You’ve just finished a sweaty six hour approach to the edge of the glacier. You drop your pack, flake the rope and throw on your harness. You reach inside your pack for your sunglasses… NOOO! You realize that you left your sunglasses on the dashboard of the car. You can’t go on without them. If only there was some way to limit the UV exposure to your corneas so you could keep going…
Duct Tape Sunglasses:
Start with about 10-12” of duct tape. Place this sticky side up. Take another 6-7” of tape and center this sticky side down in the middle of the longer strip. Put this across your eyes and approximately measure where you eye slits should go. Keeping this spot marked with your finger, fold the tape in half. With a sharp knife, cut a 1.5” slit all the way through both sides.
Unfold and cut two parallel slits 1-2mm from the original cuts. Remove the center material and try on for size.The exposed adhesive tabs should keep the tape on your face (at
least for a while).
Additional notes: Duct tape sunglasses might do in a pinch, but they limit your ability to see. If you’re on a glacier, skiing, or doing any sort of technical climbing, you probably want your partner to go first. Eventually, the adhesive will get all sweaty and they won’t want to stick anymore. You may need more tape or other means to keep them on. UV intensity increases 4% every thousand feet, so these may be less adequate at extremely high elevations. My worst skin sunburn and my only brush with sunburned corneas occurred in a white out on the North Ridge of Mt. Baker. Just because you can’t see the sun, doesn’t mean you won’t get burned.