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Many thanks to John Gill — if he hadn’t portaged gymnastic chalk into our little sport four decades ago, I’d be even more the eternal bumbler, sweaty-palmed and defeated number grades lower than now. So it is we welcome to the States the new-for-2009 WILD COUNTRY PURE CHALK ($7 for a 350g bag, wildcountry.co.uk), a helping of the pure white stuff that, as advertised, contains no additives or additional drying agents. The resealable bag has the white magic crushed to send-friendly perfection — finely ground, but not too much. You can also buy the 60g Chalk Ball ($3.75) or an eight-pack of 58g blocks ($9.20).

—Matt Samet

Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.