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anykineclimb


May 3, 2008, 8:54 PM
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No loose chalk
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How many people go to gyms that do not allow loose chalk?
Has the policy changed to that while there and if so, if it made a noticable difference (dustwise)
Do you think chalkballs make any difference?


Partner angry


May 3, 2008, 9:03 PM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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I have never ever noticed my ability to climb hampered with the use of a chalk ball vs loose chalk.

80% of the routes I climb don't matter if I take chalk at all. But we're talking about the gym, I do use plenty of chalk there.

I would guess it's not in the air quality but in the longevity of filters and stuff like that is why they try to keep the chalk to a minimum.

I use loose chalk at the gym because it's $1.25 for a brick behind the counter. I actually prefer the ball in many ways.


anykineclimb


May 3, 2008, 9:31 PM
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Re: [angry] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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The chalkball question was more in terms of reducing dust. I actually prefer a chalkball also as it gives me something to "grab"
I've actually been working at a gym lately and thinking about making a poicy on loose chalk.


Partner angry


May 3, 2008, 9:37 PM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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I wouldn't make that policy.

Gyms need to keep their customers up to make money and banning loose chalk pisses people off.


Hennessey


May 3, 2008, 9:42 PM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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my gym in Philly Go Vertical allows loose chalk. I think loose chalk works ten times better than those shitty chalk balls. Come to think of it most of the gyms around Philly and the couple I've been to in New Jersey don't have a policy against loose chalk.


tready


May 3, 2008, 10:19 PM
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Re: [Hennessey] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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As someone who sweats up a storm just walking into a gym, I greatly prefer loose chalk.


lancebrock


May 4, 2008, 6:17 AM
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Re: [tready] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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i see people making more of a mess with chalk balls than loose chalk so i think the theory is wrong. we allow both. people taking the balls out and banging them on holds or their hands is way worse than loose chalk IMHO.


palidon11


May 4, 2008, 6:33 AM
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Re: [lancebrock] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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i used loose chalk anyway. i'm careful not to make a mess, they don't really care.

just don't leave your chalk out, yesterday some little kids (like 7 years old) came up and grabbed mine and made a HUGE EFFING MESS out of mine. it made me unhappy, but they didn't know any better.


taydude


May 4, 2008, 7:39 AM
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Re: [palidon11] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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my gym's rental chalk bags have chalk balls. I've seen kids and adults make much more of a dust cloud than any climber w/ loose chalk. They'll take it out and slap the ball onto their hands making a big 'ole cloud around them. I think the loose vs. ball arguement is moot. Any time I've used a ball I end up w/ loose chalk in my bag anyways as it comes out of the ball.


ja1484


May 4, 2008, 8:31 AM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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Combo system:

Chalkbag about 1/4 full of loose chalk. An empty chalk-bag with an old sock stuffed in it sits in this.

To chalk, squeeze bag for palm-drying goodness. At the same time, tips hit the loose stuff.


At the gym I used to work at, we only offered loose chalk bags, which was a stupid business decision (the management were idiots). They did not want to rent many chalkbags, as Joe Suburbia and his 3 teen children did not know how to chalk correctly. They would commonly take a handful of loose chalk out of the bag and pass it around. I think more got on the floor than on their hands.

So yeah, it makes a fair difference in terms of cleanup. But in my eyes, chalk policies are just another reason to avoid indoor climbing as much as possible (did anyone really need another reason?).


macblaze


May 4, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Re: [ja1484] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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The only difference I notice is when the boulderer peels off the roof and slams into the mat on his back, the explosion for the loose chalk bag is about 5 times that of the chalk ball.

But yah, I use a combo system a small bit of loose chalk in the bottom and the chalk ball for my palms...


ja1484


May 4, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Re: [macblaze] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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macblaze wrote:
The only difference I notice is when the boulderer peels off the roof and slams into the mat on his back, the explosion for the loose chalk bag is about 5 times that of the chalk ball.

But yah, I use a combo system a small bit of loose chalk in the bottom and the chalk ball for my palms...


Unless it's an endurance traverse, there's really no excuse for wearing a chalk bag while bouldering for this exact reason.


MonkeyInTraining


May 4, 2008, 1:16 PM
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Re: [ja1484] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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I sometimes have to chalk during even short problems, I sweat a bit more then average I think. I hate it when I land on my bag and tend to wear it on a hip.

As for a policy of no loose chalk, I do wonder and worry about the transmission of bacteria and viruses through airborne particles in the gym. Its just about perfect for transmitting a bug through chalk particles in the air or on holds. Is there an antiseptic quality to chalk? I hope so, it would be nice to help prevent climbing gyms from becoming focal points for the transmission of things like MRSA.


shanz


May 4, 2008, 2:54 PM
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Re: [MonkeyInTraining] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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i usually dont use chalk in the gym except for training time on the rock rings or hangboard.. granted i do have chalk with me "i love the smell" if my house is stuffy i squeeze my chalk ball a few times let the smell permiate the house.


Partner ctardi


May 4, 2008, 4:12 PM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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The gym I climb at is 'no loose chalk', but so long as you aren't aren't making a mess, nobody really cares. If you're a member and you made a mess...well...you know where the vacuume cleaner is.


chossmonkey


May 5, 2008, 4:33 AM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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anykineclimb wrote:
How many people go to gyms that do not allow loose chalk?
Has the policy changed to that while there and if so, if it made a noticable difference (dustwise)
Do you think chalkballs make any difference?
I think it is more of the mess issue than the dust.

For morons that don't know how to handle chalk, balls tend to be less messy.

I use loose chalk in gyms all the time and never have problems since I don't dump it all around.

I'm not a fan of filled chalk balls anymore. When you are pumped the last thing you need to be doing is trying to squeeze a ball to get a little chalk.


A better rule might be anyone making a big mess with the chalk can pick up their chalkbag on when they leave.


trillium


May 5, 2008, 6:14 AM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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For those of us who have asthma, loose chalk is a nightmare. I can't even be in a gym watching when a climbing competition is going on because I am sick from asthma for days afterwards. It destroys the vacuum cleaner when we clean the carpet, murders the computer, and gums up the holds from climbers over chalking all the time.


anykineclimb


May 5, 2008, 9:00 AM
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Re: [trillium] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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I personally do prefer the combo system.

Thanks for the replies. it does get annoying seeing big ol' chalk spills and dusting ALL THE TIME. As for chalk on the holds, theres no getting around that and they're cleaned regularly.

another (more expensive) option, would be a better ventilation system


nunatak


May 5, 2008, 9:38 PM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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We dont out law loose chalk, but we only sell chalk in the balls, and we do cheap chalk ball refills to cut down on the waste and encourage use. The problem with the balls is that they only work (for eliminating dust) if you leave the ball in the bag. When folks hold them in their hands like they are Mary Lou Retton the dust goes all over the place. I also prefer the combo technique.

I got the black lung poppa............


rosco22


May 5, 2008, 10:46 PM
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Re: [nunatak] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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Just consider yourselves lucky, even if your gym has outlawed loose chalk. I run the rock wall for our college, and management (ie, old fat non climbers, aka, dipsh*** who know nothing about the sport), have decided that chalk gets all over the building, and thus have decided to outlaw chalk all together. So now we get to use super lame liquid chalk, which cakes on holds a 100 times worse, and still dries into a powder so it still gets in the air. It's enough to make a guy want to quit climbing all together. So, if any of you gym owners/managers is thinking liquid chalk is a good idea, go jump off in a volcano. It doesnt work, still makes a mess, and ruins holds. I hate my boss and upper management idiots.


chossmonkey


May 7, 2008, 4:53 AM
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Re: [nunatak] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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nunatak wrote:
We dont out law loose chalk, but we only sell chalk in the balls, and we do cheap chalk ball refills to cut down on the waste and encourage use. The problem with the balls is that they only work (for eliminating dust) if you leave the ball in the bag. When folks hold them in their hands like they are Mary Lou Retton the dust goes all over the place. I also prefer the combo technique.
Laugh


granite_grrl


May 7, 2008, 5:43 AM
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Re: [chossmonkey] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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The gym I normally go to doesn't want you to use loose chalk. Over the 3 years I've been visiting there I have always use loose chalk, but I guess I don't make a mess with it so no one has actually noticed.

I have a couple of empty chalk balls in my chalk bag. I like how they get a coating of loose chalk. They give you something to grab to get a bit of chalk on your hands rather than dipping into a pile of chalk and bathing in it.


AlexCV


May 7, 2008, 3:09 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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I like my chalk ball since I really don't like having too much chalk ion my hands. However I fill the ball with the fine ground metolius chalk because it seems to pass through the ball much better.


matterunomama


May 7, 2008, 4:57 PM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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Officially, my gym does not allow loose chalk, but they look the other way unless there is a problem of spillage. If there is spillage, they give the person the vacuum and 'ask' them to clean it up.

They provide a big chalkbag of loose in the bouldering area and encourage other climbers to use chalkballs; many people put a little loose chalk in the bottom. The WORST is the new thing the teens have of block chalk, which they crush in their hand, clap them together and drop the clods on the floor. Idiots, it makes a ground-in mess. I have heard of a gym that only allows those nonchalk "hand drying balls". I tried one and it does not work at all.

The ventilation system really does take care of chalk in the air-there was a USAC bouldering comp there and the air was clear (I have sensitive lungs, too, plus it was visually clear).They are on their second vacuum in 2 years, but I think that is not unusual.

My main complaint is that the loose chalk drifting down before the ventilation takes it away falls in my eyes looking up and my contacts feel like I dipped them in sand. Even dipping only in the bag there are some people you don't have to look up to see--just look for the snowdrift around their belayer.


redno


May 12, 2008, 8:51 AM
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Re: [anykineclimb] No loose chalk [In reply to]
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The gym that I climb at does not have a policy against loose chalk. I like to fill my chalk bag 1/4 of the way full with chalk and have a chalk ball in it.. It is very helpful for when you need that "extra chalk."

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