Samantha tests out a solution to belayer’s neck!
What Climbing Frog say on www.climbingfrog.co.uk (beautiful site btw!)
“They help you keep an eye on your buddy and don’t bust your neck, what more could you ask for?… A great price? Well at only £24.99 and free postage and packing we won’t break your bank.”
What Samantha says ….
“We were long overdue for a day at the indoor climbing wall and with the EICA‘s extensive selection of nice long routes it was a great opportunity to try out the glasses. We had seen others wear them and certainly I know the ache of craning your neck straight up while your partner climbs (faffs, waits, rest, try again… you know the drill!) so if they solved that particular problem I might be sold.
I admit I had some initial reservations. They are slightly weird looking if I’m honest, could add more complexity to a (relatively) risky sport and , well… its just not normal is it!? But I was game so off we went.
While Alan tied in to climb and I set up his belay I tried them on. I could feel immediately how robust they were. Not too heavy so as to be an issue but they didn’t feel flimsy which is a bonus. I tried shaking my head a bit and they stayed put which is a further positive, but right away the moving of my head highlighted the first thing to be aware of and manage – the view moves sharply an can be disorientating at first. very quickly with use this is fine but good to note as you start out.
The glasses work by combining high clarity lenses with very polished internal mirrors so that when your head faces straight ahead you can actually see 90 degrees up the wall. They are very clear, no distortion or fog whatsoever which really impressed me but there is a small element of “separation” from the climbing at first but this soon passes.
After a couple of climbs and getting used to checking my hands “below” the view field and deciding to remove them if I had to do something more risky – like moving my position – I was very comfortable in them.
Instead of the usual sore neck, stiffness or just plain tiredness you can get from belaying I was able to relax physically , keeping my head pretty much level , no tension interrupting my focus on the climber and in a way felt more focused as I was more conscious I had to think about what I was doing with my hands. When it was my turn to climb I was fresh, and very relaxed .
For long leads where you need to look up for extended period, or for when you need to hug the wall and lean far back they really do make a big difference (or just for those of us over 30 who get aches and pains more!).
And while I know they wont suit everyone, given that they even offer a (pretty awesome I think) no risk money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied it’s almost a no-brainer for most.
For shorter climbs maybe not to much (and I recommend not using them when the climber first moves off, instead waiting until they are above usual head height) as they do take some extra care and thought in moving off and lowering off so the benefit the trade of is lost somewhat.
In terms of improvements I would suggest also including a neck loop option so I can hang them round my neck when not needed. I was worried I’d drop them at times. I recognise this adds cost of course.
All in all, given the ease of carrying (see above the carry case even comes with a small biner to clip to your harness), the relatively low weight and the low cost (vs others on the market) they really could be a good investment for a lot of climbers – especially indoor wall or sport climbers who do long lead routes.
They are definitely staying in my pack and on my rack!”
To see more or order see Climbing Frog on this link and enter “Alan” at the checkout for 10% off !*
Samantha is an all round Scottish hillwalker and mountaineer, indoor/outdoor sport climber, enjoys ice climbing and alpine adventures and is starting to dabble on ski’s although she does prefer high heels!
She is also the very patient better half to Coachmacca 🙂
*10% off for the first 10 readers to purchase.