Widely used by climbers and bikers for years, Julbo performance eyewear is starting to make its presence more widely known in the suburbs of Boston where I teach full-time.
Over the past few months, it seems as though I have had the same interaction four or five times with different people. I would be standing, wearing my Apple Green Julbo Stunt glasses with the Blue Spectron 3+ lens, and waiting for my kids’ bus to arrive. A friend or colleague would stop to say hello and then comment on my glasses.
“Whoa, that’s quite a color,” he or she would say.
“Try them on,” I would reply. After hesitating for a moment, he or she would comply.
“Wow! These lenses are awesome! They don’t make it too dark. What kind of glasses are these?”
For almost two years now, the Julbo Stunt has been my go-to glasses for numerous outdoor activities – climbing, biking, hiking – or for simply walking around town (or bus-stop). These lightweight glasses wrap around your eyes, leaving no large gaps so that no matter which way you move the lenses protect your eyes. The GripNose and slim GripTech temples wrap around snugly, but not too snugly, to enable the glasses to stay on your face when climbing or biking. In addition, the Stunt fits comfortably under a helmet for a long day of climbing or biking without hurting behind the ears.
The lenses are fantastic! When climbing on the slabs in the full sun, I barely notice them but remain thankful that I am not squinting from the glare off the rock. While fighting the reflection from White Mountains, the blue Spectra 3+ lenses, never making it too dark. In fact, on a recent trip to Tennessee, even though it was slightly overcast, I put my Stunts on to keep the small gnats out of my eyes and could still see small footholds just fine.
Alex rapping down in style
While I try to be careful and take care of my sunglasses, because I am using them for activities like climbing, my Stunts have endured their fair share of mileage. Nonetheless, these glasses have taken quite the abuse and have held up through it all. If you are looking for a pair of performance glasses for the upcoming spring and summer, I would highly recommend the Stunts.
Every year, each season takes its own shape and form. This past ice season started earlier than I had expected, and I got in more ice days than I had in previous years. As the season nears its end, I was psyched to get in a few more enjoyable days with solid people.
I had the pleasure of working with an REI group on President’s Weekend. This course is listed as an introductory to ice climbing, but most of the individuals had rock climbing experience, so we were able to hit the ground running.
Tori picking a good route
On day one, they pushed themselves on the shorter but stout routes in Franconia Notch in sunny, 40-degree weather. We left the puffies in the bag, shed the layers, and took out our sunglasses for the day.
Henry starting up
Sehrish getting into the steeper stuff
They climbed so hard on the first day, I wondered how much they would have for day two at Kinsman Notch. They kept going. They applied and refined some technique we showed them and they made it up the harder climbs.
Nav and Meg at the top of their respective climbs
Every group has its own personality and bonds together in its own way. The individuals connected quickly, and their instant comradery was impressive. They offered belays without hesitation, took pictures of each other, and offered verbal support the entire weekend. The purpose of these weekend excursions is two-fold: to introduce/develop the ice climbing skills and knowledge and to have fun. This group accomplished both.
The next day, I took my two children ice climbing for the first time. We decided to get an early start at Kinsman to ensure that we would beat the crowds and get the route we wanted. Unlike the previous two days, the colder Monday temps resulted an icier approach. Instead of moving quickly up the trail with few layers on, as I did the day before, I moved more deliberately and spotted the kids at the many sections that had become slippery.
Watching my two young children battle both their fear and the ice, I marveled at their persistence and tenacity. Some of their struggles, like kicking their feet in or pulling the tool from the ice, are different than older climbers, but task of managing of fear remains present in us all. Seeing the juxtaposition between the two groups and the way each managed his or her own fear and excitement was quite insightful for me as climber, a guide, and a parent.
This recent warm stretch is melting most of the ice, resulting in a canceled trip this weekend and marking the end of my ice season. Fortunately, the rock season is around the corner. With more of these warm days, it might arrive early this year as well.