RunOut #18: Old Skool Chipping Dust-up.

In the world of Rock Climbing, few actions are more socially taboo than manufacturing holds – except, of course, wearing man-pris.

And yet, if you climb limestone sport routes, your chubby digits have likely dry-fired off chipped, glued, or comfortized holds more times than you realize or are willing to admit.

Yes, chipping is sport climbing’s dirty open secret. Really, more like privileged information or flat out denial.

Yet, when does it go too far? Becoming wholesale manufacturing paraded in front of us like a gaudy Mardis Gras float of ego and bad judgement?

A recent open letter to the climbing community was published by local developers from  Tensleep, Wyoming decrying and pulling the veil off routes, cliffs, and whole areas of completely and blatantly manufactured outdoor climbs. The authors’ collective outrage prompted this manifesto against the offending developers and asked others to sign on in protest. The fury of the internet ensued.

An open letter in the digital age felt old skool, and since we are, too, Andrew and I felt compelled to discuss the grey area in the subject of chipping. We asked questions you should be asking yourself if you sport climb outdoors: is chipping ever ok? Does climbing on chipped holds tacitly condone the practice? And should there be a background check to buy a Hilti or Bosch?

I’m Chris Kalous with Andrew Bisharat, and you are listening to the RunOut.

Original Letter Post at Facebook

The Letter thread at Mountain Project

The Letter thread at Supertopo

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