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Making Tape Gloves

Crack climbing frequently involves jamming flesh eating crevices. On harsh granite, such as that found at Mt Buffalo, where the routes are tall and sustained, a climber might well be advised to tape up or risk drawing more than a little blood. Good technique will save your mitts somewhat, but for most of us, who aren't crack masters, a decent mauling can be expected. 

If you don't mind loosing a bit of arm hair, try the following steps to create a reusable tape glove. You'll need a roll of adhesive sports tape, 4 or 5 centimetres wide. Tape can be found in most supermarkets.
Step 1Step 2
Step 3Step 4
Step 1: Make sure your hand is clean and dry, then run a strip of tape down your hand from the index finger to the wrist. Tear the top of the strip in half and wrap it around your finger as shown. You want the tape to be tight, but not restricting movement. Be sure you can still form a fist. Steps 2,3 & 4: Continue attaching strips to each finger. Let the strips overlap.
Step 5Step 6: Tape Glove
Step 5: Run a strip horizontally across the back of the hand, around the thumb, and back again. Make sure the movement of the thumb is not hindered. Step 6: Wrap a strip or two around the wrist to hold it all in place and there you have it, the tape glove! Repeat for the other hand.
Tape Glove, Free PalmRemoved Tape Glove
Above Left: The palm should be free to make contact with the rock. Above Right: At the end of the day you can carefully tear the glove off (ouch! - you didn't need those hairs anyway), leaving it in tact. You might need to cut it from your wrist. Then slide it back on again the following day, spruce it up a bit with a strip or two more around the wrist, and you're ready for more jamming.

Hand Jammies

If you have the money, and do a lot of crack climbing it might pay to investigate some of the climbing gloves available, such as "Hand Jammies" (pictured right) and "Spider Mitts", that use climbing shoe rubber. I haven't used these myself, but have read comments both positive and negative. Some say that gloves, no matter how tight, still slide and the thickness reduces sensitivity. Others swear by them.


Further Reading:
Making The Perfect Tape Gloves - From Rock & Ice Magazine.
How Do I Tape For Crack Climbing - From Dawn's TradGirl FAQ. 
Taping Up Your Little Delicate Hands - From a UK web site. Forum - A topic discussing taping up.

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