January 29, 2009

Rubber McCheatey Gloves

For a short primer on giving me shit, take a look at these comments. Thanks for sticking up for me Dom, but I wish your proof reading skills matched your analytic ones. But what could you hope to do against old friends being a pain in the ass, as always. Without those douche bags, I'd have such an inflated ego. How horrible that would be, me having an inflated ego, how horrible, how horrid.

So I believe some words are in order. I'll begin, like Lewis Carroll, at the beginning. Randy Leavitt FA'd Dihedron in the 90's using rubber palm gloves and fixed pins. I've always loved the idea of rubber gloves, and after I'd tried the route a few times, I had to have it. My first attempt was a bit of a failure: I bought a pair of hand jammies and turned them around so the rubber was on my palm. Take a look, stylish no?

The real problem is that hand jammies are made to pull out of the crack. When you palm the force goes on the fingers, not the wrist. The elastic around the fingers simply stretches away, or in more practical terms, you fall. That's not good when your pro consists of RPs, so something had to change.

Back to the store, but this time I was looking for something a little more mundane. A pair of leather fingerless weight training gloves. Kevin at Five Ten added green rubber to the palm, you know, green rubber, the stuff on the toe of the Jet 7. I little snip snip to the rest of the fingers, and this is what I ended up with.

How nice these feel! They save the palm while making it stick better. What more could a brother want?

That's it for the background, now time for the defense. These are the reasons to use gloves on this climb, in descending order of importance. I'll number them for ease of commenting:
#1 - Style! Black leather glove on the left hand only. I could even add rhinestones. 'Nuff said.
#2 - Save those palms! J-Tree is so rough on the skin, and this climb can rip holes in the unprotected palm unless you wear protection. And I always do.
#3 - The FA! Gloves were worn on the first ascent, so there is a precedent. Speaking of precedent...
#4 - Kneepads are permissible! People wear kneepads for two reasons, to save the skin and to make kneebars more secure. I'm wearing palm gloves for the same reason.
There you have it. What says the masses? You've seen what they can do, you've seen how stylish they are, they were used on the FA, and they are entirely analogous to using sticky rubber in other places (oh my!). Bring on the controversy.

January 28, 2009


I've got some things to say about hand gloves, but before we get into the finer nuances, have a look for yourself at what they can do. That's a 14a top rope you're seeing there. Unfortunately the pro is mostly RPs and micro stoppers. I think a few bouldering pads are in order, even with the Cheatey McGloves.

Think about it, dwell on it, I'll show you my power source tomorrow...

January 27, 2009

J-Tree is Rad

Look at that boulder thing I'm all up on. What the name? Who knows, I forget, oh well. One of thousands, why bother naming them all? If I had sextuplets, they would all be referred to numerically. "Stop hitting your brother Mistake #5, it's time for dinner..."

While I think of a way to defend the use of rubber gloves in...uh...climbing, read this. It's funny, trust me.

[UPDATE]: I forgot to give credit to the photographer, Robert Miramontes. Also, there isn't any photoshoping. The rope is there, the hand jammies aren't. But wait...

January 25, 2009

The Bypass

I know, I know, I've been a horrible person. Sorry J & S, but if you were cooler people, I'd have come to Bishop. So really it's your fault. Or maybe I'm partly to blame - I've been working my ass off on a phil project, learning stuff. I have so many photos from Turkey that I've been overwhelmed. The next post must be about my trip, I've been thinking, but that involves so much photo editing that nothing has come of it. So I bypass.

Anyway, here is Amna Jaan on Breakfast of Campions (5.8+) at J-Tree, my area of choice the last few weeks (yes, those are hand jammies you see). I've been working Dihedron, a 14a dihedral that Randy Leavitt put up in the 90s. I've got a rubber glove for my left hand, it helps with the palming. And damn, palming is all that left hand does for 50 feet. Photos to come, I swear.

Honestly though, the blogging is back.

January 07, 2009

The Return


I'm back in the US, and more photos to come. Soon...

Once I get my life together again.