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  #1  
Unread 04-26-2006, 10:05 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Lightbulb Wearing Helmets Saves Lives!!! (April 26th 2006)

In General, it seems like sport climbers have some unnatural death wish. They almost never wear helmets!
I've been climbing for 12-15 years and in that time have seen many injury's due to helmet less climbers either being hit by falling rock and debris, falling themselves or just plain stupidity.

I used to refuse to climb with people if they didn't wear a helmet (trying to get Bernnie to buy one at the moment. But he's a stubborn Austrian, so no progress as yet!). One, now good friend, thanked me for saving his life because of it. It's common sense, rocks fall and gravity hurts.

I know what your thinking, but rocks never fall on sport climbs right? Sure they do all the time. Particularly if there's top access and someone knocks one off. I once pulled a huge flake off (the crux move ) a sport climb, almost killing my belayer I had a rock hit me on the head 2 weeks ago in Ganhyeon and helmet less Bernnie just shrugged his shoulders!

I realise people will say this is personal preference, but don't ask to come trad climbing with me without one.

Your life, Your brain, Use it! (Sorry for the serious note, this is my pet gripe!)
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  #2  
Unread 04-26-2006, 11:18 PM
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Definitely some places in Korea warrent it! Insubong on a Sunday comes to mind. . . not many lose rocks left (but some. . . check out all the green plaque memorials to people who died, many from rockfall) but people dropping things. Even in Spring there were Koreans drytooling a multipitch in You Hak San. . . not that one normally thinks to wear a helmet on the appraoch, but Josh's very artistic photos demonstrate why this might not be a bad idea!!! I am not very good about this sport-climbing, though we have gotten much better (at least when belaying) since the You Hak San episode.
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  #3  
Unread 04-27-2006, 10:08 AM
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i've seen too much random rock fall over the past few years that i know wear a helmut almost the entire time im at the rock. its just too random too predict.

you definitely need to keep an eye on your surroundings, note if there is anyone above you.

2 years ago a (approx) 20 pound stone came whipping down OB slab in to our belaying area. it hit the ground between about 6 climbers. it was kicked down from some hikers on the ridge above us.

a few kotr members saw a big chunk of rock randomly fall at halmaebawi last fall.

at seonunsan i became a believer of the belayer wearing a helmut when i was climbing and a handhold broke. i fell, the handhold flew straight down and hit my belayer in the helmut. if she had not been wearing a helmut, she might not have been able to brake my fall. so its in the best interest of the climber to get their belayer to wear a helmut.

lastly, in early spring and late fall, rock fall is probably at its peak as temperatures fluctuate between below and above freezing causing fractures in rock to get bigger after each freeze.
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Unread 04-27-2006, 01:31 PM
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The helmet is more important than the rope. With all this talk lately about ropes and knots we need more about helmets.
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  #5  
Unread 04-28-2006, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro de Pacas
The helmet is more important than the rope. With all this talk lately about ropes and knots we need more about helmets.

You kind of look like your wearing a helmet in your avatar Did your friends change your tyres and oil lately like they promised?
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  #6  
Unread 04-28-2006, 12:13 PM
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My tyres and oil have been changed. I had no idea how old my previous tyres were, because I could not remember getting them changed and they were used at the time. 18 years!!! That should be a new thread to go along with the life of ropes. Certainly they were past due. I think I should have died.
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  #7  
Unread 04-28-2006, 12:25 PM
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After witnessing quite a few rock falls I decided to invest in a helmet myself. I have to admit, I don't like wearing it when I'm climbing. I feel that it impairs my vision overhead. I bought it mainly for when I'm belaying, and I'm not sure about the stats on this, but I'd guess you are more likely to get a serious or life threatening head injury from belaying, than you are climbing. I know the only time I'll probably ever be smoked in the head is when I happen to not be wearing it. I like Eric's idea to wear it when you're anywhere near the rock, and just keep it on the whole time (except that I hate climbing with it on, I guess I'll just have to get used to it). I think equally as important as wearing a helmet, or checking our ropes, is being aware and concious of our surroundings. So many times I see people just standing around in dangerous places, like the woman who almost got smoked by a rock who was standing directly under the climber, not watching the climber, not belaying, just standing there. And how many times have you seen children running around unsupervised at Halmae, weaving in and out of belayers and tripping over their ropes? I think we'd better pay more careful attention of where we are, making sure that we are out of the way of belayers, climbers, and other potential hazards.
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  #8  
Unread 04-28-2006, 07:50 PM
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Damn, that hurts!
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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A helmet is a must. But, like motorcycle, in-line and skateboard riders, it is stylish not to wear one. Man, I love it when they're proved wrong....
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  #9  
Unread 05-01-2006, 12:33 AM
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http://www.koreaontherocks.com/climb...ge=1&sort=date

Pretty much everyone (at least belaying) at Maisan wore head gear.

Rick pulled this off the 10c, sticking out of the ledge (well, now it's a bucket at the ledge). You only need to look at the rocks on the ground, then look at the pockets/buckets. . .

That said, the holds we used for the most part were solid. Rick clipped in and threw this after an all clear. It was in the middle of the route, however-- clearly something that had been pulled on before, as clearly as it was an accident-waiting-to-happen until today. (The new bucket is still a bit manky. Give it a monsoon or two and it'll be perfect; not exactly at the crux, so I'm guessing still 10c
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  #10  
Unread 05-01-2006, 12:14 PM
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Yeah, that's good to hear. Hopefully people are becoming more informed about safety. Wow, big rock Rick!
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