Back in the old days (70's) I hated wearing the mandatory helmet for GS as a junior racer. I couldn't wait to rise through the ranks so I could ski GS like Phil and Steve without a helmet. Then of course the things weighed 4 lbs.
Now, I wear Giro 9 - lightweight, convertable for warm weather, Ok for cold (great with a full balacava).
I really don't think it is a question about how good you are as Nolo tries to point out. Nor do I think it's a question of crowded vs uncrowded slopes. To me it's a peice of safety gear that is there "just in case....." Like just in case I take an unexpected header, release from my ski only to have it crash down on my head after a tumble or two. Still have the scar from where the doc used my hair to stitch my scalp back together.
Would you want to ski on these bindings http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1863040583
(Make sure you scroll all the way down to see the photos.) When you could have a better chance with new technology? These will hold you to your ski. And if your really good enough you probably won't fall and tear your knee to shreds.
Why carry a transiever in the back-country when you could just rely on your skill and what's "in your head" to avoid dangerous slopes. I mean you have a probe, right? Then again, why buy a new probe when a length of bamboo can work as well?
I'm not trying to put anybody's skills down. We have a lot of new technology that has helped mitigate risk in just about all we do (seatbelts, airbags, side airbags, avy beacons, drimax/coolmax fabric, etc, etc.) Look at the gear that Mallory used to climb Everest. Look at the gear Hillary used to do the same. Now look at what is used today. If you showed up in the clothes and gear sir Hillary used, your guide probably wouldn't let you climb.
Wearing a helmet is a personal decision and should remain so. Just leave it at that. Rationalizing why not to do something is just as bad as rationalizing why to do something. Look at the big mountain ski rock stars charging insane lines on TGRs flicks. Most if not all are helmeted.
I wear one because I want to. If you don't, its because you don't want to. It has nothing to do with skill, knowledge, ability, crowds, snow conditions, race, freeskiing, depth of powder, avy awareness, or anything else. It's just done becasue of the way you personally feel when wearing/not wearing one.
Sorry for the long rant, but this topic comes up every year with everyone trying to convince someone else to do/not do. Nolo doesn't want to wear one. I do. But I bet we could have some serious fun charging some lines together. It will just be easier to tell us apart on the film.[ September 23, 2002, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: Bullet ]