If you are someone who wears glasses but still wants to be able to climb, you have come to the right place! Climbing requires you to be able to see what holds you are stepping on and grabbing, as well as to check all of your equipment to make sure it is safe. Needless to say, your vision is pretty important to your success when climbing.
In this article, we’ll be discussing climbing with glasses. We’ll be breaking down some potential hazards or issues that could arise when climbing with glasses, as well as offering advice on how to mitigate those challenges. Ultimately, we hope that everyone can find a way to enjoy climbing, so this article is packed with suggestions to help you get out climbing as safely as possible, even if your eyesight isn’t the best.
How Safe are Glasses When Climbing?
Figuring out the answer to the question “can I wear my glasses when climbing?” might seem straightforward, but there are many factors to consider. Climbing with glasses can be dangerous. On the other hand, climbing with glasses might be necessary for some individuals.
The safety issue with climbing with glasses on comes from the glass in the lens. If you fall and break your glasses, you risk cutting yourself or others and potentially leaving bits of broken glass around, which can be a huge problem on a soft and squishy bouldering mat like the ones commonly found in gyms.
Another challenge of climbing in glasses is that you might damage the glasses themselves. While this doesn’t pose an immediate risk to your safety, it can create challenges for you. Scratching your glasses or losing your glasses are both ways that climbing with glasses can eventually lead to you not being able to see right. If you can’t see, you will be unable to determine what is safe and what is not, which could lead to some pretty bad results.
3 Potential Risks of Wearing Glasses During Climbing
While we’ve already discussed a few of the potential risks of climbing with glasses on, we’ll be going into more detail here. There are lots of potential risks of climbing with glasses on, so here are our top risks you should be concerned about:
1. Broken glass
Broken glass is the most common concern that people have when they think about rock climbing with glasses on. Unfortunately, if you land on your glasses or drop them from a high height onto a hard surface, they will probably break. The best way to help mitigate this risk from happening is by taking good care of your glasses.
Make sure you are extra cautious when climbing with glasses if you do choose to climb with them. Think about having a dedicated old pair of glasses that you climb in so if you do break your glasses; you don’t break your only pair. If you wear contacts, climbing with contact lenses might be a better choice for you.
2. Scratched lens
Scratching your glasses’ lens on a rock or a plastic hold is always a concern. In order to make climbing easier, you have to keep your center of gravity as close to the rock as possible. While this might make climbing easier, it does mean that your face is also closer to the rock and might get scratched up.
The best way to mitigate this risk is by wearing old glasses that you don’t mind getting scratched up. The other option is to wear contact lenses instead of glasses while climbing. If you choose to wear contacts, you will have to be more cautious about getting chalk in your eyes, but you won’t have to worry about scratching your glasses.
3. Dropped glasses
Dropping your glasses might not seem like that big of a deal if you climb indoors or at low heights, but dropping your glasses halfway up can be a big deal if you do any multi-pitch climbing. Luckily, this is a pretty easy problem to avoid. Simply make sure that you have a secure glasses keeper to prevent your glasses from falling.
Another option is climbing with a backup pair of glasses, which can be costly and mean more for bringing up the rock with you. Make sure you get a good glasses keeper to prevent your glasses from falling to the ground if they do end up falling off your face.
Although there are other potential risks to wearing glasses while climbing, these are the most common risks to watch out for. The solutions to these problems tend to also be the solutions to many of the less common hazards of climbing with glasses, so by solving these three main challenges, you should have the tools to solve any glasses-related problem.
How to Properly Rock Climb While Wearing Glasses
Is climbing with glasses possible? How do you do it well? These are common questions that rock climbers who wear glasses might ask. The answer to the first question is that it is totally possible to climb with glasses. Figuring out how to do it well is the challenge.
Properly and safely climbing with glasses is something that you will have to figure out what works for your specific climbing practice. If you tend to climb indoors, you may just want to climb wearing an old pair of glasses or just opt not to wear glasses while climbing.
On the other hand, if you tend to do long multi-pitch climbs, you may want to think about some options. Investing in a good glasses keeper is a great place to start. You can also think about climbing with contact lenses if that’s comfortable for you. More people are ok climbing with contact lenses when outdoors as opposed to indoors because the chalk in the air can irritate your contact lenses indoors.
Another option for outdoor rock climbing is to get some rock climbing sunglasses. This could be as simple as an old pair of sunglasses that fit over your prescription glasses, or you could invest in some prescription sunglasses. Fitting your prescription into a durable pair of sunglasses and using a sunglasses keeper is one of the best options for outdoor climbers who wear glasses.
Alternatives to Wearing Glasses When Climbing
If you can’t figure out how to wear glasses while climbing and just need an alternative, you’ve come to the right place. Our first suggestion would be to try climbing with contacts in. If that works for you, then you have a simple solution.
Unfortunately, not all people want to wear contacts, let alone climb with them in. If you don’t like wearing contacts, we would suggest trying to climb without your glasses. If you mostly need your glasses to read, this shouldn’t be too big of a challenge for you, and this might be your best option. If your vision is really bad, you may have to think about how safe it is for you to go out and do big climbs if you can’t find a way to see very well.
One option that some visually impaired climbers have used is trust in their partner. Although it might seem like a simple option, it can make climbing possible for those who are severely visually impaired. Learning to trust your climbing partner and having them adapt to your inability to see will take time, but climbing is possible if you are hard of vision.
Wrapping Things Up: Can I Wear My Glasses When Climbing?
There are many options out there if you are a glasses wearer and want to climb. From wearing an old pair of glasses to wearing contacts while you climb to climbing without glasses altogether to buying a glasses keeper, you can find an option that works well for any budget. Take some time to try out different options to see what works best for you and your climbing practice, and just know that there really is something out there for anyone! It’s all about finding out which option is best for you.