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Great article on helmet use
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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Aug 14, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

I've worn a helmet every time I climb ever since I saw my first beer bottle come flying down from above at my local crag..

I've since had this policy validated by having my helmet probably literally save my life a few times, since... but 90% of my climbing is alpine.

If I cragged at a place where the rock was super solid and there were no chances of anyone being above me, I'd probably start to slip... but here in the PNW, there's no such thing.


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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Aug 14, 2013

Greg D wrote:
Wrong

Show me...none of the climbing helmets I'm aware of are certified for taking a fall onto (besides multi-use helmets that are designed for falling in other activities), only for shit falling on the helmet.
Ben Beckerich wrote:
I've since had this policy validated by having my helmet probably literally save my life a few times, since... but 90% of my climbing is alpine.

Which is few times too many. Maybe you should also be a little more aware of shit falling down, because next time it might be a block big enough to split your helmet in half.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Aug 14, 2013

D.Buffum wrote:
I'd like to see your "documentation" that cars pass helmeted cyclists closer than unhelmeted cyclists.


You clearly give a shit.

First, I suggest you read up on the Peltzman Effect

Then read THIS

And in Australia helmets didn't change much but more bikes on the road meant drivers paid better attention.


It's arguable for sure. You can read up and make your own decisions. Don't make any for me, thanks.


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By Greg D
From Here
Aug 14, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

reboot wrote:
Show me...none of the climbing helmets I'm aware of are certified for taking a fall onto (besides multi-use helmets that are designed for falling in other activities), only for shit falling on the helmet. Which is few times too many. Maybe you should also be a little more aware of shit falling down, because next time it might be a block big enough to split your helmet in half.


Many years ago climbing helmets were designed primarily to withstand impacts from falling objects similar to construction hard hats. Today, many helmets are deigned for this as well as side impacts as a result of a fall. You'll have to do your own research though.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Aug 14, 2013

I only wore them on multipitch for a long time. The last couple of years, I pretty much always have one on if leading. I'm used to it now, but do wish there were more/better fit options. Currently use a Meteor III, good not great.

I've had two separate instances where I got flipped, neither time by the rope. Once I broke a chip when pulling sort of out on it and my foot stayed on as I went into a backwards swan dive. Hit the wall head/backfirst upside down. Back hit first, but my head whipped in right after it. Helmet took the impact and it wasn't even a good coverage helmet, this was in the Ecrin roc days.

Other time was a longish slab fall where I just caught a foot on something, a bump or edge who knows. Same deal, back hit first, head right after. I was lucky that both were on multipitch routes because that was in the time when I never cragged in one.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Aug 14, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

reboot wrote:
Show me...none of the climbing helmets I'm aware of are certified for taking a fall onto (besides multi-use helmets that are designed for falling in other activities), only for shit falling on the helmet. Which is few times too many. Maybe you should also be a little more aware of shit falling down, because next time it might be a block big enough to split your helmet in half.


You haven't spent much time in the alpine, have you? You can pay attention all day and still take pieces to the head/face/shoulder/knee/thigh/etc. But most of the time, you KNOW it's coming, and throw yourself against the rock/snow/ice and take it in the helmet deliberately, because taking it anywhere else would mean debilitating injury and/or death.

But one of those probably-saved-my-life incidents was a fall... I cracked my helmet against the rock hard. Without even considering a fractured skull, the helmet absolutely saved me from a nasty head-wound.


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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Aug 14, 2013

Greg D wrote:
Today, many helmets are deigned for this as well as side impacts as a result of a fall. You'll have to do your own research though.

And I'm saying they look shittier than my bike helmet (and practically a toy compared to the equestrian helmet) for taking a fall: not only do the climbing helmets (using my Petzl Meteor 3+ as example) have less side & back coverage, the foam is also thinner in those areas. In absence of tests that proves otherwise, I tend to believe they aren't as effective, savvy?


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By JesseT
From Portland, OR
Aug 14, 2013
25' drop...wheeeeee!

D.Buffum wrote:
Apples and oranges. Kids are wearing helmets on trikes not for safety, but to teach them good habits and desensitize them to the idea so that when they get that first big-kid bike, they'll be willing to wear a helmet. I'd like to see your "documentation" that cars pass helmeted cyclists closer than unhelmeted cyclists. But as far as what you do at the crag? I couldn't give a shit.


Kids also have really soft skulls.

reboot wrote:
And I'm saying they look shittier than my bike helmet (and practically a toy compared to the equestrian helmet) for taking a fall: not only do the climbing helmets (using my Petzl Meteor 3+ as example) have less side & back coverage, the foam is also thinner in those areas. In absence of tests that proves otherwise, I tend to believe they aren't as effective, savvy?


The Meteor 3+ is certified (by the EU) for cycling and whitewater in addition to climbing. As I understand it, the "+" doesn't indicate a design change over the Meteor 3, it just signifies that they paid for the "+" iteration to be tested for the additional certs. I don't know if it's "as effective" as your bike helmet, but it meets the same minimum requirements.


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By Couloirman
From Providence, RI
Aug 14, 2013
speedriding vail pass

Most helmets just protect against skull fracture, not concussions. The new helmets using MIPS actually do protect against concussions. Here is a good article about it. You should read it.

www.bicycling.com/senseless/


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By Greg D
From Here
Aug 14, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

reboot wrote:
And I'm saying they look shittier than my bike helmet (and practically a toy compared to the equestrian helmet) for taking a fall: not only do the climbing helmets (using my Petzl Meteor 3+ as example) have less side & back coverage, the foam is also thinner in those areas. In absence of tests that proves otherwise, I tend to believe they aren't as effective, savvy?


Hmm. Your opinion is based on looks? Many things are lighter and stronger today.

If your argument is that you don't wear one because they may not be effective, that is a very weak argument. In that case you could just wear a motorcycle helmet.

I hope you don't have to participate in a rescue of a helmet less climber. It is very messy. It is no fun. Also, my partner got flipped during a lead fall. He cracked his helmet. He walked away with a bloody elbow and a headache.

Savy?


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By Buff Johnson
Aug 15, 2013
smiley face

Think about all the organ recipients that are denied by helmet use!

What about all the hospice nurses and physical therapists denied employment because they will no longer be able to feed you through a tube or exercise your slobbering wheelchair ridden ass because you wore a helmet??

There should be a govt mandate soon to make this helmet abuse fair to everyone!


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By Vaughne
Aug 15, 2013

bearbreeder wrote:
so i assume you wear a helmet bouldering ... and leading indoors ... and you use a gri gri or other assisted locking device all the time ;)

I do not participate in such foolishness. That is for the peasants. But seriously I see your point. Everyone draws the line somewhere.


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By D.Buffum
Aug 15, 2013
Orgasm Direct, Devil's Lake, 5.11a  c. 2008

nicelegs wrote:
You clearly give a shit. First, I suggest you read up on the Peltzman Effect Then read THIS And in Australia helmets didn't change much but more bikes on the road meant drivers paid better attention. It's arguable for sure. You can read up and make your own decisions. Don't make any for me, thanks.


Nope, I really don't care whether you wear a helmet at the crag. Me, I'm going to wear a helmet. When you crack your skull open, I'll still help you out, and I won't even complain (publicly, at least).

That's interesting stuff you've posted. As you noted, it's pretty inconclusive. I'm still skeptical that helmets cause drivers to give less space to cyclists, though I have no doubt that in come cases, cyclists take more risks when they feel protected. I'll do a committing crux move if I have good pro that I'd balk at and perhaps back away from if I'm run out or if my pro is sketch. Same thing. But the reactions of others to my safety precautions? Not sold.


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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Aug 15, 2013

Greg D wrote:
Hmm. Your opinion is based on looks? Many things are lighter and stronger today.

It's an educated guess, instead of blinding believing that helmets marketed for climbing must be better at fall protection (even though no such standard or data exist). Petzl Meteor is made out of the same material as a bike helmet (in an industry that has much more R&D dollars), yet in the critical regions for fall protection is thinner and covers less than your standard bike helmet. Draw your own conclusions.
Greg D wrote:
If your argument is that you don't wear one because they may not be effective, that is a very weak argument.

No, my argument is simply if you are going to promote helmet use primarily for fall protection (as the articles/blogs linked by the OP), you should damn make sure helmets are somewhat effective.
Greg D wrote:
I hope you don't have to participate in a rescue of a helmet less climber. It is very messy. It is no fun. Also, my partner got flipped during a lead fall. He cracked his helmet. He walked away with a bloody elbow and a headache.

Well, in one of the few accidents I was in the vicinity of when it happened, a guy decked soloing 40 ft up & survived. He wasn't wearing a helmet. Another guy decked from the same spot leading 2 weeks prior wearing a helmet & later died. You probably know which ones I'm talking about. We can play this anecdotal evidences all day long.

Personally, I feel all this helmet talk distracts from learning how to fall while minimizing the chance of head impact. I don't know how many times I've seen people fall inside or outside where it looks like the climber was about to get snapped in half when the rope comes tight. You can still end up falling upside down doing everything right, but if your instinct isn't to tuck your head, then wearing a helmet isn't necessarily going to prevent head injury.


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By Buff Johnson
Aug 15, 2013
smiley face

That's the spirit, don't deny your opportunity to become another of the slobbering wheelchaired invalids -- they are legion!


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By William Domhart
From Ventucky, CA
Aug 15, 2013
Traverse by HWY 41 Cave

You know what this all sounds like? Seatbelts! Plenty of people on both sides of the fence about whether seatbelts are safe or not.

On a nerd note, it would be really interesting to rig up a dummy with instrumentation and do some testing of impact forces transmitted to the skull. Back and side of the head for lead fall impact. Top and back of the brain bucket for rock fall. Anyone interested in the Ventura/LA area?


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By Greg D
From Here
Aug 15, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

reboot wrote:
It's an educated guess, instead of blinding believing that helmets marketed for climbing must be better at fall protection (even though no such standard or data exist). Petzl Meteor is made out of the same material as a bike helmet (in an industry that has much more R&D dollars), yet in the critical regions for fall protection is thinner and covers less than your standard bike helmet. Draw your own conclusions. No, my argument is simply if you are going to promote helmet use primarily for fall protection (as the articles/blogs linked by the OP), you should damn make sure helmets are somewhat effective. Well, in one of the few accidents I was in the vicinity of when it happened, a guy decked soloing 40 ft up & survived. He wasn't wearing a helmet. Another guy decked from the same spot leading 2 weeks prior wearing a helmet & later died. You probably know which ones I'm talking about. We can play this anecdotal evidences all day long. Personally, I feel all this helmet talk distracts from learning how to fall while minimizing the chance of head impact. I don't know how many times I've seen people fall inside or outside where it looks like the climber was about to get snapped in half when the rope comes tight. You can still end up falling upside down doing everything right, but if your instinct isn't to tuck your head, then wearing a helmet isn't necessarily going to prevent head injury.


Comparing the soloist to the roped climber is a very poor example. The soloist was still in very bad shape nearly two years later according to a Climbing magazine article.

Go without a helmet if you choose. A good bonk on your head may do you some good.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Aug 15, 2013

So a helmet should be mandatory, just like health insurance should be mandatory? Is that correct Greg?


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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Aug 15, 2013

Greg D wrote:
A good bonk on your head may do you some good.

Doubt it. But it seems like you've bonked yours too many times already.


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By Greg D
From Here
Aug 15, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

nicelegs wrote:
So a helmet should be mandatory, just like health insurance should be mandatory? Is that correct Greg?


Definitely not. I strongly believe in the Individual right to choose.

I just hope I'm not around to see the inside of someone's brains If they choose to not wear a helmet and end Up getting their head smashed open. I have seen the inside of someone's leg. Fortunately I didn't see the inside of his brains because he was wearing a helmet when his head hit the Rock on the ground hard.


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By Tom-o Sapien
Aug 15, 2013
Conky and I confront Patrick Swayze

William Domhart wrote:
On a nerd note, it would be really interesting to rig up a dummy with instrumentation and do some testing of impact forces transmitted to the skull. Back and side of the head for lead fall impact. Top and back of the brain bucket for rock fall.


You're definitely onto something here William.
I'm envisioning one of those rubber kickboxing dummies with some shockwatch indicators stuck around the skull under various helmets.
Then get yourself a Louisville slugger and "swing away Merle!" (-M Night Shamalan style)
It would be interesting to see the results.
20kN?


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