Helmet or no Helmet


Original Post
donald perry · · New Jersey · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 339

After top roping for a long time and starting to get back into some serous leading again with long run-outs I have come to the conclusion that I should be wearing a helmet not just on big walls and ice but all the time. In the past I have learned the hard way that you need to find problems before they turn into accidents. My big reason for this now is that the other day my foot kept getting stuck under the rope falling off this overhang and flipping me over on my back, as well as when the pro is to the right or left under a roof on a different climb I got spin off into a corner after landing on the rope.

Maybe I would not have this problem if I was not wearing a puffy down jacket and could see where I was going. In the past like everyone else, I assumed you did not need a helmet unless you were concerned about falling rocks. I think a helmet is unnecessary if most of the climb has your pro over your head, but you could drop something on your second so maybe he or she should have one on. Before they were too heavy to bother with. At any rate I think it is a good idea to at the least have the helmet in the gear bag with you in case there is any concerns, and try and wear it when ever possible.

You guys who do not wear these things, what do you think of this idea?

no helmet

BigNobody · · all over, mostly Utah · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0

Calling Benji!!!! Or is it Jay?

Meh, it's personal preference.I really don't wear one if I am cragging. Longer choss routes, I try and remember it.

As far as "getting flipped over", and winging over roofs on falls....if you're prone to this, I'd wear one if I were you.

Eric Laursen · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 10

I wear mine most of the time; not while top-roping a familiar route under my ability, with no chance of falling rock. You only have to care for someone recovering from severe head trauma once to know the risk isn't worth the vanity (or "freedom").

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 20

Those rocks are always lusting for your brain blood: they are so thirsty: wear your helmet.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

This subject and argument has been discussed, ad nauseum, many times before (as it will here).

Here is a previous discussion:

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/helmets/112136424__1

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615

My helmet is so light and breathable that I wear it almost always - the only exception is closely bolted sport climbing or top roping.

Steven James · · Portland, Maine · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 100

Sometimes it is so hard to tell if someone is trolling.

Donald, I really think you should invest in yourself and hire a guide. Your foot should simply not be in a position where you are getting flipped over during falls.

Proper foot placement to prevent this can be found in any position while leading. If you are unable to figure this out, seriously, do yourself a favor and pay someone to help you learn.

beach · · Portland, ME · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 44
Steven James wrote:Sometimes it is so hard to tell if someone is trolling.
+1
Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 15

Steven james. i take it you are perfect and never make a mistake......

Tony Monbetsu · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 535

I personally started wearing one after three incidents in a week of hitting my head while climbing. Not falling, just looking at my feet while standing up, like an idiot. Not worth not wearing one, for me.

Steven James · · Portland, Maine · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 100

Nick,

....... Mistakes have been made.

But, this thread is not about my mistakes. It is about Donald's mistakes. And Donald should learn how to properly place his feet in relation to the rope while climbing so he does not get flipped over when he falls on lead.

I have been climbing for very close to ten years at this point and have never taken a fall where I ended up inverted and hitting my back against the wall, let alone, multiple times in a row.

With that being said, it still took me nine years and no inverted falls or head impacts to start wearing my helmet all the time when I am climbing outside. I put it on when I arrive at the crag, I take it off when I leave. (The only exception is bouldering.)

Though my first response wasn't directly answering the original post,I would if I were so inclined change it to say something like, "If my footwork were that which lead me to repeatedly take inverted back smashing falls into the wall, I would wear a helmet all the time."

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165
Steven James wrote:Nick, ....... Mistakes have been made. But, this thread is not about my mistakes. It is about Donald's mistakes. And Donald should learn how to properly place his feet in relation to the rope while climbing so he does not get flipped over when he falls on lead. I have been climbing for very close to ten years at this point and have never taken a fall where I ended up inverted and hitting my back against the wall, let alone, multiple times in a row. With that being said, it still took me nine years and no inverted falls or head impacts to start wearing my helmet all the time when I am climbing outside. I put it on when I arrive at the crag, I take it off when I leave. (The only exception is bouldering.) Though my first response wasn't directly answering the original post,I would if I were so inclined change it to say something like, "If my footwork were that which lead me to repeatedly take inverted back smashing falls into the wall, I would wear a helmet all the time."
I always find it funny that people say they wear a helmet except while bouldering. While bouldering you are more likely to fall on your back yet if you were to miss the pad you are going to hit your head yet people feel you don't need one????
Steven James · · Portland, Maine · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 100

Viper,

I do not wear my helmet while bouldering but, I do feel it would be wise to do so. It just isn't cool enough yet for me to hop on the bandwagon. Also, I feel like no one has really started the helmeted bouldering bandwagon yet, and I certainly am not cool enough, smart enough, or trend settery enough to start doing it myself.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Wear a helmet.

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110
Steven James wrote:Viper, I do not wear my helmet while bouldering but, I do feel it would be wise to do so. It just isn't cool enough yet for me to hop on the bandwagon. Also, I feel like no one has really started the helmeted bouldering bandwagon yet, and I certainly am not cool enough, smart enough, or trend settery enough to start doing it myself.
I wear a helmet while bouldering (but I'm terrible at bouldering), mainly because I find myself bouldering alone and I'll try harder if I have a helmet on..

I really like my brain.
losbill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 115
Nathan Self wrote:Those rocks are always lusting for your brain blood: they are so thirsty
Nathan gets the coveted Shakespeare Award with special Macbeth Category mention thus far for this thread. All praise literature majors!
donald perry · · New Jersey · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 339
Steven James wrote:Sometimes it is so hard to tell if someone is trolling. Donald, I really think you should invest in yourself and hire a guide. Your foot should simply not be in a position where you are getting flipped over during falls. Proper foot placement to prevent this can be found in any position while leading. If you are unable to figure this out, seriously, do yourself a favor and pay someone to help you learn.
The second climb I mentioned above has a longer fall and the pro is off to the right, your coming in on an angle, then your going to potentially spin out to the right and ram your head into a sharp corner of a block and spit your head open like a watermelon. But, smart guy that I am, I stuck my hand out and saved the day.

I do not think it is possible to fall at one part of the next climb without getting flipped. The pro is under the roof and you are coming in fast. Your legs are going out ... okay. If not then you crack your knee caps in two. Now the rope is under there comping up at a 45 degree angle to pro on a sling, so you are getting cloths lined now like it or not. You're not going to miss it, it is in the way. After that you are getting flipped onto your back ... so wrap your hands around your head and make yourself a meat helmet. After I did that dumb ass move a few times I gave up and went back home for the helmet.

If you would like to come and show me how to do it, I will take video so you can teach the people how to climb. Maybe we could learn a thing or two. I am only learning so far that I am too stupid for this long fall from over the overhang exercise without running into trouble, so I put on helmet. Can't do it on the first or second or third or forth try, too hard. This is from not actually falling but letting go and trying to avoid it. If I actually fell unexpectedly it would only be worse.

I am taking this seriously and after thinking about it and considering I think I made a mistake. Too hard, I win a helmet on my head. I got one for you too if you change your mind. : )
Owen Witesman · · Springville, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 53

You lose nothing by wearing a helmet and you gain a lot in terms of safety. How is this a hard decision?

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165
Owen Witesman wrote:You lose nothing by wearing a helmet and you gain a lot in terms of safety. How is this a hard decision?
Climbing with one on is uncomfortable for me, I climb for fun, if I wear a helmet it is no longer fun... So I don't wear one and deal with the risk.

Your right it is an easy choice but not everyone has the same outcome as you.
Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 15

Donald Based on your profile it looks like you might have about $3,000 invested in gear. I don't see this as a questionable purchase. A good helmet is about $50, A super nice light weight helmet is about $100. Its a no brainer to me.

I can 100% confirm a helmet has saved my life on two separate incidents while participating in other sports; I used to race downhill mountain bikes, road bike and triathlon. First crash: a car got impatient and tried to speed around me to make a right hand turn, they didn't realize I was riding about 23-25mph when they turned in front of me I couldn't stop intime, i hit the front fender and flew over the car, and woke up in an ambulance. The second crash: I had too much speed in a rocky section of the mountain bike trail and lost control. I went over the bars and went head first into a boulder, I woke up in the ambulance again. The Drs said without a doubt the helmet saved my life both times.

I love my family and my dog, my dog would never forgive me if I couldn't feed her on time every day due to injury. And for that reason alone I wear my helmet.

Owen Witesman · · Springville, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 53
ViperScale wrote: Climbing with one on is uncomfortable for me, I climb for fun, if I wear a helmet it is no longer fun... So I don't wear one and deal with the risk. Your right it is an easy choice but not everyone has the same outcome as you.
Are we still talking about climbing? LOL. This seems awfully melodramatic. If strapping on a modern brain bucket that weighs next to nothing sucks all the fun out of climbing, maybe you don't actually enjoy it very much. Do you only do sport climbs where you can belay from the car and don't have to pull very hard, because approaches and exertion can definitely be uncomfortable?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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