The AP ran a story today detailing how ski helmets won't necessarily protect skiers during fatal accidents because most deaths (68%) are caused by a high-speed impact with a fixed object (usually a tree), resulting in chest and torso injuries.
Ski accident expert Jasper Shealy told the AP "Frankly, you're going to need more than a helmet to prevent that fatality."
True. But that doesn't mean a helmet is a bad idea. Beyond fatalities, there are all sorts of non-lethal ways you can bump your head on the slopes. A good, stiff tree branch to the noggin won't send you to the hospital, but it could send you home with a serious lump. Same is true with a ski or pole.
A few weeks ago I hit myself in the back of the head with my ski during an unplanned tumble (sorry, no video) and was fine because I had my helmet on. I often emerge from a tree skiing run with scrapes on my helmet, but none on my head.
Plus, helmets are warm.
There's no reason not to have one, even if it won't help in event of that final battle with Mr. Spruce.
By the way, for all you social trend watchers out there who have noted that people didn't used to wear helmets for anything, and they now show up in all kinds of athletic pursuits, I ask you, what is the next activity where helmets will become chic?
My wife says the downhill portion of the Pikes Peak Ascent.