Tying-in and Climbing Helmets
We are at the start of the rock-climbing season now, so here are a couple of tips about tying-in and climbing helmets that are really, really basic, but which could help you to have a long, successful climbing career rather than a short-lived one.
- Tying-in. Treat tying in with the respect that it is due – your life will depend on this knot. Don’t chit-chat while tying in, don’t distract someone else while they are tying-in and check your knot and your partner’s knot once tied.
- Helmets. Helmets have never been ‘cool’. It has taken decades for helmets to ‘catch on’ for mainstream recreational skiing. The same applies for mainstream cycling, although there is still much debate about how effective helmets are and whether they increase risk-taking because of creating a false sense of invincibility in some people. Climbing (arguably) is still lagging behind a bit. Back in the days of the original Joe Brown helmet, there were many good arguments not to wear one except in very particular circumstances (eg winter climbing and Alpine mountaineering). But with the latest lightweight helmets that are super-comfortable, there are becoming fewer and fewer circumstances when there is a strong argument for not wearing a helmet. Make your own risk-assessment based on what activity you are doing, and where, and carefully consider why you believe not wearing a helmet is the right choice for that occasion.