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Anyone BC Ski with a helmet? How are the uphills? Heavy? Hot? I have always worn a helmet in-bounds but have never done so when I am stomping around the back country. I would be interested to hear peoples experiences on this one.

Thanks
 

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What he said. Most of my dynafit wearing gram counter friends leave them at home. The guys with fatter skis and heavier binders tend to bring the bucket along.
 

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I used to leave it at home, but have grown so accustomed to it I'm bringing it in the future- even on easy tours. When I'm in the trees I put my head down if I'm gonna hit some small branches and canon-ball through them. I've tried that in the bc and it kinda hurts without a bucket. I figure with that mentality I need all the protection I can get- especially in the bc.
 

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Yes, if your noggon is worth protecting inbounds then it should be out of bounds too. What over explanation were you expecting?
 

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Here's my 0.02 from years of dealing with skiing injuries. The expert skier who hits a tree/rock with his head at fast speeds is very rare. Skiing through trees is relatively slow and most skiers who are doing it recognize crashes far enough out that they are able to at least avoid taking most of the impact with their head. In 6 years of ski patrolling, I never took a wreck out of thick trees or steep moguls. Not that it doesn't happen every year, just that it's pretty rare. Hence, I never drag the bucket on hut trips or BC tours unless I was planning on launching significant drops over 10+ feet, in which case I would bring it (think East Vail).

However, where helmets come in very useful at preventing head injuries is inbounds. Collisions, terrain parks and high speed blue runs are where I've seen many many injuries that could possibly have been lessened or prevented by helmets. That's where I definitely recommend a brain bucket.

Slightly off topic, but interesting food for thought is the idea that helmets prevent fatalities. I don't believe they do. Skiing fatalities generally involve an intermediate skier at high speeds on a groomed run loosing control into a tree on the side of the run. Often impact speeds are 25+mph and the tree doesn't give an inch. The fatal injuries sustained often involve collapsed lungs, broken femurs and torn aorta/inferior vena cava causing massive hemorrhage. I've never seen isolated head trauma to be the cause of death (a notable, but exceedingly rare case is that of Natasha Richardson).

I'm not saying that people should avoid helmets because they do provide invaluable protection against head injuries, but I rather doubt that ski helmets prevent many fatalities. Stay safe out there and happy powder hunting....
Joe
 

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I do not wear a helmet inbounds, or in the backcountry...usually. The one caveat to that is spring time. When you are dealing with melt/freeze snow the danger of rockfall can be extreme. Normally in the spring you start before the sun rises so that your off of dangerous terrain before it warms and wetslide danger increases. When the sun first starts to hit snow that has only frozen lightly overnight, obstacles such as rocks that has been incased in the frozen snow can break lose and come tumbling at you (even if there is no-one above).

2 seasons ago I was climbing Mt. Shavano's SE gully, it was around 10 am and the sun had been on the snow for a few hours. About 3/4 of the way up the couloir I stopped for a snack break. I was sitting in the couloir facing downhill when suddenly I got hit in the back of the head (luckily was wearing helmet) with a rock about the size of a baseball. At this point I turned around just in time to see another rock, this one about the size of a basketball, bouncing down the couloir at what seemed like 30-40 mph. Luckily I was able to get out of the way, scary.

The point is, you should wear a helmet. Especially when BC skiing in the spring, or when mountaineering.
 

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I second spring time and bigger descents...usually in early winter-mid-winter I'm skiing low-angle trees and staying away from avy hazards. In spring I feel like I up the danger both by skiing bigger lines, but also because a lot of time the lines are frozen solid at the top and turn to corn in the middle. Fall potential, avy potential, and rockfall danger are all increased so I bring a bucket. Skiing the hippie trees or vail pass with 2 feet of fresh...I'm probably not going to use one.
 

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A little helmet story: Two winters ago I was skiing trees on a beautiful powder day. As I made a turn, the front of my board caught by a hidden branch (snow snake), which very immediately catapulted me head first into a tree trunk. Not to say my helmet saved my life, but it confirmed my belief that wearing a helmet is a good idea, every time.
 

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I have visited friends at Craig rehap facility a few too many times. I would rather be out there skiing vs stareing blankly out the window of any rehap facility. A helmet is a relatively cheap and lite piece of insurance. I carry my helmet on my back on the way up, and wear it on the way down…..don’t let anybody fool you, you don’t have to be going very fast at all to sustain a major head injury.…..
 

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Here's my 0.02 from years of dealing with skiing injuries. The expert skier who hits a tree/rock with his head at fast speeds is very rare. Skiing through trees is relatively slow and most skiers who are doing it recognize crashes far enough out that they are able to at least avoid taking most of the impact with their head. In 6 years of ski patrolling, I never took a wreck out of thick trees or steep moguls. Not that it doesn't happen every year, just that it's pretty rare. Hence, I never drag the bucket on hut trips or BC tours unless I was planning on launching significant drops over 10+ feet, in which case I would bring it (think East Vail).

However, where helmets come in very useful at preventing head injuries is inbounds. Collisions, terrain parks and high speed blue runs are where I've seen many many injuries that could possibly have been lessened or prevented by helmets. That's where I definitely recommend a brain bucket.

I'm not saying that people should avoid helmets because they do provide invaluable protection against head injuries, but I rather doubt that ski helmets prevent many fatalities. Stay safe out there and happy powder hunting....
Joe
The backcountry is not a ski area.
Avalanches happen and the number one cause of death is blunt force trama.
Second, heads bleed! A head cut from a branch a few miles from the car can be life threatening.
I am shocked that a person who deals with avalanche and medical issues would even hint that not using a helmet is ok.
 

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I almost always wear a helmet. Almost. I wear a helmet in all the outdoor activities I participate in. Kayaking (obviously) Rafting Class IV or more, Mtn Biking, Skiing, you get the point. Helmets have come a long way from the basketball Bell's we used to have to wear ski racing in the 80's. Back to my story I said I almost always wear a helmet. I was Powdercat skiing on Molas pass. It was mid Jan. Premier conditions. Snowed most of the month. Base was basically bottomless. For some reason I decided not to wear a helmet that day. Why? I guess I figured the snow is so deep today. What's the point. Around lunch it clouded up. we were headed back to the cats to eat. The group was skiing well. Everyone was whooping it up jumping little stuff. The light got really flat. I didn't see the huge roller and flew a good 25 feet and the bottom dropped out. Double ejected and somersaulted 5 or 6 times. I got up and my head was inches next to a big rock. As William Nealy said it's Better to be lucky than good. I will always wear a helmet in the BC. You never know. Just saying.
 

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The backcountry is not a ski area.
Avalanches happen and the number one cause of death is blunt force trama.
Second, heads bleed! A head cut from a branch a few miles from the car can be life threatening.
I am shocked that a person who deals with avalanche and medical issues would even hint that not using a helmet is ok.
My point is simply that helmets provide a limited amount of protection in some environments. The dogma that you must wear a helmet at all times is ridiculous - do you have one on right now? No, because you've weighed the pros/cons and decided that while providing protection for your head, it's not worth the discomfort when surfing mountainbuzz.

When anti-lock brakes came out on cars people generally expected a decrease in vehicle crashes. What happened? The crash rate remained exactly the same, but people were driving faster (click here for the website). Hence, there's likely the exact same phenomenon going on with helmets in skiing and full body armor in mountain biking. You're not actually decreasing the likelihood of having an injury, just increasing the speed at which the same (not worse) injury will happen.

All that theory being said, I wear a helmet when I'm skiing inbounds. I bought my mom and fiancee helmets for Christmas. But I personally, don't think the protection is worth the sweating/discomfort/weight when BC skiing. Other people want to ski faster, huck bigger or have a lower risk threshold. That's the beauty of humanity, just do some thinking for yourself and avoid the dogma(shit).
Joe
 

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The dogma that you must wear a helmet at all times is ridiculous - do you have one on right now? The title of this post is helmets in the backcountry, not helmets all the time.

All that theory being said, I wear a helmet when I'm skiing inbounds. I bought my mom and fiancee helmets for Christmas. But I personally, don't think the protection is worth the sweating/discomfort/weight when BC skiing. Other people want to ski faster, huck bigger or have a lower risk threshold. That's the beauty of humanity, just do some thinking for yourself and avoid the dogma(shit).
Joe
Joe...I'm sorry but you are throwing extra variables into the discussion that don't need to be there. 2 people have the exact same wreck at the exact same speed and one is wearing a helmet. You can't tell me that the person not wearing a helmet is safer than the one that is.
Second point...In the BC you don't have immediate access to medical treatment that you do at a ski area. The danger is heightened when you are responsible for yourself and don't have a group of redcoats to save you from stupid decisions. What you are proposing is like wearing a condom with your fiancee, but not when you are at the whorehouse because you don't think the protection is worth the "discomfort".
 

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I ware a helmet every time I go out in the BC....

My snowmobile helmet that is :-D:mrgreen:;).......
 

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I agree with Joe on the notion that wearing a helmet can actually raise your risk. It's been demonstrated in several studies that when a person's perceived risk is lowered to a point that's much below their risk threshold, they act in such a way as to raise that perceived risk back to a level that they consider exciting. I don't believe that it's possible to separate the unconscious, risk/reward calculations from the conscious, logical part that says, "Just because I'm wearing a helmet, I shouldn't go faster."

Casey- depending on the type of helmet one is wearing, it can increase injury. Most notably, whiplash type neck injuries may be increased by wearing a helmet, especially a heavier one.
 

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This is the dumbest argument ever

I had this argument with a close friend about four years ago. He is now fighting back from paralysis.

If a person is a risk taker, they will huck with or without a helmet. No risk taker says I'm going to do this because I have a helmet. You wouldn't get on a bike without one. You wouldn't boat without one. They are so cheap, light, and warm, you shouldn't ski without one.

If you care about your family and friends, wear a damn helmet. If you ski with me and you don't, I'll buy it for you. I never want to go to another hospital room and see another friend unable to move his limbs or speak.
 

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What you are proposing is like wearing a condom with your fiancee, but not when you are at the whorehouse because you don't think the protection is worth the "discomfort".[/QUOTE]

Hahaha, great analogy! Not sure if works, but it's hilarious :) I think if you own a helmet, you should def have it with you in the bc if you use it inbounds. Seems to me there are lot more dangers with unmarked hazards in the bc. Had a buddy riding a nice open bowl, hit a covered rock, tomahawked a few times and hit the back of his head on a rock as he finally started slowing down. Don't think he would've died but definitely would've been out of commission and we were a loooooooong way from the vehicle.

I also believe that wearing a helmet does increase your risk of getting hurt because of the increased feeling of security. I remember the first day i wore a helmet, i was cruising through trees and steep pitches with alot more speed because I thought the helmet made me 'less likely to get injured'. Not very smart or logical thinking there...

Anyways, fun topic to debate and of course my .02 is coming from a guy whose avatar is not wearing a helmet. Happy riding/skiing, the season is upon us!
 
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