We enjoy chalked up holds during onsight attempts: rather than navigating a sea of uninterpreted rock, the clues and hints about which holds are good increase our chances of success. But when we’re not getting up close and personal with those features, we’d just as soon not see the oftentimes unsightly white splotches and blemishes on the rock.
The company Climbing Addicts hopes to change this with their line of colored chalks, currently available in two types: the endearingly named Yosemite Gray and Wall Street Gold. These gray- and red-orange-colored chalks blend in with similarly colored rock, like El Cap’s glacial-polished granite or Supercrack Buttress’ Wingate Sandstone.
Climbing Addicts mix natural pigments into standard magnesium carbonate to achieve their desired hues. We used the Yosemite Gray on various rock types, including limestone and granite, and found the mixture performed as well as other high-end chalk products on the market.
As the climbing community grows, our impact in natural places becomes increasingly glaring, with chalk glistening on the walls of highly trafficked crags. While our personal onsight grade might drop a letter or three without the benefit of ubiquitous chalk on the routes, it’s a sacrifice we’d happily take; not only would our impact on the crag be less visible to others, but more often we would get to experience that adventure of interpreting the uniformly-colored rock for ourselves on new climbs.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.