Sunglasses are essential for mountaineering and rock climbing activities. Rock climbers require strong eye protection, especially since they deal with the bright and blazing rays of the sun, and we all know that UV rays are harmful to one’s eyes. Aside from that, you cannot possibly avoid the tiny particles and debris falling on your way during rock climbing. Sunglasses help rock climbers protect their eyes and faces from the dangerous falling debris and dust.
Why is it dangerous to be exposed to the sun when rock climbing?
There is a deep explanation to understand further why it is important to wear protective sunglasses when going rock climbing. When you go to places with a high altitude, your exposure to solar radiation also increases. With every 1,000 meters of increasing altitude, the solar radiation also increases by approximately 10 percent. Note that the type B Ultraviolet light this radiation contains is extremely harmful to you.
Aside from that, when rock climbing during the winter, it is important to know that the snow could reflect at least 80 percent of solar radiation – it is 60% more compared to non-snowy areas. This means that the solar radiation you can get also increases. At a 2,000 meter-high altitude, you will possibly get 1.5 times greater solar radiation.
However, this still varies in the area where you are at, the thickness of the ozone layer, the angle of incidence of the sun rays, and the season. During the autumn equinox, the solar radiation is 25% greater than the radiation during the spring equinox. This is because the ozone layer is significantly thicker during spring than autumn.
Even though it is a cloudy day, the light coming from the sun still imposes danger when you are in the mountains. Some clouds, such as the alto-cumulus clouds, can stop and filter the UV light. However, clouds like the cirrus clouds cannot filter the UV light at all.
And if you think that the fog may help lessen the danger of sun exposure, then you might be wrong. A fog allows 50% of light to come through, but still, you may be situated at the top layer of the clouds, wherein the intensity of light and the UV rays remain high because of diffraction. So nevertheless, the risks stay the same and are similarly high, just like during fine weather conditions.
Lastly, the wind and the cold in high-altitude places or polar regions impose different risks for your eyes, especially when you are not wearing protective gear for rock climbing, such as sunglasses or goggles.
Now that you understand the risks of being exposed to the sun and the importance of protective sunglasses for rock climbing, here is some guide to know more about sunglasses for rock climbing and the important components – frame, grip, lenses, and many more. Keep on reading to know more about properly protecting your eyes from the harmful UV rays.
Glasses slipping off is probably one of the major concerns of rock climbers. When rock climbing, it is essential for your glasses to stay in place as you need them for protection. Having a great and comfortable frame is important because rock climbing can be an extreme sport, and you do not want to feel any discomfort while climbing your way up the rugged rocks. A high-quality frame would give you a seamless feeling as if your glasses are not even there.
Having a good grip is important to prevent your sunglasses from slipping off your face or falling off the mountains. A rubber nose grip would help prevent your glasses from slipping even though you are sweating hard and have accumulated skin oil. Having a textured grip is also ideal as you might not need to have unnecessary adjustments while climbing.
Aside from the grip, you might want to add a temple strap. It helps your glasses stay in place throughout your rock climbing adventure.
Having great coverage is an important feature of sunglasses for rock climbing. Great sunglasses must have enough coverage in height and side wrap. This will provide a high level of protection and extreme coverage that can block the reflective light and prevent harmful UV rays from damaging your eyes.
The lenses are probably the most crucial part of every pair of sunglasses, especially sunglasses for rock climbing. There are different types of lenses with different functions and uses. It is important to know your environment or the place where you’ll go rock climbing to prepare yourself and the protective gear suitable for the place.
Here are some different lenses of sunglasses for rock climbing.
Transition Lenses help decrease and increase the intensity of visual light transmission automatically. These lenses allow you to adapt to the changes in light conditions more easily, as the lenses instantly adjust to the amount of light being transmitted.
Transition lenses turn gray to allow maximum light reduction. On the other hand, for greater contrasts, transition lenses usually turn brown.
Polarized lenses help decrease the sun’s glare. Because the glare lessens, the eye strain when you are in bright and sunny conditions with strong glare reflection decreases. These lenses are perfect for high-glare environments, such as high-altitude mountains where there are extreme and harmful UV rays.
The higher the altitude, the greater Ultraviolet rays you get. So when you decide to go rock climbing in a high-altitude environment, go for darker lenses. The darker the lenses are, the more rays blocked from going into your eyes. These dark lenses are also ideal for blocking bright glares from entering your eyes.
Ultimate Guide for Lenses on Sunglasses for Rock Climbing
- Photochromic lenses are perfect when rock climbing because you tend to move to different areas more often (from shaded areas to areas with bright lighting conditions.)
- Mirror-coated lenses help in generally reducing brightness.
- You may apply anti-reflective coatings to your lenses’ front and back areas. They allow you to see clearly during rock climbing.
- Use anti-fog treatment to avoid the formulation of the moist, which can cause vision blurriness. Mist usually forms when you go from warmer air to a cooler surface, so it is normal for your sunglasses to mist when rock climbing as you move to a higher-altitude environment.
- If you need prescription glasses for rock climbing, you may ask to put a prescription on your lenses, or you may also have prescription goggles or glasses inserts.
- Have interchangeable lenses to adapt to different conditions easily.
- All-around color
- Ideal when rock climbing in bright lighting conditions
- Reduces color distortion
- For greater contrast
- Allows excellent color balance
- Relaxing to your eyes
- Perfect for a partially sunny environment
- Allows you to see terrain better
- Ideal for low light conditions
- Allows greater contrast enhancement