Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Gear

Green Buy: Black Diamond Eco Gold Loose Chalk

This article, reprinted from Climbing No. 378, is free, but sign up with an Outside+ membership and you get unlimited access to thousands of stories and articles on climbing.com and rockandice.com, plus you’ll enjoy a print subscription to Climbing and receive our annual coffee-table edition of Ascent. Published since 1967, Ascent is climbing’s premier edition, with the finest writing, illustrations and photography the sport has to offer. Outside+ members also receive other valuable benefits including a subscription to Outside magazine, an ad-free online experience, a Gaia GPS Premium membership, and more. Please support us by joining today. 

Eco Gold Loose Chalk marks an interesting new direction in chalk—pure magnesium carbonate harvested as a byproduct of desalination instead of being mined. (See “The Hidden Environmental Cost of Climbing Chalk” for a look at the effects magnesite mining and the processing of magnesium carbonate—chalk—have on surrounding areas.)

Before you crush it, Eco Gold looks almost like kibble or popcorn, with an interesting, dry, styrofoam-peanut feel that at first had me wondering how it would be on the hands. Once pulverized into finer chunks or powder, however, this stuff performs—it’s high-octane, high-test chalk, and because of its thick consistency lasted a long time on my hands, with only a light application/coating.

I’ve been testing for months now, on slippery gym volumes, crimpy granite, and sharp sandstone.  Across the board, I’ve noted killer adhesion and minimal dry-firing. The stripped-down packaging—essentially a paper bag—scores high eco marks for not creating plastic waste, too.

$10 (100 g), $15 (200 g), $20 (300 g), blackdiamondequipment.com