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Helmets

     Helmets are a safety precaution that protects your head against hard falls or falling rock and debris. Falling stone cause serious and fatal injury, especially if it comes in contact with your head. In terms of ice climbing, ice debris can be caused by the leading climber. A good climbing helmet is light weight, has excellent ventilation and is a comfortable and snug fit.

     The helmet should fit properly on the head with the front of the helmet low on the brow to protect the forehead. You want a snug, comfortable fit but you'll want to bear in mind that there should be space to have a balaclava and a headlamp. The front and rear straps form a "Y" just below and forward of the ears.

     It is important not to wear a helmet pushed back on the head. Helmets worn on the back of the head are a safety risk because they are more likely to pop off and do not protect the forehead.

     The buckle of the chin strap should sit securely at the throat. The buckle connects according to the instructions that are provided with your helmet. You want to ensure that your helmet doesn't come off in the event of high-impact. The helmet padding should offer firm, uniform pressure over the complete surface of the head.

     The majority of helmets have some sort of a polycarbonate or other high-impact plastic outer shell and a closed-cell foam liner that enhances a comfortable fit. There are three shell types which are fiberglass, plastic and carbon. Plastic helmets are strong and durable and helmets made of fiberglass or carbon is commonly used in ice climbing. While helmets are built to protect a climber from falling rock and debris, the types do differ in how the helmet protects. Helmets made of fiberglass and carbon absorb the energy of a falling rock by breaking, while plastic and nylon helmets transfer the shock to a harness system in the helmet.