I’ve been trying to come up with some new ideas for the blog, to keep things fresh and interesting, but sadly have yet to have any real inspiration. As such I’ve had a little think about the blog entries I’ve made that have proven the most popular and useful (ok admittedly I have no real way of knowing which have been most popular, my only means of measuring this is by looking at the number of comments I’ve been receiving. Anyway…), and in my mind, certainly amongst the portion of my readership composed of climbers, the gear reviews, experiments, advice and general witterings seem to have been most popular. Hence, I am beginning a little mini-series, on simple pieces of equipment I have an irrational attachment to.
So here goes, part one of Lauren’s, ‘gear we like’ column.
Ok I really had to start with this one didn’t I? I mean, this is one incredibly simple piece of gear that may actually have saved my life on occasion (read back over my little rant for a re-cap of one little story).
Now, I’m not going to be specific about which model of helmet I like better than another (although the particular model to which I am hugely grateful was a Petzl Meteor III that sadly now lives on the shelf of horrors, waiting for me to decide whether or not to send it back to Lyon for them to consider its dent!). To be honest, pretty much any helmet designed for climbing will be brilliant at protecting your noggin. (For the record, I am now the proud owner of a very swanky black Grivel Salamander, sorry Petzl, but none of your hard plastic shelled helmets fit my head properly!!)
I should probably mention that the falling ice incident isn’t the only brush I’ve had with head injury, and as such I am probably more inclined to be what some might consider to be ‘overly paranoid’ about helmet wearing. See, my poor skull still hasn’t completely recovered from my alpine incident, leading me to now believe that perhaps the rock did indeed produce a minor hairline fracture…ho hum!
Ok so helmets in winter really are a no-brainer (err, excuse the rather inverted pun there…err…). Falling ice, snow and occasionally gear are all part and parcel of the winter experience, so really you’d have to be pretty silly not to wear a helmet! Summer (aka simple rock climbing – be it in Summer/Autumn/Spring or even Winter on occasion) climbing is a different matter – whether or not you choose to wear a helmet whilst bolt clipping in Kalymnos or climbing easy grit routes in the Peak District or Yorkshire is a matter of personal choice. I’m not going to get into the whole helmet debate on here as a) it is insanely tedious, and even though I’m a bit anal about helmets there are still times when I choose not to wear one, and b) if you really want to get into the helmet discussion, the best place to go is UKC where it has been done to death, multiple times.
So there we have it, gear we like: the humble climbing hard hat!"