/ Finger tip repair

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supersteve - on 23 Mar 2019

I have been climbing a lot recently on the Font sandstone and it is taking its toll on my finger tips. Other than resting, does anyone have any remedies to help recovery? 

Dan Arkle - on 24 Mar 2019
In reply to supersteve:

Rhinoskin or antihydral cream.

Take care, its black magic and doesn't give good results for everyone.

Ged Desforges - on 24 Mar 2019
In reply to supersteve:


Sand them down to remove any little edges (your skin that is, not the holds. 

Don't have too many goes on one problem, stop before it starts to get too thin. 

teapot - on 02 Apr 2019
In reply to supersteve:

I learned a trick to  preserve skin on trips to Font. During warm ups or even whole circuit days tape the tips of all three main fingers on each hand. 

If done well then the tape can stay on for a full day of 60 circuit problems. Obviously a few grades below your limit.

This means that your skin will not thicken up, but that should have been done before the trip. 

Only de-tape when you are ready to attempt problems near your limit.

supersteve - on 02 Apr 2019
In reply to teapot:

Thanks. I am lucky enough to live in Font so have decided to just climb lots, toughen up the tips, and also man up a bit. Plus rest properly. Raining today and tomorrow so no chance of dry rock till the weekend, so forced rest will do me good.  

misterb - on 03 Apr 2019
In reply to supersteve:

Climbing a lot won't "toughen" up your tips at all, it will just wear them out quicker unless you are only doing super easy stuff and even then in font it just keeps sanding your tips thin

Climbing a lot does make you get used to having no skin tho and the trick of glueing tape on to tips to stop unnecessary wear or to keep climbing when they are already destroyed is a good one

teapot - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to misterb:

I personally would avoid glueing, except in desperate circumstances. I know some do it regularly, but it is a ST fix and your skin won't be as good the next few weeks.

Climbing regularly, rather than a lot in one session, does lead to better I.e more calloused skin. 

"Manning up" is definitely not what is called for. Actually it's knowing when to pack up and head home (or if you can't face that then tape up and drop 3 grades).

Super Steve- I never tape up on my local boulders as I rarely have sessions more than 4 hours. But I did learn the taping during warm ups trick (from a video) of a top 8B boulderer. Basically you have around 7 layers of skin (unless there is a thick callous- which increases flapper potential!) so skin management is key to long sessions of bouldering with a decent amount of time near your limit.

Also avoid repeatedly failing on nasty grattons!! I think that the French for crimps!

Niek - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to supersteve:

+1 for rhino/antihydral, and +1 for proceeding with care. You need really good callus management or you'll get horrendous flappers and splits. If you can stay on top of it and it works for you the results are amazing though.

teapot - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Niek:

I have used anti-hydral once, but it was not an ideal situation, as my skin on the affected finger was wafer thin and I was heading to Font the next day! It did not (not unsurprisingly!) help.

I think the best approach is to apply it to good skin a few days before a trip where you will climb loads for numerous days in a row. I was told by someone who uses it and loves it to take care! 

I bought some Rhino repair last autumn and have not really used it much yet. Seems more like a moisturizer, and seems to have pretty healthy ingredients which would do little harm, but also not sure it is exactly an equivalent to anti-hydral, but I know others swear by it, so I will probably give it a try on my two Font trips this year (leaving tomorrow morning 😀)

Edit - I have just discovered that there is a range of Rhino products and I seem to have the repair cream. Tom Randall has produced a short video raving about the range which sounds more like a substitute to anti-hydral.

Post edited at 18:57
L 88Dan - on 19 Apr 2019
In reply to supersteve:

From what I have heard, anti hydral isn't good for your skin. or at least it should be used as little as possible. try applying your choice of hand/repair cream/moisturiser and wear cotton gloves to bed. this will stop your choice of cream ending up all over your bedding and will also ensure it stays on your hands long enough to allow it to do it's job. even the best hand cream will be useless if it rubs off before getting a chance to work. you might feel a little silly wearing gloves to bed but trust me it works. not just in a climbing sense but also if you do a job that throws a lot of abuse at your hands/fingers.

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