/ glasses in the alps

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
derryclimbs - on 07 May 2014
Going in to the alps this summer and the last time I was in the mountains I wasn't bespectacled as I am now, and hence don't have any sunglasses. Any good options for reducing glare? Are those clip on jobbies worth any thought even though they don't give any side protection?
Contact lenses are out of the question, as is laser eye surgery at this late stage!
Rigid Raider - on 07 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:
I've just bought some very posey wraparound frames for cycling, which I had glazed with varifocal photochromic glass and they are ideal for cycling. However they don't darken as much as I thought they would and I'm fairly certain they wouldn't work for Alpine walking, especially in summer on snow, for which you do need a properly dark lens with as much side protection as possible. However I guess you could get them glazed with very dark non-photochromic plastic lenses.

These are the glasses: quite smart! Some of the cycling glasses will accept a separate "sub frame" which fits in the frame and carries a flatter prescription lens, the design is very clever.

Don't go for the double lens jobs though - they are easy for the optician but heavy and mist up quickly because there are four surfaces. They also look terribly naff.

If you wanted to go down the traditional route, you can still buy glacier glasses with big lenses and leather or plastic side covers and even a removable nose cover. I bet these would cost you a lot nowadays.

I ski in a pair of Rudy project wraparound frames with very deeply tinted prescription lenses. These give super protection but there's a little distortion thanks to the curve, to which the eye accommodates in a few seconds.

In the end there are plenty of solutions and a good independent optician ought to be able to sort you out. You are largely bound by your prescription, which has a bearing on the amount of curve you can have in the frames. The more curved, the rarer and more expensive the blanks the optician has to buy and fit to your frame and the thicker the lenses will be at the edges to compensate for the greater correction required. So a flatter lens is cheaper and easier.
Post edited at 17:03
Stone Idle - on 07 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

Depends on your pocket - I've used clip ons but in general they don't offer sufficient protection so I have always used my sunspecs (with corrected lenses) with the addition of a couple of bits of tape at the side to reduce the glare a bit further. Not had a problem (with the sunspecs and eyes that is)
Mark Haward - on 08 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

A lightweight peaked cap, one that can fit under a helmet, can be used in conjunction with the prescription sunglasses you could get. This can help reduce glare.
Ideally I suggest going for category 4 or 5 and a wrap around style but it may depend on how often you will be needing them, how much you are willing to spend etc. Clip on are not really adequate, as well as letting in lots of light from the top, bottom and sides they also tend to sit further away from the eyes and some can easily be blown / knocked off. Duct tape is a temporary measure, carry some spare.
There are some excellent over the glasses goggles but they tend to be bulky and get sweaty.
As a matter of interest, why not contact lenses? I dreaded the idea of them but now I find daily disposables absolutely fantastic.
Obviously start with lower routes and shorter days to test the efficacy of whatever you end up using.
maxsmith - on 08 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

sorry to jump in on your topic - will my snowboard goggles be suitable for summer alpine mountaineering - or too hot?
Wingnut - on 08 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

Something like this, maybe:

(What I did with mine was to buy a cheap pair of glacier glasses and get the opticians to re-glaze them with a suitable prescription lens, but that was about ten years ago and the internet's evolved since. :
Martin W on 08 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:
Sounds like you are in a similar position to me. I now use varifocals for day-to-day wear. Like Rigid Raider I also have a pair of wraparound varifocal photochromics which are fine for cycling, running and climbing in the UK, but wouldn't be dark enough or provide enough side protection for the alps. (I have used them under my yellow lens goggles for skiing on low light days - the goggles block UV so the photochromic lenses don't darken).

I have a pair of photochromic glacier glasses (Julbo Zebras) from before my near sight started to go. They're great for bright alpine days but obviously don't help with close vision eg map reading. On my last ski trip I tried a pair of these stick-on bifocal lenses inside the Julbos:

They worked just fine, giving me the close vision I needed for reading the piste map. My distance vision prescription is still fairly low so I can manage without correction for that at the moment. (Note that the UK retailer doesn't have an online shop but they will happily take orders via e-mail or over the phone.)

Edit: I've just noticed that Inland UK also list the Hydrotac lenses on Amazon:
Post edited at 11:39
Rigid Raider - on 08 May 2014
In reply to maxsmith:

Definitely too hot.
colinakmc - on 08 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

I have a pair of "designer" sports sunglasses frames I got in the specsavers 2 for price of 1 deal with my varifocals. They have Cat 3 lenses which the optician reckoned would be OK,, a UV coating, my distance prescription, and an excellent wrap round. I've found them absolutely fine for summer Alpine use - long days on the Nadelhorn, Mont Blanc de Cheilon, Aiguille de la Tsa, etc (I'm quite slow!) with no ill effects. Let's say it's not my eyes that exhibit the most fatigue.

As someone else has pointed out, a google search would find an internet provider who would do you a set of sports frames with Cat 3 or Cat 4 lenses for comparable or better money.
derryclimbs - on 09 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

Thanks everyone. Really helpful information. Looks like I will be treating myself to some prescription sunnies!

Pyreneenemec - on 09 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

> Contact lenses are out of the question

Why rule out contact-lenses ? For extended mountain-trips I leave them in for a week ( Acuvue Oasys). No hassle, no eye problems. Most people can do this with no adverse effects, except for the profits of the manfacturers.

Mr Trebus - on 09 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

I wear prescription sunglasses, but for my goggles I have neat little Bolle inserts. I went to the opticians with a broken pair and they cut the lens to fit for less than £20. I find them much better than wearing goggles over my glasses.
derryclimbs - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Pyreneenemec:

> Why rule out contact-lenses ?

inserting things into eye phobia. I can't even use eyedrops! stupid I know but thats me!

runningbondy on 13 May 2014 -
In reply to derryclimbs:

Just to pick up what nobody else has - not too late for laser surgery, I went from first consultation toeyesight better than with glasses/contacts in less than four weeks. OK it's not a cheap solution but has made my running, cycling, snowboarding so much more enjoyable. though you will need eyedrops for a few weeks so maybe not for you anyway!
bradzy_c - on 13 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

Julbro mate. Never looked back.
MG - on 13 May 2014
In reply to bradzy_c:

> Julbro mate. Never looked back.

That would be a problem, I think.

bradzy_c - on 13 May 2014
In reply to MG:

My bad, didn't see he wanted prescription. Probably too close to the face to fit underneath.
The Ivanator - on 13 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

Glasses in the Alps? Personally I'd save weight and drink straight from the bottle ;-)
1202alarm on 13 May 2014
In reply to runningbondy:

I paid £800 for laser surgery ten years ago and ended up with better than 20/20 vision. Far cheaper than glasses and contacts.
rossn - on 15 May 2014
In reply to maxsmith:

I'd get a pair of Julbos Cat 4 preferably. I think you can get them for about £35.

wee jamie on 15 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

I can recommend this company for prescription sunnies -

I've got a pair of these Norville SRX08 with a nice dark tint and they are great for Alps and cycling. Not a bad price, and good service.
rodw - on 16 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:
I have a phobia to putting anything in my eyes had to push boat out and let lady optition show me how to use contact lens. Never looked back since with the addition of Julbo
Glasses. Worth a try
Ian.Hogg - on 16 May 2014
In reply to derryclimbs:

I have always just used inexpensive polaroid clip-ons , bought at the airport on the way out, to use with my vari focal specs, and never had any issues. They dont have side pieces nor are wrap around, and I have done some day-long glacier / snow slope type routes, in full sun, over a couple of weeks mountaineering, up to huts, doing routes, back to valley etc ...

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.