Glacier Glasses & Goggles

Whilst Sunglasses are not a necessity for most people, Glacier Glasses and/or Goggles are essential for high altitude mountaineering. Without them you would soon become snowblind (a very painful condition) due to the reflection off the snow and ice. Good quality dark glasses are categorised according to their suitability for mountain use.

 

Category
Usage
1 43% - 80% visible light transmitted. Suitable for use in cloudy conditions with virtually no direct sunlight eg blizzards and whiteouts.
2 18% - 43% visible light transmitted. Suitable for use as general sunglasses and in cloudy conditions in the mountains, but not direct sunlight in mountain areas where there will be a lot of reflection off snow and ice.
3 8% - 18% visible light transmitted. Suitable for Alpine and Himalayan mountaineering for most uses, but for prolonged exposure at high altitude Category 4 is recommended.
4 3% - 8% visible light transmitted. For prolonged exposure at high altitude. Will be found too dark for everyday use and should not be used whilst driving a car.
Categories 3 and 4 are the only two categories suitable for Alpine and Himalayan mountaineering.

 

The Julbo Lens Chart gives further information.