This is the sad story of the Petzl Meteor II no. 13,456 Helmet . Helmet was created in the Petzl factory in 2003 and given a wonderful metallic blue coating. It was here that Helmet learned of the privilege of his purpose: he was to protect his owner’s life and ensure his owner could climb with increased safety. Helmet was shown many gruesome images of what could happen to peoples’ heads if a helmet was not worn; Helmet now felt suffused with purpose and meaning, even vowing to make the Ultimate Sacrifice himself, if it meant that his owner would live on.
In the shop, many people tried on Helmet and commented on his nice colouring, but Helmet ignored them. He wasn’t there to make people look nice. Finally a young lad tried him on and Helmet just knew this was going to be his owner. Helmet’s heart lifted when he heard his new owner chatting to the shop assistant “Aye, I am going up to the
Helmet and me, Expecting To Fly E4 6a, Stac Pollaidh
And then the long dark waits in the back of the cupboard started. At first Helmet reassured himself, that not everyone could climb all the time not even this super keen lad. But from time to time, Helmet noticed that the other gear would go missing for days at a time. So, the Lad was climbing without him then! And with the nuts and cams too! Helmet felt betrayed, hadn’t the Lad brought Helmet to protect himself just like all the other gear? Surely not to be stuck on a shelf collecting dust, sinking deeper and deeper into a purposeless depression.
A rare outing for Helmet on Angel, Etive Slabs. Helmet came in very useful on this pitch as I fell off twice getting to this point and slamming into the lower slab... (S.Richardson)
One magical day, Helmet got taken winter climbing and he really showed the Lad what he was made of then as he deflected all the snow and ice that came tumbling down and even once, an axe that popped out of a placement. Helmet was ready to forgive the Lad if it meant more days like this but sadly, he never got taken out onto the white stuff again. One time, Helmet was put in the bag and taken off to a crag where he simply sat on the grass and didn't get worn at all. He even heard the Lad saying to his partner that because the crag was steep and the rock solid, he didn't need to wear a helmet!
Hadn't the Lad learnt that rock is unpredictable stuff and anything could happen like a foot slipping and taking a swinger into a jaggy corner? Or when a flake decides to detach itself onto a belayer? Or what about a backward fall onto spiky boulders?
Helmet got angry at being left on the shelf for longer and longer periods while the other gear went out and had all the fun. Occasionally some of gear didn’t come back, having made the Ultimate Sacrifice for the Lad. Helmet now hates the Lad and wishes that someone who did not climb such "steep and solid rock" had chosen him. Resigned to his fate, Helmet collects dust and dreams of days of feeling the sunshine and wind...