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Helmet advice (Read 3994 times)

slab_happy

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#25 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 08:55:52 am
Get something you like or you wont use it.

Yeah, the goal is to not have any excuses not to wear it!

That was my original rationale for the Sirocco; it's so light I might as well put it on (for anything except offwidths where it'll get stuck). Also I'm the only person at the crag who doesn't have to look at it.

If picking something you like more (even if it's for a "superficial" reason like thinking it looks cooler) makes you more likely to wear it, then it's worth it.

Duncan Disorderly

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#26 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 09:37:18 am
Get something you like or you wont use it.
If picking something you like more (even if it's for a "superficial" reason like thinking it looks cooler) makes you more likely to wear it, then it's worth it.
:agree:
Good advice - no point spending less on something that just sits in your bag cos you feel like a knob in it...

duncan

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#27 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 09:48:53 am
I have the MIPS Wallrider and and a Mk 2 Sirocco. I was fairly happy with the Sirocco but had forgotten it on a trip and got the Wallrider as a quick replacement. Both are good but I prefer the Wallrider. It's slightly heavier but fits me marginally better (good to try a variety of brands if you can) and the simple buckle works better for me. I found the Sirocco's magnetic buckle awkward and a nuisance to keep clean which comes undone at inopportune moments if you don't. The MIPS Wallrider is usually spendy but was not more expensive than the standard version at the time so gave it a try. I don't know about the technology but can confirm it is not sweatier than a regular helmet.

The Decathlon offerings are typically less than half the price of their Petzl/BD/Mammut equivalents and look like they'll do the job equally well. The Sprint is their take on the Sirocco/Wallrider: polypropylene with a reinforced apex.

Very good points about choosing a lid with the fewest barriers to wearing, which might include looking suave. Hands up who bought their first helmet* after seeing Neil Bentley styling his way up Equilibrium in an original Meteor!


*Technically incorrect, I had an orange Joe Brown fiberglass number for a few months when I started in the 1970s. Weighted about 5kg, totally uncool and I never wore it. Youth of today don't know how lucky they are etc. etc.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2023, 10:05:19 am by duncan »

Muenchener

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#28 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 10:46:49 am
I had the "lightweight" Joe Brown helmet - just the fiberglass shell without the several inches of polystyrene. I actually did wear it for a couple of years in the early 80s before deciding helmets were uncool.

SA Chris

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#29 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 10:49:57 am
I had one of the original Edelrid plastic pisspots. I carefully edited the EDELRID logo on the front so it said SCARED. Very few people noticed, but it amused those who did.

Will Hunt

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#30 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 12:42:54 pm
Crazy to think how much harder I'd redpoint if I didn't wear a helmet that weighed 0.3% of my bodyweight (before considering rope drag, clothes, harness, whether I've had a pre-climb piss/shit).


Edit: might as well complete the sermon.

NSFW  same shit I've written on here 100 times before:
I've seen people that would describe themselves as experienced and good sport climbers (>8a RPers) fall off stuff with the rope behind their leg. If they didn't manage to whip their leg over the rope mid fall (it was a long fall) their head would have exploded as it hit the wall below them. Someone stood at the bottom of a trade route at Kilnsey got brained by falling rock and was stretchered off the crag. Kilnsey in general is a choss pit.
When you consider that you don't even have to be unlucky to get a brain injury from a knock to the head, and that brain injuries can/will completely fuck you up, maybe even kill you in the sense that your body survives but your personality is completely and irreversibly changed, I maintain that it is an extraordinary act of self delusion to not wear a helmet while sport climbing/belaying.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2023, 01:02:01 pm by Will Hunt »

crzylgs

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#31 Re: Helmet advice
July 27, 2023, 10:51:01 pm
Thanks again to everyone for all the advice and constructive input. I'll definitely be upgrading my helmet before the trip. I've got a couple weeks yet to get one ordered. As previously mentioned I don't have easy access to any climbing shops which stock any of the decent helmets that have come up in the discussion here. But I think I've got a fairly average shaped head so am confident to choose one online and go with it.

Oldmanmatt

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#32 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 09:02:16 am
Crazy to think how much harder I'd redpoint if I didn't wear a helmet that weighed 0.3% of my bodyweight (before considering rope drag, clothes, harness, whether I've had a pre-climb piss/shit).


Edit: might as well complete the sermon.

NSFW  same shit I've written on here 100 times before:
I've seen people that would describe themselves as experienced and good sport climbers (>8a RPers) fall off stuff with the rope behind their leg. If they didn't manage to whip their leg over the rope mid fall (it was a long fall) their head would have exploded as it hit the wall below them. Someone stood at the bottom of a trade route at Kilnsey got brained by falling rock and was stretchered off the crag. Kilnsey in general is a choss pit.
When you consider that you don't even have to be unlucky to get a brain injury from a knock to the head, and that brain injuries can/will completely fuck you up, maybe even kill you in the sense that your body survives but your personality is completely and irreversibly changed, I maintain that it is an extraordinary act of self delusion to not wear a helmet while sport climbing/belaying.

A short convo with TobyD of this parish, should convince even the most stubborn of the ďitís too heavyĒ crowd of their errorÖ

ali k

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#33 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 09:19:19 am
I do not use a helmet when doing single pitch routes on solid rock and have never seen any reason to.
Totally agree with Will on this. Iíve witnessed a guy flip upside down and split his head open high up on a steep Margalef 8b. The solidity of the rock was irrelevant in that fall, it was just misfortune. Iíve personally flipped upside down after pinging off unexpectedly by the 2nd bolt and if I wasnít wearing a helmet Iíd be dead or badly brain damaged. The helmet was split in two and I had concussion for days after.

Personal choice obviously, but people seem to be good at convincing themselves that the biggest danger in sport climbing is of rocks falling from above.

IanP

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#34 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 12:14:18 pm
Don't want to argue too much against the case for helmets - given how light they are now it feels there is a good argument for them, despite the fact that I don't bother.

However I don't feel hyperbole about risking life / brain damage is warranted either.  The fact is very few people die sport climbing (I can't think of any recent UK ones) and  serious accidents involving ground falls could involve many injuries where helmets are irrelevant.  Obviously Toby's accident was significant, but still rare enough to be noteworthy years later and (if my understanding is correct) while wearing a helmet probably would  have helped , stick clipping the first bolt would have helped even more, something I've been doing on that route for 20 years+.

Probably wearing a helmet would reduce my injury risk slightly while sport climbing but then again so might wearing one while walking home after a heavy night on the town (though that risk has been mitigated by getting old and boring).

jwi

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#35 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 12:24:57 pm
A modern helmet weight basically nothing, but still bangs into the rock all the time while climbing.

On the positive side, I never fall badly at the second draw because I have preclipped the rope into whichever is the highest draw I can reach extended on my tippy toes with my 7 m long stick clip.

IanP

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#36 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 12:38:02 pm

On the positive side, I never fall badly at the second draw because I have preclipped the rope into whichever is the highest draw I can reach extended on my tippy toes with my 7 m long stick clip.

Indeed , possibly the biggest safety move you make in sport climbing is using your stick clip.  I have no interest in hitting the ground while.sport climbing , helmet or no helmet, it's hard!

jwi

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#37 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 12:48:16 pm

On the positive side, I never fall badly at the second draw because I have preclipped the rope into whichever is the highest draw I can reach extended on my tippy toes with my 7 m long stick clip.

Indeed , possibly the biggest safety move you make in sport climbing is using your stick clip.  I have no interest in hitting the ground while.sport climbing , helmet or no helmet, it's hard!

I don't bring it to the gym. I am too lazy for that. But when lead climbing in the gym, I usually climb the easiest route on the line to the second draw, clip, lower, and climb my chosen line. For exactly the same reason: I plan to never fall to the ground or challenge the belayer to keep me off the ground.

Will Hunt

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#38 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 01:56:23 pm
If only Mina had thought to clipstick the draw above the Rainshadow crux before falling off  :boohoo:

Ian, all the examples I mentioned are from the last few years. To only count deaths ignores the long list of other grim stuff that can befall you.

I didn't mention the time we all watched a toddler nearly obliterated by the flake that detached from the Directissima area of Kilnsey and landed in three large sections around him, each with arm's length. The point is that if you spend enough time hanging around on or at the bottom of crags then you stand a good chance of getting hit. I'm reminded of the words of the IRA: "today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always."

Oldmanmatt

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#39 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 02:20:23 pm
Don't want to argue too much against the case for helmets - given how light they are now it feels there is a good argument for them, despite the fact that I don't bother.

However I don't feel hyperbole about risking life / brain damage is warranted either.  The fact is very few people die sport climbing (I can't think of any recent UK ones) and  serious accidents involving ground falls could involve many injuries where helmets are irrelevant.  Obviously Toby's accident was significant, but still rare enough to be noteworthy years later and (if my understanding is correct) while wearing a helmet probably would  have helped , stick clipping the first bolt would have helped even more, something I've been doing on that route for 20 years+.

Probably wearing a helmet would reduce my injury risk slightly while sport climbing but then again so might wearing one while walking home after a heavy night on the town (though that risk has been mitigated by getting old and boring).

Ha ha haÖ

Sorry, a few years ago I would have written exactly that.

(And the laugh was for the last sentence).

I ďhelpedĒ in a very minor way with Tobyís rehab, though the day I pinged off the crux of Empire and had Tobyís head rammed up my arse, at speed, as physics proved itís fucking point (again) rammed home the helmet thing once and for all with me.

(To be fair, it probably said more about setting up a better belay when the leader is ~86kg and the belayer is ~50kg and not being lazy. Iíd been (failing to) making the clip when I pinged).

Also, and fair enough itís not recent:

Thatís me, in flight, from (irrc) five clips up, on a very steep route and I decked out, very painfully and kicked the belayer in the head, hard enough to leave him wobbly af. A little more slack and Iíd have hit my head hard, because his head stopped my feet, if you know what I mean.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2023, 02:29:36 pm by Oldmanmatt »

IanP

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#40 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 02:36:36 pm
If only Mina had thought to clipstick the draw above the Rainshadow crux before falling off  :boohoo:

Ian, all the examples I mentioned are from the last few years. To only count deaths ignores the long list of other grim stuff that can befall you.


The.point I was making re deaths is re the common 'a helmet might save your life' trope.  When it comes to sport climbing it probably won't because its extremely rare to see fatalities even though the majority of people don't wear helmets. 

I'm aware that grim things can happen climbing some involve the head, lots involve arms,.leg, back etc.  I'm aware of Toby and Mina's accidents but nothing you're saying seems to disprove the point that's these are very rare events. 

As I say I'm not against helmets and can see some justification for wider use, but that doesn't mean that people that choose not too are in some way taking ridiculous unwarranted risks.  What they are doing is making a small percentage increase in their risk of injury relative to someone else who who climbs in the same way as them and wears a helmet.


SA Chris

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#41 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 02:38:47 pm
No criticism on either side, but confirmation bias running strong through this thread.

slab_happy

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#42 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 04:54:29 pm
Many years back, I got post-concussion syndrome for months after a relatively minor (non-climbing-related) bang on the head, which didn't even made me lose consciousness.

The medical verdict was that I have a "vulnerable brain" -- basically, the autism and depression and history of freak neurochemical reactions etc. mean that my brain's dealing with more than enough already, and consequently a very minor injury is enough to produce a disproportionate effect.

Now, clearly I have way more brain issues than the average person! And I do think wearing a helmet or not is an individual choice, and everyone's got their own contextual factors to take into account.

But my point is that accidents don't necessarily have to be huge or dramatic to fuck you up for a while. And post-concussion syndrome isn't "life-altering", but it is really unpleasant and I'd rather give it a miss.

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#43 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 09:19:34 pm
Last winter I fell off at the 3rd bolt of a bolted mixed route and my crampon point went into my belayer's head. He wasn't wearing his helmet. The metal spike through the head seems not to have affected his personality at all...

Oldmanmatt

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#44 Re: Helmet advice
July 28, 2023, 09:49:08 pm
Last winter I fell off at the 3rd bolt of a bolted mixed route and my crampon point went into my belayer's head. He wasn't wearing his helmet. The metal spike through the head seems not to have affected his personality at all...
Yeah, mixed and ice? Helmet is a no brainer, or you end up with no brain.
The boss on the Joint Services MT Paget exped, slipped in the bergschrund during our retreat (Ď92), bringing up the rear on a descending traverse. Crampon caught the rope and he swung head first into the crevasse wall. Probably a 25-30m swing. Left me carrying the can as 2i/c, recovering an unconscious casualty from the crevasse. Shattered his helmet. Would undoubtedly have been dead without it. The following four days it took to carry him to the coast and rescue are why I still wake up sweating (when stressed) convinced Iím snow blind and frost-bitten.

Actually Iím surprised it took me until me 40s to take wearing a helmet seriously, come to think of it.


crzylgs

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#46 Re: Helmet advice
August 13, 2023, 09:54:56 pm

Cheap BD Vapours..

https://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Climbing/Rock-Trad-Climbing/Helmets/Black-Diamond-Vapor-Helmet?mc_cid=18a240e36e&mc_eid=5985717261

Came here to post the same link!

I ended up not getting a helmet for my current trip (borrowed a friends instead!) and have just hopped onto Needle sports to get myself one of the M/L Vapours for £65!  :2thumbsup:

Hacker

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#47 Re: Helmet advice
August 14, 2023, 03:51:55 pm
Those links are to the original design of the Vapour which whilst is lightweight and low profile and nice to wear has a number of very big drawbacks:

Super delicate most people I've seen wearing these if you look at thier helmet closely they are cracked on the inside as the EPS is so thin and fragile that they have to use carbon rods inside it and a keeler sheet to hold it together and meet the CE ratings. It doesn't meet UIAA ratings.

One person I saw who did alot of winter climbing had put gaffa tape on the inside to stop thier head getting cold and this appeared to be the only thing holding it together.

The helmet also dents and marks up easily, given how little thickness in EPS foam there is reducing this is going to decrease safety over time, if the cracking doesn't happen first. Having jumped on alot of retired helmets it is alarming how easily this one is destroyed

The newer model made in a similar way to the sirocco fixes these problems with flexible EPP in the main body of the helmet which is more durable than the pure EPS version or other helmets such as the meteor (correcting one of the first posts which is incorrect). It still retains EPS under the crown for top impact protection under the polycarbonate outer over the crown.

Is worth nothing however that because the meteor uses a bigger thickness of EPS compared to the old Vapour it is still very durable. And that the original orange Sirocco that was entirely EPS suffered from the same problems as the old Vapour
« Last Edit: August 14, 2023, 03:57:41 pm by Hacker »

 

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