Gyms, Germs & Copper

Indoor Climbing Gym

COVID is hitting indoor climbing gyms pretty hard. We can expect to be the first to lock down and the last to re-open. And with good reason actually. Indoor climbing gyms are pretty dirty places.

We’re trying to do something about the dust problem in gyms by promoting liquid chalk but at the core gyms are excellent places for transmitting all kinds of diseases. 2014 study even found that nearly all climbing holds are covered in a thin veneer of fecal matter. Holds are covered in micro-organisms and as such are an excellent vector for disease transfer.

As the COVID pandemic is spreading it’s becoming clear that soon we’ll have to learn to live in a new reality with more hand washing, more mask wearing & hand sanitiser dispensers everywhere.

The main product we’re developing, liquid chalk, should actually help kill those nasty micro-organisms on the holds but for regulatory reasons we’re not allowed to make this claim on our packaging. That would put our product in the “Biocide” category & comes with a whole new can of worms in terms of regulations.

You know what works against nasty micro-organisms too? Copper! I expect copper door knobs to show up everywhere but I’m not too sure about copper climbing holds. Sounds expensive and slippery AF.

If your gym is still open, please be careful and at a minimum wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, use hand sanitiser & keep your sessions short. If you can climb outside that actually sounds safer in the current environment. Or maybe you can finally build that home gym you’ve been dreaming about?

Photo by Victor Bystrov

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