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What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from?
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bearbreeder


Jul 6, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Re: [Syd] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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if yr going to take repeated whippers on vertical-overhanging climbs i would not set up a ground redirect .... you want that dynamic belay or youll end up with smashed heels

ground redirect are a very specialized belay for when you need to RUN back to prevent your climber from decking

its not a good idea to depend on em to avoid rockfall ... as many trad routes and almost every sport route doesnt have the possibility to set em up

Tongue


Partner robdotcalm


Jul 6, 2013, 2:27 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Some in this thread have mentioned never wearing a helmet. Not safe advice. Wearing a helmet is situation dependent. While it痴 true modern helmets do not provide as much protection as we would like, neither does any of our climbing gear as compromises are made balancing safety against weight and bulk.

As I mentioned upstream, I do not wear helmets in tight squeeze chimneys and tight offwidths (check my icon photograph). Otherwise, I wear a helmet unless there is a specific reason not to (very rare). I always wear them on slabs. No matter how much experience one has as a slab climber, it痴 often difficult to control the fall so that tipping over and banging one痴 head has a significant chance of occurring during a fall on slab.

Rob.calm


anonymousCoward


Jul 6, 2013, 8:31 PM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Let me throw in my own first hand account of a helmet saving my life. I wear a skateboard style helmet that can protect against side impacts. Several years ago I took a long ass fall and got flipped upside down resulting in a severe impact to the back of my head. I was knocked out and suffered some serious head trauma, but I am quite sure that without the helmet I would have been killed.


lkeegan


Jul 6, 2013, 8:47 PM
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Re: [Syd] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
lkeegan wrote:
I climb in an area with a lot of lose rock. I have personally knocked a block the size of a cooler on my belayer (it hit her knees) ...

As Jim says, there are other ways to protect yourself. In an area such as you describe, if you are climbing single pitch routes, it would make a lot of sense to use an indirect belay, with a ground anchor some distance form the base of the route, safe from rock fall. A direct belay would increase the load on the belayer in a fall. Most commonly, belayers think that standing underneath the climber is a good thing to do, often with claims of dynamic belaying to help the climber in falls. Dynamic belaying is a myth IMHO. Testing here http://user.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/Simulation_of_Climbing_and_Rescue_Belays.pdf shows: "Only a small amount of belayer lifting is helpful (~20 cm). More lifting increases fall distance and does not decrease peak force. " Importantly, this is a passive movement rather than an active dynamic belay in response to a fall. It is impossible to time a dynamic belay sufficiently accurately, and to jump sufficiently high (rather than being pulled upwards), to have any useful effect. For this reason it makes sense, to belay away from the base of the cliff when possible.


I agree with being proactive, but my second example was someone who was starting up a popular climb with someone climbing another popular climb that finishes over top of the climb he was on (both traverse). And he got hit while climbing by another climber.

Also, theres only so much you can do to be proactive when we climb in a place where entire climbs just fall down (as recently happened in Whites Bluff)


JimTitt


Jul 7, 2013, 2:23 AM
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Re: [robdotcalm] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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robdotcalm wrote:
Some in this thread have mentioned never wearing a helmet. Not safe advice.

Rob.calm

Plenty of people chose not to wear a helmet but I canエt see anywhere in the thread that they are advising anyone else to follow their example. It is a personal choice.


iknowfear


Jul 7, 2013, 7:55 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
Some in this thread have mentioned never wearing a helmet. Not safe advice.

Rob.calm

Plenty of people chose not to wear a helmet but I canエt see anywhere in the thread that they are advising anyone else to follow their example. It is a personal choice.

helmets and Melons test by climbing on ukclimbing

cheers,
ps: not directed directly at jim...
[edited to correctly attribute source]


(This post was edited by iknowfear on Jul 7, 2013, 10:28 AM)


meanandugly


Jul 7, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJhngt_wS2Y
Sorry, never learned to make things clicky


(This post was edited by meanandugly on Jul 7, 2013, 10:33 AM)


Kartessa


Jul 7, 2013, 3:43 PM
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Re: [meanandugly] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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meanandugly wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJhngt_wS2Y
Sorry, never learned to make things clicky


(This post was edited by Kartessa on Jul 7, 2013, 3:43 PM)


meanandugly


Jul 7, 2013, 3:56 PM
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Re: [Kartessa] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Thanks


Partner robdotcalm


Jul 8, 2013, 9:35 AM
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Re: [meanandugly] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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meanandugly wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJhngt_wS2Y
Sorry, never learned to make things clicky

Here's how.
{url} your link {/url}

and replace { by [. Also there's the url icon at the bottom of posting box. Just click on that.

r.c


meanandugly


Jul 8, 2013, 9:50 AM
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Re: [robdotcalm] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Thanks


jorgegonzalez


Jul 8, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Re: [Kartessa] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Avid readers of this site will agree with me that amongst us are a lot of hard headed MFrs who really don't need a helmet, no amount of anecdotal evidence or studies will change their mind. They are vastly superior to us mere mortals. Get over it.


Partner robdotcalm


Jul 8, 2013, 2:10 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
Some in this thread have mentioned never wearing a helmet. Not safe advice.

Rob.calm

Plenty of people chose not to wear a helmet but I canエt see anywhere in the thread that they are advising anyone else to follow their example. It is a personal choice.

The example set by illustrious climbers influences the behavior of others.

Anyway, it's possible that wearing a helmet in itself influences behavior, i.e., climbers take more risks if wearing a helmet, which would negate the benefits. This was discussed at length in the thread

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=2144316

Rob.calm


curt


Jul 8, 2013, 3:21 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
walkonyourhands wrote:
UpToTheOzone wrote:
Falling rocks? A straight downwards impact to the top of the head if you are not looking up? I don't mean to be sarcastic, but if I'm leading, does wearing a helmet protect me from anything? I wear a BD something or other that is a thin plastic shell. Maybe there is some protection if I were to invert on a fall and hit the back of my head? Someone help me here. I'm just thinking that a side impact would not be protected in any way shape or form

UIAA 106:
http://www.theuiaa.org/...106_helmets_2009.pdf

EN 12492
http://www.satrappeguide.com/EN12492.php

Surely, Jim Titt is the man you're waiting for to reply to this thread but meanwhile you can check the requirements in these docs.

That said, I've always wondered when manufacturers start advertising potential advantages of foam helmets for fall protection.

Me? I worn a helmet once in the last 15 years. The protection they offer from impacts is so pathetic compared with the normal race helmets Iエm used to I canエt be bothered (and I donエt fall of much anyway) and the impact protection from falling objects doesnエt seem much related to the size of the rocks I play around on.

There are other ways to protect oneself such as donエt stand around chatting at the bottom of the cliff when bumblies are going off route, donエt follow incompetent parties on long routes, belay under nice overhangs and so on.

Wear a hat or not, Iエve no real opinion but one should have no illusions it will keep you alive when you ab off the end of the rope or when a fridge-block comes down the mountain.

I've offered very similar opinions in the past and agree with everything you have said here. If history is any judge, you'll probably catch quite a bit of flack from those who claim that anybody climbing without a helmet is an idiot, etc.

One additional thing. To my knowledge, no climbing helmet that is certified under EN 12492 alone is designed to protect a climber from hitting his head in a fall. EN 12492 tests helmets with a maximum falling mass of 5kg falling a distance of 1/2 meter.

Curt


jt512


Jul 8, 2013, 11:57 PM
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Re: [acorneau] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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acorneau wrote:


Ithought that picture was long lost. How did you find it?


meanandugly


Jul 9, 2013, 5:20 AM
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Re: [curt] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
walkonyourhands wrote:
UpToTheOzone wrote:
Falling rocks? A straight downwards impact to the top of the head if you are not looking up? I don't mean to be sarcastic, but if I'm leading, does wearing a helmet protect me from anything? I wear a BD something or other that is a thin plastic shell. Maybe there is some protection if I were to invert on a fall and hit the back of my head? Someone help me here. I'm just thinking that a side impact would not be protected in any way shape or form

UIAA 106:
http://www.theuiaa.org/...106_helmets_2009.pdf

EN 12492
http://www.satrappeguide.com/EN12492.php

Surely, Jim Titt is the man you're waiting for to reply to this thread but meanwhile you can check the requirements in these docs.

That said, I've always wondered when manufacturers start advertising potential advantages of foam helmets for fall protection.

Me? I worn a helmet once in the last 15 years. The protection they offer from impacts is so pathetic compared with the normal race helmets Iエm used to I canエt be bothered (and I donエt fall of much anyway) and the impact protection from falling objects doesnエt seem much related to the size of the rocks I play around on.

There are other ways to protect oneself such as donエt stand around chatting at the bottom of the cliff when bumblies are going off route, donエt follow incompetent parties on long routes, belay under nice overhangs and so on.

Wear a hat or not, Iエve no real opinion but one should have no illusions it will keep you alive when you ab off the end of the rope or when a fridge-block comes down the mountain.

I've offered very similar opinions in the past and agree with everything you have said here. If history is any judge, you'll probably catch quite a bit of flack from those who claim that anybody climbing without a helmet is an idiot, etc.

One additional thing. To my knowledge, no climbing helmet that is certified under EN 12492 alone is designed to protect a climber from hitting his head in a fall. EN 12492 tests helmets with a maximum falling mass of 5kg falling a distance of 1/2 meter.

Curt

I agree that most helmets only meet those sub-par standards, but they are a choice and you are not an idiot for not choosing to wear. I choose to wear one because of the experiences I have survived. And I choose to not climb with those who don't wear one because having an unconscious belayer, although interesting, is something I choose to try and avoid in the future (he was out of the line of fire and got hit by a random chunk of ice).
But, you are an idiot if you think they will save you from those impacts they were never designed to take and you are an idiot if you think its ok to be in the line of fire just because you have one on.


acorneau


Jul 9, 2013, 5:23 AM
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Re: [jt512] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Ithought that picture was long lost. How did you find it?


Google image search for "belayer magazine".

Cool


lkeegan


Jul 9, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Re: What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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This is what helmets can potentially protect you from:


In reply to:
的t was a fatal blow to the head, if he had more protection maybe we would not be here today to mourn him. After what happened, institutions should make helmets mandatory, at least for minors. Much like they have for the kids who practice skiing and snowboarding. "

http://gripped.com/...o-traversa-accident/


csproul


Jul 9, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Re: [lkeegan] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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lkeegan wrote:
This is what helmets can potentially protect you from:


In reply to:
的t was a fatal blow to the head, if he had more protection maybe we would not be here today to mourn him. After what happened, institutions should make helmets mandatory, at least for minors. Much like they have for the kids who practice skiing and snowboarding. "

http://gripped.com/...o-traversa-accident/
Sounds kind of like ignoring the much bigger problem to me. How about actually ensuring that your carabiner is clipped to the quickdraw and not to a piece of plastic. THAT would have prevented this accident. Seems to me that a helmet here is of secondary importance! Perhaps in the context of a minor climbing with an organization it might be a good idea to require helmets, but then again maybe they should be thinking about some bigger issues.


JimTitt


Jul 9, 2013, 11:51 AM
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Re: [lkeegan] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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lkeegan wrote:
This is what helmets can potentially protect you from:


In reply to:
的t was a fatal blow to the head, if he had more protection maybe we would not be here today to mourn him. After what happened, institutions should make helmets mandatory, at least for minors. Much like they have for the kids who practice skiing and snowboarding. "

http://gripped.com/...o-traversa-accident/

Thinking a helmet is going to help when you take a 25m groundfall is about as optimistic as thinking a rubber band is going to prevent the fall in the first place.


kf8mo


Jul 15, 2013, 8:26 PM
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Re: [rsmillbern] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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rsmillbern wrote:
... once a softball sized rock fell about 3 meters clipping me on the helmet (knock off by some kind of goat!)...

Out where my wife and I climb (Canadian Rockies), goats and mountain sheep are the #1 head hazard. We've been bombarded by rocks from overhead critters on several occasions. We wear helmets for the same reason construction workers wear hard hats: because small hard high-velocity objects fall on us.


Mhleitch


Jul 16, 2013, 6:57 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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There was an accident the other day where they said a helmet likely saved the climbers life. Even though he needed a rescue, it sounds like be will be alright.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2631053;forum_view=recent_posts;


Rudmin


Jul 18, 2013, 1:54 AM
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Re: [Kartessa] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
What you should be asking: "have you ever come away from a day of climbing, regretting that you wore a helmet?"

Certainly. They are hot and sweaty. It's the reason I almost always take mine off as soon as I feel like it's not necessary. They are also really annoying to fit into a pack. Sometime I really wish I had space for an extra sandwich in my bag.

I don't think anyone enjoys wearing a helmet. You wear it because at some point you decide that the hassle and discomfort is worth the extra protection. Or because you're partner won't climb with you without one.


(This post was edited by Rudmin on Jul 18, 2013, 1:57 AM)


Gmburns2000


Jul 18, 2013, 7:10 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
lkeegan wrote:
This is what helmets can potentially protect you from:


In reply to:
的t was a fatal blow to the head, if he had more protection maybe we would not be here today to mourn him. After what happened, institutions should make helmets mandatory, at least for minors. Much like they have for the kids who practice skiing and snowboarding. "

http://gripped.com/...o-traversa-accident/

Thinking a helmet is going to help when you take a 25m groundfall is about as optimistic as thinking a rubber band is going to prevent the fall in the first place.

You obviously know a heck of a lot more about this than I do, but I can't imagine a helmet hurts in this situation, and I can't imagine the impact of a person's head on the ground without a helmet is the same or even less than the same fall with a hard(ish) protective covering.

Does the helmet help absolutely 0%? Does it help 1%? For me, with a helmet, the person's head doesn't hit the ground directly until the helmet is crushed or breaks apart. The way that I understand it there's a buffer there. OK, I can imagine if the helmet causes a person's head to hit at an awkward angle, or if the plastic cuts into the skin. I can see that happening, but I can't see it having zero affect on the overall impact.

There was an accident a few years ago with a popular Boston climber where her partner dislodged a rock that knocked her unconscious. She was belaying with a grigri, so that probably saved her partner's life (because it locked as opposed a tube-style device that would have cratered him). I honestly can't remember if she was wearing a helmet or not. But if she was / were, would the helmet have lessened her injuries?

If the answer is no, then why aren't we seeing an outcry of why helmets are a complete and utter scam?

It's an honest question. I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I'm also not a statistician an academic researcher, so a lay man's answer is preferred. Thanks...

Greg


Rudmin


Jul 18, 2013, 6:11 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] What does a climbing helmet actually protect you from? [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
lkeegan wrote:
This is what helmets can potentially protect you from:


In reply to:
的t was a fatal blow to the head, if he had more protection maybe we would not be here today to mourn him. After what happened, institutions should make helmets mandatory, at least for minors. Much like they have for the kids who practice skiing and snowboarding. "

http://gripped.com/...o-traversa-accident/

Thinking a helmet is going to help when you take a 25m groundfall is about as optimistic as thinking a rubber band is going to prevent the fall in the first place.

You obviously know a heck of a lot more about this than I do, but I can't imagine a helmet hurts in this situation, and I can't imagine the impact of a person's head on the ground without a helmet is the same or even less than the same fall with a hard(ish) protective covering.

Does the helmet help absolutely 0%? Does it help 1%? For me, with a helmet, the person's head doesn't hit the ground directly until the helmet is crushed or breaks apart. The way that I understand it there's a buffer there. OK, I can imagine if the helmet causes a person's head to hit at an awkward angle, or if the plastic cuts into the skin. I can see that happening, but I can't see it having zero affect on the overall impact.

There was an accident a few years ago with a popular Boston climber where her partner dislodged a rock that knocked her unconscious. She was belaying with a grigri, so that probably saved her partner's life (because it locked as opposed a tube-style device that would have cratered him). I honestly can't remember if she was wearing a helmet or not. But if she was / were, would the helmet have lessened her injuries?

If the answer is no, then why aren't we seeing an outcry of why helmets are a complete and utter scam?

It's an honest question. I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I'm also not a statistician an academic researcher, so a lay man's answer is preferred. Thanks...

Greg

I think his point was that if you die of arterial bleeding, a collapsed lung and a caved in skull or you just die of bleeding, a collapsed lung and brain hemorrhaging, you are still dead.

Beyond a certain impact, even if a helmet provides some protection, it still has no effect on the outcome.

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