Author Topic: Skid Lids  (Read 2496 times)

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Offline KevinW

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Skid Lids
« on: October 19, 2009, 03:03:45 pm »
I thought I would pose a few question here and hopefully get some good responses.

I rarely see climbers in the valley wearing helmets, and of those who do, it seems Aid Climbers are in the highest percentile.
This is of course according to my 100%, non-scientific study (looking at photos).

I decided against just creating a poll, because they're a tad simplistic, and there never seems to be enough options
with the right answer(s).  None of us really learn much from answers like: "Other"

Around here, to go without one, even while approaching or descending to or from the objective, is in many instances, not conducive to a long and fruitful career as a climber. Even on established and well traveled trade routes, the constant freeze/thaw cycle from fall-to-spring, always manages to resupply the ledges with a fresh layer of projectiles waiting to be dislodged by your partner, your rope, or even a sudden blast of wind or rain. While the reasons here for keeping your lid tightly fastened down are obvious, it still only takes that 1 single rock, or piece of gear from another party no matter where you climb. The same as your melon contacting the rock as the result of a fall, it only needs to happen once.

5 questions:

1) Do you wear a helmet while climbing, always, sometimes, or never?

2) If not always, why not?

3) If you use one, what brand/style do you prefer and why?

4) What's your biggest bitch (if any) about currently available helmets ?

5) Has a helmet ever saved you from possible significant injuries? Tell us your story!


Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 03:40:05 pm »

Offline xtrmecat

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 04:29:38 pm »
Yes, what Mungee said. Ammon is so badass, or maybe one to many to the noodle?  And I wear an older petzl pos with no frills. It has probably saved about a dozen or so stitches to butterflies. No real injuries prevented though. One day perhaps, just hope not today. I wear it every pitch.

  Bob

 

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 05:04:27 pm »
Wear one 97% of the time. 

Petzl ecrios?

Pretty beat up from hitting roofs and falling rock.

Last year in early spring, having fixed a couple ropes down from dinner ledge in a big storm, we went back to finish off Southern Man.

We fixed down where RE- animator starts.  Jugging at night, I was around that roof/chimney area to the left on the 2nd pitch of the REan.

A little dust then BAM!  One softball to the dome!  I swing under the roof and listen to the falling rock.  Swing back out and start juggin again, BAM! BAAAAM!  2 shots to the dome!  At this point I was pissed, the helmet held its own through the barrage.  Get to the anchor and notice an angry Hummock which was the culprit.  The rope ran behind a small tree to which the angry hummock was latched.  All it took was a little bouncing and the air mail was sent.  Needless to say I made it, If I had not had the helmet I would surely have been knocked out.

Helmet are mandatory for me with 3 concussions under my belt, Hockey is brutal.

I really want one of those OP composite helmets (dark green)?

Those look like some good skull caps.



Offline hoipolloi

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 05:24:40 pm »
I wear mine all the time when aiding, most of the time when free climbing, basically never when clipping bolts sport climbing (but yes on slab routes)

The Petzl one... Chalet? whatever its called, its orange.

No saves yet, but who knows..



I was disappointed when a friend told me just recently that most climbing helmets are not rated for side impact.  I didn't realize this, anyone know if its true?  Half the reason I wear my helmet is incase I flip upside down or swing to the side and whack my dome.  That scares me more than rockfall generally... although after this weekend...

Offline Caz

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 07:24:01 pm »
Yes, I wear mine ALL the time. I have the same one Ammon had ind the video. I use that one cause it comes down lower around the head for side impacts (which is what saved me). I was doing a trad route that was only 5.8 (coffin nail in Tahquitz) and I had just pulled over a roof and was chalking up and resting when my foot slipped and I went head over heels and took a upside down fall. It was slab under me and I bounced about 5 times with my head pounding into the rock the whole way down. It's a long pitch that wonders in the beginning and there was a ton of slack in the system so I fell about 25'. With all of the bouncing and sliding down the slab, my partner said the only reason he knew I had fallen was cause of the blood curdling scream that I had let out... He still laughs at me to this day , cause I sounded like a little girl...


Zac
I do this for fun...

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 07:29:02 pm »
seriously tho...

leading I wear mine almost 98% of the time these days. If it's piss easy, then probably not unless there are tards above.

any walls or any long routes with tards above yep.

took minor stuff less than size of a baseball to the helmet. no head save by the helmet.

skully

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 05:01:06 am »
I gotta get another helmet.......

Offline johnmac

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 12:12:08 pm »
5 questions:

1) Do you wear a helmet while climbing, always, sometimes, or never?

Yes, I almost always wear a helmet. Exceptions might be top roping something but that's about it. I'm amazsed people don't wear helmets.

2) If not always, why not?

NA

3) If you use one, what brand/style do you prefer and why?

Petzl Elios (blue)

4) What's your biggest bitch (if any) about currently available helmets ?

Lack of venitaltion. I wear a Skull cap which helps a lot.

5) Has a helmet ever saved you from possible significant injuries? Tell us your story!

Numerous times. I replaced a helmet not too long when I took a bad swinging fall and smashed head first into a diherald. The helmet was totlly destroyed, with a crack down the middle but I was fine. No damage done other than a really sore neck for a few days.

I alpine climbed for twenty years and the helmet saved my noggin many times with falling ice and rock.

 
 
 

Offline fareastclimber

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 10:24:41 am »
1) Do you wear a helmet while climbing, always, sometimes, or never? Always

2) If not always, why not?

3) If you use one, what brand/style do you prefer and why? Petzl Elios - I own an Ecrin for caving, but rarely use this for climbing as I find it a bit weighty.

4) What's your biggest bitch (if any) about currently available helmets ? None actually, I'm not a terribly discerning user of helmets as I view it as something that sits on my head. If I don't notice it but it saves my life, it's doing its job.

5) Has a helmet ever saved you from possible significant injuries? Tell us your story! Umm, a fair few direct hits on the head from loose shit (including large vegetation), but nothing to serious climbing. Once caving I had a grapefruit sized rock come off from 30 meters above me, straight freefall, it hit a slab on the corner of the shaft which redirected it out straight towards me horizontally, 10ft or so away... I dropped my head, tucked in to my shoulders and the thing skimmed hard on  the bottom front side of my helmet. Would've made me a right ugly bastards or cracked my head open like a canteloupe, for sure.

Offline scottydo

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2009, 11:35:11 pm »
5 questions:

1) Do you wear a helmet while climbing, always, sometimes, or never?
--- I normally only wear a helmet when i'm doing multi-pitch climbs. (so that would be sometimes)
2) If not always, why not?
--- Don't wear it on short sport or single pitch trad stuff mostly cause it's more comfortable and I'm not worried about someone knocking a rock onto me from above.
3) If you use one, what brand/style do you prefer and why?
--- I bought the first one that fit my giant melon!
4) What's your biggest bitch (if any) about currently available helmets ?
--- Don't really have any complaints as long as it keeps the hard/sharp objects away from the nogin.
5) Has a helmet ever saved you from possible significant injuries? Tell us your story!
--- I've been lucky enough to not have a story yet. Hopefully I never do. ;)

[/quote]

Offline KevinW

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2009, 12:12:56 pm »


I was disappointed when a friend told me just recently that most climbing helmets are not rated for side impact.  I didn't realize this, anyone know if its true?  Half the reason I wear my helmet is incase I flip upside down or swing to the side and whack my dome.  That scares me more than rockfall generally... although after this weekend...



Right on, thanks for the responses guys! The helmet topic has always stirred my interest. The more it gets discussed, the more I realize that most people are unaware of the fact that the helmet they wear, is not even rated for the protection they thought they were getting when they purchased it. I am absolutely *NOT* an expert in the area, but have discovered some interesting and concerning tidbits of information over the years that you may be interested in.

There are very few helmets I know of that carry any side or rear impact rating of value. ISO defines these areas into separate planes, tests and certifies accordingly. You'll be hard pressed to find a climbing helmet with enough coverage in these areas to even be considered for such a rating.




I doubt the helmet debate in the sport of climbing will ever reach a useful conclusion, but I'm glad to see you guys are at least using them. What really surprises me is that the majority of helmeted climbers, have no idea that the one they use is not even rated for impact protection. You can only make a helmet so small, light and sexy looking before there is very little left to actually protect the wearer.
Many of the top selling popular helmets are in fact only rated for "deflection" and carry no "impact" rating whatsoever. Even more surprising, is that many of the ones that are labeled as "impact", are only design to receive a single blow.  Most of the foam constructed helmets have a single impact rating, as the impact is absorbed through through the helmets partial destruction, even though the damage may not be visible and appear superficial, if one of these helmets suffers an impact, the product notes state that the helmet should no longer be considered safe, and must either be returned to the manufacturer for inspection to be destroyed and/or replaced.

I see new climbers asking for advice on which helmet to purchase and whether on a climbing forum or in a retail gear store, the advice usually comes in the form of, "I own this one and love it". I have yet to hear anyone asked what they plan on using it for first. I asked one sales clerk why he was recommending a certain helmet, his answer was, "well.. this is what everyone seems to be buying". When the truth in fact is, that it was light, cheap, and readily available, yet IMO is probably the poorest excuse for a climbing helmet available on the market. Even this sales clerk who claimed that the manufacturer gave them "extensive product knowledge and training".. while pointing out the nifty air vents and headlamp attachment points, had absolutely no idea that the helmet was not even rated for a single impact, and had just barely squeaked under the certification radar with a "deflection" rating.

As far as I'm concerned, helmets have gone in the opposite direction of their intended function, offering the wearer, less and less protection as they de-volved over the years through the use of newer "high-tech* materials. While the old helmets may have have their drawbacks, usually in terms of weight, they were designed and intended for multiple *impacts* and offered ample front, rear, and side coverage to protect a user from more then *falling objects* alone. If you look at the style of old helmets like the Joe Brown, you well see how much more protection there was on the sides and back then generally found in what is available today.


I discussed the helmet issue at a trade show one year with an engineering subcontractor who was doing destructive testing for a government funded workplace safety initiative. Although the majority of testing pertained to construction-type hard hats, he had tested a limited number of climbing helmets intended for use in confined spaces, etc. He told me the biggest problem was the standards used to define the rating system was too broad, giving manufactures too much latitude to qualify their product into a given category, and often just barely.

I asked what his recommendation would be. He artfully avoided any brand names but did say that
he personally would not wear a helmet to protect himself from falling objects, that did not have a full internal suspension system with adequate space between the top of your head and the top of the helmet to absorb a sizable impact without the shell every making contact with your head. He added that, a strip of foam glued inside of a helmet, that in turn sits directly your head, should be avoided, as the energy absorbing properties are so minimal, that you chance suffering serious injury from even a small falling object.

Just some things you may want to consider when looking at lids.

skully

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 07:09:30 pm »
Right on, Kevin. I'm actually helmet shopping, so your post is pretty informative.
Some of the lids out there are sketch! I need a good one.
I have a history. If I CAN whack my head, chances are good...........;-)
Thanks!

Offline hammock-soloer

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Re: Skid Lids
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 09:19:05 pm »
Cool video 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 04:51:39 pm by hammok-soloer »