Price | $9.95
THE FIRST time I climbed a big wall, my partner and I threw all of our gear in a pile and racked up, only to discover three days later that the paint and tape had chipped off and we had no idea what gear was mine and what gear was his. We had to Indian leg wrestle to divy up the cams. Before the next wall, I laid out my gear in the Yosemite parking lot and indiscriminately sprayed it down with a loud paint called John Deere Yellow. By the top of the wall, all the paint was gone!
Boulder Based Designs has introduced The Mark, foolproof gear-marking paint/epoxy—one that would not flake or wear away—or so they said. We’ll see about that, I thought. First I took sharp ice tools and scraped at the marked biner with the pick. The paint didn’t flake. Next I hammered at the paint with the adze. I put the biner in a stuff sack filled with rocks and shook it like a half-wit trying to shake a worm out of a pecan. The paint was unscratched. Finally, I clipped the marked carabiner to the end of my Jack Russell’s leash and let him tear around a rocky hill for four hours. When I caught up to Badger and examined the biner, the paint was hanging tough. Indeed, The Mark seems like the best option yet for flagging gear. I wouldn’t trust that carabiner, anymore though.