We’ve used ski helmets for climbing, and climbing helmets for skiing, but doing so has always seemed lacking. Ski helmets such as the Giro models are comfortable and light, but the shell doesn’t hold up to being banged around during climbs that involve rock scrambling. Conversely, climbing helmets such as the Black Diamond Tracer are superlight (only 9 ounces!) and cool on the head, but lack winter comfort features such as ear flaps and hand operated on/off vents.
Thus, enter the hybrid helmet — something we’ve been wanting for years. The CAMP offering in this area is their Pulse, a helmet that’s said to be the “first certified for skiing and climbing.”
Overall, a close look at this helmet gives you the feeling it’s been seriously designed for folks who ski and climb. Check it out:
|Today’s object at hand. Pulse Ski/Climb helmet, 13.7 oz, 354 gr (size 2).|
While only an ounce heavier than our venerable Giro 9, Pulse offers features such as headlamp clips, solidly attached but easily removable ear flaps, front vent closure system and headlamp clips. For that extra ounce, you also get a windlass style size adjuster: If your head swells from that amazing huck you just landed, simply reach behind and twist for more room. Perhaps most importantly for true mountaineering use, the Pulse polycarbonate shell is noticeably tougher than the thin skin of the Giro. Goggle gap tests out to be about the same as a Giro, and the “winter kit” that provides ear flaps also includes plugs to close up the vent holes that the hand operated shutter doesn’t block (similar to the Giro system many of us are familiar with).
|We like the simple snap type goggle clip better as it’s quicker when dealing with goggle strap buckles and such, but the basic plastic clip on the back of the Pulse does work.|
|Headlamp clips work fine.|
|View of the size adjuster and removable ear flaps.|
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.