Splitboard.com Forums

The World's first exclusive splitboard discussion forums






It is currently Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:09 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:18 pm
Posts: 471
Location: New Castle, Colorado
Wonder, what to one can do to help themselves or their partners, who have Acrophobia (a fear of heights) navigate a mellow ridge-line.

I know I can choose the terrain where we skin and ride. But enviably, we will have to choose the safest route, which most likely means a ridge with some exposure.

What are your experiences with this kind of situation?

_________________
Ride the Pow!
----
Venture Storm R 163 (2010), Dynafit Binding/Sparks Adapter, Scarpa F1 Boots, Bomber Sidewinder Bindings * Prior 172 Fissile (2012) Dynafit Binding/Sparks Adapter


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:07 pm
Posts: 343
Location: Green Mountains
I had no choice but to get over my fear of heights when I worked on 25 ft. a-frame ladders one summer. I shook like hell at first, but I over came it and it stuck, so it's possible. Talking and guiding somebody through a couple tours with exposure would certaintly help. The tough part is getting them to do it. It would be uncomfortable for them at first, but I think the fear can be overcome if they are willing.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:09 pm
Posts: 681
Location: white room
Push them off a cliff into some pow :lol:

Seriously, don't know if anything can be done for this. It's one of those inner demons everyone has to wrestle with. No matter how much time I've spent in the mountains, and what type of stuff i've gotten into, I still get gripped above exposure, especially with the board off my feet. But overcoming fear is the biggest rush there is.

_________________
Ridin' Dirty


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:22 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:57 am
Posts: 152
Location: Canada
Start climbing.

Ridgeline exposure is nothing compared to being 3 pitches up on a sheer wall anchored in with a PAS.

I'm not saying it ever really goes away, but you certainly learn how to manage it the more time you spend on the sharp end.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:49 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:35 pm
Posts: 313
Location: Ithaca, NY
I think that with most big changes, there has to be a strong inner desire from the individual to make the change. At least with strong personality types who are adults I think it's rare for other motivations to really do it. The difference between "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" motivations if you will. Peer pressure, put downs or other shit usually won't cut it with usually confident adults that are just in new or uncomfortable surroundings- at least with recreational activities that don't rely as much on "team" cohesiveness.

If the person truly wants to change you can help guide them by supporting them and slowly working their confidence up. Start with very very mellow exposure and just let them hang out there. Just show them, rationally, that it is safe. The cherry on top is if there is some sort of extra reward to being there, like a view or taking a snack break or something.

Then as you, hopefully, see them become more comfortable bring them to bigger things, more exposure but perhaps with excellent footing or maybe less exposure but more technically difficult. Most importantly don't push too hard as this will usually sour things and blow up in your face. Always be ready to back down and accept their potentially irrational fears as very real and let them WANT to try again. This is not about you and your agenda, this is about them and you have to have a lot of patience and dedication to helping them.

Another really important aspect of this that I struggle with is properly identifying things that are "scary" or uncomfortable from things that aren't. If you're very comfortable or competent at something you often lose perspective and end up saying things like, "Oh come on it's as wide as a bus here and if you fell you probably wouldn't even die!" I haven't found that to be helpful or constructive. :lol:

Past that just keeping a positive attitude yourself is huge and definitely can rub off on people. I used to not believe in all this "hippie" bullshit and attacked it (and people) from a "purely rational" standpoint by pointing out how stupid it was that they were even scared. I was an asshole and I definitely didn't get any results. :nononno: I stopped being as selfish, pushing my agenda and treating their fear or inabilities as a hindrance to accomplishing MY goals and that changed everything. I enjoyed myself more and so did everyone else.

I learned there's a time, place and the right partners to push things and then there's a time to go more with the flow and truly help someone that wants to change.

Good luck it's not an easy process but it can be pretty rad when people are killing shit they wouldn't have ever even stepped up to before like steep bootpacks or rocky traverses to get to the goods!

In the end people are all different and their interactions with other people can be very different too. So this might not work for some people. Maybe chastising them will work but for me I have (mostly) embraced positive reinforcement. :rock:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:32 am
Posts: 4
Location: Hamster
there are 3 general approaches:
immersion...push off the cliff into deep pow
de-sentataion...gradually working higher and higher
medications....anti anxiety and/or beta blocker


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:51 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:02 pm
Posts: 727
Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
Wrath, I have to strongly disagree.... medication is NOT the way to gaining something. That's the easy way out.

I suffer from Acrophobia, and the only way to beat it is to face it. There's nothing I hate worse than that "fight or flight" alarm going off. It's unnerving, and takes away from enjoying the day. But, what I've come to learn is the achievement is well worth the anxiety. My 1st time out with HFT on a 2 day hike up West Needle put my ability to cope with Acrophobia to the test. Not the best time to free climb "no fall" areas w/ everything strapped to your back, and 18 cans of beer. I learned alot from hanging with HFT and Bonez on that hike. So, the best advice is to try your best and get your friend to face that fear. They'll be okay, just keep them focused.

_________________
"Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a supreme power, honesty, generosity, and brotherhood"

-Luther Standing Bear,

http://splitrippin.tumblr.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:07 pm
Posts: 343
Location: Green Mountains
Yup, sometimes you just need to back off. We just started splitboarding last winter, but I can tell you that the Mrs. will never be comfortable with exposure. We've done enough hiking to know this. She gets really uncomfortable. (Don't tell her I told you this, she's still a tough cookie!). I just know when we plan a route it has to be mellow. It doesn't take away from the fun at all. We still get great views and great lines! :thumbsup:
Come on Snow!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 664
Location: Durango, CO
SPLITRIPPIN wrote:
I learned alot from hanging with HFT and Bonez on that hike
Thats my advice, follow bones around on a few tours, and everything after just seems pussy. I used to have a fear of edges, but after 1 winter touring with bones, I can sit with legs over the edges now.

My favorite quote was up on a tour of the Turk,

bones, standing on a condensed wind slab: "Hey, don't fall right here."
Me: "Why not?"
bones, calm as can be: "because you'll fall over a 100 foot cliff and die", and then proceeds to jump on the small slab (image a 220 yeti jumping). "Nope, it won't go, your good to go". Burly


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:59 pm
Posts: 201
Location: SLC, Wasatch front.
My climbing partner (my dad) had a hard time with his fear of heights. And I can tell you. It goes away with time. If you don't climb, I highly recommend it. If you don't want to start climbing do some technical hikes. Anything with a controlled amount of exposure. Listen to the other guys on this forum too, they know what they're talking about.

_________________
"Finding hope in uncertainty is far different than temping fate."

Burton Freebird/spark blazes/ burton ruler boots


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:41 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
I have been struggling with a fear of heights as long as I can remember, but it didn't really "surface" until I started splitboarding 4 years ago.

For me, what triggers it is the feeling of being "unsafe". Icy traverses and a lack of splitboarding teqnique at the time, for instance, would freeze me right up. I also noticed that the fear of falling down something is often completely unrelated to the beating you would get if it actually happens. I mean, sliding down a 45-degree icy pitch for a few seconds isn't dangerous by any chance, but still - what triggers it is the perceived chance of sliding of falling, not just the consequence if it were to happen.

I think the point is to work up to it slowly, which means starting mellow.
I'm the first one to laught at myself for this fear, I find that's better than to have my friends call me a whimp. I'm always the first one to break out crampons and ice axe, simply because I need to feel safe.

It goes away with time, though. I do stuff now that I know would freeze me right up 2 years ago. The fear doesn't go away completely I think, but it turns into something manageable - and that's an awesome feeling in itself.

My advice (both to you and to your struggling friend)
-Work up slowly to bigger stuff. Slower than you think.
-Be prepared. An ice axe is a nice way of increasing the perceived safety level, even though your bad-ass mountaneering friends might laugh at you
-Don't make every splitboard mission a mission to challenge this fear. Just go out and enjoy it, from time to time (or as often as possible )

_________________
Trondh (Zurich, Switzerland)
Prior Fissile 172 split / Prior Swallowtail 172 split / Prior AMF 162 Split / Never Summer Premier F1 159


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:06 pm
Posts: 55
Location: SoCal/June
trondh wrote:
I'm always the first one to break out crampons and ice axe, simply because I need to feel safe.

^this^

And I could give a shit if someone thinks I’m a puss, as long as I feel safe, that’s all that counts in my book.

Living and riding in CA forces you to deal with some aspects of Acrophobia head on because no one EVER puts the bar down on the lift. So because of this undeniable fact, skinning across a ridge or traversing icy slopes has become less of a big deal to me. I figure, as long as my feet are on the ground, and not dangling 50-75ft in the air with a sail strapped to them and the wind blowing like mad, I’m pretty safe.

_________________
“If I took a principled stand on everything in my life, I wouldn’t have any time to live it"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Acrophobia, The Fear of Heights.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm
Posts: 412
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Good conversation piece. Every once in a while I get a bit sketched, but through repeated exposure, this happens less and less. Unfortunately, my wife, and some other riding partners, are still a bit behind the curve on this. Hard not to get frustrated sometimes, but easy to get over it when you put yourself in their boots and imagine how gripped they are feeling. Remember, the point is to have fun, right? If that's not the point, pick another partner who is on the same page as you and then it's a non-issue.

Slowly ramping up the exposure works, but takes time. There is no magic way to help someone get over this quickly.

Taking extra precautions like spotting your partner when they are sketched, staying below them, and always staying positive helps. Anything you can do to boost their confidence just might save the day.

_________________
Greg


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: moridinbg, MSNbot Media and 15 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  








Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group