Using Polarized Sunglasses To Get An Advantage In Rock Climbing

Jacey Martin

On the highest peaks and in the dog days of summer, the sun can be one of your biggest challenges when rock climbing. However, an easy, and surprisingly affordable way to battle the sun is with a pair of polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses allow climbers to cut the glare of the sun, either directly or reflecting off of a sheer rock face, or even avoid snow blindness during an exhilarating winter climb. 


Polarized sunglasses can not only block the annoying glare from a sunset at the end of a climb or get you off on the right foot in the early morning, but a good pair will allow you to climb when many climbers are stuck inside due to the blinding effects of snow. Snow blindness can be extremely dangerous, especially at high altitudes and when other factors like wind and cold are already working against you.

Polarized sunglasses can often help under these conditions, but this advantage should not be assumed to come with every pair of polarized sunglasses, as only certain models are rated as being beneficial in a snowy environment. Make sure to check the package before buying if snow if your main concern. 

Picking Out a Pair

Choosing a pair of polarized sunglasses is going to depend primarily on the conditions you plan on climbing under. Glasses that are best used in snowy conditions will most often look like lightweight ski goggles, tinted in orange, amber or gold. These colors allow the user to better make out shapes and distance in a nearly all-white environment.

There are also lenses that work best under low-light conditions, if you're a dusk or dawn climber. If you plan on climbing in a variety of different areas or during different times of year, a pair that offers interchangeable lenses is a must in order to adapt your glasses to the appropriate conditions. 


Picking out a pair of polarized sunglasses is fairly easy with a few pointers, but taking care of them and keeping them on your face during the toughest climbs is a bit more of a delicate procedure. For starters, you're going to need some kind of leash in order to keep your investment from tumbling down into the abyss.

Another accessory that most climbers forget is some grip tape, which can be applied to the nose piece and earpieces for an added grip when the sweaty summer climbs threaten your shades. An accessory that should go without saying is a case, especially if your glasses are expensive and you'll need to put them in your pack for a while. 

Rock climbing is one of the most extreme of the extreme sports, with challenges and danger lurking around every rock face. Taking the sun out of the equation can be a huge advantage, and can allow you to climb on days others can't, or continue a climb that would be impossible without a trusty set of shades.

To learn more, contact a company like Adventures In Climbing with any questions you have.