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General => General Climbing => Topic started by: DLottmann on July 11, 2013, 09:46:48 pm

Title: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: DLottmann on July 11, 2013, 09:46:48 pm
Poll and discussion to follow. What do you think?

IMO helmets are the norm now for road biking, mountain biking, alpine skiing, ice climbing, and for the most part trad climbing.

I feel sport climbers, young & old, do not have a healthy “helmet culture” and lives are lost because of it.

Modern helmets are light enough and comfortable enough to not really inhibit your 5.12 climbing right?

While I think adults have a right to choose (love living in NH for that reason; see seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws), I don’t think it is responsible for a parent to allow a child to rock climb outdoors without setting the standard that helmets should be worn...

OK, chime in!
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on July 11, 2013, 10:11:26 pm
Helmet for climbing is a no brainer. Popped off of a 10+ layback a few weeks ago and took a decent backwards almost upside down swing. didn't hit anything but if I had the back of my head would have been a prime target......
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: danf on July 11, 2013, 10:32:39 pm
We won't let the kids climb without a helmet on.  They all have their own helmets and carry them to the route themselves.  No if's, and's or but's about it.  All of us wear a helmet when climbing and will wear it at the base of a climb if deemed necessary (potential loose rock, etc.).  There really isn't any reason to NOT have the kids wear a helmet when climbing.  There's times I think they should wear it around the house in general, it might make keeping the first aid kit stocked a little easier!
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: krankonthis on July 11, 2013, 11:50:57 pm
you cant vote never
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: M_Sprague on July 12, 2013, 12:44:53 am
Yeah, it is an awkward poll, so I would have to say none of the above.

For starters "minors" covers a lot of range. Younger kids - certainly, if just for the reasons that their heads are softer, they're top heavy and usually have less experience. Older teenagers - I would probably encourage them to wear them more then I do, but I would stress general safety protocols and being aware rather than forcing them to wear one  even on overhanging, well bolted  sport routes.

Obviously while getting whacked in the head, wearing a helmet is safer, but I think they also can engender a false sense of safety. When I was a kid nobody ever wore a helmet while biking except some roadbikers and racers. We also wouldn't think of doing flips and spins 20 feet in the air. Now they all wear helmets and just up the craziness.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: SA on July 12, 2013, 06:19:26 am
If my grandson's took up climbing, I would assume that they would wear helmets, since my son always wears his.

I never did, except for alpine routes, which involved ice and loose rock.

Since I just started wearing one last year, and realize the new models are light and comfy, I see no reason not to strongly encourage young climbers to wear them.

 I have had numerous close calls over the years, and realize now, that I was negligent in this regard.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: eyebolter on July 12, 2013, 07:04:35 am
I need to get a helmet for Ella for the base of the cliff.  Funny how many people wear one to lead but then take it off when back on the ground, where you are most likely to get nailed by a falling rock, gear etc.. 
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on July 12, 2013, 07:23:22 am
one of the many idiotic helmet trends is the selective wearing of the helmet. carry it to the crag and then take it on and off throughout the day as though you are predicting when you will have the accident. Either wear it or don't wear it but this whole BS about selectivly wearing the helmet is really amuseing :-[
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: WharfRat on July 12, 2013, 08:21:29 am
Do as i say not as I do. Wait I mean keep your laws off my body. Live free or die. Ah shit I am confused maybe we should just wear helmets.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: Admin Al on July 12, 2013, 08:46:51 am
my wife and I always wear a helmet, we always fasten our seatbelts and our son does the same! it's just what we all do... there is no discussion about it, and IMNSHO there shouldn't be.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: markvnh on July 12, 2013, 09:02:49 am
I guess my first reaction to the question is - well, kinda nebulous. I think the age of when anyone younger than 18 (that whole adult thing) should where a helmet is a decision best left to the climbing circumstance and that climbers individual age - and adult supervision. I'd say a 12 year old climbing outside should always wear a helmet. Do they really understand the risk of climbing probably having learned in a gym? I'd say a 16 year old probably has a better understanding of the risk and can make their own choice.

OK, reading what I just wrote - I guess really doesn't make sense. Everyone should where a helmet - especially kids - though it all comes down to personal choice.

As for me - all through my 20's and early 30's I only wore a helmet when ice or alpine climbing. After a rock climbing accident where someone almost lost their life getting hit with rockfall at the base of Poke-o my helmet is almost always on as soon as I get to the base of a cliff (yeah, I forget to immediately put it on at times) - and usually doesn't come off until I'm actually walking away for the day.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: pappy on July 12, 2013, 09:14:21 am
If my grandson's took up climbing, I would assume that they would wear helmets, since my son always wears his.

I never did, except for alpine routes, which involved ice and loose rock.

Since I just started wearing one last year, and realize the new models are light and comfy, I see no reason not to strongly encourage young climbers to wear them.

 I have had numerous close calls over the years, and realize now, that I was negligent in this regard.

I'm old school and almost never wore my helmet on rock (it was a Joe Brown head pot BITD, after all), but that didn't really change even after I grudgingly bought a new light bucket. A couple of years ago I went out to Oscar early season with Trad Chick, and she shamed me into wearing it while I led that bolted 5.9 you first hit when you get to the crag. It isn't quite a North Carolina bolt job, but close. Anyway, a crimper I was pulling on blew (note to self: In a place that sees real winters, not Southern winters, all holds should be a little suspect right out of the box in the spring, even on granite trade routes. Back to our programming...) and down I went, caught my feet on a sloper, went over backwards, and snapped the back of my head against the rock. It was about a 20 footer, and even with the helmet popped a hole in my scalp for an impressive, but in the scheme of things trivial, amount of blood. Without the helmet there would have no shit been brains everywhere. I wear my helmet now, all the time. I may be stubborn, but I am educable, eventually. (I voted for kids wearing helmets all the time, even in the gym. Bonus: maybe it will slow the punks down, a little, as they race past my feeble efforts towards 5.ridiculous.)
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: rbirk on July 12, 2013, 12:42:40 pm
I am surprised no one in climbing magazines, movies etc is wearing a helmet. It sets a bad precedence and role model and kids take after that. In other sports like biking, skiing and what not they all wear helmets. I just don't get it. Not sure if there is anything we can do about that?
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: frik on July 12, 2013, 04:19:52 pm
Huge loads of $$ in biking and skiing. Sponsors probably want mom & dad to feel comfortable allowing their kids to partake. Climbing.... notso much. I'm sure "setting a bad example" is the last thing on the minds of people who produce/publish climbing movies & magazines. Anyhow climbing has always been in the "not a good example" sphere.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: Admin Al on July 12, 2013, 05:49:22 pm
it has always bothered me that the climbing mags all show folks without helmets. not just a bad example IMO...stupid.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: SA on July 12, 2013, 06:09:51 pm
Funny, but I haven't seen our superstar Alex H. wearing one, while soloing.

Sorry, just trying to inject humor.

 Seriously, Alex's adventures have been flashed onto the public stage, and wearing a helmet
may not look as "cool" to the young teen, just getting into the sport.

Again, I might add there are loads of really good, experienced climbers around,  who choose not to wear a helmet,
on local crags.

Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: rbirk on July 12, 2013, 06:19:47 pm
I remember when most people were not wearing helmet biking and skiing. Nowadays it's the other way around and you look stupid not wearing one.. well kind of :) We just need to change the same for climbing. I get that in the competitions which are all indoor in the gym, may not be as needed, but any outdoor climber knows that it doesn't require much for something to fall on you (or you on something).
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: slink on July 12, 2013, 06:51:52 pm
http://www.climbing.com/video/climbing-magazines-unscientific-helmet-test/
 Climbing magazine just did a whole article on helmet use along with this funny video. I wear a helmet 99% of the time when I am out. Shit happens sometimes I knocked a fist size rock off with the rope  today and almost hit my partner.  I had a partner take an upside down fall ( 1995) and massive concussion and have worn it since who cares what I look like it is better than a coma.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: ELM on July 12, 2013, 07:10:45 pm
   I never climb without a helmet; I would never have any of my kids climbing without a helmet.  I've enough crap bounce off it to know that it's saved me from a few sutures.
   I also never cycle without a helmet. I've broken two in-half from wipeouts...I would hate to imagine what would have gone down if I hadn't been wearing them.
   I've met a lot of people eating from tubes and I seem to be having more fun than them. I'm sticking with the helmet.
   
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: DLottmann on July 12, 2013, 08:56:51 pm
you cant vote never

You can now... guess I didn’t realize someone might vote that way.

Good discussion so far, and the vote is open for 30 days but so far it is pretty one-sided.

I agree about the selectivity issue. As a guide we model putting helmets on during the approach, and leaving them on until away from the cliff. Sure, liability is an obvious issue when guiding, but even in my personal climbing if I don’t wear my helmet on the approach it is packed at the top of my bag and is the very first thing I put on the second I drop pack to gear up. I’ve had size-able near misses at the base of Bombardment, Fun House, Recompense, and the entire Thin Air Face from Saigons to Standard. A dead tree tried to kill be below the North End as well.

As Markvnh said maybe a 16 year old can decide for themselves, I remember climbing Lakeview at Cannon 3 times one summer at 16 years old, never with a helmet... I didn’t know any better.

As for mags, it would be nice to see more super stars rocking lids’, but I’ve never thought mags were the best place to go to learn about climbing safely. Even “Tech Tips” often describe questionable practices. We learn safety from our peers, those with more experience, and guides/instructors. That goes for any high risk sport, not just climbing...
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: strandman on July 13, 2013, 02:39:27 pm
Minors, up to say maybe 16 ?? i don't know ,i don't have kids

personally i have never worn a helmet andprolly never will, same with mtn biking
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: eyebolter on July 13, 2013, 04:43:45 pm
I used a helmet for several years when I started in high school, the Joe Brown that was popular then.  It really screwed with my proprioception so I've never used one since.   Any suggestion for the model a non-helmet wearer might tolerate?  My daughter is going to be wearing one so I guess i need to set a good example.

I don't wear one for mountain biking either Strandman, but my mountain biking is pretty pedestrian and I never fall.   Can't say the same about climbing.

Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: DLottmann on July 13, 2013, 07:20:41 pm
I used a helmet for several years when I started in high school, the Joe Brown that was popular then.  It really screwed with my proprioception so I've never used one since.   Any suggestion for the model a non-helmet wearer might tolerate?

I had to google “proprioception”... what a word. I really don’t think any modern helmets can effect your “personal perception”... if it is light weight and ventilated you get used to it really quick. I wore a Petzl Elios for the last 10 years and just switched to the new Sirocco.

Sirocco is not the most attractive helmet out there, but I don’t really care how I look. It is light as a feather and I easily forget it is on. It also offers some of the best protection out there, so I am definitely a fan.

My recent review of the Sirocco: http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/petzl-sirocco-helmet-review/
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: eyebolter on July 13, 2013, 07:32:04 pm
Thanks Dman.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: sneoh on July 13, 2013, 07:47:12 pm
I need to get a new helmet for next season.  The Sirocco is a consideration but the price and color are significant factors.  I just want a white helmet!  I am wondering how well EPP will hold up to wear compared to whatever the shell of the Meteor is made of.
Even for a lightweight like me, the Meteor does nothing to make me "feel heavy".  What I had for dinner and breakfast before a day of climbing probably affect me more than the weight of a helmet.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: DLottmann on July 13, 2013, 08:13:52 pm
I am wondering how well EPP will hold up to wear compared to whatever the shell of the Meteor is made of...

I’ll be happy to update but mine is holding up really well. I think the nature of the material is such that even when it starts to show some wear it will offer plenty of protection. And I did get a UV answer despite not updating my blog yet. The UV-degradation tests where same as Elios/Meteor so not an issue... no answer to my Deet question, except that question doesn’t come up enough in Europe for them to really test for it... so, probably no issue... I still take my helmet off if I need to “deet up”... only a couple times a year I bust out the deet so I’m not concerned...
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: krankonthis on July 14, 2013, 07:41:01 pm
al your cover shot is with jay climbing without a helmet. irony?
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: rbirk on July 14, 2013, 10:44:43 pm
Looked at all my local guide books and only the new Vermont and Secret of the Notch have cover shots of climbers with helmets. All others including the new North Conway and Rumney guide books are of climbers without helmets.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: rbirk on July 14, 2013, 10:46:28 pm
Al, can we paste a helmet on Jay on your cover shot?  8)

(now, how do I get a helmet on those smileys?...)
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: sneoh on July 14, 2013, 11:05:06 pm
Iker Pou on some route harder than .14a and wearing a helmet.  He and his brother Eneko are bad asses.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: lucky luke on July 15, 2013, 12:42:09 am
Looked at all my local guide books and only the new Vermont and Secret of the Notch have cover shots of climbers with helmets. All others including the new North Conway and Rumney guide books are of climbers without helmets.

I think that minors can make the difference between a cover shot and a danger.

The obligation to wear a helmet is, at my knowledge, stupid. There is no obligation when you know that some of my friends had a cerebral commotion because they felt without helmet, that a carabiner can slip of the hand of a climber high above in the cliff, etc. Young are not stupid, they don't want to be hurt...if they are teach correctly that danger exist and they have to take protection for themselves, in other term that it is not just a campaign to have more client or to bother the kids, they will, by themselves, be more secure.

I don't think that wearing a helmet will bring someone to be more intelligent if he is not able to be safe. In my opinion, parent must like that there child learn to see the danger and how to avoid it...more than to know that they have the obligation to wear an helmet.
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: JBro on July 15, 2013, 07:52:18 am
(http://i603.photobucket.com/albums/tt112/MrWookie47/reverse-1338313384_russian_guy_danc.gif)
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: Admin Al on July 15, 2013, 04:15:31 pm
al your cover shot is with jay climbing without a helmet. irony?

Good point.... Only picture of him on the climb, and it's HARD!
Title: Re: Should minors wear helmets rock climbing?
Post by: krankonthis on July 15, 2013, 06:41:13 pm
good point