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Getting over fear of exposure

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby Jon Frohlich » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:14 pm

wildlobo71 wrote:Question: Are there any good exposures, not 13,800 feet up on an isolated peak; to practice on... something within an hour drive of Denver that may have a true exposure feel?


My advice would be to go up to Boulder and climb Bear Peak. There is a short exposed section at the top that you can go up and down repeatedly and practice. The rock is solid and you don't have to worry about anything moving. It only takes a few minutes up and down so you could do it over and over.

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby timf » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:39 pm

I like Phil and Jon's advice (not that the rest of you haven't offered great advice).

Gradually build. Go up Sherman. Some people feel it has exposure on one side. It's similar to Quandary excep the ridge is more narrow. You can easily stay away from the steep side though, but occasionally "flirt" with it.

Then go for something like Castle that has a little more once you gain the ridge. You could then take a trip just up to the keyhole or shortly beyond on Longs Peak.

My whole thing was how in the world can I climb some of the harder 14ers when many of them have loose rock? I haven't done Snowmass and Capitol in ages and so now I have to get reacquainted with exposure. So this is my plan for 2009 (and you can see this on my peak list under the climbing connection forum here). Capitol by the way was exhilarating, but also the scariest place imaginable for me. I may go back again for grins someday.

First a straightforward ones like Antero, finish Castle, and San Luis. These are would be ice breakers to get my initial acclimation for the season and gauge my endurance for some decent mileage in a relatively safer environment.

Then Challenger, Kit Carson, Sneffels, Wetterhorn, and Uncompahgre to get a good taste of exposure, but not terribly bad. I know the Crestone group is known for solid rock, Sneffels and Wetterhorn have a short 100-200' section. Then if comfortable I can then graduate with Crestone & Crestone Needle both with relatively solid rock compared to others.

Come 2010, I can then venture on ones like the Wilsons, Maroon Bells, Pyramid, and Little Bear to at least go as far as comfortable or at the very least stretch my comfort level a bit. In the end there's a chance I may not summit these, so that would limit my to checking off 50 out of my list of 58?! I'm OK with that. I would love to climb all the 14ers, but it's not a do or die requirement for me.

So build on it, challenge yourself, but go for the solid harder ones when your ready. It's bad enough to get wigged out from exposure, but multiply that with a slope sliding out from under you.

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby MtHurd » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:45 pm


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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby Bodhi » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:19 pm

I'll be gradually stepping up my Class 3/4 exposure as the year progresses too. I haven't been on anything very exposed in a few years and I know I'll require some psychological experience to tackle the 14'ers I have left...basically, I have a handful of easy peaks and then it's all class 3 & 4 after that.

Hey, those of us needing to gain that experience should form a group, ya know? We could go on gradually and increasingly exposed mini-hikes, talk about what works, maybe employ the semi-free help of an experienced exposure god.....
Hmmmm...how 'bout the "In Decent Exposure" team? (Sorry...my cold medication is kicking in)
Peace is every step. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby newnative » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:57 pm

Bodhi wrote:I'll be gradually stepping up my Class 3/4 exposure as the year progresses too. I haven't been on anything very exposed in a few years and I know I'll require some psychological experience to tackle the 14'ers I have left...basically, I have a handful of easy peaks and then it's all class 3 & 4 after that.

Hey, those of us needing to gain that experience should form a group, ya know? We could go on gradually and increasingly exposed mini-hikes, talk about what works, maybe employ the semi-free help of an experienced exposure god.....
Hmmmm...how 'bout the "In Decent Exposure" team? (Sorry...my cold medication is kicking in)

I'd definitely be inerested in joining in this group, and gradually increasing my "exposure tolerance"... I'm not freaked out to the point of being paralyzed, but I definitely get that weird feeling from time to time in sketchy situations, and would love to put that behind me via experience/mental conditioning. I've dealt with some exposure on Long's, but have been looking to do the sawtooth and kelso ridge as starters to help me deal with this type of stuff, or perhaps even Sherman, although that doesn't seem as bad as Longs to me. I'm not sure, I haven't been on Sherman, but the pics don't make it seem too bad. Your idea sounds like one worth pursuing, so let me know if you decide to move forward with it...
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the last remaining wilderness be destroyed.

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby larkinrx2 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:26 pm

timf wrote:Gradually build. Go up Sherman. Some people feel it has exposure on one side. It's similar to Quandary excep the ridge is more narrow. You can easily stay away from the steep side though, but occasionally "flirt" with it.


funny you mention this.... i wasnt scared of the ridge on sherman, just suprised that it was that narrow since the other mtns in this range have such wide areas. (possible mining destruction along with enviromental factors?)
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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby ClimbandMine » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:19 pm

I don't know, I hopped on this for my first mountain climb in colorado:

Image

That got me over exposure pretty quick.

Maybe something like this would work too:
Image

Or maybe that approach isn't for everyone. :o
I don't care that you Tele.

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby martynda » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:56 pm

newnative wrote:
Bodhi wrote:I'll be gradually stepping up my Class 3/4 exposure as the year progresses too. I haven't been on anything very exposed in a few years and I know I'll require some psychological experience to tackle the 14'ers I have left...basically, I have a handful of easy peaks and then it's all class 3 & 4 after that.

Hey, those of us needing to gain that experience should form a group, ya know? We could go on gradually and increasingly exposed mini-hikes, talk about what works, maybe employ the semi-free help of an experienced exposure god.....
Hmmmm...how 'bout the "In Decent Exposure" team? (Sorry...my cold medication is kicking in)

I'd definitely be inerested in joining in this group, and gradually increasing my "exposure tolerance"... I'm not freaked out to the point of being paralyzed, but I definitely get that weird feeling from time to time in sketchy situations, and would love to put that behind me via experience/mental conditioning. I've dealt with some exposure on Long's, but have been looking to do the sawtooth and kelso ridge as starters to help me deal with this type of stuff, or perhaps even Sherman, although that doesn't seem as bad as Longs to me. I'm not sure, I haven't been on Sherman, but the pics don't make it seem too bad. Your idea sounds like one worth pursuing, so let me know if you decide to move forward with it...


I'd definitely be very interested in joining this as well. I'd also like to do some winter hikes on reasonably steep snow slopes with an ice-axe, that should help out as well.

Funny Bear peak was mentioned. I did Bear the 2nd week after I moved to CO, barely made it up the "exposed" side and when I got to the pole before the final rocks on the summit, I literally had to hold on to the pole and was almost crawling around that little area. The second time I went a few months later, I was completely comfortable going up and in the area before the rocks started and scrambled up about half way (10ft or so) until my "i want to live" impulse kicked in a little too much. Maybe next time will be it!

Since many people have mentioned it and I'm impatient, there is a thread about doing Sherman Feb 21st or 22nd. If you see a picture of someone abnormally tall crawling on all fours, that will be me.

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby globreal » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:43 pm

susanjoypaul wrote:Preparation is essential. Wear clean underwear, and be sure your pants fit properly, especially around the waistline – perhaps consider suspenders. As you ease into the chairlift, be sure the seat is fully extended in a downright position. If it’s even slightly collapsed, the gap between the seat and back may be just wide enough to accommodate an upended torso. If you’ve taken all the precautions, the chances of exposure will be considerably reduced, and you should be free to seat yourself with little trepidation. Should all safeguards fail, however, be sure to keep all hanging bits within the chair at all times, taking special care not to allow any exposed flesh to touch – and perhaps freeze to – any cold metal parts. Finally, relax. There’s nothing you can do at this point, but smile, swing gently in the breeze, and await rescue. And think about what the rest of your life is going to be like, being known as the guy who exposed himself on the chairlift at Vail.


LOL! Yep SusanJoy, this brings a whole new perspective to "fear of exposure!"
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."
~John 11:25

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby Bodhi » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:59 pm

Martynda, newnative, and anybody else interested:

I'd be happy to organize and set up a few climbs/hikes and see if anybody is interested in going along for support and advice. Heck, I'd even be willing to throw in a 12-pack of Fat Tire or the brew of their choice....maybe even dinner. :wink: I'm moderately comfortable on exposed routes but I always welcome a chance to gain more experience and learn from the best.

I know Tim offered a few suggestions for the "progression" of exposure....any other climbs/hikes others would suggest? Who's willing to take us up on that 12-pack?
Peace is every step. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby zacob » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:59 pm

didn't read through three pages of this thread so forgive me if its already been posted: here is a suggestion that works well for me, after a climbing ground fall i have a healthy fear of heights myself.
"Blinders" much of the exposure is in your head, so limit the stimulus, things like the blowing wind, your peripheral vision and the ability to move your head around to take it all in. Wear a jacket with a hood, when things are getting steep pull the hood up and pull it in close. This will block the wind in your ears, it will prevent you from seeing what is beside you and it limits your ability to turn your head and take it all in. It allows you to focus on the task ahead and at hand..

Re: Getting over fear of exposure

Postby Jon Frohlich » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:37 am

Bodhi wrote:I know Tim offered a few suggestions for the "progression" of exposure....any other climbs/hikes others would suggest? Who's willing to take us up on that 12-pack?


Depending on my schedule I might take you up on it. Let me know what you guys are thinking of doing or if you need more ideas. Ski season is pretty packed but with a bit of notice I could do a Bear Peak climb. The blinders suggestion is also good. I had a climbing partner who used to put a bandanna under her helmet to focus her view to the front. I don't like having my view restricted but it works for some people.

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