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shaoleung

Cover Your Bean!

Helmet or no?  

384 members have voted

  1. 1. Helmet or no?

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I know climbing is a particularly aggro sport, but do we really have to continue feeling like sissies when we put on a helmet at the crags?

 

Lets face it, it isn't a weight issue or even mobility. It's because the guys out there are hoping the Swedish bikini team is going to walk by the climb they're working on and think, "Oooh... what a tough, fearless stud!"

 

OK, so Sharma's mess of hair would not look quite as bad-ass with a helmet on, but aren't we more impressed with his 5.15s than his hair?

 

 

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I just had this conversation with my partner who's been climbing since the 70's when no one wore helmets. I told him someone above us on the route might drop a rock or a cam. So what happens? Someone drops a carabiner. It came from way, way up high. No warning. The party ahead of us yelled down to say it wasn't theirs. Well it shouldn't matter who dropped it. Yell rock anyway!

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It's because the guys out there are hoping the Swedish bikini team is going to walk by the climb they're working on and think, "Oooh... what a tough, fearless stud!"

 

If you're really asking a question....

 

I often don't wear a helmet because I love the feeling of being.. free. I ride my bike w/o a helmet sometimes, too. It just feels good.

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Nearly always. The only exception is sometimes when i'm toproping. I'll even throw mine on when talus hopping sometimes. My mom is a speech pathalogist/audiologist who works with head-injury patients, re-teaching them how to eat, breathe, and talk! You've only got one noggin and cerebral neurons don't grow back...

 

Ever seen the look in a head injury patient's eyes? Confused and aggressive, fuck that, my frontal lobe is worth more than looks and comfort.

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Nearly always. The only exception is sometimes when i'm toproping. I'll even throw mine on when talus hopping sometimes. My mom is a speech pathalogist/audiologist who works with head-injury patients, re-teaching them how to eat, breathe, and talk! You've only got one noggin and cerebral neurons don't grow back...

 

Ever seen the look in a head injury patient's eyes? Confused and aggressive, fuck that, my frontal lobe is worth more than looks and comfort.

 

:rocken::tup: :tup:

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How about posting links to your favorite helmet? Mine is in serious need of an update.

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I often don't wear a helmet because I love the feeling of being.. free. I ride my bike w/o a helmet sometimes, too. It just feels good.

 

 

From experience it only takes an 8 foot fall on your head to seriously mess you up. In my case 6 weeks in the hospital then release to a monitored life. Past that over a year to return to driving and more than that to ski or climb again. Many people don't even get that lucky.

 

Wear your helmet!

 

 

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Ditto on the request for helmet recommendations.

I'd figured I'd hold out on the Metolius Safe-Tech helmet, but it looks like that product has been canned. Now I'm looking at the Mammut skywalker - anyone used that?

my old edelrid hardcase is getting pretty crusty these days.

 

in terms of usage: almost always when leading, when on multipitch, when lead-belaying, or when people are above. but not when TR'ing.

 

 

 

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if you climb long enough you will eventually hear a number of rocks of varying size land within several feet of you, if not directly on you. That is your first clue. And then there is the unplanned head first swing on lead, or toprope. Do you feel lucky? Is life fun for you, do you value it? If you don't, well, I guess you are just cleaning up the gene pool for the rest of us. Same goes for crotch rockets. Have at it.

 

My wife and I both have Joe Brown helmets. They last forever, may not still be made. My son wears his bmx helmet.

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falling debris, human error, equipment failure... The local crag is not immune to these. But, I'd say I see about 10% of the people at my local crag with helmets on. I understand the freedom aspect and am temped from time to time myself, but it just doesn't outweigh the safety aspect. The last thing I want is for my wife to have to decide when to pull the plug on my brain dead body. I wear my helemt always.

 

 

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since I tend to do painful stuff like stand up under roofs/overhangs, I ALWAYS wear my brain-bucket, and, yeah, it's pretty beat up...

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Rock fall happens everywhere, even on the most well traveled crags like LTW at Index. A couple weeks ago I had a peach size rock hit me square on the head from above. It was enough to force my head forward in a fairly violent way. Thank sweet jesus I had my helmet. I may not have been brain dead after, but certainly a painful head injury.

I outgrew the feeling of being "Free" without a helmet sometime after high school... it just doesn't make sense anymore. Its like a seat belt, I feel uncomfortable without one. Call me a pussy all you like!

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Always. Same goes when I'm on my bike. A note on that though: bike helmets are for biking, climbing helmets are for climbing. I see a lot of people biking in their climbing helmets, and most climbing models will do little to protect your head in a bike crash. You wouldn't wear your uber light, full-of-vents road bike helmet to protect you from falling rocks and ice, would you? Just like you shouldn't wear your climbing helmet (which is designed with primarily top impacts in mind) to protect you from the side, front, and rear blows common in bike accidents. Sure, it's better than nothing, but our heads are irreplaceable, so it's in your best interest to protect appropriately.

 

I've had my life save by my bike helmet in a serious downhill mountain biking wreck. Good helmets work very well.

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Alpine: always. Multi-pitch: If its loose or there is a party in front. Single pitch: Almost never...unless the goats are above!

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if i didn't wear a helmet, how else could i so easily spread the message of "FAH Q" to everyone who looks at me?

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I once got in trouble with a local mountain rescue unit for having a sticker on my helmet that proclaimed "I my penis." I had to cover it with duct-tape.

 

I always wear a helmet climbing. I feel weird without one. But, not always while riding a bike -- which is stupid, esp since i usually forget my helmet while riding around drunk.

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I once got in trouble with a local mountain rescue unit for having a sticker on my helmet that proclaimed "I my penis." I had to cover it with duct-tape.

 

I always wear a helmet climbing. I feel weird without one. But, not always while riding a bike -- which is stupid, esp since i usually forget my helmet while riding around drunk.

 

 

but the supreme court has roundly rejected prior restraint ...

 

a hipster on a skateboard just wiped out on the street in front of my house because he apparently was trying to skate and text-message at the same time. Landed on his coccyx, fortunately.

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I don't need to list the litany of accidents and falls that I've survived, plus of the people that I've caught, and even those that I've carried out to the ambulance, to justify my wearing of a helmet on everything except TRs. I'm from the old skewl that didn't wear helmets 25 years ago. But it took one really fucked up ride down with a column at Vantage to change that outlook. Anyone who's been around this board long enough will know of that scary day at Vantage ~20 years ago, and Dane's big whipper last year. Not wearing a helmet is just plain dumb. There's NO excuse not to, IMHO.

 

ETA: Regarding the emphasized statement above, I went back through some old climbing pics and noticed that I still refused to wear a helmet on multi-pitch routes for several years after that fateful column ride at Frnechman's. Apparently, something else must have ultimately triggered the survival instinct that caused me to don the brain bucket religiously. However, I did notice that every waterfall ice and volcano slog pic had me bedecked in a helmet.

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Pretty much the only time I wear mine is when I get on cc.com.

 

Helmets and Internet forums - millions of keystrokes down the bitbucket for naught. I will grant you they're a lot more necessary now that the demographics have exploded and you never know when someone clueless might be bumbling around above you at single pitch crags. For multipitch in general, with very few exceptions, I never climb straight-line, near vertical multipitch under another party, ever. I sometimes where a helmet for specific endeavors, but mostly not.

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I helped evacuate a guy 2 years ago who took a basketball sized rock from 30 feet up right to the helmet. While he was briefly knocked out and had symptoms consistent with spinal cord trauma, he had no permanent damage. If he had no helmet, I have no doubt he would be dead. I've taken enough rock hits to convince me of the value of a helmet whenever a fall or falling rock/ice is a possibility. I see little or no down side to wearing a helmet and lots of reasons to protect your noggin. There is a big difference between taking acceptable risk for an activity you love and playing Russian Roulette.

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I always wear mine when I'm climbing, and almost always even when I'm just walking around the base of the wall. And my partners wear theirs too, especially when they are belaying me.

 

My example? Rocky reach dam putting up a new route. A hold broke off sending a 3" rock down on my partner, first piece pulled and on the way down my harness loop caught on a ledge sending a shower of gear down on my partner. Amazingly he still climbs with me, but only because he was wearing his helmet and didn't die.

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