the chalk ball.
Robert Durran - on 28 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

Since it is only just about possible to get enough chalk out of a chalk ball to make a single move by rubbing it vigourously between both hands and this is obviously impractical in many climbing situations, I just ignore ridiculous rules against loose chalk. If I get caught I obediently buy a chalk ball and cut it open to release the chalk so that it is possible to continue climbing.
Lukem6 - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to chers: You need to ask yourself why you sweat? your body sweats to cool itself.

This could be fear sweat, Breath to cool down and regulate heart rate.

High blood pressure, same as above but consider diet also.

Physical activity makes you sweat. Climb at a steadier pace, drink more cold drinks and don't let your heart rate get too high, In turn train a little cardio so your heart gets used to pumping hard and keeping cool.

Damaged thin skin can also prove slippy particularly if your pulling hard on grit boulders all day. Look after your skin moisturize,soft thick skin is stronger than dry flaky skin and will take more of a beating. Ask any beauty therapist. Over use of chalk actually adds to skin damage. My chalk pretty much stays in my bag I find on a 10 hour day at stanage I'll probably need my chalk once, at which point I have to man up and live without, or ask my belayer to launch some at me.
Fraser on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to chers)
>
> Since it is only just about possible to get enough chalk out of a chalk ball to make a single move by rubbing it vigourously between both hands and this is obviously impractical in many climbing situations....


You're talking balls again there Robert.
Robert Durran - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> You're talking balls again there Robert.

Yes, chalk balls. How do you suggest I hold onto the rock while chalking up using a chalk ball?



Dave Ferguson - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
I stopped using chalk at the wall 2 years ago, it makes absolutely no difference to the grade I climb (up to 6c) and I've improved because I'm not wasting energy chalking up all the time. I wish less people used chalk at the wall, 80% of climbers just use it out of habit, I know I did.
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Theeni - on 29 Jun 2012
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

Another vote for going 'Cold Turkey'. A lot of climbers - myself included - use too much chalk and often at entirely inappropriate moments: such as in the middle of crux moves. If you want to kick the habit leave your chalk bag at home and try a few sessions without. Incorporate this with a bit of the 'no take' game and see how far you get. It won't jump you fro
6a to 7a but it will show you how far you can go.
ashley1_scott - on 30 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:
I am fairly lucky in the fact that my hands dont sweat much at all unless its a really hot day, or im doing a route that has a lot of big slopers.

I would say to try a couple of sessions without using chalk and see how you go. After all most people chalk up out of habit and not really at a point when they actually may need it.

I have 'two' chalk balls in my chalk bag. One is the ball that I got 3 years ago, so really there aint much actual chalk in there. The second one 'split' open so is now loose chalk in my bag, that way if a member of staff moans that im using loose chalk and the have a chalkball only rule, I just pull out the remains of the really old chalkball.
a13x - on 30 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:

Antihydral?
silo - on 30 Jun 2012
In reply to chers:learn to climb with out chalk?
Justin T - on 30 Jun 2012
The trouble with these threads is that there's no "one size fits all" solution. Some people don't sweat much from their hands and therefore don't understand or sympathise with those who do.

For me the idea of climbing indoors without chalk is laughable, normally when I fail on routes indoors it's simply through sweating off the holds or pumping out through having to over-grip everything. I under-perform by around 3-4 grades indoors for this reason alone, and struggle on any holds that aren't positive regardless of size. Coupled with the fact that most climbing walls have nowhere near enough ventilation.
Kafoozalem - on 30 Jun 2012
In reply to quadmyre:

Very well said and I identify with you wholeheartedly. The new wall at Plymouth is particularly warm and humid and I cannot climb anywhere near my standard with a t shirt on, let alone without chalk.

I am interested to see the comment above that lack of cardio fitness may be the reason why my temperature rockets as soon as I start to climb. I get next to no cardio exercise.
chers - on 30 Jun 2012
Totally agree Plymouth is way too warm. My hands get ridiculously sweaty there! The people saying stop using chalk clearly don't get sweaty hands. I've tried not chalking up...and I fall off due to sweaty hands, and it's not fear sweat (makes little difference if its an easy route or hard route). Think I'll be "using" balls with a bit of chalk in the bag too....or just stick to The Barn :) I personally think the air quality issue isn't true. Chalk bags seems to contain finer chalk and I find that gets up my nose more than loose chalk!

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