||[Feb. 6th, 2009|02:24 am]
I've recently gotten back into climbing, and this time I've made the investment of buying my own gear and an actual membership to my local climbing gym. This means I'm climbing a lot more often, which is taking a bit of a toll on my fingers... they aren't used to the friction of the hand holds against them, particularly the middles of them near the knuckle. I don't really want callouses since I am a girl and like having soft hands, so I am kinda thinking of getting some climbing gloves, but I'm not sure what to look for. I want something flexible enough that breathes a bit, but I also want it to protect my fingers. Any suggestions?
Callouses are pretty much part of the deal. The only gloves I've seen intended for rock climbing are "hand jammies" made for crack climbing and they protect the back of your hands and knuckles, not fingers.
I'll be blunt: the only glove-wearering rock climbers I've ever seen are in the gym and are the posers who secretly think it looks cool, or the moms who can't handle the rope friction when belaying for their kids.
You need your hands fully sensitised to feel and grip the rock/holds properly; gloves will get in the way of anything but big jugs, which is why no one wears them. I find after climbing for years I have few hand callouses, but the skin is overall thicker, especially during the outdoor season. Your best bet is just to moisturise after climbing and take care of your skin that way. Really, you're not going to have callouses that anyone else would notice.
I think callouses are cool.
I've never seen anyone climb with gloves except for crack climbing.
I think gloves would interfere on any other type of climbing. The space between your grip and the glove could slip and limit your ability to climb higher grades. I think climbing tape would work better.
But seriously, callouses are cool and useful. I nearly freaked out when I got a pedicure and she started to shave off the callouses from my feet. I was like, I need those so that I don't get blisters!
Good point, you're the first person to mention using tape. :) I might just do that!
You will get calluses, nothing you can do about it. You will probably also learn to love them, because they make climbing less painful for your hands. I'm always really sad when I have to take a prolonged break and lose my calluses (like now...) Soft hands are for wimps ;)
to remove dead/rough skin i use what i call my "scrubby stick" -- pretty much a piece of sandpaper glued to a handle.
I'm with the herd here: calluses are part of the package. You can minimize the appearance through careful maintenance. I've heard men say they think they're sexy, since you have to earn them.
If you do a lot of crimps, you get the calluses on the first joint and fingertips, and for some season these don't show as much. :D
Yeah, soft hands are sort of incompatible with climbing well. My callouses aren't generally visible, so it doesn't bother me, but I can feel them... which is sort of the point, I guess? :) Hand cream and an occasional pumice keeps them from getting too sharp, at least.
If you want to climb, you're going to get a few callouses. But pumice and moisturizer should keep them minimal.
Embrace the callous!
2009-02-07 07:54 am (UTC)
I use thin leather gloves found in the hardware-stores for ~10 $ when handling the rope &so does my wife. They can also be used on easy routes. The gloves may even improve climbing, since the hands wont be affected by the dust, rope-friction &cold etc. thus remaining soft, strong &frictious.
I've got no problem with my hands against the rope - it's when I grip the handholds that it hurts the middle knuckles on my fingers. But yeah... My hands get really sweaty so the grip of the glove kind of appeals to me.