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 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 71
Crack climbing gloves - the ethics

6:07:18 PM
This question is prompted by a comment in Mike's most recent trip report:

> With the gloves on, it was so comparatively easy it felt like cheating, but dam it was fun!

I'm not sure if everyone knows what these things look like - but if you can picture a cut-down fingerless glove with 5.10 rubber on the outside of each palm then you'd be coming pretty close.

What do people think??? Are they OK to use, or not?
I seem to remember a comment on this forum that when chalk first started to get used in climbing, it was frowned upon in some quarters as a form of aid. Presumably that attitude has largely been lost today. So my question really is in relation to new technology where do we draw the line???

The Blond Gecko
6:16:47 PM
Unless you have a specific injury, I must say I'm opposed to any "augmentation" of hands in climbing (except maybe chalk). While crack climbing without gloves, tape or otherwise, is often quite painful, it is surprising how fast your hands toughen up. Then again, climbers much, much better than I'll ever be use them (a certain picture of Lynn Hill on Passport to Insanity springs to mind), so maybe I'm just a pedant.

Donut King
6:23:42 PM
is this related to the goat lovers thread at all?

I would imagine that with the crack glove there would be a sever loss of sensitivity for yourself, resulting in perhaps a somewhat ambivilant feeling towards such activity.

going glove-less alows you to feel the crack in all its natural beauty, to explore the crack deeper than if one had "glove" on.

I wouldnt frown upon anothers chioce to wear the glove, each to their own, but they are missing out on a more in-depth experience, no matter how thin the rubber is the experience the sensitivity, is still not the same as it is without the rubber...i'm sure you would all agree....

7:07:08 PM
I think alot of you out there have lost the 'climbing for the love of it' If your climbing for the thrill, the enjoyment and all of the above why would it matter if you use crack climbing gloves? others may be against it but aren't we climbing for 'ourselves' I understand it makes the climb perhaps easier but why would that matter, unless your chasing the grades. I see its alot different climbing today then it was however many years ago and maybe they look down on us for using these new technologies but.....

Drawing the line on new technology... perhaps if its destroying the environment - the rock - then maybe we draw the line but its sounds to me that the gloves only make it more manageable to climb... you get to enjoy the 'climbing' and forget about worrying about the pain of it.


9:49:58 PM
Nice reply kezza...... Well said.

Who know, next well have 5.10 suction caps for hands and feet.....
10:32:10 PM
I've climbed with a person who uses and swears by them but it's just another complication as far as I am concerned. Unless you're in a solid hand-jam, I think they would be a nuisance and if you are in a solid hand-jam,why do you need a glove? If the rock is rough, a tape-job will protect your hands in all aspects.
I don't have an ethical problem with them; they're just not needed.
12:12:58 AM
if you use gloves you dont get the cuts and abrasions....... i like the cuts you get crack climbing, they sort of tell the story of what youve done, like the lines on a face......... and chicks dig scars!

The Blond Gecko
9:33:28 AM
I don't know - I guess I'd just like to be able to say as much as possible it was me who did the climb, and not my equipment. For my first year after I started climbing, I climbed barefoot about 90% of the time, even though I bought my first pair of climbing shoes after about 6 months. It was quite uncomfortable at first, but I soon found the shoes were unnecessary until I hit about grade 22 (although my first 22 onsight was barefoot). My first experiences with crack climbing were similar - uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful at first, but that just made the feeling of accomplishment greater when I eventually got it. Depends on what you want to get out of climbing, I suppose...

3:32:34 PM
I can't see any difference from an ethical point of view between taping and gloves. I rarely tape up unless I'm climbing on coarse granite. In this case the gloves would be handy (oops), being both quicker to put on and less painful to remove.
Are these gloves expensive? What percentage of people use them? I've seen people climbing in gloves before but normally they are just fingerless woolen gloves to keep their hands warm in clod conditions.
3:46:39 PM
I can't see what the ethical fuss could be about over crack climbing gloves. It's just progress. Like saying all ascents since the introduction of sticky rubber or cams don't count. Technology has allowed this sport to progress and be more enjoyable.
After having not seen these advertised since the 80's in American mags, I didn't think these gloves were still available.

Donut King
1:24:16 AM

i gota agree with ya. they cant be looked as being cheating or whatever, if you think its ok and its not damaging the rock then its up to the individual.

i can imagine the same discussion when freis (spelling?) the first of the "sticky" rubber soles came out. I think Jerry Moffat was one of the first in the UK to have a pair and a number of people made it known that it "just wasnt cricket!". And the same with cams in the US...Hell it used to be frowned upon to train for climbing as if it was cheating!

9:48:04 AM
OK, you guys have relieved my conscience. I'm off to get me a pair of 'gecko gloves'
Check out this article .


6:07:09 AM
Some technology is all good and 5.10 gloves will perhaps enable many of the softer types amongst us to get into those jamb cracks...however I think that personally I'll keep supporting the chemists and stick to the white strapping tape I've always used...anyways, I kinda enjoy the painful sensations of ripping hair out of the backs of my hands and wrists after a full day of climbing cracks :D

8:57:39 AM
I remember my first experiaqnce with tape gloves fpr carck climbing. They felt so good and I could just cruise up simple handcracks in the grade 18-20 range. Above that grade things start to turn tricky with finger locks becoming much more common which tape will not help. In the end the crack climbing gloves just make longer endurance crack routes easier on your hands. They won't be helping you push grade 32 trad.
8:08:18 PM
I'd be interested to hear what people think about wedding rings with either tape or gloves. The problem being that I can't get my wedding ring off and get very nervous using handjams, like at the crux on witch, even on toprope. It provides a good excuse to avoid cracks, I've seen the photos of degloved fingers and definitely don't want to go there.
8:32:07 PM
Fortunately I can still get mine off over my knuckle. I wouldn't think tape over the ring would stop the finger getting degloved, but would only stop the ring from getting too scratched!

9:13:14 PM
When I got hitched, I sized my wedding ring big enuf to take off easily. Each time I tape up, off comes the ring and on it goes on a string round my neck. Works for me, and Heather doesn't seem to mind. ;-)

9:29:21 PM
Problem is I got hitched at 22, started climbing at 38, same ring, fatter fingers,
9:51:27 PM
Malcolm, maybe it's time to bite the bullet and get the ring resized.
10:44:45 PM
Don't climb with a ring on your finger. On of my friends has a wedding ring and removes it and puts in a safe place before he climbs. He has been climbing for over thirty years and married for over twenty years. My advice would be to get the ring off before it strips your finger.

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There are 71 messages in this topic.


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