Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Helmets for Ski Mountaineering

If you are thinking of upgrading your racing helmet to something lighter like the Petzl Scirroco, 165g or Black Diamond Vapor, 189-199g it’s probably a good idea to hold off. For 2016/17 ISMF season, dual climb and ski certifications (EN 12492/UIAA 106 and EN 1077 class B) will be required. This is certainly a step in the right direction as the potential for head injuries in a ski mountaineering race are more likely due to crashing than from rockfall. But there aren’t many dual certified helmets on the market right now! 

Cebe Trilogy 280-360g

Kong Cosmos/ Cosmos Full, 350g. “Full” version comes with earflaps, but both appear to have EN 1077 certification.

Dynafit SR Race/Salewa Xenon, 320g (The Dynafit helmet is now discontinued, the Salewa one has limited NA distribution)

Dynafit Radical Helmet. I've only seen one site advertise this one as being dual certified.

Salomon MTN, 280g (brand new helmet for 2016 season)

Camp Pulse, 285-355g (must be worn with winter kit to be EN 1077 certified)

Ski Trab Sintesi, 270g (this is now discontinued. This is the only dual certified helmet I have seen that does not come with earflaps.)

Mammut Alpine Rider, 334-359g.

Uvex P.8000 388g

Scott Couloir 525g
Scott Couloir 2 355g

Casco Gams

Alpina Snow Tour, 330g. 

Sweet Protection Igniter Alpinist, 500g

Julbo Freetourer, 

It is interesting to note that the CAMP Pulse is only EN 1077 certified if worn with the winter kit. I wonder if this is the case for the other helmets? North American availability of these helmets is also an issue as it appears that only the CAMP Pulse and Mammut Alpine rider are easily available here.
For EN 12492 Helmets for Mountaineers, the helmet is impacted with two different 5kg strikers (one hemispherical and one flat. The hemispherical striker is dropped from 2m onto the top-front area of the helmet, and the flat striker is dropped on the front, sides, and rear of the helmet. Transmitted force cannot exceed 10kN. The helmet is also tested for penetration with a 3kg conical striker dropped from 1m.

For EN 1077 Ski and Snowboard Helmets, the helmet is mounted on a headform and dropped from a height of 1.5m. Peak acceleration cannot exceed 250G’s. A penetration test is performed as well with the helmet dropped at 10km/hr onto a conical striker (class B).
250G’s is still quite a large acceleration and even the best ski helmet has limited potential to protect against angular accelerations (something that the MIPS system tries to account for).

Note: After attending the 2017 ISMF World Championships, I did not see anyone racing with earflaps. CAMP has a new dual certified helmet coming, but all CAMP athletes were using the Pulse (without earflaps). Some skiers from Greece, Japan, and Iran didn't even bother to buy dual certified helmets and were still allowed to race.

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