I liken Mammut’s Liquid Chalk to the introduction of sticky rubber shoes—it works so well you think you can’t climb without it. That’s how I felt and so did all of my friends, who made all sorts of conniving plans to take my Precious away from me.
After tying in and putting on your shoes—just before you touch rock—plop a dime-sized dollop of Liquid Chalk on your palm. It’s a white paste the consistency of sushi wasabi, and smells like gin. Rub it into your hands, especially working it into your fingertip grooves. Blow on your hands and the alcohol evaporates, turning your skin bone-white and leaving behind a super-dry, chalky base layer.
Mammut has perfected the blend of alcohol and chalk. I’ve used other liquid chalks and none work as well as this one. Other brands have left my hands dry, to be sure, but often feeling glassy.
If you are going deep-water soloing in saline area like Mallorca or Venezuela, then consider a bottle of Liquid Chalk to be an absolutely essential gear item! Putting this on between dips in the big blue helps remove that slimy, salty grime of sea water.
Above all, the number of moves you can do before the layer of liquid chalk wears off depends on conditions. I like Liquid Chalk because it tends to keep my palms drier, which somehow makes even my fingers feel less greasy. Especially if there’s a long crux at the start of a route, I like Liquid Chalk because it allows me to climb confidently through those moves without feeling like I need to stop and chalk. It’s that extra little bit of confidence. I can just climb.