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piton


Apr 15, 2005, 7:42 AM
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hey 4 eyes
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just wanted to know if any bigwallers out there have contact lenses? I was thinking about switching from glasses to contact lenses. Have any of you use contact lenses on the wall? How was it to clean or dispose of lenses? are contacts more of a hassle on multiday climbs?

thanks


climberpunk


Apr 15, 2005, 7:47 AM
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just based on the amount of times ive gotten dust, dirt, or something else in my eye on long trad routes, contacts seem kinda like beggin for disaster. And your hands are going to be DIRTY. Well beyond my comfort level for poking myself in the eye- esp without running water for days(sans a rescue)

I wear glasses, have prescription sunglasses for sunny days, and just throw a strap on there if im worried. The sunglasses have the added bonus of offering pretty good protection from debris, etc. If you do switch to contacts though, post back and let us know how it went.


roambb1


Apr 15, 2005, 8:09 AM
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Contacts are a pain in the backcountry, but I personally prefer them over glasses. That is influenced by the fact that I cannot keep a pair of glasses, they always bend, fall off, or get in the way.
I have not climbed a big wall, my biggest is about 10 pitches, but I have worn contacts while mountaineering for over a month. We were on glaciers about 2/3rds of that time.
Some things to note, keep a very small mirror (like a make-up mirror) for help getting them in and out. When you take them out or put them on, make sure you wipe any grains off your fingers, carry some of that purell stuff if you can, and keep a clean rag handy. If you get a grain of sand on the lense, it will bother the hell out of your eye, and you will have to take it out and put it back in. The best trick for that is placing the lense between your thumb and index finger, and rubbing it back and forth while spraying it with solution. My eyes are not sensitive, so I wore my lenses for two days and nights at a time, thus cutting the number of times I took them out/in to half. It wasn't so bad, just take a few extra lenses and solution, and always clean your hands as best as possible before manipulating the lense for minimal in/outs. And, practice putting in/taking out lots before you are on a wall. It took me some time, and caused a lot of frustration at first.
All of that said, The benefits of clear vision without the obtrusiveness of glasses is worth it for me.
Good Luck
BB


yetanotherdave


Apr 15, 2005, 8:11 AM
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I got a pair of RecSpecs for doing wall routes and as backup for the contacts when camping. The dorky thick-framed wraparound glasses that squash players use...

I had a pair of glasses break on me halfway up a 10-pitch route once (weld failed) so I like these cuz they're thick, plastic, and near-indestructible.

Not the glasses you'd wear when you're trying to impress the ladies, tho :)

http://www.sporteyes.com/rsmaxx.htm


watchme


Apr 15, 2005, 8:25 AM
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On backpacking trips, big walls, etc, I use the "extended wear" contacts. I put a pair in, and leave them in for up to a week. I find that, even if it says on the box that I can leave them in longer, after a week my eyes start hurting.

I then use some eye drops to "clean" them in the morning and evening. I also wear sunglasses to protect my eyes as much as possible.

Another option I've found lately is the daily disposible contacts. I use those whitewater boating and on road trips.


scrapedape


Apr 15, 2005, 8:52 AM
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I'm not a wall climber but I did wear my contacts for a month of cycling through dry, dusty conditions in the Australian bush. My advice is not to bother trying to clean them, just soak them in multipurpose solution overnight. This way you don't need your hands clean - just the 2 fingers that are going to touch the lens. Avoid using baby wipes or any kind of towlette to clean your hands they can leave a chemical residue that burns like the clap. The biggest obstacle I've found to putting them in and out is a stiff breeze. Better than carrying a small mirror is learning to put them in and out without a mirror at all. But then, I've been wearing contacts for a lot of years, so that's easy for me to say.


piton


Apr 15, 2005, 9:07 AM
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cool the week long and disposal i'll look into thanks. anyone else have contacts?

:lol:
In reply to:
leave a chemical residue that burns like the clap
can't say i know what the burning feeling is like


brolloks


Apr 15, 2005, 9:24 AM
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I have not climbed any big walls, but have worn contacts for the last 10 years. They go everywhere with me - surfing, climbing, you name it.
Soft, disposable contacts are definitely the way to go. Disposables can be daily, weekly, monthly, and now even 2-monthly. In your case I would think that the less you have to stick your fingers in your eyes, the better (dirt, irritation). In your case weekly's might be the way to go, so that the lenses are good for one multi-day climbing trip.
Lenses are now available that supposedly can be worn for a few days without removing them at all at night - this is because the oxygen level has been raised, making it easier for your eyes to "breathe" (could be wrong about the way it works...). Note : these lenses are more expensive.

I can definitely recommend contacts in general. Just learn to insert or remove them without a mirror (not difficult), and you should be fine (just be sure to have a few of those extra pairs handy...).

Good luck.


tchamber


Apr 15, 2005, 9:57 AM
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In reply to:
I wear glasses, have prescription sunglasses for sunny days, and just throw a strap on... if im worried.

:shock: I knew you bigwallers were messed up...


changling


Apr 15, 2005, 10:02 AM
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In reply to:
They go everywhere with me - surfing, climbing, you name it.

I just want to ask you about the surfing part. I go swimming with my contact lenses but I always wear swim goggle when I go. What do you do when you go surfing? I've never gone surfing myself, but I've been wanting to try but my vision is too poor to do anything serious without glasses/contacts. Seems like the turbulence in the water would put you at high risk of losing your contact lenses.


jtoz


Apr 15, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Extended wear is the way to go. No need to clean or take them out. I'll second the advice of bringing eyes drops. Also don't forget an extra set on the wall. It's no big deal to have an extra stashed and it is a big deal if you can't see...for me anyway.


mtman


Apr 15, 2005, 10:57 AM
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my brother wears contacts and he has the ones that you leave in for a month day and night and he has never had a problem with them including climbing, biking, surfing and waterpolo/ swimming some times he forgets that he has them in and won't replace them for like 2 months


caughtinside


Apr 15, 2005, 11:15 AM
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I've got hard gas-permeable lenses. I've surfed in them, every day for 8 months in one stretch. 8^) I can open my eyes under water.

I don't aid/big wall climb. However, I've developed lots of sport routes on chossy choss with the contacts in, filthy work. When you get dirt in them, it hurts like a bitch. So I got some Smith sunglasses, with big, interchangeable lenses. They work great. The big lenses mean the frame doesn't obstruct vision, and I can change lenses depending on sun/shade, brightness of day, etc. Haven't gotten dirt in the eyes since.

Also, take care rinsing dirt off your face, I found out that dust/dirt that's been in your eyebrows all day gets in your eyes very easily when rinsing off.


brutusofwyde


Apr 16, 2005, 6:42 PM
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Gosh, a lot of people responding haven't ever done a big wall.

Thought I'd toss in a few cents from the other side.

I have struggled up a few big walls over the years, but I don't wear contacts. I wear glasses.

Climbing big walls your hands get filthy. Uh, forget that. your hands get FILTHY. Many big walls are also an environment where water is in short supply. And if you're on a nailing route, you should be wearing safety glasses anyway.

Glasses or contact lenses? if your contacts have to come out each night, forget it. If you can wear them upwards of a week or more, should be OK. If you can't survive if your glasses break, bring an extra pair. If you wear contacts, wear safety glasses anyways. If you're climbing in the Fisher Towers, get the best, most dust-proof eye shields you can find, even if you normally don't need glasses.

Hope this helps.
Hope this helps.

There goes that double vision thing again.

Brutus


Partner gunksgoer


Apr 16, 2005, 6:55 PM
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Although i havnt climbed any walls, ive climbed with contacts for several years. ive only had problems with them a couple times. these incidents revolved around chalk dust... not fun. ive only lost a lense once however, good thing i didnt hafta worry about route finding.

Id guess that your best bet would be to wear the type that let you leave them in for a week strait. that way youd probably be able to get away with wearing them for the whole wall, or just need to change them once. just keep some spares and check your eyes regularly and you should be set :righton:


noshoesnoshirt


Apr 16, 2005, 8:15 PM
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I've done a couple of walls with contacts that needed to be removed every night. It's not too bad. Sure, your hands get filthy, but that's what wet-wipes are for. Either buy a pack of kiddie butt-wipe towels when you're stocking up on groceries, or hit a Hooters for beer and wings on the road to the wall and swipe a couple of dozen disposable packets. They also work great for getting the blood and pus off of your cuticles, and keeping your nether region clean and minty fresh.


bringmedeath


Apr 16, 2005, 8:35 PM
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3 Eyes! Pullem down when you lead for sure!

http://www.rcnw.net/...llery_6_5_770619.jpg


crankingclimber


Apr 16, 2005, 8:37 PM
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Have always wondered this myself - my eyes in the past have not liked contacts, so I've never tried to climb a large amount with them. Who out there knows of super super breathable contacts which might not hurt my eyes so much? I'm kind of curious about this, because if I manage to gain enough strength in the next few months, a shot at Astroman might be within my realms of possibility, and from the sound of the Harding slot, glasses might not work in there - can anyone confirm this? Thanks in advance

Will


glockaroo


Apr 18, 2005, 8:29 AM
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I've worn contacts for all my climbs over the last 10 years. That includes 2 & 3-day walls. There is no blanket answer, but here's a few things I think are relevant based on my experience:

1. Forget contacts that must be removed & scrubbed each night. You can't get your hands clean enough. The cleanliness issue applies not only to plucking them out, but the scrubbing in your hand that must be done with lens solution.

2. Your eyes must be able to handle wearing the lenses for extended periods. I can wear mine for a week with no problems. The technology improves constantly so check w/ your optometrist if you haven't surveyed the market within the last 6 months.

3. Wear quality shades or safety glasses at all times to prevent getting particles in the eyes. This is true for everyone but especially so for lens wearers.

4. Rinse your eyes generously with your favorite contact solution each morning and night.

5. Take a pair of glasses along as a backup regardless of how well your contacts have performed on past climbs. With some clip-on sunglasses & duct tape your backup specs can be made into decent, though dorky, sunglasses.

6. Buy your contacts online to save piles of $$$. I have had great success with www.visiondirect.com for the last few years. I get my toric lenses there for about $32 a box. The cheapest price I can get locally is $68 a box.


njbourne


May 4, 2005, 7:04 AM
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Have you thought about laser eye surgery. I had it done two years ago and highly recommend it. Its a live changing experience.


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