Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)

This is a post about brain buckets, aka helmets.  And guess what – in honor of Petzl’s October Helmet Campaign, I’ve been authorized to sponsor a free giveaway of a Petzl Elia  or Elios (winner’s choice) to one lucky reader, courtesy of the folks over at Pemba Serves.  Interested?  Read on…

The majority of climbers have helmets – the real question is does it ever end up on your head, or is it merely dead weight in your backpack?  The subject of helmets can be a controversial one for some climbers – it seems as though there are two extremes, with the majority of climbers falling somewhere along the moderate parts of the spectrum.  In one corner you’ve got the ultra-conservative side (often viewed as alarmists) that recommends donning your “hat” as soon as you get out of the car at the trailhead and keeping it on until you are safely tucked in your sleeping bag back at camp (admittedly that might be an exaggeration…).  Then on the other side you’ve got the too-cool-for-school folks (often viewed as reckless) who’s archaic helmets have probably seen more action protecting the bottom of a backpack than someone’s actual noggin.

Me looking cool (well, safe) multi-pitching in El Potrero Chico

 HERE’S THE FACTS –
– Climbing is a dangerous sport, one in which some mistakes = serious injury or death.
– Proper use of safety equipment and techniques can mitigate (but not eliminate) the majority (but not all) of the risk factors involved.
– Head injuries are no joke – long term consequences can include impairment of motor skills, speech, and/or brain function, paralysis, amnesia, or ultimately, death.
– There are countless stories of climbers who sustained horrific accidents and can thank their helmet for allowing them to live to tell about it.  (Don’t believe me?  Read through some of the injury reports in Accidents in North American Mountaineering – a book published annually by the American Alpine Club).
– Small rocks can cause large damage.
– Compared to other outdoor pursuits, climbing is less dangerous than snowboarding, sledding, and hiking (according to a 2004/2005 study by the Journal of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine)

MORAL OF THE STORY – Brains are soft and rocks are hard – but thankfully so are helmets!

Some of my favorite climbing partners rocking out their helmets high in the Linville Gorge, NC

Here’s my stance…

SITUATIONS WHEN I DO WEAR A HELMET –
– Leading
– Trad climbing
– Multi-pitch
– In areas with loose rock

SITUATIONS WHEN I DO NOT WEAR A HELMET –
– Top-roping (for the most part)
– Hiking
– Camping ( 🙂 )

WHY I WEAR A HELMET
I’ve always considered myself to be pretty safety conscious, so when I first got into climbing, a helmet was one of my first purchases.  Thankfully I’ve never sustained a head injury due to climbing (although I did break my nose on TWO separate occasions by slamming face first into the gym floor diving for a volleyball).  However one of my climbing partners cracked his helmet in two in an alpine accident in Colorado several years ago – no helmet, and he would for sure be dead.  In addition, the worst fall I’ve ever witnessed involved two inexperienced climbers (mistake #1) who got in over their head (mistake #2) – the leader froze at the anchors of a slab route and despite our calls to get the rope out from behind his leg (mistake #3) he took a 30 footer upside down and smashed the back of his head into the slab.  He had initially started climbing without his helmet, and his belayer (who was also his father) convinced him to climb back down and get it (at least he did something right).  Now granted, I am pretty anal about my rope management while I am climbing, which eliminates the most obvious cause of flipping upside down during lead falls.  However, its also possible to get disoriented and crash head first into the rock in a pendulum type fall, nor is it unheard of to flip when popping off of a really committing layback.  And of course it goes without saying that no matter how careful my partner and I am about avoiding loose rock, in multi-pitch situations we have no control over what climbers above us are doing, and I don’t want to be the one that ends up paying for their careless errors.

You never know when you will encounter sketchy rock - it might be on a popular bolted line at the New River Gorge...

I will admit that its easy to get complacent about wearing a helmet – it can be bulky, hot, and its definitely pretty dorky looking.  Confession time – I wasn’t always as vigilant about wearing one.  Sometimes I would legitimately forget, sometimes I was too lazy to walk back to my pack and get it once I was already tied in and had my shoes on, other times I just chose not to wear it on easier sport routes.  And I’m not gonna lie – there have also been a few photo shoot situations where I purposefully left it on the ground, which I justified by only climbing on well-bolted, familiar routes.

Ever since Cragbaby came along however, I’ve discovered a new reason to show my hard hat some love – and that is setting a good example for my son.  When he’s ready to start climbing, I’m going to require him to wear a helmet.  I can’t very well expect him to be happy about wearing one if he’s never seen me or my husband wear one.  The funny thing is that at this point C thinks helmets are uber cool – at least once per climbing trip I turn around to find him wearing my helmet – usually accompanied by hysterical toddler giggles.  🙂

"I make this look good."

So does that mean I think climbers who opt not to wear a brain bucket are unsafe?  Certainly not – a good number of my climbing partners may not even own a helmet, and I’ve entrusted my life to them on numerous occasions.  Just like climbers have different acceptable levels of risk, they also have differing opinions on which situations (if any) necessitate helmet use.  At the end of the day, wearing or not wearing a helmet is, like many aspects of climbing (and life for that matter) – a personal choice that can only be made by the one who has to live with the consequences.

That’s my stance, for what its worth (which may or may not be much!).  Now its your turn (as well as your opportunity to win a free helmet!)  Whether you would describe your own helmet use as always, situation dependent, or never, please join in the discussion.  Everyone who comments will be eligible to win a Petzl Elia or Elios helmet via a random drawing on Friday, October 7th (one entry per person).  So please chime in with your opinion on helmets – heck no, or essential pro?!?

 

 

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107 Responses to “Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)”

  1. I’m still very much a climbing rookie, so I feel most comfortable wearing a helmet always. That said, I currently share a helmet with my husband who commandeered mine, declaring it more comfortable than his. Since we don’t climb together much (read: hardly ever) and the kids are still small, this is not much of a problem. I do want to start getting back into climbing, though, so a new helmet would really help out our duo.

    Reply

  2. I was once more careful about wearing a helmet. I’d do so while leading trad and even many sport climbs. I definitely did so while climbing in areas where rockfall was an issue. But I haven’t worn my helmet in many years, and for no real good reason. There are plenty of routes I’ve climbed which don’t require a helmet due to steepness, but others would be made safer with a helmet. I’ve whipped upside-down twice w/o a helmet – one time taking a 35-ft fall and the other time hitting my back violently against the wall to the point of seeing stars (w/o even hitting my head!). In neither of those situations was I able to stop mid-fall to put on a helmet. If I win a helmet from this post, I’ll take it as a sign. Otherwise, maybe I should just buy one!!!

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  3. I always wear my helmet when climbing, even if it’s just TR. I think it’s just a good habit to keep…

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  4. Ben

    About the same helmet use as yourself…usually not helmet when TRing, but always when leading or multi-pitching. No helmet when bouldering, either, but it’s not a bad idea for highballing, i suppose.

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  5. Lionel

    I don’t enter a cave without my Petzl Helmet on. More than once I have taken a fall on some piece of slick and muddy rock and EVERY time my Petzl helmet was there to protect me. If you go big, make sure you go safe too.

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  6. Can you spot the problem with this logic?
    I never wore helmets for the longest time. Sure, I knew the concept, because someone was always yelling at me before I left the house, “Do you have your helmet?”
    “Yes dear, it’s under the other unused gear collecting dust.”
    Then, a funny thing happened, my son was born, took to climbing, and I realized that I didn’t want him to be one of those idiots who cracks his skull open like his, uh, like other people might have. 😉

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  7. We use them all the time. Im on the Technical Rescue team for the local fire dept. Any time we are more than a foot off the ground a helmet goes on. It keeps us safe. If we get knocked out or injured by a falling item it reverses outr role from rescuer to victem. We also carry an extra for the victem.

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  8. Maggie

    I always wear my helmet when I’m belaying. My head has been in more danger by loose rock, debris, dropped gear, etc when belaying than while I’m on the rock myself. I always wear it when I lead, but when I’m top roping, I don’t usually bother. Of course, its situationally dependent.

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  9. John Lockard

    I’m such a klutz that I whack my head on obvious rock outcroppings. Of course I wear my helmet, who knows what’s going to happen and when.

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  10. Adam Johnson

    Cavers love helmets!

    About 6 month ago, two of my friends and I were caving in wyoming. My two friends did a small down climb (2 to 3 meters). On my turn to go down, I kicked a rock the size of a football by accident and it started to fall down. It then struck my caving partner in the head. His petzl helmet was able to take the brunt of the force. When I pointed which rock it was that hit him, he did not believe me. The rock did not hurt him in the slightest bit.

    I love petzl helmets!

    Reply

  11. Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!) http://t.co/1s4RV4Im #Climbing #SAR #MountainRescue /via @bryanenberg:

    Reply

  12. Alex Courrau

    Here’s my helmet story! I went to the Black Canyon of Gunnison this summer to do my first weekend of multi-pitch trad climbing as well as my first weekend of crack climbing. I didn’t bring a helmet, thinking “I’ll be okay.” Well the guy that was leading the climbs, said I could risk it and climb without one, or I could BEG other campers to use a helmet if they were on an off day. After trading my beer supply for a use of an extra helmet (a petzl one!) I was off to climb for the weekend. As I was topping out of Journey Home, an apple sized rock rolled off the lip and landed square on my head after falling a good ways. Definitely glad I decided to use it!

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  13. Mike

    My climbing partner has a helmet that we will wear when leading harder routes, especially routes with overhangs. But most recently, when we were out top roping, we had to wear the helmet while belaying, not for fear of falling rocks, but because the belay area was directly under a grove giant walnut trees. Walnuts would randomly crash down all around us, landing with some intimidating thuds!

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  14. Katy Hart

    I’m on 3 Search And Rescue teams, one of which regularly trains in semi- and technical rescue. I have many friends that do caving, vertical, semi- and technical rescues. Not only are helmets required during trainings and rescues, but at least most of them wear helmets during any outting. Since I have very limited funds, I use my horseback riding helmet for all helmet-wearing situations. Can anyone tell me if this is acceptable or merely a better-than-nothing option?

    Reply

    • JKB

      After consulting google and my employers inventory, riding helmets vary wildly in materials and construction. From little better than a one-impact bicycle helmet, to rodeo helmets that look more suited for jousting. Depending on your helmet it may or may not be a good option, but is certainly better than nothing. There are a couple companies out there that make multi-sport helmets rated for everything from cycling to climbing to riding to rafting. They’re expensive, but can be much cheaper than buying a different helmet for every sport.

    • JKB – Thanks for the info for Katy Hart – It sounds like you know more about multi-sport helmets than I…
      Mike – It makes for a funny story, but I’m pretty certain that getting clocked in the head with a walnut would make for quite a headache…
      Lee – Amazing how the kiddos can change a perspective, huh 🙂

  15. Tristan N.

    I have a bunch of hand-me-down climbing gear with bits and pieces I’ve purchased on my own over the years, but no climbing helmet yet (haven’t been able to justify the purchase with my wife, since I can borrow one). for TR, I never wear one (maybe I should), and never bouldering. When I go on bigger climbs (trad/multipitch), I always borrow. For winter climbing (snow/ice), I use my ski helmet, which is warm and serves its protective purpose, but is really heavy for climbing. Not ideal. Would love to get one. Perhaps this will be a way to get a helmet much sooner! 🙂

    Reply

  16. Lisa Clibon

    If you’ve seen the rocks/boulders that I’ve seen rain down (some just on the approach) within inches of your soft head and body-you’d wear a helmet too! –If you had a brain.

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  17. I always wear my helmet, unless I forget it at home, or in the car or in my pack. But you should always wear it, unless you’re climbing on steep rock, or it’s hot out or you have your dirtbag hair just so.

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  18. Chris Cheatwood

    I don’t ever want to take a chance. Always wear one. Rather be safe than sorry.

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  19. James J. Durst

    Too many worry too much about how they look and how their hair might mess up…wear the darn helmet for Pete’s sake!
    (8];~D}

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  20. Ignacio Tripodi

    I wear my helmet in the same exact conditions you mention. I can’t believe the number of people I climb with that wear a helmet leading trad routes, but not sport. I can’t really see the point there. Why would not wear a helmet for the exact same risk because of some stupid sense of making a fashion statement? I even climb with a friend that had a BRAIN INJURY from an accident many years ago, and he still doesn’t wear his helmet when leading sport routes.

    Reply

  21. george

    I ALWAYS wear my helmet when climbing. Perhaps it’s because I started ice climbing first, where not wearing your helmet put you in good stead to be a Darwin award candidate.

    What I wish for is a helmet that would qualify for protection in more than one activity- just a quick glance at my gear closet shows more than 5 specific helmets. I have one for climbing, bicycling, skiing, kayaking, and downhill mountain biking, as well as a technical rescue helmet and a kevlar K-pot from my time in the service.

    It would be great if my cycling, skiing, and climbing helmet were the same model.

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  22. I’d say I’m similar to the author: Always for multi-pitch, trad, choss. Rarely for TR, Sport (unless I’m pushing myself on lead), bouldering.

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  23. Jack

    I always wear a helmet, you never know when a rock is gonna fall on your head or you’re gonna fall and trip on something and hit your head on the rock. With a helmet? Probably no big deal. Without? You may be unconscious or badly hurt and that’s never good. And that’s even worse when you’re halfway up the route and your belayer can’t see you.
    WEAR ONE!!!

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  24. Gillers

    I would certainly go with helmet as “essential pro” category. I sustained a traumatic brain injury almost 4 years ago in which I was belaying a TOP ROPE, my climber dislodged a rock almost the size of a cinder block, it fractured part of my skull and knocked me out immediately, I was then in a coma for 11 days. Luckily I am alive to tell the story, and climb again. I was not wearing a helmet when I got hit in the head since I thought I was safe, I was just belaying a top rope. But now I always done the “brain bucket”- trad, sport, leading, top roping, multi-pitch, single pitch and especially when belaying!

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  25. A high percentage of my climbing occurs at an abandoned rock quarry. Every 25 feet there is a noticeable groove heading straight up the face of the cliff – drill flutes from the industrial past of the crag. The beautifully unweathered granite had a multitude of explosions up and down the [inside] of the rock. Unsurprisingly loose rock abounds. Most of the routes are now pretty solid (thanks Louie) but I won’t get on the sharp end unless my belayer is wearing a helmet. I’ve seen small rocks embed themselves in climbers’ eyes and large rocks fuse ropes to their respective dirt bags — not to mention the plethora of anecdotes and scars I wasn’t privy to witness forming.

    Rock fall is always and will always be a hazard is climbing, but there are plenty of crags whose rock is so solid and whose faces have seen so much traffic that it’s essentially non-existent. Like building an anchor there’s no ‘always’ or ‘never’. As climbers we must assess each situation as we come to it and use our knowledge and experience to make a ‘good enough’ decision. For some this may be a helmet, for others it may be belaying outside the fall line, and for others still it may be avoiding a route or crag.

    To quote John Long: Climb safely. Climb efficiently. Climb on.

    Reply

  26. I also consider myself enough of a novice climber that I don’t feel right without my helmet on. In search and rescue in my county, helmets are mandatory pieces of equipment when on horses, bikes, personal watercraft, and ropes. Part of this is to satisfy risk managers who rely on policies instead of training and situational awareness and good judgement to reduce risk. I agree that for most climbers, wearing a brain bucket is a personal choice. Like the author, even when I get to the point of being comfortable without a helmet, I will wear one to set a good example for my kids. especially after being chastised by my 3 year old for not wearing my bike helmet one time.

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  27. Jonathan

    I spent the last 8 months living in Yangshuo, China and while there began bolting new routes. The nature of the limestone in that part of the world is such that some VERY seriously large rocks will come off the crag with little to no warning. Hence, while climbing over there I always wore a helmet provided for me by the climbing company I worked for. I am now back in the USA and climbing in areas that have been thoroughly cleaned….or so I thought. A friend of mine just sustained a minor rock blow to the head in an area she also thought to be well cleaned. She has since bought a helmet and tells every climber she knows to do the same. I guess my point is, I have been back and forth on the use of a helmet, but the reality is, I am an idiot for not owning one and am planning on buying one as soon as I get a job…unless I get picked in the drawing that is!

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  28. Jake

    I used to have mixed feelings about helmets. However, after a weekend of cragging, I no longer do. I rarely wear a helmet for sport climbing. The only time I’ve worn a helmet is when I do multipitch. It wasn’t an accident climbing that made me realize the gravity of my complacence; it was an incident that almost occurred.

    I took my wife and seven year old daughter camping and climbing with some friends this weekend. I was rapping down and cleaning a 5.7 sport route when I trundled a small fist sized rock. I yelled “ROCK!” and everyone did what they were supposed to.

    Much to my chagrin, the rock landed about two feet away from my daughter. I picked the rock up and one side of it was armed with a razor sharp edge. The rock had fallen from roughly twenty feet up; had it struck her, it would have done serious damage. A wave of guilt and regret washed over me and has remained for the better part of this week. Not only should I have been wearing a helmet, but my daughter and those at the base of the crag definitely should have been. It would have been awful for my daughter to witness an injury especially one to her father. It would have been even worse for her to sustain one.

    My BD Half Dome doesn’t fit my head well. My wife’s Elios for some reason seems to accomodate the dorsal fin of bone I have cresting my skull just fine. I plan on getting a new, comfortable helmet as soon as possible. I am DEFINITELY going to buy a kid’s helmet for my daughter and she’ll wear it from the time we reach the crag until we leave.

    It’s sad that it took a powerful pang of guilt and consideration of potential tragedy brought on by said guilt to realize the importance of protective head gear. In the end, it’s common sense: We can’t forsee or control loose rock. We cannot be in control 100% of the time. The rope will not always remain in front of you, and you will not always be able to hold on in the instances that it runs behind you.

    When you look at it from the simplest terms possible; what’s worse: experiencing some mild discomfort and losing a few cool points, or losing the power of speech, a pint of blood, your motor skills, or even someone you care for dearly? The answer when viewed from this perspective is blatently obvious. Helmets all around now. A free one would help 😀

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  29. Mike Harris

    It is our responsibility, not to ourselves, but to our loved ones to be as safe as possible by wearing our helmets. After all, it is our loved ones who will have to shoulder the burden of an addlepated former climber who was too vain to protect his brain.

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  30. heck… YES. Most of the time…. I know I need to wear it more. Like you, I don’t often wear them on easy, well known sport routes. But I should. And ALWAYS on ice.

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  31. Scott Grover

    Im not gonna lie, im one of those reckless people who don’t wear a helmet, but its not out of carelessness, its dependent on the fact that all of this climbing equipment is expensive! And I’ve got rent to pay. Im slowly saving up for a helmet (and by slowly, I mean slowlllllllllllyyyy.) My climbing partners wonder why, and my reply is redundancy. You wouldn’t set up a trad anchor off one nut, or a single cam. You want two or three backups to any anchor, that’s just safe. That’s redundancy. Now to protect your brain without a helmet, there’s no redundancy in that. But in the art of having a backup plan to your back up plan, if you have a helmet to protect your skull, which protects your brain. That’s about as redundant as you can get. Unless you want to wear two helmets, but good luck with that one :p

    Reply

  32. JK Branin

    I’ll admit to being pretty anal about helmet usage. I think some of this comes from some parts of my climbing background. I first learned to climb through employment with the BSA who mandates helmet usage, for both climbing and ropes courses (which I also do) and as I started to get into high angle activities on my own rec time, canyoneering was huge for me (still is). While canyoneers use some techniques (especially in anchor building), that most climbers wouldn’t touch, helmets are also a much more common part of the culture (I find the differences in the climbing and canyoneering culture pretty interesting, actually). These two things led to me just accepting that if I’m in a harness, I’m in a helmet, and for the most part this is true. I don’t wear a helmet for any gym climbing, and occasionally on the ropes course I’ll skip it (never when clients are around though). In canyoneering it goes on as soon as I’m in the canyon, whether I’m actually busy doing high angle or not. Pretty much if I’m outside, and in a harness, I’m in my helmet.

    On another note… I’ve seen helmets likely save lives, at least twice.

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  33. Han

    I love my lid.

    Barely used to wear it until a couple of years ago, then within a couple of weeks I got involved in a rescue of a fella who’d taken a long fall without a lid, and slammed my own head in a van door (accident).

    One minor brain bleed later, I can’t put the lid on quick enough!

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  34. Tom Sweeney

    Usually wear a helmet – not indoors and not for single pitch sport. Most important for mountaineering when you don’t know what will come down.

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  35. Adam Cunningham

    Up your odds wear your helmet.

    Reply

  36. Post up your brain bucket tales and win! (Maybe): Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!) | Cragmama http://t.co/9hjjOPIr

    Reply

  37. Anthony Weaver

    I have and always wear my helmet. If I lead a cave trip I require that everyone wears one or they get to stay topside. I whack my head regularly and thank my helmet every time. Brain-bucket or bust.

    Reply

  38. Ari Leach

    Heads hold our thinking machines, and also keep our naked shoulders from looking silly with nothing in between! Wear a helmet, if for no other reason than to make your shoulders feel a bit better about being so damn awkward.

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  39. Jeffrey Hsu

    Great Article. Admittedly I get a bit lazy at the crags I know well, but complacency usually is what causes the worst mistakes.

    Can’t be too careful. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply

  40. It’s petty much just been extra baggage for us for most of the time we’ve been married but recently we’ve been climbing in newly developed areas so we’ve been using them more.so I guess it depends on the area, how well we know it, and it’s definitely good to be good examples to our own “crag boy.”

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  41. George – I think you hit on a good point. A multi-sport helmet would be fantastic. JKB mentioned something about it on this comment thread, but I have never seen one. It would definitely be cheaper and more efficient on so many levels.
    Scott Grover – Good point about redundancy.
    Jeffrey Hsu – Also a good point about complacency – I will admit that reading through all of this comments makes me realize the areas that I may have gotten too complacent (ie belaying
    JK – Interesting note about the difference between canyoneering/climbing cultures – Being on the east coast, I have zero experience with canyoneering, but its always fascinated me.

    Reply

  42. I cracked a helmet in a mountain bike accident a couple years. Don’t think I’ll ever question not wearing one again.

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  43. Nevo

    I almost always wear a helmet when I lead – unless I have done the climb multiple times. I would love to have a helmet of my own to use when I take friends out for their first climbing experience!

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  44. Joe Mattox

    I climb trees for a living and a helmet is just a standard piece of equipment. I don’t think about if I want to wear it or not, it goes on right before my harness. I wear it for hours on end. To all those people that say helmets aren’t cool or comfortable, I say get a good helmet!!!!! Rocks are hard but so is tree bark.

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  45. Rio

    Hello, I am from Indonesia. We have terrific and various place to go to here when it comes to Climbing. Personally, I prefer wear those helmet not only when I was leading, but also when belaying for others (like those comments above). I had an experience several years ago when a leader above me start to hammered his piton to create an anchor. It turns out that the rock that he hammered were fragile and some of the falling rock were hitting us down below. It’s the worst experience I had in a safe position [I always thought that belaying is a safer post rather than leading ahead :D]. From that moment on, it is helmet on in every climbing activities.

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  46. Aaron T

    I think it should be an essential. When you climb you have a harness and rope (and other protection). The longer you climb the more likely you are going to have “that one time” when a rock has accelerated to terminal velocity only to be slowed by your head. After “that one time” are you going to climb again? Will you have a choice? Climbing injuries don’t just fall into the categories of “lived through it and will have a cool scar” and “dying”. Other categories? Being a vegetable might sound like a nice vacation for some, but you miss out on a lot of cool stuff life has to offer (like climbing again). Not being able to control the left side of you body sounds like a bummer. Not that a helmet guarantees perfect health after the mostly plastic collision* with your skull, but your chances of better health with than without are higher.
    *plastic collision, as in where the two objects don’t bounce off each other. Hey, engineers climb too. 😉
    -@

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  47. Jeremy C

    I definitely use my helmet just as much, if not more, than most of the other safety gear that I carry around, whether I’m leading on trad or sport, multi-pitch, belaying, mountaineering, ice climbing, etc. I’m not perfect, and there have definitely been climbs where I should have been wearing it, but I try to always wear it when it could save my life. I have a well-worn Petzl Ecrin Roc that just feels more solid and sturdy than many of the other helmets out there. I do remember a time back when I first started climbing that I couldn’t stand wearing the helmet especially while I was learning to lead. When you’re not used to having this extra 4 inches on top of your head, you end up bumping it on the rock all the time. It doesn’t hurt because you’re just hitting the helmet, but it’s still jarring. It wasn’t until I got comfortable wearing the helmet that I actually started to enjoy it. While I understand the desire to not have to buy, store or carry multiple helmets, I still think that there is a good reason for having a very specialized piece of gear that is meant to protect you. I mean, how many pairs of shoes do you have? Are you going to wear your rock shoes on that trail run, or your ski boots when you’re whitewater kayaking? I understand that there are possibly more similarities in head protection than the foot protection/gear I just mentioned, but my point is that sometimes its ok to have too many things that will save your life. Plus, I’m sure there ARE helmets out there that can be used for multiple sports. In fact, I was just perusing the Petzl site (thanks to the links for the giveaway), and I see that they’re marketing the Meteor III as a climbing/mountaineering helmet that meets the standards for cycling and whitewater sports. So your wish just might be coming true! 🙂

    Reply

  48. D P

    I always wear mine. Usually from the time we reach the crag till we leave. Even got mine in bright orange so the helicopters can easily spot me after I do something stupid.

    Reply

  49. Konstantins Romanovskis

    I suppose that one should always wear a safety helmet, because there is always some risk in mountains.Even when you go mountainbiking…and it is fine weather.

    Reply

  50. Jeremy Sanders

    I wear mine every time I’m on the rock and probably should as I belay.

    Reply

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN