I was brought up on Peak grit and never wore tape whilst climbing cracks as that was only for American climbers, and blood sweat and tears was what Peak and Yorkshire Grit is all about. Although on a recent trip to the Alps I found a jamming glove on a glacier and thought I would give it a try on Majorette Thatcher (E3 5c jamming crack). So with one hand taped and the other wearing a jamming glove I set off. The crux is on the second pitch which is an overhanging fist crack. Amazingly I freed it (i've never been that good at jamming)and the glove definitely helped.
When I got back to the peak I thought I would give it a go, it made jamming so much nicer and I don't leave with blood all over my hands. I might even get on the VICE!!!. I have always been deterred by this route after seeing what it did to my mates hands and I never bothered getting on it.
So what does everyone else think? are gloves and tape the way forward or does British stubbornness and ethics mean that it should be left for the American pansy's?
In reply to roberto18: tried them but found they got in the way of finding the best place for a jam - but to be fair they were probably a bit too large for my hands, they dont seem to make them pint sized!
In reply to mike kann: I sort of agree that jamming gloves are cheating, they have sticky rubber on the outside which means its like having a pair of rock shoes on the back of your hand, makes it much easier.
In reply to roberto18:
I suspect the gloves are a step too far (unless they're gardening gloves bought for you by your mum like Pete Whittaker's, in which case kudos), but I did tape up to do the Vice earlier this year and I'd definitely recommend it.
I think the double vested one is out of date.
These days if you're enthusiastically launching yourself into grit jamming routes, especially wide carnivorous one like the Vice, the looks you get from the wall-bred climbers around you are likely to be the same weird mixture of awe, pity and disgust regardless of whether you're wearing gloves or not.
In reply to roberto18: But then having thick tape on the back of your hands makes it hurt less so it's much easier, and it's also quite grippy too. Are you running around pointing at the heretics using rock shoes ;) I know it's not quite the same but it NEARLY is... surely as long as you're having fun and it doesn't hurt anybody, then you know how you did it, and no one else gives a toss?
In reply to roberto18: It was always understood that if your hands were all cut up and grazed,you weren`t jamming properly,my advice is to get on The Vice with bare hands `traditional` style and have the full experience!.... but dont expect me to 2nd you without gloves or tape!ha ha
I actually own jamming gloves now - just back from an ace weekend of crack climbing (see if this link works https://twitter.com/TobyinHelsinki/status/247794469875888128 ). Many Finnish climbers do. My conclusion having had them for a couple of years now is that they are NOT as good as tape, they are just easier to put on and off and in the long run are cheaper - although its amazing how much use you can get out of a good tape glove. Some cracks they might actually help by being just that bit fatter, but then equally there will me cracks where that extra width is an active disadvantage.
I find the wrist strap of them gets hooked up easily in deep jams which is annoying, but do it up to tight and it adds to the pump in your forearms.
The main reason to use tape or gloves is on climbing holidays. If you go to, say, Lofoten and are climbing predominantly cracks, you hands will be much healthier by day 3 or 4 if you tape up.
In reply to TobyA: This was two years back http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=159632 Dave is still using the same raggedy-ass gloves now, just with a few more layers slapped on them! If you store tape gloves like climbing skins - sticky to sticky, they can just be left in your bag for the few times you do want them.
BTW, my experience of Grit hand and fist cracks is that the rock is much less abrasive than granite, so I can see the argument they're less necessary. The Aberdoonians and Cornishmen/women, could probably get their money's worth out of some gloves though.
In reply to TobyA: Interesting comments, thanks Toby. I thought the glove was better than the tape when I used them but you seem to have more experience than me. I see your point that it makes your hand bigger so could be a advantage/disadvantage. So wearing 1 taped and 1 glove could almost act as having offwidth hands. Just a thought!
> The main reason to use tape or gloves is on climbing holidays. If you go to, say, Lofoten and are climbing predominantly cracks, you hands will be much healthier by day 3 or 4 if you tape up.
I was amazed at the number of people we saw out in Lofoten with jamming gloves but it makes sense when you're there for a holiday and you want to climb every day. I took tape with the intention to make gloves but in the end the skin on the backs of my hands stayed in decent condition, probably due to us not doing anything particularly hard (jamming up slabs is a lot easier than I'd expected). And the post-climbing alcohol hand gel experience was too good to miss out on by using gloves...