Everything and More: Bouldering Kit Part 2 (Tactics)

Sure, I want to be stronger, but that takes long hours and hard work.

Most of the time I just want the climb I’m working on to feel better.

That is where tactics come in…. climbing smarter when climbing harder just isn’t possible.

There a lots of things tactically that climbers do intrinsically or with practice (ex: RESTING between attempts?!?) to improve their chances of sending the proj but most of them just involve using their brain rather than an actual tool out of the bouldering kit. However, there is one tactical implement I want to highlight:

91% Isopropyl Alcohol in a Spray Bottle

Size intended for emphasis

Size intended for emphasis

Climbing in the Southern US puts you in a near constant battle with humidity. Alcohol is one tool that can turn the tide of this battle.

However, as is often the case, with great power comes great responsibility. Follow these pointers and please spray responsibly.

  • Make sure you are using at least 90% alcohol. Most pharmacies carry 70% and 91%, but make sure you get the higher percentage. 70% alcohol takes nearly 1,000,000 years to dry, while 91% dries in less than 5 minutes even on the most humid days.
  • Brush the hold before you spray and brush the hold after you spray before chalking.
  • Use only a light spray across the usable surfaces of the holds, you do not need to drown the holds.
  • Always check with other climbers before you spray a hold to make sure no one ones a final go on greasy holds (but seriously why would they?)
  • Only douche bags spray holds in the gym…
  • Despite the amazing volatile power of alcohol to degrease rock, it will not dry wet holds. When the alcohol evaporates, the hold will still be wet.

Coming soon Part 3 (Tweak Management) and Part 4 (How to Have Fun While Freezing Your Ass Off)

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