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Brainbucket or no brainbucket?
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By wankel7
From Indiana
Nov 19, 2010

I used to only wear it leading sport. Now I wear it all the time including belaying.

I was lead belaying in AR when I thought I heard a rock break. I look up to see it about 15 feet above me. I slide to the right and lock off. The rock crashes down on my rope bag about two feet away from me.

It looked like my bag got hit with a shotgun. It actually melted the nylon in places.

Turns out he was reaching above his head and pulled a hold off. It bounced off his leg first then kept falling. If it wasn't for the rock hitting his leg first I wouldn't have had time to move.

I had just led the climb minutes before him. It was an area that is well climbed. Magoo Rock at HCR.

After that happening...I wear a helmet at all times now.

Rock fall at HCR.
Rock fall at HCR.


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By Matt Marino
From Georgetown, MA
Nov 19, 2010
Haul Bag

Mostly I do multi-pitch trad so I'm used to wearing a helmet all day. I used to only wear one when I was leading but now I wear it anytime I climb or belay. One of the few times I wasn't wearing a helmet I decked and as a result I have a permanent dent in my left cheekbone. I understand why people don't wear one for sport or TR but even if you aren't at risk for rockfall you can always get hit by a rope or piece of falling gear.


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By Tim D Danley
From silt, co
Nov 22, 2010
Roman Headwall <br />

Every time I climb.


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By kubes
From Littleton, CO
Nov 22, 2010
One of the most amazing sport climbs ever. Caveman (5.11d) on Thaiwand Wall, Tonsai, Thailand. The move above where I am is the crux, but stays pretty sustained the rest of the way. Awesome exposure and excellent moves the whole way.

I used to only wear a helmet for trad climbing, and not often for sport climbing. Now, however, I ALWAYS wear it climbing (except bouldering of course). I figure it's an incredibly easy way to prevent one of the worst and most devestating types of injuries. I have seen big chunks of rock pulled off and dropped at places where you wouldn't really think to worry about that (Shelf Road and the Red River Gorge). It's taken some effort to make myself wear it sport climbing, but now I'm used to it and its no big deal.


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By chuck claude
From Flagstaff, Az
Nov 22, 2010
First climb after knee surgery <br />

Craig Martin wrote:
Off topic is right....and a dick thing to say. But since you asked..... 2 climbers(1 belaying, 1 leading) start up a single pitch route that starts on a ledge 30' above the ground. At the top of the pitch the leader gets lowered back to the ledge and the follower goes up and cleans the route. At the top of the route the follower decides to move up about 30' to a tree anchor that will give them access to a new line that they want to try and toprope. He sets the anchor and gets lowered all the way to the ground skipping the ledge that they started off of. Now the second climber starts toproping the pitch from the ledge. When he reaches the anchor he askes to get lowered. While lowering he skips the starting ledge and wants to be lowered to the ground. This is where shit goes wrong and they run out of rope with out the belayer noticing.


And you make my point again.


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By James Arnold
From Chattanooga
Nov 22, 2010
Chew toyed

This is where shit goes wrong and they run out of rope with out the belayer noticing.

whoa...Watch those rope ends; a helmet won't save you in all cases of rope mismanagement...not trying to be cute or dickish, just an observation.

Dan Michaels accident (eons ago, it feels like now) always has been a severe reminder of a belayer "not noticing". I don't climb with the local cat who has twice lowered people off the ends, even though he's a superb climber....


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By Tim Pegg
Nov 22, 2010
Me on Hallett Peak's 2nd Buttress.

I got into the habit of always wearing a helmet at the crag when some rock came down near me at a sport crag. Of course, my helmet was in my pack at the time.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Nov 22, 2010

I wish I was wearing my helmet (the Grovel) on my ankle a week ago at the base of Lotta Balls Wall when a party above (and well to the side) knocked off a rock which subsequently landed right between my partner and I. It exploded and the shrapnel got him in the back, me in the wrist and ankle (Lotta Blood). The ankle is still quite sore and I'm concerned that there may have been moderately serious damage to a tendon.

We actually weren't wearing our helmets at all because we had just arrived not 10 minutes earlier. You can be sure that changed in a hurry...

Helmets
Helmets


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Nov 22, 2010

You know, despite my earlier statement about not wearing a helmet sport climbing, I did manage to get beaned in the head while TRing someone at the Apes Wall in Malibu Creek. A rock about the size of a small paper weight tagged me right on top of the head.

The guy I was belaying said he didn't pull anything off (and I believe him), so it was likely a climber or even a hiker who knocked or kicked something off the top. It hurt like a mother. No concussion though it bleed like a mother. Other folks there said like it looked like I had just gone through some ritual bloodletting ceremony.

In other words, even though I wasn't at fault, I still got tagged. That's worth remembering. That's the same reason I always wear a helmet on my road bike. I'm not concerned about falling. I'm worried about that knucklehead driver behind texting or changing the CDs.


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By sunder
From Alsip, Il
Nov 22, 2010
ICE PIT 2011

Well my partner would probably be dead if he didn't wear a helment when he dislodged a 4 foot block. He still end up with 6 staples in his head.

I agree that helmets suck to wear but they have save my ass a couple of times.


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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 22, 2010
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage

I look like a complete tool in a helmet. I have a big round face and the helmet just makes it worse. That being said, I wear one more or less all the time. I think I forgot to grab it once on TR, but it was non-intentional.

Also, FWIW, I have been hit by rock while belaying, bonked my head in a chimney, and had an abrupt encounter with a few overhangs, so maybe it's right that greater safety equipment encourages recklessness...

Nah, I'm just wicked clumsy.


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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 22, 2010
Andrew Gram

I always wear one climbing. Didn't use to, but after spending a lot of time climbing loose rock in the desert it got to be such a habit that i feel weird without one. I also always wear one biking and skiing, and I usually do while rowing my raft in whitewater.


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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 23, 2010
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage

Evan S wrote:
I even wear one when I'm out bouldering alone. In general, a fall twice your height or over 12 feet (whichever comes first) is considered to be potentially deadly.


I actually know someone that, very sadly, slipped backward off a wet curb and died from the impact only falling from their own height. I recognize this example cuts both ways. You could argue that you should always wear one because even the smallest mistake can be lethal, but you can also argue that we don't wear helmets to cross the street just because of this one unfortunate accident.

Like I said, I try to always wear mine, but I will admit that I have forgot my helmet and still climbed. Like everything in climbing, you have to apply the reasonableness standard that takes into account more variables than you could ever post in a message. Just stay in your self-defined limits.


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By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
Administrator
From Alabama
Nov 23, 2010
Knife Crack

I think it's smart to wear a helmet. I wear mine!! Besides, my poor brain can't take too many more hits. Partly from being a teenager during the 70's.......!


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By Jimmy Farrell
From Lexington, KY
Nov 23, 2010
On the summit of North Dome

I wear my helmet because it makes me look cool. I don't really care what y'all do...


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