Helmets for Big Heads

Whether it’s due to excess brains or empty space, I have a larger than average head.   This makes it hard to find any headwear that fits.  Anything marked “one size fits all” does not seem to include me in the definition of “all”.  This might be only an annoyance if I were not a rock climber.  I need a helmet to protect my head from falling rocks, dropped bits of gear, impacts and banging my head against overhangs (which is a habit of mine).  If a helmet is to protect my head properly, then it has to fit properly.  Unfortunately, my big head means that the selection of helmets that will fit me is small. Continue reading Helmets for Big Heads

The danger of experience

It’s usually true that greater rock climbing experience results in increased rock climbing competence.  However, I worry that there are a small minority of climbers for whom greater rock climbing experience leads to increased risk-taking and occasional bad practice.   What this demonstrates to me is a need to keep an open, questioning mind about my own climbing practice. Continue reading The danger of experience

Turning Around the Men in Pyjamas

There are times when there is no doubt that you should tell someone that they’re not properly equipped for a day in the mountains and should turn back.  One example of this happened earlier this month when a stag party attempted to climb Snowdon dressed in pyjamas and trainers, in a storm and by the scrambling route of Crib Goch. Unsurprisingly, this stag party got into trouble and had to be talked down by phone by mountain rescue. Continue reading Turning Around the Men in Pyjamas