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Topic - How do you deal with The Fear?

lex - on 25 Feb 2013
'ow do?

First, apologies to those who were within earshot on Sunday. You were probabaly expecting a peaceful calm day, after all, Loch A'an and the surrounding crags were silent under the snow and ice, the clouds were dampening any other sounds which may have strayed so far into the heart of the Cairngorms... except my shouting, whimpering, cursing, the sound of my heart beating wildly, the squeaking of an ever tightening (thankfully tightening, not loosening) sphincter muscle, and the roaring as a cataract of sweat poured from my sweat glands...

The details are not that important, but briefly, I had gone off route, was teetering, off balance, on tenuous hooks above dodgy gear, brain starting to reject rational thought and getting seriously into panic mode. I maintained just enough sense to stop, look harder for some gear (of whatever quality), then continue up - retreat was not an option - and get myself into a similar situation but just a bit higher up.

Even trying to account for my state of mind, I was quite pleased with some of the moves I made (in retrospect!) so I would say I had some basis for, shall we say, 'concern' or 'interest'. However, in all cases, when the gear was in, the move wasn't as bad as I'd built it up to be, and certainly didn't deserve such foul language.

I wish I could calmly assess the situation, trust my gear or not trust it and climb accordingly. Basically, I wish I had more control of myself in these situations.

How does everyone else cope when the get The Fear?



P.S. Saw a Ptarmigan glissade for quite a long way down below the Shelterstone crag - they are one cool customer!
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