/ Mirror style glasses for belaying indoors??
Any ideas where I can get a good pair of mirrored/prism style glasses for belaying so that I don't have to damage my neck further?
2) Unscrew the arms and swap them over so that the frame sits upside down when you wear the arms correctly
3) Make a new nose piece to fit your hooter from Sugru - https://sugru.com/ - one 5g pack is enough
4) Drill a couple of holes in the backs of the arm and thread with thin cord for cinching up tight to stop them slipping down your nose (they are front heavy) that can be loosened to let them hang around your neck
You might look like a knob but you'll have saved about £50 ;)
This is what I did and my pair work just fine :) I'll post a picture sometime
I like the sound of this, especially as I could buy a few pairs.
One last ditched bump.
Anybody with first hand experience or knowledge of this style of glasses?
Ive always thought about getting a pair of those belay glasses, but 96 quid is a joke. They cant cost that much to make, and they'd sell a hell of a lot more pairs if they weren't priced so outlandishly.
Could you not try making some out of an old pair of glasses and mirrors on pivots perhaps? Forking out that much seems excessive!
Used them at kendal wall on a demo night. They were a bit odd to start with but definitely good to use once I got used to them. A bit odd until the climber is a couple of bolts up the wall, I found I tended to look above them initially.
Made a difference as the next day my neck didn't seem as stiff. Felt like a plank wearing them though. Imagine the cost is due to the quality of the prism and manufacturing costs probs being high due to small numbers.
That's interesting about zoning out to people around you.
Unfortunately I've now got neck problems that aren't going to go away any time soon.
Miss Lemming wants to get me a Christmas present and I've now chosen these to be my pressie.
Should make future visits to Kendal a lot less painful.
Worth their weight in gold - they only have to save you two massages and they've paid for themselves.
Takes a couple of sessions to get used to them, then you don't want to belay without them ever again.
Can't you get a plate of mirror, about 3' x 4' and just lay it on the ground and watch the climber on that?
I've got them, they are brilliant. Big price tag but money really well spent.
Yup, what you said. I forgot them once recently, what a drag that was.
> Ive always thought about getting a pair of those belay glasses, but 96 quid is a joke. They cant cost that much to make, and they'd sell a hell of a lot more pairs if they weren't priced so outlandishly.
You could always start making them yourself if you think they're such a rip off. Alternatively you could actually look at the costs of producing a very niche product such as this (and a lot of other climbing gear) and realise that your expectations of what things 'should' cost are ridiculously optimistic!
Thanks for the replies from those that have used these glasses.
Just put an order in and will report back after I am allowed to play with them on Christmas Day.
Interesting that you can get those TV ones for £20 though... I wonder what's the difference in the quality of the optics. Has anyone used both?
Just had a very interesting and informative conversation with one of the owners of CU Belay Glasses.
He's been keeping a close eye on this discussion but has not commented as he does not want to be seen as advertising on the Forums and upsetting UKC owners. Which is understandable.
I, however am neither. I've just spoke to Peter, and what a jolly nice chap he is.
If anybody is considering buying some of these glasses or even giving a pair a 'Test Drive', please contact CU Belay Glasses and they will try to help you out.
A chunk of the cost of the product goes on payment to PayPal and postage so if you live in Wales or around Edinburgh, deals can possibly be struck. :-)
I really am looking forward to my pair especially as I'm paying a fortune in private physio at the moment for back and neck pain.
Â£12 delivered if you search an auction site for New Spectacles Bed Prism Glasses.
Not so, and the prisms in the glasses effectively *are* mirrors.
The problem with using a big mirror on the floor next to a busy climbing wall is much more obvious than that. :O)
I've never used a pair to belay but they take some getting used to being belayed with. The first time I warned my partner I might pop off and he called up: "Yeah, I'm watching you" I wanted to yell back "No you're not. You're just staring into the middle distance"
My head knew he was paying attention but my yellow streak was less convinced....
"One of the advantages of prism ware is that they don't invert the image of the climber the way a mirror would"
The prism basically provides a second reflective surface (total internal reflection) which corrects the image after it hits the mirror.
i've been a belay glasses convert for several years now (and to be 100% honest, i'm also pals with pete who markets them in the UK.. but i have no financial interest in his buisness)
for what it's worth, having used them, i'd happily pay full price to replace them.
couple of points to the thread in general.
1 you don't need to buy them yourself, split the cost with your regular climbing partner :-)
2 you'd spend £80 on a rope that lasts what 5 years? yet you won't spend £100 on something that should last atleast 3 times that?
3 they do take some getting used to, keep using them you will get used to them.
4 probably the only down side to them is the number of people that come up to you wanting a go of them :-)
I think they actually increase safety, especially on steeper routes
As it's no longer painful to watch the climber, you tend to watch them much more than before
Takes a couple of goes to get used to them (vaguely disorientating 1st time), but they're the best thing since sliced bread - despite the pricetag
> I think they actually increase safety, especially on steeper routes
> As it's no longer painful to watch the climber,
I'm sure you're right. It just feels disconcerting to see your belayer apparently ignoring you
> I think they actually increase safety, especially on steeper routes
> As it's no longer painful to watch the climber, you tend to watch them much more than before
If you're not watching because it is painful then possibly so, otherwise they tend to hinder peripheral vision, as noted, especially looking out for others, obstacles, checking the rope etc.
> If you're not watching because it is painful then possibly so, otherwise they tend to hinder peripheral vision, as noted, especially looking out for others, obstacles, checking the rope etc.
Disagree. Been using them for a long time now (due to neck/shoulder/disc/thoracic outlet problems) and it takes time to get used to them. But if you adjust your vision then you can actually see through the glasses to see your climber, but also see around the glasses to see your belay device, the rope, other climbers etc.
I agree Sonya, we adjusted to their use in an hour or so. Made a huge comfort difference, easier to concentrate on the climber IMHO.
My wife who has neck problems was particularly grateful.
> Disagree. Been using them for a long time now (due to neck/shoulder/disc/thoracic outlet problems) and it takes time to get used to them. But if you adjust your vision then you can actually see through the glasses to see your climber, but also see around the glasses to see your belay device, the rope, other climbers etc.
No, they allow you to keep an eye on what's going on around you and above you at the same time.
It's *much* faster to flick between the view in the glasses and the view below them than it is to switch between looking up at the climber and looking down at what's going on around you without them.
And if you are looking down, you'll see the climber making any sudden moves in your peripheral vision, and vice versa.
They really do make it very easy to be a super attentive belayer.
I much prefere to perve openly, with a big smile on my face. :-)
I've used them with regular sunglasses without any issue so they definitely fit over glasses.
> No, they allow you to keep an eye on what's going on around you and above you at the same time.
> It's *much* faster to flick between the view in the glasses and the view below them than it is to switch between looking up at the climber and looking down at what's going on around you without them.
> And if you are looking down, you'll see the climber making any sudden moves in your peripheral vision, and vice versa.
> They really do make it very easy to be a super attentive belayer.
Sounds extremely unlikely and not my experience with them. But then I didn't fork out £100 for them.
> Sounds extremely unlikely
An odd comment to make just because you didn't get on with them... everyone I know who owns a pair or regularly uses someone else's agrees with point I made.
Ah yes, you're quite right. It was my head that was on upside-down. ;O)
You seen quite against them?
I'd you don't like them that's fine mate.
To anyone interested
I think the point Sonya and others are trying to make is... With the glasses on... Keep your head still and look straight ahead... What you see is the climber above you. Keeping your head still look sideways or down and you can sere everything else except what is directly in front of you. To see directly in front you just off set your head slightly. It's hard to explain easier to experience :-)
Ever seen that nature program where they tried to mimic a bird of preys eye sight with a normal view round the edge but magnified in the centre? Sort of like that.
I like your explanation of mimicking the bird of prey eye sight with normal view but magnified in the centre, it's exactly like that! :o)
I find just moving my eyeballs and giving just slight movements of my head allows me to see everything as normal.
Does take a wee bit to get used to, some seem to take longer than others to adjust and some don't seem to like them. If you move your head about too much while looking through the glasses and not adjusting your vision to the periphery of the glasses then it's quite trippy!
Trying to climb whilst wearing the glasses is good fun too :D
> You seen quite against them?
Not sure why you think I'm 'against' them, sounds a bit emotional, as I said if you've got back/neck problems I can see the advantage. I belayed enough in a short time to get neck ache. Not often though.
But if you're marketing something to address a particular problem and people don't have that problem, then the only place to go is to claim them as a preventative, which is a bit of a line IMHO.
I can't see how it helps with your peripheral vision but I can see that after a while people find a way to work around them. But again, I can't see how this makes you more attentive, no one I've spoken to ever said that and it wasn't my experience and I can't see how that would work and I don't think CU would add that to their marketing.
It is a preventative piece of kit, and the next best thing to not belaying.
Nobody likes cranking their neck, and there's nowt else in life requiring this crazy posture. We're not designed for it, hence pain!.
Also prevents risk of injury (eg soft tissue) from neck-craning, or taking any joint out of its neutral position. Climbers see osteopaths and physios once it hurts enough, who generally advise abstaining from causal activity. Prevention is even better !.
Finally, cumulative wear and tear happens to all joints, and neck is no different, especially given its small, delicate structures. Just because it's tolerable or asymptomatic now, doesn't mean you're not storing up problems for later.
I have huge wear and tear in my cervical and lumbar spine from age 24 (43 now)from high impact sports, and not taking care. Really wish it had hurt immediately, every time, to forewarn me. Instead, the result of stresses and traumas arrived later, but whilst still very young. Could have minimized or prevented some of it had i known what i was storing up.
RSI a good example - activity like typing doesn't hurt, and appears to be no problem, until the unlucky ones develop RSI.
I must be explaining this badly because it's a couple of a fairly simple concepts. I'll try again.
If you're looking up at your belayer without the glasses, your peripheral vision mainly covers the rest of the crag above you (i.e. the other lines), because your head is facing the sky.
If you're looking up at your belayer with the glasses, your peripheral mainly covers the base of the crag (the rope, people/dogs wandering around you, etc.) because your head is pointed forwards.
Likewise if you glance down at the rope bag without the glasses, your peripheral vision covers the base of the crag - you cannot see your climber.
If you glance down at the rope bag with the glasses on, your peripheral vision will still contain the glasses and therefore the climber - any sudden movement above from a falling climber will attract your attention much quicker than tension on the rope will.
Furthermore, to make that glance down to your rope bag, you don't need to move your head - moving your eyes is much faster than moving your head meaning there's less time between your focus leaving the climber and it returning to them.
Go down any wall, or any crag, and you'll see belayers stretching their necks whilst their climber is on lead.
If your neck and shoulders are in pain, with the best of intentions, it's very difficult to keep squinting up at your climber for every second he or she is on lead on a long day at the crag.
If you're standing in a neutral position, the only reason not to keep looking at your climber would be boredom.
My glasses have just arrived in the post.
First impressions are that they look srurdy enough to cope with the outdoors. I've never looked through a prism before but I'm playing with them right now while I type this comment. And, most importantly, they are exceptionally light and well balanced on my big hooter. :-)
I have to say that the image quality is pin-sharp and I can read the screen perfectly with them. Yes I know that I am meant to look up but as a simple test, there is no reversal or mirroring of what I am looking at.
Sadly I have to put them away until Christmas Day, but I do not regret buying them one little bit.
Funny you should say that about the monitor... as I'm laid up in bed with a slipped disk at the moment, this thread inspired me to try the glasses upside down for viewing the computer monitor at the foot of my bed last night... works pretty well as long as you can touch type :)
> It is a preventative piece of kit, and the next best thing to not belaying.
> Nobody likes cranking their neck, and there's nowt else in life requiring this crazy posture. We're not designed for it, hence pain!.
> Also prevents risk of injury (eg soft tissue) from neck-craning, or taking any joint out of its neutral position. Climbers see osteopaths and physios once it hurts enough, who generally advise abstaining from causal activity. Prevention is even better !.
Sounds like Brittle Neck Syndrome, very nasty.
By 'eck folks: as a breed... climbers like overanalysing things
I wasn't joking about the best thing since sliced bread
(where does this expression come from? I like slicing my own bread)
How old are you...8?? :)
Anyway, look forward to the review post-xmas. I get dreadful neck issues belaying so am thinking about it myself
> I must be explaining this badly because it's a couple of a fairly simple concepts. I'll try again.
it's not the concepts, it's their practical application.
> Furthermore, to make that glance down to your rope bag, you don't need to move your head - moving your eyes is much faster than moving your head meaning there's less time between your focus leaving the climber and it returning to them.
I think, naturally, you move your head a bit and your eyes a bit, the difference with moving just your eyes may be a few nano seconds but this could easily be lost by reminding yourself to keep your head in the same plane so you don't lose sight of the climber in the specs.
Once you've moved your head, by accident or because you still can't see your feet or you've turned to look at someone then relocating the climber using the specs will take longer. (You must be using some counter-intuitive movements or it wouldn't take while to 'adjust' to them).
But it seems a bit contrived to measure them by nano seconds saved on glances.
> How old are you...8?? :)
> Anyway, look forward to the review post-xmas. I get dreadful neck issues belaying so am thinking about it myself
Chat to the company owners and see if they will let you test-run a pair for a while?
And no, I am not 8.
Well I'm telling you in two years of extensive practical application I've found it to be so. I can't give you that experience I can only explain the reasons behind it
Small margins could be the difference between taking a good soft catch and getting a little caught out and slamming the climber, so when it's my friends ankles on the line I think they're worth consideration.
> Small margins could be the difference between taking a good soft catch and getting a little caught out and slamming the climber, so when it's my friends ankles on the line I think they're worth consideration.
If you move your head and have to reorientate to find the climber then you're increasing the margins, not decreasing them.
How do you use them, like the OP asks, indoors?
Do you look over them for the first few metres? Are you spotting people for the first two/three clips then using the specs? Or spotting with the specs on and in use? Or just not spotting and using the specs from the start?
I thought the best method was hanging them off your nose for the first few metres then pushing them back to use them?
I'm trying to see the connection between using the specs indoors and the risk to/reduction of ankle injury.
I give up.
> I give up.
Wise decision. I'm amazed you waited this long. Thanks for your patience though, as a result I may give the glasses a go to save my aching neck and shoulder muscles.
That's because it's impossible to belay competently unless your eyes are glued to the climber at all times, apparently.
on your point number 2 -
the thing is though you need a rope to do lead climbing (it is a necessary part of climbing)and you can get a rope for indoors at around £50, these glasses all be it may be very good but at double the cost of a rope for a unnecessary item is well over priced!
also are you vouching these glasses will last for 15 years? as they look very flimsy.
You would think the company would do a deal with walls to rent out these glasses in the same way as climbing shoes and harnesses. I'd certainly drop £3 to see what they are like and if they worked possibly rent on those sessions when I knew I was going to be doing a lot of belaying. Especially on a tall wall like Ratho.
> well over priced!
There's a difference between expensive and over-priced.
They have to meet the same EN standard as karabiners, so you should be fine to ab off them if you need to.
Not really. But if they're used as they're meant to be, and not sat on, they'd probably last indefinitely.
Basically like anything worth using they need to be "learnt", and then they are excellent.
Peter here from CU Belay Glasses UK. Thanks to Alan and UKC for letting me respond to some points in this thread.
1/ Expensive - price dictated by commercial reality/costs. Materials & construction absolute top quality,100% German engineering. Substantial costs include; invention, design,tooling,patents,establishing new market where previously none. Niche products don't benefit from economies of scale nor large profits. Cheaper than the most prescription glasses, sold in millions! Insured next day delivery & bank charges alone £10 per item. Not available in shops as even more costs which doesn't benefit buyers.
2/Costs same as one physio assessment each for you & partner.
Majority buy when belaying intolerable; as cure, not prevention. Often, buyers rack up physio bills by then. Not yet perceived as preventative item, and seen as luxury item by those who are asymptomatic.
3/ In 2 years in UK, only 1 CU returned unwanted (Christmas present).
On UK tour of 19 climbing walls in Spring 2011, approx 10% did not get on with CU during SHORT trial for few minutes. Seems that committed buyers are following instructions, seeing the benefits, and getting the relief they'd hoped for. Never seen a used/second hand pair advertised anywhere !.
4/ Changing belay behaviour & technique. 100% view of climber is obvious advantage (not looking away to relieve discomfort), but opinions as varied as belay technique as to whether improves safety. For us, an undoubted yes as permanent view means anticipating danger. Great peripheral vision, with just flick of the eyes to look into or out of prism. Standing next to wall possible when required, rather than way back to view climber. Existing users at your local wall may be the most unbiased people to ask, rather than folk who tried for a few minutes, or in some cases not at all !
5/ Very happy to answer questions. You'll find us online. Please no PM's through UKC. Thanks again to UKC for letting me try to address key points, and to all contributors for the usual spirited UKC discussion. No better forum than UKC !.
I have used a pair of these for about a year now and love them. It takes a little while (i.e. a couple of routes) to get used to them but they certainly spare you a stiff neck. There is also a fringe benefit with these glasses in that they force you to concentrate fully on the leader; for those of you that already do that and are never distracted - yeah right.
Also, I wear specs and these work fine over my normal glasses (though I suspect they look pretty odd - nothing new there for me).
Well I got to play with my glasses for the first time and chose the Kendal Wall to play with them.
Short version, awsome. Top day and no neck pain what so ever.
Long version. It only took me one route to get to grips with the glasses. The optics were superb. The colour rendition and brightness was as if I was tipping my neck back to watch the climber above me.
I even forced my mate to belay me with them. He'd never seen or heard of such glasses before and was very sceptical of their abilities but he did humour me all the same.
By the end of our session my mate became a convert and actively asked to borrow them while belaying me. He preferred to use the glasses than crane his neck back so far with the overhangs of the main wall. My mate has no neck pain or suffers from any back problems yet he preferred the comfort of keeping his neck in neutral alignment while belaying while I climbed.
I had an excellent day's climbing and my arms feel as though they are about to fall out of their sockets but more importantly I am now sat at home with no neck pain.
Bye-bye TENS machine. Bye-Bye ibrufen
Hello Belay glasses.
Elsewhere on the site
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more
On Sunday 12th October the Depot Climbing Centre Leeds held its 5th annual Battle of Britain competition. The competition has... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Aiming at designing and producing the best belay glasses to protect climbers’ necks, Y&Y focuses on every detail to... Read more