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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Poll Option Votes Graph
Yes I use chalk 126
No I don't use chalk 28

Topic Date User
To Chalk or not to Chalk 11-Apr-2005 At 9:32:15 AM LittleMac
Hey guys just wanted to clarify a few things after doing a little bit of research etc.

On 4/04/2005 Rocky wrote:
>>It is worth noting that Tannin has been a climb since Apr 76
>thats true and the old timers that put up all the old classics before
>chalk was introduced should be applauded for doing so A) without cams,
>etc and B) without chalk congrats to the old timers that forged the rock
>climbing industry by their skill and lack of fear!!!!

In terms of the classic lines being put up without the aid of chalk, chalk first arrived in Australia in the early seventies (1974 Chris Dewhirst) and became popular very shortly after. Climbs such as Tannin were put up with the aid of chalk.


Shoe technology was on the improve through the seventies and eighties and was a vast improvement on the sandshoes and walking boots used by those fo the sixties.

Protection had already made massive improvemnts bu this stage (nuts were already in common use) and RP's were released in 1975/76 and cams were to follow in 1978.

Henry Barber:

It is a popular misconception that the great "Hot" Henry didn't use chalk. Whilst he didn't use much in the way of protection (ie Thunder Crack) he did use a significant amount of chalk during his ascents.

Overall my point is, that to say that all of the classic lines were established without the aid of chalk is ludicrous, yes many of the easier lines were indeed done without chalk but the majority of the harder classics (not all) above about grade 17 were done in era when chalk was at least being used quite extensively. It is also I think fair to add that many of the lines were being done with points of aid or rests etc and as has been commented on by many guidebook authors were being established by somewhat dubious means (rap inspection, rap placed protection etc).

Cheers everyone,

Hope this is food for thought.


There are 226 replies to this topic.


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