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danielj1976


Mar 28, 2006, 1:42 AM
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scared of Multi pitch
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may sound stupid for a climber but i have only done single pitch routes. i started to get over my fear of heights. problem is that there seems to be only single or big wall in my area(one extreme to the other) any mental hints beside get over it ? :(


hammerhead


Mar 28, 2006, 4:07 AM
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I know where you're coming from. For me it isn't the height it's the exposure. It's the wide open expanse that I have a hard time dealing with.
I can only think of two ways to cope with this: 1: In my mind I'll picture a wide open expanse below and to the sides of me. I'll look around to see the ropes, the other climbers etc. But I know I'm safe and tied in. So I'll try to keep that picture in my mind for a few minutes and let it soak in a bit.
The other way is to find some places to climb that challenge your weakness and take baby step. A litte higher each time.

A few other things to consider: you must trust your own judgement and the judgement of your parters. You must trust your gear.



Al


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Mar 28, 2006, 4:56 AM
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i use to have the same problem with the hight and the exposer.
1) try to keep busy at the bely if your busy you don;t really have time to look around and get scared. I know this sounds weird but i would get scared until i looked around at the bely and tried to take in the view.
2) picture your self on the big wall when your on a single pitch climb or just sitting around at home.

I don't know if these tips will help but they seemed to work for me i couldn't get past 30M before getting so scared i would freeze up. Known i have done a handful of multi pitch the longest being 1000ft in length.


el_guapo


Mar 28, 2006, 6:32 AM
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There are many many multi-pitch that are no scarier than any single pitch out there. Seek one of these out for your first multi and you'll soon get over the unwarranted fear you've created.


markc


Mar 28, 2006, 7:06 AM
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I had a significant fear of heights I worked through on single-pitch routes. A friend encouraged me to second him at Seneca (known for shorter multipitch traditional lines). The nerves came back. How would I react to being off the deck, unable to be lowered to the ground if I was freaked out? I was intrigued enough to give it a go, and soon found that's where I wanted my climbing to go.

Some things can really help. Pick a friend or friends that have a lot of multipitch experience. If you can go in a party of three, you can strictly coast and work through your fear. Find a route that's well within your abilities and that affords easy retreat. It may also be good to select a route with large ledges for belays. Being familiar with the process of multipitch climbing in advance should also put you more at ease.

Just because a route is X pitches doesn't mean you have to climb them all. Find an easy route you can rappel from and climb the first couple pitches. Take stock of how you're doing. If you're done for the day, rappel and go on to something else. Next time, climb those pitches and tack on another couple. Don't monopolize trade routes in the process, but learn and get comfortable in stages so you don't overwhelm yourself. Practice those normal relaxation techniques that worked for you on single-pitch routes: breathing, focusing on your goals, checking and trusting you systems, etc. Good luck.


reg


Mar 28, 2006, 7:07 AM
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In reply to:
may sound stupid for a climber but i have only done single pitch routes. i started to get over my fear of heights. problem is that there seems to be only single or big wall in my area(one extreme to the other) any mental hints beside get over it ? :(

we all (well most) know what you're talkin about. i'll bet you my fear of heights exceeded yours. one trick is to keep focus on the 6 square feet of rock around you -easier said then done. the rest comes with time on the rock. the more you do it the easier it becomes. it took me awhile just to lean back on a sling with out a death grip on everything/anything! develop trust and think more about the gear, the systems and the knowledgeable people your with. learn about the strengths of the gear - hook up to an extra piece if you're sketched. remember "the rope won't break" unless subject to extra-ordinary stress and damage. above all have fun or it ani't worth doin.


dirtineye


Mar 28, 2006, 8:38 AM
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I've never understood the exposure fear thing.

Consider this:

1. you have a rope tied to you.

2. Once you are two pitches up, or a little more, unless everything fails, you will not hit the ground. Hitting the ground is the worst thing you can do. In single pitch climbing, you can hit the ground. In multi pitch, you usually can't, even if you fall a long way.

3. The more exposure, the less chance to hit something if you fall.

4. Only the rock in front of you, above you, and just a little below you is inportant. That's all you need to concern yourself with.


sed


Mar 28, 2006, 8:45 AM
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The best way to get over it would be to climb with someone you think is hot. That will redirect your attention to what is really important.


valeberga


Mar 28, 2006, 8:49 AM
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It should scare you a little bit. That's why it's fun. But, you really have to have your shi together and pay attention, so start easy and be extremely mindful.


tagaustatoppen


Mar 28, 2006, 9:02 AM
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In reply to:
2. Once you are two pitches up, or a little more, unless everything fails, you will not hit the ground. Hitting the ground is the worst thing you can do. In single pitch climbing, you can hit the ground. In multi pitch, you usually can't, even if you fall a long way.

3. The more exposure, the less chance to hit something if you fall.


This is great advice. Never fear a fall that is going into air!


seanhabgood


Mar 28, 2006, 9:43 AM
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Don't look down and you should get over it with time. Sean


markc


Mar 28, 2006, 11:08 AM
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I've never understood the exposure fear thing.

Consider this:

1. you have a rope tied to you.

2. Once you are two pitches up, or a little more, unless everything fails, you will not hit the ground. Hitting the ground is the worst thing you can do. In single pitch climbing, you can hit the ground. In multi pitch, you usually can't, even if you fall a long way.

3. The more exposure, the less chance to hit something if you fall.

4. Only the rock in front of you, above you, and just a little below you is important. That's all you need to concern yourself with.

There is a reason they are called irrational fears. Your logic can break down those fears, but I don't find it entirely presents them from cropping up. If you have a fear of heights, you're never so aware of your distance above the earth as when you only have air under your heels. If you've never had a phobia, they can be difficult to imagine and empathize with.


bodyboarder


Mar 28, 2006, 11:34 AM
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Man, how i wish i even had the oppotunity to do some multi pitch! It's all i think about.

It's funny i only feel scarred of falling the first 10 ft or so. once i have solid gear in the higher i get the safer i feel.

Jason


Partner oldsalt


Mar 28, 2006, 11:57 AM
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The best way to get over it would be to climb with someone you think is hot.

I tried to get a hottie for the last weekend trip with the buds, but my wife got wind of it. :twisted: Just kidding! Honest, honey.

Seriously, I believe that fear is a truly individual thing. I feel fear, but I love the rush that comes with the view 5 pitches up. Heck, the view at 40' isn't bad. I am very grateful that I don't have the severe fear that freezes you. I have had several exciting gym falls, including on my first 2 indoor leads, but none on lead outdoors as yet. I did drop about 3' while seconding a higher pitch... I was scared while I clawed for a hold and then burst out laughing when my belayer caught me almost instantly.

Not feeling paralyzed by fear does not make me or anyone else "better", just luckier.


rustylane


Mar 28, 2006, 12:15 PM
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The key is practice practice practice and then just go for it but do a route rated way below your climbing level. That way you can focus on systems and precedures with the climb. I guided for years and it eventually became a day at the office and I have a healthy fear of heights. Have fun!
Rusty


arnoilgner


Mar 28, 2006, 3:14 PM
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Hi Danielj1976,

I feel it is important to remember what is most important. To me that is learning more about myself--my tendencies, my strengths, what I need to improve, awareness...
With this identified I then see fear as an opportunity to learn about myself. So, don't go around fear just so you can climb some route. Rather, find ways to go through it. If exposure scares you then get up two pitches on a multi pitch route and look down right into fear's face. Breathe while you do this and you will begin rewriting the association you have between fear and exposure.
arno


vulgarian


Mar 28, 2006, 3:29 PM
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Besides Arno's excellent advice (get his book). I have experienced fear as a confusion of exhilaration. They often feel the same. Try to tap into what you're feeling with QUESTIONS you ask yourself. One of the many questions I ask myself is: "is the fear truth?"

That is the strange thing about emotions. They are, of course, real (as in you feel them)- but they may be entirely false.


tonloc


Mar 28, 2006, 4:18 PM
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just call yourself a boulderer and then you don't have to go up high... or find anybody else to climb with...or buy expensive gear...or deal with crappy belays...and you can take your shirt off way more...and wear a beanie even when its hot out...and be a slacker and people will think the image fits you...


danielj1976


Mar 31, 2006, 12:12 AM
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Nasty, but i like. :twisted:


dirtineye


Mar 31, 2006, 12:33 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I've never understood the exposure fear thing.

Consider this:

1. you have a rope tied to you.

2. Once you are two pitches up, or a little more, unless everything fails, you will not hit the ground. Hitting the ground is the worst thing you can do. In single pitch climbing, you can hit the ground. In multi pitch, you usually can't, even if you fall a long way.

3. The more exposure, the less chance to hit something if you fall.

4. Only the rock in front of you, above you, and just a little below you is important. That's all you need to concern yourself with.

There is a reason they are called irrational fears. Your logic can break down those fears, but I don't find it entirely presents them from cropping up. If you have a fear of heights, you're never so aware of your distance above the earth as when you only have air under your heels. If you've never had a phobia, they can be difficult to imagine and empathize with.

Actually, you have no idea what you are talking about.

I used to be terrified of heights, even after I had done a lot of climbing. But having the rope and the gear made it all better for me. Standing close to the edge of a cliff with no rope on still bothers me.

Exposure by itself is nothing to fear. If you were free soloing yeah, sure, but with a rope and gear, you can choose to believe in your ability and your belayer.

To the OP, one thing I used to do to train myself was to traverse a boulder problem about 6 inches off the grond, and lok at the ground and pretend like it was far below, and say to myself, those people look like ants (they WERE ants). it sounds pretty funy, but this worked fairly well.


rockguide


Mar 31, 2006, 6:13 AM
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Fear: it doesn't have to be real to be real.

Get all the variables on your side - familiar place, climbing partner you trust personally and technically, easy climbing.

All the routes around you are big wall or single pitch? Climb a single pitch route in two pitches if you can. Learn the systems. Get familiar with them.

Then, go to a "big wall" and climb the first pitch, or two, or three and rappel off. You don't have to be successful on the whole route to be successful on your day.

And the most important thing ... you really have to want to do a big route. If you do, remind yourself.

You can do this. Many have.
Keep us posted! :D

Brian


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Mar 31, 2006, 7:13 AM
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Fear is healthy when addressed properly. It will save your life and hinder your advancement, all at once. As mentioned in most of these posts, know what you are afraid of. Work on it a piece at a time. If it takes you a year to understand your fear and develop the ability to work within it's grasp, then it is a year well spent. Not addressing your fear will develop a lifetime of regrets.


billhilly


Mar 31, 2006, 7:27 AM
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Just remember that once you are past about 40 feet you will probably die hitting the ground, so everything is essentially the same after that, except of course you have more time to scream before you die. Just think people die all the time falling of step-latters, falling of the 7th pitch of a climb would be a lot better.


renohandjams


Mar 31, 2006, 8:18 AM
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I actually felt less scared on my first multi pitch. The higher I got the less I noticed the ground slipping away because it all looked the same. I would recommend doing an easy multi pitch climb. Also hang on your ropes more, if you are at a belay just lean back and trust the gear. I think the biggest thing for me is just trusting the gear, once I trust my gear completely the fear thing becomes secondary. I think falling helps too. I fell at lover's leap on my first multi pitch and I screamed like a girl while I was falling :oops: Now it wouldn't be as big of a deal because I'm used to it.

I also noticed that it's a control thing, I've I'm placing all of my own gear, I feel great, if someone else has been doing it and I haven't climbed with them that much I get nervous about trusting their placements. Not that mine are any better, just that I got to see how they were placed.


renohandjams


Mar 31, 2006, 8:21 AM
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Just remember that once you are past about 40 feet you will probably die hitting the ground, so everything is essentially the same after that, except of course you have more time to scream before you die. Just think people die all the time falling of step-latters, falling of the 7th pitch of a climb would be a lot better.
:) I don't know if this helps them feel better, but it is true, would you rather fall 60 feet, break your back and multiple bones and then spend the next day or two dying from internal organ injuries, OR fall from 5 pitches up and have a quick black-out-death. I'm a wus, I want the quick one.

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