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blacksamba


Mar 28, 2002, 4:11 PM
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Just wondering what people think of helmets on easy walls.

I prefer the red bandanna/pirate look, it's way stylie and makes you look hard,

but on a recent zion trade route my partner and I were speed climbing and my partner had to share a belay with a party (who were bailing) who dressed us down for not taking proper precautions.

I was leading so I didnt get to tell them it was none of their f*%#ing business

I think helmets are important when appropriate but I don't see the point of always wearing one, and for yelling at people for not doing so (especially at a belay)

so....

ben


beyond_gravity


Mar 28, 2002, 4:41 PM
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most climbs here in the Canadain Rockies are full of scree at the top, idiots walking, or stupid tourists allways throw rocks over or knock em over! I allways wear my helmet if theres a trail, or walk of trail above me.


I am Dr. Jumar I allways wear my helemet if I can get hit in thy head.
_______________________
Jug with Jumars Jeremy


passthepitonspete


Mar 28, 2002, 5:03 PM
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In order to qualify as a wall doctor, you must first actually climb some walls. Having a real live wall patient or two cannot help but enhance your credibility.

At any rate, unless you are free climbing your wall, your wall is on solid rock, and there is nobody else above you, then maybe - MAYBE - I would consider climbing it helmetless.

If your wall involves any aid whatsoever, then you will be standing in aiders and testing your gear placements. Sooner or later, if you leave your helmet behind, you are guaranteed to put a huge cut in your forehead when the piece you are standing on suddenly blows and whacks you.

Add to this the extra risks you take when speed climbing - how you run it out more, test your gear less - you are really stacking the odds against you by leaving behind your brain bucket.

For these reasons alone, I believe you are frickin' nuts to be on a wall without your helmet!

You probably feel the same way too, Ben, or you wouldn't have posed this question, eh? Your "guilty conscience" is self-evident in your post!

Were I meeting you on the wall, I would have pointed out the same thing as the other climbers did, however I have found that a gentle rebuke tends to work better than a full-on hammer blow.

[I myself was on the receiving end of a gentle rebuke this very day, and thank my friend for her honesty]

I highly recommend you wear a helmet while on the wall. Unless of course you do not value your brains, in which case you won't listen to anything anyone tells you anyway!

[But I think you will at least think about it next time, or you wouldn't have asked. And like welcome to the website, eh?]

I am Dr. Piton,

and I am a reformed helmetless wall climber.



robscate


Mar 28, 2002, 5:10 PM
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Personaly, I always give my helmet to my belayer, (they always seem to forget theirs). The idea being that If I drop something (which I do occasionally..) or a missle flies from the top of the cliff they can still lower me off.




blacksamba


Mar 28, 2002, 5:44 PM
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I was refering to walls graded a2 and below. specifically prodigal son in Zion, the amount of direct aid is so negligable that it hardly qualifies as a wall.

I have had many confrontations with tourists on top of angels landing who have been trundling everything from trees to whiney children

but...

I still cant use that to justify wearing a helmet... rock fail from that height would do damage period,

but the light and fast rule holds more weight here, we were climbing fast with no testing and no placement harder then c1. there no parties except the bailing one (which is another forum topic).

The route lies under a trail but has a considerable buffer from the trail to the rim.

my guilt lies in the fact that if i had been doing the wall in tradition wall style and been exposing myself in one position for abnormally long periods of time a helmet would have been warrented.

I dont think the thrashing my partner received (it was pretty vile) was appropriate and I feel that the fact that we we were topping by the time offending party got off the wall across the river and to the bus stop makes my point.

anyway i am rather bitter about the experience

oh and thank god BD started making helmets that dont look like retarded salad bowls (Petzl Helmet=SEXY my A$$)

ben the guilty one

[ This Message was edited by: blacksamba on 2002-03-28 17:47 ]


apollodorus


Mar 28, 2002, 7:00 PM
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The most important thing is to be stylie, with the pirate bandana, the pirate earring, and the ratty past-the-knees pirate pants. Arrr-Matey. Pass the grog, ya scurvy bastard.

But, once that is taken care of, a helmet is a good idea. My question: is a fiberglass construction hard hat with a nylon web suspension any different from a similar climbing helmet?


krustyklimber


Mar 28, 2002, 11:11 PM
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I agree nothing adds to the stylin' pirate look like a two inch scar on your forehead

All I have ever done are "easy walls" and I'm glad my head doesn't look like my Joe Brown helmet (which has more than paid for itself by now).

Jeff


addiroids


Mar 29, 2002, 1:47 PM
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"The amount of direct aid is so negligible..."

Well sh!t, from the ground to pitch 5 (bailed from there on that 1' ledge) I didn't make one move where at least one foot wasn't in the aiders. Maybe that's why we didn't set any speed records.

TRADitionally slow as frozen snot,

Cali Dirtbag


crackaddict


Mar 29, 2002, 2:14 PM
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Its your own opinion I think. Just like bikers chose. The consequence could be severe. I always wear one on aid and especially on popular free climbs. Just besause the aid placement is straight forward dose'nt mean something is'nt gonna some hurling down on you. I was climbing on Little John at the base of El Cap when a football sized rock came whizzing by at mach 1. Most popular piece of rock in America. You would think all the routes would be totaly cleaned off by now. Wrong! The helmet protects you from whats above you not just in front of you.
Thats all I have to say at this time.


wigglestick


Apr 1, 2002, 11:32 AM
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Blacksamba-
I just did Prodigal Sun in a day last wednesday (3/27/02).

You would be an idiot not to wear a helmet on that route or any route in Zion for that matter. Every route has crappy, loose scramble pitches at the top and parties above you dislodge all kinds of stuff on you.

For example I was belaying my partner on the 5th or 6th pitch (I can't remember) of prodigal and heard a loud whizzing sound from above. I looked up in time to see a rock about the size of my computer monitor coming at me from 500 feet above. It smashed into the ledge I was on about 3 feet away and chopped my haul line that was stacked there. The rock then disintegrated into a million pieces making a pretty impressive mushroom cloud. If it had been a few feet to the left or I had been reaching into the haulbag for some snacks I could be dead right now. The helmet may or may not have helped but I like to do my gambling in vegas.

Besides when you get a traumatic head injury because you were not wearing your helmet who has to risk their asses to get you down safely? Thats right the guys who were telling you to wear a helmet.


indigo_nite


Apr 1, 2002, 1:01 PM
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blacksamba, i get the impression you really did not appreciate the way the climbers on prodigal son criticized you about being helmetless more than the fact that they did it.

point understood. tangentially, once i was doing a late dusk rapel and a guy chastized me for not weighting my rappel system while still anchored. he was a friend of a friend, and said with a smile, "if i knew you better, i'd give you s--- for not testing your rappel." it was kind of funny, not irritating, but he made a point (and i remember it).
here are a couple ideas for how Not to chastise climbers who are strangers:
1. "hey idiot, where's your helmet?"
2. "that helmet makes your head look fat"

-fun and safe climbing...


atg200


Apr 1, 2002, 1:26 PM
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Personally, I think you are nuts for not wearing a helmet on any trade route. Too much crap falls from the sky, and on top of that Zion ain't granite. I'd probably point it out to you if I was there, but I certainly wouldn't yell at you(unless your splattered brains landed on me).


mikedano


Apr 1, 2002, 1:41 PM
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Yeah I pretty much always wear a helmet. I figure why not? Even if the chance of getting hit is ultra ultra remote, why take it? Wearing a helmet can't hurt.
Plus, I seem to hit my head a lot on the rock anyway fiddling with gear, and helmets make that hurt much less.
And: I'm always worried about falling on lead and the rope getting caught around my legs and whipping me upside down and me hitting the back of my head. Sure it's a long shot, but climbing is all about risk reduction.
One way to make wearing a helmet cool is to draw a diagram of your brain on the thing "so the doctors know what's been damaged." (Heard at the crag last weekend) Funny.


laplaya


Apr 1, 2002, 2:30 PM
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PasThePitonsPete...I agree that if you are placing gear, eventually one will pop out and hit you in the head. I had this happen the on the first placement of a route, I was hanging on to the rock and didnt fall, bet the cam came out and hi me in the face...not much a helmet can do for that one. While I also am fond of Pirate style, I usually try to climb with a helmet when I am on trad, and encourage the belayer to do the same.

LaPlaya the ghetto helmet wearing Pirate


robscate


Apr 1, 2002, 2:38 PM
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as a mountain biker I have a rather large collection of biking helmets with crash holes in them. I dont want to find out what rock fall will do to an unprotected head.


boneware


Apr 1, 2002, 3:45 PM
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My take is if you have got a helmet why not where wear it, if you don't have one and have ever thought maybe you should have one, why not get one. If nothing else it protects the brain from frying in the sun (esp in the desert SW).
I don't think i would tell anyone i ran into on a climb to put one on except for my belayer perhaps, but as has been mentioned before why not where one and stack the odds a little more in your favor.


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