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[pct-l] Re: sunglasses help

>I'm going to be hiking in the Grand Tetons in September. I'm going to be 
>doing the Teton High Route,
>some 70 miles, over a week. This means hiking at elevations from 
>7,000-11,000 feet. Sunglasses seem
>like a good idea, but I'm not sure what type to get.
>Do I need glacier glasses? Or will dark sunglasses work? My gripe with 
>sunglasses in general is that
>they really limit my already low vision. I need to keep contrast high but 
>don't want to loose
>accurate color perception. At least with cheap glasses those things seem to 
>suffer. What should I
>look for?
>   ** Ken **

Since you say you have some vision problems, you probably should consult 
with your optometrist to get his/her professional advice.  If your 
optometrist is a backcountry enthusiast, all the better.

Obviously you want to get sunglasses that will block all or nearly all UV 
light.  To preserve contrast and true color, look for glasses with a gray 
tint.  I like these better than the amber-colored glasses.  If you expect to 
be crossing or passing by any appreciable amount of snow--and that includes 
scattered patches as well as long snowfields--you will definitely need to 
have dark glasses to reduce the glare.  In these conditions your glasses 
should likewise have side-shields or be of the wrap-around kind; the glare 
coming in from the sides of regular sunglasses is still strong enough to 
induce snow-blindness.  In my opinion, the snow factor is important enough 
to override any other consideration going into your purchase.

With your low vision, perhaps you may want to carry two pairs of glasses?  
You could have one pair of very dark glacier glasses for the times you need 
them, and a second pair of ordinary UV-blocking sunglasses for low-light 
conditions, when the glacier glasses would be too dark for you.

I wear and have been happy with REI's polarized glacier glasses.  At $55 
they're not necessarily cheap but they're still not the most expensive 
glasses one could spend money on.  Before you buy any glasses, however, do 
try to get a chance to try them on to see whether you are comfortable with 
their fit and performance.

Hope you have a great time in the Tetons.  Been near them but not yet in 
them--please reserve me a seat somewhere high and scenic!

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