CU Belay Glasses
$150 | Powernplayusa.com |
These new spectacles use mirrors to let belayers comfortably watch their partners without having to crane their necks back into an uncomfortable position and risk belayer's neck, essentially an irritation of the joints of the cervical spine due to prolonged extension.
This winter, I belayed my friend on a very steep wall in the cold, and spent at least 30 minutes craning my neck to see what was going on up there. There was a growing soreness in my neck, but I shrugged it off. When it was my turn to climb, still cold and tight, I launched up my project and compressed a nerve. It hurt so much I couldn't lift my head up without the help of both hands. After a few hundred dollars in chiropractor and scotch bills, I was definitely in the market for a sustainable and preventative measure. The first time I used the Belay Glasses, I was able to watch the climber more attentively than ever before simply because my neck was never strained. The Belay Glasses pair best with long, steep pitches. After slaving away on the dull end of the rope, I was very happy to find my neck in finer nick than normal.
A few qualms: The glasses make the climb look more slabby than it actually is, they affected my body awareness and reaction time when loose pebbles came down, and using them occasionally made me nauseous. One major problem is that the glasses interfere with being able to see straight ahead, a problem when you catch a big fall and get pulled toward the wall -- being able to avoid obstacles while giving a soft catch is important for the safety of both the climber and belayer.
The Belay Glasses fit over prescription glasses or sunglasses, and can fit even fatheads. Despite the fact that they look a little silly, likening anyone to a demented villain from a James Bond movie, I will happily wear them to save my own neck.
- Flexible steel frame allows them to be worn over prescription or sunglasses.
- Prisms let you to see up while looking forward.
- Come with neck attachment cord, cleaning cloth and plastic storage case.