Logo Jim Frankenfield
jim@mountain-guiding.com; 1-877-604-0166

Mountain Guiding; Mountain Safety
An Experienced Professional

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Guiding Newsletter

"Safety Soapbox" Archive - July 1997



Wear them! A few recent readings and observations prompt this comment.

On rec.climbing there was a note by someone whose group had started out with helmets for a day of casual rock climbing. After a while they became complacent, especially around the belay at the base of the rock. While climbing, one of them knocked a large rock down towards the belay area. They were lucky - but among his conclusions were that it is smart to wear a helmet anytime (even for casual rock climbing on 'sound' rock) and that it is best to keep the helmet on at the base of a climb as well as while you are on the rock. A trip to Smith Rock this spring could have been very similar. I was climbing (with helmet) up above a popular area with many people below me (without helmets). At least one section of rock sounded pretty hollow. Had it broken off, well ...

I could go on with other examples, but I think this makes the point. There was an article on using helmets in the last AMGA guiding bulletin. And I still remember a pounding on the head from a rock I got hit by in Colorado a long time ago as well. So - wear your helmet! And if you are new to climbing make a helmet one of your first purchases. They're cheap, especially when you think of the possible alternatives.


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