$8 Belay Glasses

I like gear. Actually, anyone who’s been to my house knows that’s kind of an understatement. This is where I’m supposed to say “I’m Matt Stroebel and I have a problem.” Except when you try to explain your addiction to shiny new cams at an AA meeting you’re kindly asked to leave.

So anyway, after climbing at the RRG and using a friends belay glasses I was hooked. Except for the $75 price tag. Plus I recently got a dremel and who doesn’t like dremeling? (Well my one climbing partner who calls it the thing that spins and cuts things, but she’s in the minority) After a “productive morning at work” I’d found someone who’s cheaper than me and found a way to do this for $8. So why are you reading my blog instead of his? After all he’s the original genius. You’re right, but he lacked one thing, Aviators.

To start with you need a pair of aviators. Luckily for me, Sam gave me a $0.99 pair a few years ago as a joke. Really you could use any pair of sunglasses, but if you spring for the aviators you can force your climber to refer to you as “Goose” and make jokes about “requesting permission to buzz the tower” when they take a huge whipper. You also need a pair of upside down prism glasses, which are marketed for people to watch tv while lying down because they can’t be bothered to lift their heads up. It makes more sense when you think of bedridden people, though I like to picture a chubby American family spread out on the couch watching TV with these. Ahh, the American Dream.

Step 1: Get your glasses, you know mine are quality because they are from China and I can’t pronounce the name, therefore they are fancy and high class.

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Step 2: Cover the lenses with tape so you don’t scratch them with your dremel.

Step 3: Go to town with your dremel, you only want the lenses and the plastic housing around them. Try and keep as much extra material so you can conform them to your aviators.

Step 4: Figure out how far apart to space the lenses by putting them up to your eyes and securing them to something flat like a Popsicle stick. Tape them down to the Popsicle stick so that they are parallel to each other, otherwise you’ll see double vision and probably get a headache.

Step 5: Shave the side that will be glued up against your aviators so that it fits as well as it can. Then use hot glue to tack them down to the lens of your aviators. Make sure the lenses stay taped to the Popsicle stick so that they stay aligned.

Step 6: Reinforce the hot glue with JB Weld or another epoxy. Make sure to use a lot, dribble it all over the lenses. and really make it look home made.

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Step 7: Let them dry and take your extremely stylish glasses out climbing. When your partner refuses to be belayed by such a fashion disaster, belay her anyways and say things like “I have a need, a need for speed” even if it’s totally out of context and makes no sense.

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You cynics out there who are saying that it cost more than $8 are right. I spent an extra $0.35 on shipping and Sam almost spent a dollar on the glasses. But $9.34 belay glasses just didn’t flow. And this is the Internet so I’m always right, even if I just started a sentence with “and.”