As has probably been obvious from my blogs over the last few years, I'm not a fan of ageing; gracefully or even disgracefully! But it has come to the point where even I can't ignore the fact that I need reading glasses, my arms just aren't long enough anymore. Having long sight is pretty handy as a climber I reckon, I can see sequences coming up and spot tiny but useful footholds that have saved my bacon on more than one occasion. But long sight doesn't help when reading a book, or for that matter reading my phone...so a cheapo pair has been purchased and they seem to help, goddamit! Although, interestingly while I have been away on my trip to Spain (still here with barely any wifi, hence not much going on on my site), I have needed to use them less and less. What's that all about?
Anyway, I'm not writing this to report on my ageing corneas but I want to spread the love for my neck-saving Y&Y belay glasses. I've had a dodgy neck of a few years now, probably par for the course for most climbers but it got so bad last year that I went to the doctor and have had various investigative scans and tests. The good news is I haven't got the neck of an 80 year old, in fact it's actually in pretty good shape which was a surprise. But the bad news is that they couldn't find out what was wrong with my neck and why I'm getting bad pins and needles, that seem to be caused by neck problems. So I have been dismissed with no answer.
So it was up to me to help myself in whatever way possible. As I had increasingly seen people at the crag/wall with those crazy prism glasses, not the best look I thought but hey let's give em a go. And in a word they are FAB! Why oh why had I put off getting them? A bit like the reading glasses thing...
It took me a few days to get used to the view you have of your climber but now I feel naked without them. A bit like what it was like when seat belts became compulsory. At first it seemed a pain to put them on but now I couldn't imagine driving a car without my belt on. But the best bit about having now worn the Y&Y's for a few months, is that my neck has definitely improved, in fact it almost feels back to normal again. And the whole belaying process is so much less arduous, especially if you are belaying your friend on a project which they are working, you can be there a long while looking up and these glasses just make everything more bearable.
So, my advice is don't put off getting a pair of these. They come in a really useful case and the arms fold away nice and small. I imagine in a few years if you don't have a pair, you'll be in the minority. When I was at Bruixes Wall, Terradets in November, I was surprised by how many people were already using them and they seemed completely the norm.
So dont delay and attentive belaying really won't be a pain in the neck any more!