Fear of heights to beat

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
Forum rules
Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Fear of heights to beat

Postby Lenishta » Thu 25 Jul, 2019 4:50 pm

HI all, I am planning on doing the Larapinta trail next year. As always my severe fear of heights is spoiling my anticipation. Im planning numerous walks that gradually include more heights and narrow paths up to and including those similar to the Larapintar. Hoping for help in finding those hikes around VIctoria? I have done the Overland without issue and only a bit freaked on the last day of Milford track as a indication. TYIA
Lenishta
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri 22 May, 2015 8:28 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby ChrisJHC » Thu 25 Jul, 2019 7:24 pm

Hmm, to be honest you’re going to struggle if you can’t get your fear of heights under control.

There are some stretches where you will be quite high and close to the edges of cliffs and drop-offs.
Euro Ridge, Brinkley Bluff, Counts Point in particular come to mind.

Re walks that are similar, I like the Mt Macedon loop and it is similar in some ways to the Larapinta.
Start at the Mount Macedon pub and go clockwise. The mix of hills and flats will stand you in good stead.
The western side of Mt Tworong is particularly good for you - you should think of going up and down this several times to get used to the rocks, the elevation changes and the height.

Of course, it will be cold and wet which is not like the Larapinta!
ChrisJHC
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 543
Joined: Sat 25 Feb, 2017 9:22 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 25 Jul, 2019 7:47 pm

I would also recommend other high stress/anxiety things as well. Getting used to dealing with height by doing heights does work, but you will make ground faster by also exposing yourself to other similar stresses. If you really don't like spiders or snakes (enough that you would avoid those sections at the zoo) then go hang out in those areas of the zoo. (maybe start with a museum if its bad) Take every opportunity for a high balcony or bridge walkway. Tree top adventure park, climbing wall, all can be used to work yourself into it. Have a way out, and a way to try again.
Don't think of it as "becoming unafraid" think of it as "conditioning to still be functional while afraid" It shocks me how many people are ashamed of being afraid of heights. We don't have tails, wings or claws! Sure you could have a phobia, but that's different. I'm guessing that you can handle a flight of stairs, so its just a fear that is bigger than you want. At the end of the day, if you set yourself a goal that is reachable, like doing things that are scary and enjoying them, then you will find success. Setting the goal of doing an entire walk while never once feeling nervous about being near the edge of a cliff, well, unless you plan on the Phineas Gage method, it just isn't likely to work, and is more likely to make it worse as you get discouraged.
Gadgetgeek
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1163
Joined: Sun 23 Sep, 2012 5:10 pm
Region: Queensland
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby CBee » Thu 25 Jul, 2019 7:55 pm

I highly recommend you to start doing exposed scrambles with someone who can belay you on a rope. The best exercise for your brain.
CBee
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri 21 Dec, 2018 8:18 am
Region: Queensland

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby crollsurf » Thu 25 Jul, 2019 9:05 pm

Hi Lenishta,

I suffer from a different condition the French call "L'appel du vide", the call of the void. Basically an urge to jump off a high place. Not great when the Blue Mountains are in your backyard. Once I had identified the problem I was able to research and study it, I now rarely suffer from the condition and when I do, my rational mind is able to give feeback to my emotional mind and control the situation.

I would say it is the same with your fear of heights, get a better understanding of why and dont't let it stop you doing what you want to do. Work your way up (pun intended) but you should be right once your logical mind gets a better understanding of the psychology behind it.
User avatar
crollsurf
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Tue 07 Mar, 2017 11:07 am
Location: Sydney
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby ribuck » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 4:04 am

All good advice, but you guys are making the Larapinta sound much more vertiginous than it is.
User avatar
ribuck
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1429
Joined: Wed 15 May, 2013 4:47 am
Region: Other Country
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 8:02 am

The Grampians has many walks that go next to cliffs. While it may be hard to arrange, consider doing easy, low-angle, short rock climbs with a rope. After a while you will get used to how climbing technique. The Sugarloaf near Buxton has two very easy climbs, Tigris and Euphrates, grades 1 and 2 from memory, as easy as they come.
User avatar
Lophophaps
Auctorita modica
Auctorita modica
 
Posts: 2901
Joined: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 10:45 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby Xplora » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 9:05 am

Is it a fear of heights or a fear of falling from a height (and the sudden stop at the bottom)? It is different and will make overcoming it different. Can you stand at a lookout with a rail or fence and look over? My nephew said he had a fear of heights but I managed to get him over a cliff on a rope. Once the weight was on the rope he felt more confident. I am a bit the same. Understanding the triggers for the anxiety helps you manage it better.
Xplora
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat 01 Aug, 2015 8:24 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby Tortoise » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 11:25 am

I worked on my fear of heights for a year, and was thrilled with the result. My fear wasn't severe like yours, but I want to do more 'extreme' things.

    Mt Anne the 1st time: Panic++, paralysed by fear at times, thought the only way off would be dead or by helicopter.
    Mt Anne a year later: LOVED it!!!!
    The (infamous) Notch the first time: Panic++, paralysed by fear at times, thought I was going to die.
    The Notch a year later: LOVED it!!!!

What I did:
1. The Climbing Web
climbing web.jpg
climbing web.jpg (8.56 KiB) Viewed 4325 times

I went most days up a climbing web at a local park. (Felt a bit silly, but hey...!) They vary in size, but ours is quite big.
On ours there's a plate right near the top you can stand on. It moves until your weight settles, just to increase the adrenaline.
At first, I thought I might die, or be seriously maimed. White knuckles. Did a bit of CBT and some breathing exercises while I was at the top. Consciously made myself relax my hands, and eventually started to enjoy the view. Then took one hand off. :shock: More of the same. After maybe a month, I only had a few butterflies as I raced up and just got to enjoy the view.

2. Rock Climbing Lessons
Two very kind chaps gave me free climbing lessons, which were brilliant. They gave me:
    Practice being safe at an increasing height
    Practice focussing on what I needed to do, rather than the fear
    Plenty of new skills - how to use my weight, straight arm etc to magically make new holds
    Re-defined good holds to finger-holds and toe-holds :)
    A bucket load of confidence

3. High Ropes Course
A local children's campsite has one of these. I hired it out myself for an hour or two (it comes with instructor, harness etc). Climb up spikes on a telegraph pole to a log 4 m off the ground, then a wire 8 m off the ground. Then a couple of other wires. My first goal was to be able to walk 'casually' across the log, instead of inching across sideways. That took a lot of goes, upping the difficulty a little each time. Plenty more CBT and breathing exercises while I did it.

4. Took every opportunity to scramble on rocks, take a more difficult little option when I was out bushwalking. More CBT etc.

5. Chose to listen to a positive tape in my head. One of my rock-climbing instructors gave me a huge gift in that regard, by saying, "Tortoise, you're a natural at this." :D

Still not sure if I can manage Federation, but I'm looking forward to having a really good go. Two potential options, in different groups. Both options will give me confidence in different ways. The first would be with a group I know well, who helped me up the previously impossible Geryon North and South. The second would be with a very experienced rope man.

Hope this might give you some ideas. All the very best!
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 4088
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 10:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby bobcrusader » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 3:32 pm

I got over my fear of heights without really meaning to on a trip to Canada. By the time I had crossed the Capilano Suspension Bridge (and back), gone in the gondola to Grouse Mountain and ridden a couple of chair lists at Whistler, I was over it. I recall one specific moment on the chair lift where the ground dropped away and was replaced with cloud/fog - scared me at the time, but that was the last time. There are the tree-tops walks in the Otways and Warburton areas that might also be worth a try. Cathedrals has some good ridges to help you too.
Sometimes, when adrenaline kicks in, its amazing what can be achieved.
Good luck with it.
bobcrusader
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 12:30 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby Neo » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 8:49 pm

Book a day trip abseiling with a respected company.

Or you could come with me. I will teach you the skills on the ground, then try a boulder, a pitch, an overhang :)
Neo
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1555
Joined: Wed 31 Aug, 2016 5:53 pm
Location: Port Macquarie NSW
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby ChrisJHC » Sun 28 Jul, 2019 6:52 pm

Just to be clear for the original poster: there is no need for ropes, abseiling or rock climbing on the Larapinta!

As an example, the image below is Euro Ridge in Section 1. The trail goes within a metre of the steep drop off on the left hand side. If you’re okay with that then you should be able to handle the few other areas that are also steep and/or high.

Image
ChrisJHC
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 543
Joined: Sat 25 Feb, 2017 9:22 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby flywire » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 10:16 am

Heights freak the hell out of me on my own and I've turned around at times but I managed to do the whole Larapinta trail.

I started at Mount Sonder and got really close to the top before the wind picked up and I grabbed the nearest rock. Lucky I did or the whole mountain would have fallen down! I waited for someone else to come along and asked if I could walk behind them. At the top they said they thought I was joking but I assured them I wasn't. After that I was fine with the rest of the trail but I did focus on the ground rather than the view a few times.
flywire
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun 06 Jul, 2014 1:01 am
Region: Australia

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 1:57 pm

Helicopter spur in the Upper Howqua valley area is a good steep scramble for those who are new to such things. Best to go up. I would not be keen to go down it.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby north-north-west » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 3:17 pm

flywire wrote: ... but I did focus on the ground rather than the view a few times.


That is more or less the way to do it. Focus on something else. If scrambling, force yourself to focus on the climb; on technique, on routes, on hand- and foot holds. When traversing cliff edges or narrow ridges focus on what is immediately in front of your feet or on the far distance. When all else fails, stop, get your breathing under control and think clearly about what you need to do.
And always remember that there is no shame in turning back. Alive is better than foolhardy.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
User avatar
north-north-west
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 12908
Joined: Thu 14 May, 2009 8:36 pm
Location: The Asylum
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Region: Tasmania

Re: Fear of heights to beat

Postby flywire » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 4:24 pm

I'm a solo hiker and it's mainly the fear of the unknown; are you actually on the track, how many m/km does this go on for?

For context I turned around on these occasions:
* heading NW from the Wilpena pound office I never made it to Tanderra Saddle - after a few switchbacks track was near vertical
* big boulder near the peak at the Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park
* 9.) You can get an indication of how far you will fall if you slip ... a looong looong way down!!! If you are afraid of height, Mt Bruce is not for you. iirc you have to climb around that cliff somewhere :twisted:
flywire
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun 06 Jul, 2014 1:01 am
Region: Australia


Return to Victoria

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests