/ chalk makes footholds slippery
I never noticed this before.Has anyone here fallen from a climb because
chalk made the foothold slippery?
They're mainly for cleaning hand holds, no?
He's right but with one curious exception: when a hold - particularly limestone - becomes polished to a very high sheen a light dusting with chalk can actually improve the grip. In all other cases it seems to make things more slippery
Chalk is the climber's equivalent of a flouro jobsworth jacket or a St Christopher medal stuck on the dashboard. You don't need it but it makes you feel better.
I can't stand limestone-it all seems slippery compared to grit!
I had to chalk up a polished starting foothold at Froggatt last week. It transformed the starting moves from almost impossible to very simple.
However, I can see how chalk on a non polished hold could decrease the friction available.
Interesting paper. Thanks for the link.
However it is addressing a completely different question in that the general assumption is that
chalk helps by drying sweat & shoes don't sweat.
Yep totally agree, its looking at friction co-efficients, it is possible that the interaction between chalk and rubber could be a positive one as well (increase co-eff).
Still, I tend not to waste time chalking both hands and feet while climbing ;)
Chalk on foot holds? I thought all chalkies swore that they only used it parsimoniously to dry their sweaty hands?
Well it's possible ( we can't be sure unless somebody does the research)
but I can't imagine what the mechanism might be.
Shoe rubber is after all designed to give good grip. If chalk is better than we've all been wasting a lot of money on rubber for a long time :-)
Chalk is multi functional. Yes, it absorbes moisture from surfaces, but is it also a lubricant, look at gymnasts.
Erm... chalk (well, talc actually but same thing) is also rather good for dry lubricating sticky new rubber bicycle tyres when fitting them to wheels. Go figure.
Talc is entirely different to chalk. Put some talc on your hands and go climbing to see what I mean.
To the OP
Chalk for hands definitely improves friction in certain conditions. It seems to make your skin slightly less elastic and less greasy which helps your skin to mould to the irregulariies of the rock. The place for chalk is on your skin, not on the rock and certainly not on the soles of your shoes.
Elsewhere on the site
Rock shoes stink – let’s face it. Boot Bananas are the perfect way to fight the funk and keep them fresh. They help... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
Tonight's Friday Night Video features the Norwegian town of Rjukan, once believed to be the home of the world's tallest... Read more
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
The release of Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 12th December may not appear to link to... Read more