It’s not hard to be a good business and do some good in the world. Thats’ the thought behind this  Colorado climbing chalk company dedicated to leaving no trace behind. 

Gazing at the cliffs that splice Eldorado Canyon, Shawn Axelrod was fed up. The bright white smears of chalk climbers left behind on the rock not only distracted him from the conglomerate sandstone’s beauty, but also irked him. Didn’t the unnatural polka-dots directly contrast with the “Leave No Trace” ethics many climbers claim to uphold? 

“The visual impact that climbers have is understated,” Axelrod says. So he decided to find a solution for himself, a life-long climber, and other climbers around the world. 

With the help of his two sons, Axelrod created Climbing Addicts, a line of colored chalk that blends with two different rock hues: Wall Street Gold, meant for desert climbing; Yosemite Gray, designed for granite and the alpine; and Indoor White, for use in the gym. 

While colored chalk isn’t a new concept, Climbing Addicts uses unique natural pigments for coloration whiletrying to “tip the reputation colored chalk has gotten over the years” into high-performance terrain. Plus, Axelrod says ditching white chalk actually makes climbing outdoors more fun. Without white tick marks highlighting a wall, he argues, “it keeps [routes] a little stealthy. It’s actually a more adventurous approach.”

—E.M.