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verticon


Mar 2, 2007, 3:20 PM
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During the first part of the preparation phase we become conscious, we find that life is subtle, and we learn how to accept responsibility (well, this is the shortened version...).

Now we are on a climbing route, facing a risk.
We assess the risk, make a choice accepting the possible outcomes and fully commit to the risk (if this was our choice) with an unbending intent. From here on, subconscious and intuitive processes take over and we "listen" and trust the process.

These particular processes form a cycle which starts in the very moment when we face the risk and sees us throughout the risk.

Now we are in action. Let me remind you:

- "When you are in the risk zone, your conscious mind will generate various thoughts to convince you that you can't continue climbing. These thoughts are pure deception."
- for the moment "The conscious mind is a liar when it is engaged in thinking while in the risk zone." You cannot trust it.
- "during the action your focus will be to disengage the conscious mind from thinking".

Now, here comes my question: how do we know when to re-start the cycle ? How do we switch back to the Giving process in order to let the conscious mind take over again to help us assess the next risk and so on ?

During the action we reject all thoughts related to possible dangers because we made our choice, committed with an unbending intent, and now subconscious mind and intuition guide us through the risk. Even if our conscious mind manages to shout in our ears "hey, you're in danger, you're facing another risk and you didn't assess it yet" we have no reason to listen to it.
We might focus on our breathing to make it shut up. Intuition also might whisper the same thing, but we might believe it's still the conscious mind speaking and shut it down. We might climb through all the risks we encounter without giving them a thought... and one of them might kill us, as we didn't assess it in order to decide whether or not we take that risk.

As this question started to bother me, I was considering to mail it to Arno, but I decided to post it here because I'd be glad to here you opinions too.


arnoilgner


Mar 2, 2007, 5:41 PM
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Hi Verticon. Your comment:
"Now, here comes my question: how do we know when to re-start the cycle ? How do we switch back to the Giving process in order to let the conscious mind take over again to help us assess the next risk and so on ?"
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ok. think of it this way: there are cycles within cycles. on the ground you prepare, then transition to doing it by making a decision (assuming you've assessed it and the fall consequence is within or close to your past "experience" with falling), and finally you begin the action by getting on the climb.
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Now, on the climb there are many stances where you can rest and assess the next section, perhaps the distance to the next pro/rest. At these stances you go back into preparation. Look up to identify the next stance (rest/pro), look down to assess the fall consequence, look up for climbing possibilities. In this preparation, as you are STOPPED at the stance you use your mind to focus attention on collecting this info. Now you need to make another decision. These stances are "decision points". You decide whether or not it is appropriate to continue. It is appropriate if you create a learning situation. You create a learning situation if the fall consequence is similar to what you have "experienced" (that's the important word) in the past. If you have similar fall experience in your past then you can say "yes" to the risk and feel confident that if you do fall you won't hurt yourself. Now this is for well protected routes. Runout is different. Once engaged you trust your body to carry you through. You don't focus attention anymore with your mind; you focus it by what you do with your body. Basically, keep moving and keep breathing.
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Now, why would you listen to your doubts once engaged? You've assessed the fall consequence and decided it was within or close to your past experience taking such falls. So what if you fall? You can respond to it.
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So, it is simply important to know where you are. Are you climbing or resting/assessing. When you are resting/assessing you are STOPPED, not climbing. When you are climbing you are moving. Use your mind to focus attention when you are stopped. Use your body to focus attention when you are moving. You may engage a 10 foot section--the distance from one stance to the next. Within that 10 feet you may stop to reassess once or twice or more or less. Just know where you are: climbing or stopped (resting/assessing). Cycles within cycles...
Does this help?
arno


verticon


Mar 2, 2007, 9:52 PM
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Thank you Arno, yes it helps a lot.
As I was reading Chapter 6 I remembered the experience you described in chapter 3 about the climb in Stone Mountain in 1979.
You said "you can climb quite quickly on the low-angle slabs (of Stone Mountain) without giving much thought to specific moves", "I adopted the attitude of simply focusing on the climbing, giving little attention to the fall consequences". "I had climbed past two bolts and found myself about 100 feet up and fifty feet above my last bolt."
That triggered my question.


_fiend_


Mar 30, 2007, 5:24 AM
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Good question, good answer. I'd concur with arno, the places to cycle back into concious thought will be dictated by the route and what options to pause and reassess it gives (and what duration of cycle we embarked on will depend on our initial assessment of what the route offers).


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