Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby pazzar » Wed 09 Sep, 2015 4:02 pm

I remember stopping at the same point Eggs. The money shot requires you to lean back quite a way to get the angle that makes it look super scary.

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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby norts » Wed 09 Sep, 2015 6:05 pm

I did Feder solo( so no photos of the climb) and while on top there was no way I could relax until I had done the descent. Pretty special to be on Feder by yourself though.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby north-north-west » Wed 09 Sep, 2015 6:55 pm

eggs wrote:We've probably all seen the money shot of climbing Federation Peak:
Crux9943.jpg


But we went as a group of 6 and there were 3 who decided to sit it out. So as I took that photo someone below took this one. Doesn't look all that bad.
CruxFromBelow_DSC_0308.jpg


I agree with others who talk of the scramble through the 4 Peaks. Given we were doing that with heavy packs in the wet, I though it was more dangerous than the actual climb of Federation.
However, I can understand the exposure thing. A lot of the climb is very vertical, but only a few parts require a steady grip and particular care.

But the most dangerous part of the climb for my part was the climb up to the ledge and its traverse before the money shot.
Particularly coming down.
It is all in view here - the lines indicate a couple ways to get up to the ledge - either in the corner or hanging onto the nose. We did both routes and they are fine, but do take special care here.
LedgeFromBelow_Dash_0304.jpg


Having done it now, I had an objective to map out the climb route on an aerial photo as per a very old thread, but I am afraid it all happened a bit quick and I did not take enough photos or notes.. :roll:
But I do cope fairly well with rock and I felt it was a great climb.
The young fellows with me - one of whom had been quite cavalier through the vertical backpacking sections on the previous days - were very, very careful on this climb and descent. Very much taking their time with every move.

The climbing itself isn't the issue. It's not a particularly difficult climb in terms of the moves you have to make. It's the exposure - which is another reason the descent is so much more tricky. I could get up there without any trouble - but I'm 99% certain I'd freeze on the descent because of the exposure. Unless someone had me securely roped, of course, but from what I've heard it's not an easy place to rig safety lines.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby vicrev » Wed 09 Sep, 2015 7:11 pm

Well done norts....... :)
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby geoskid » Wed 09 Sep, 2015 9:02 pm

Tortoise wrote:Thanks very much, folks - I really appreciate your thoughts and good wishes. :)

I've been checking out some youtube clips of the climb as well - hmm - I will need to seriously consider my limits when I get there, but I want to do whatever I can beforehand to maximise my chances. I never got around to a few rock climbing lessons from a friend before he went sailing around the Pacific somewhere... But I will look into that as well - once my current injuries resolve. :roll:


This touched a nerve Tortoise. Something for all of us/anyone following this thread to consider.

Do we /should we/CAN we re-evaluate goals?
How long should we hang on to goals before we re-evaluate and set new ones? These are some questions I ask myself because hanging on to old unachieved goals can have consequences.
My solution was to buy a motorcycle. :mrgreen: (Whilst the rest of the family decided what really matters to them)

We now have an adventurous bushwalk planned!






































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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Orion » Thu 10 Sep, 2015 12:57 am

north-north-west wrote:...from what I've heard it's not an easy place to rig safety lines.

That's true, but it is often possible to spot someone from below, whether you're climbing up or down. That's not going to save someone really intent on falling off. But a spotter can give a little push, correct a little slip, provide instructions/suggestions about where to put hands and (especially) feet, and also give someone a sense of being helped. All of this can really buoy up confidence. I've done this for people many times. And when I first started I had it done for me. Just having someone tell you where to put your feet can make a huge difference.

Those photos (and probably youtube videos too) are so over the top. I don't remember anything looking like that. Maybe I was on the wrong peak. What really sticks out in my mind was Farmhouse Ck and how it really worked me over. I was all torn up, my pack was damaged, one of my gaiters fell apart. Even one boot sole was loose and flapping. I also became hypothermic hyperthermic (record hot day) on the hike out and ended up retreating back to the plateau for a second night. That really rattled me. Federation was easy. Farmhouse Ck. kicked my butt. Twice.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby eggs » Thu 10 Sep, 2015 2:11 am

Funny that. I thought the exit out over Moss Ridge and the walk through to Farmhouse Creek was the worst part for our party as well.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Orion » Thu 10 Sep, 2015 10:07 am

Tasmanians I have spoken to about Farmhouse and Federation generally put the difficulty in the reverse order from me. I think they're used to mud and scrub and ducking under & over limbs and tree trunks, climbing through tree limbs and having sharp sticks poke holes in the skin on their stomachs, sometimes many of these things all at the same time.

I wanted to give up early in Farmhouse Ck. But I had extended my air tickets and car hire to stay longer to climb Federation. It was really expensive and so I couldn't turn around. Otherwise I would have. It's weird but as time has passed I've become fond of Farmhouse Ck. I know it's just a kind of amnesia, the same that prompted me to climb walls in Yosemite even though they were usually a big pain in the ass. But I find myself being drawn back there. It is a beautiful place. And difficult approaches have their own appeal. They keep the riffraff away.

You guys in Tasmania are lucky.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby north-north-west » Fri 11 Sep, 2015 6:58 am

Yeah, I've only done Farmhouse as far as the Sydney turnoff (three times each way) and it's on top of my least favourite tracks list. The fact that it gets worse further in isn't encouraging, but one can always do the Eastern Arthurs from the other end. One more excuse to get back into the WArthurs. ;)
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby farefam » Fri 11 Sep, 2015 6:51 pm

I climbed the Direct Ascent on my own twice when I was much younger. I recall on the first time the exposure got to me for a minute or two at the start of the traverse of the narrow shelf (I sat on the shelf for a couple of minutes until it passed then continued up). The most difficult spot was lowering myself backwards onto the shelf (as per the money shot route). The most important thing to do is to remember to keep three good grips on the rock at all times. Then you can forget about the exposure and concentrate on moving along/down the rock face instead. The thing that really surprised me was that the climb was noticeably more difficult the second time, as carrying a daypack with my tripod and camera gear really affected my centre of gravity.
In any case, if you don't get there the views are almost as good from the adjacent razorback ridge as they are from the summit.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 11 Sep, 2015 7:52 pm

Sorry I haven't had time to acknowledge replies & contributions. So much good stuff, things to process. I appreciate it very much indeed. :)

Special mention to eggs - brilliant images, really good to get such a good idea of the tricky bits.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Chezza » Fri 11 Sep, 2015 10:15 pm

eggs, thanks very much for the detail. I hope to have a go at Fed late in the year and it's nice to have such a detailed preview.

Somewhat related, this video gives me vertigo watching some of the unroped down climbs.

https://youtu.be/qQVvXLqrWac
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 27 Nov, 2015 8:45 pm

Update on prep:

Triple Top went well - an excellent opportunity for a mental as well as physical challenge. Reckoned I would normally do those 21 kms in 9 hrs or so with plenty of stops, so decided to go for under 6. Near the summit of Roland I realised I could maybe squeak it in under 5, which provided huge motivation to push the body to the max. Very happy to have achieved that, as a middle-aged non-jogger with joints that are feeling their age. And as a serious tortoise on the steep ups.

Have now had a pretty successful go at rock climbing for the first time in about 30 years (= 2nd time ever). I decided to stick with the approach shoes I hope to wear on the Fedders trip, so I could see what I could do with them.

First pitch felt pretty bad, fell a few times (in harness), but got to the top eventually. Second attempt was on a harder grade but with more foot holds - which I enjoyed a lot more. Had a very good teacher! A couple more times up that route got my confidence up. Then borrowed some climbing shoes (aka spiderman shoes) for a harder grade. Got nearly to the top before the forearms packed it in. Now I'm looking everywhere for something to climb! :lol:

Next stop, the high ropes at Camp Clayton, and a night walk.

You may have noticed that the fear of heights - which I feel I'm making significant progress on - isn't the only obstacle for me...
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby DanShell » Fri 27 Nov, 2015 8:59 pm

Tortoise wrote:Update on prep:

Triple Top went well - an excellent opportunity for a mental as well as physical challenge. Reckoned I would normally do those 21 kms in 9 hrs or so with plenty of stops, so decided to go for under 6. Near the summit of Roland I realised I could maybe squeak it in under 5, which provided huge motivation to push the body to the max. Very happy to have achieved that, as a middle-aged non-jogger with joints that are feeling their age. And as a serious tortoise on the steep ups.

Have now had a pretty successful go at rock climbing for the first time in about 30 years (= 2nd time ever). I decided to stick with the approach shoes I hope to wear on the Fedders trip, so I could see what I could do with them.

First pitch felt pretty bad, fell a few times (in harness), but got to the top eventually. Second attempt was on a harder grade but with more foot holds - which I enjoyed a lot more. Had a very good teacher! A couple more times up that route got my confidence up. Then borrowed some climbing shoes (aka spiderman shoes) for a harder grade. Got nearly to the top before the forearms packed it in. Now I'm looking everywhere for something to climb! :lol:

Next stop, the high ropes at Camp Clayton, and a night walk.

You may have noticed that the fear of heights - which I feel I'm making significant progress on - isn't the only obstacle for me...


Well done. I love your enthusiasm and positivity. Its something that excites me by simply reading it ;) I hope to one day have the same confidence and /or teacher to encourage me!
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Sat 28 Nov, 2015 9:21 am

DanShell wrote:Well done. I love your enthusiasm and positivity. Its something that excites me by simply reading it ;) I hope to one day have the same confidence and /or teacher to encourage me!

Thanks, Dan, and I hope you do too!

I know Fedders is stratospherically harder, but I figure any gains will help me with lots of other peaks even if I don't get to the top of this one.

It's amazing what a few hours of climbing tuition has done psychologically. Yesterday morning, near-vertical = impossible. Now, given the right help, and learning a few techniques, near-vertical can be very satisfying, and some bits can even be fun. :) Instead of looking at the rock and thinking how very few hand and foot holds are, I see a lot more possibilities. That's a big win.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 04 Dec, 2015 4:18 pm

One step closer...

Had a successful 1.5 hours on the 'high ropes' today. Climbing the staples up an 8 m pole got easier and easier, as did sauntering across the log about 4.5m off the ground, and the high wire (about 1 cm diameter) with a few hanging doovers to grab hold of. Longer arms to reach them would have made it a breeze. I think soon I'll be hard pressed to think of myself as acrophobic. :D

Had several goes at the hardest one - a high wire with only a long rope, secured at the starting end, to help keep balance. In the end muscle spasm of an arm and jelly legs stopped me, but not till I'd made it over halfway across. I was encouraged that in the last umpteen years of camps (all those fit young 'uns with good balance), only about 10 people have made it all the way.

Next stop --- any other rock-climbers out there? :lol:
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Osik » Sat 05 Dec, 2015 1:44 pm

Hi tortoise, i think you're in this part of the world... I go climbing after work at Devonport or Penguin fairly regularly so shoot me a pm if you're keen to join. Small cliffs so not great for exposure training but good practice for trusting hands, and feet in particular. Otherwise I'm sure the new year will see a few trips to rocky cape and other crags which have some great easy climbs with a bit of air underneath. A word of warning though, climbing is *&%$#! addictive and the gear acquisition syndrome is endless!
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Sat 05 Dec, 2015 3:09 pm

Well done Tortoise. It's great to see people taking the hard steps to improve themselves. If I had more time on my hands, I think I'd be following in your footsteps and getting some climbing lessons.

I think Federation better be worried, those 10 points have Tortoise written all over them!
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby newhue » Tue 08 Dec, 2015 6:20 am

Tortoise, I don't want to under rate Fedders, but when you get there the rock is grippy, the holds are good if not bombers. Focus on the rock, and upward. The ledge out to the bulge is a good 4 inches wide, and their are holds on the way. Over the bulge looks harder than it is, honestly, just take your time and find the holds. Trust yourself. Forget the view, you have seen it in pics. To the top is the focus and achievable. Take the stove and lunch and spend time up their, it is a magical place and took a good effort to get there.

On top it will play in your mind, "how the hell am I going to get down", acknowledge the fear, as that is healthy, but don't dwell on it. Others will also be feeling it if they are honest. The process is the same going down. Focus on the rock and where you feet and hands are going. Trust them, the rock is grippy, use this focus to blank out the exposure. You are doing this in your climbing practice. When you learn to trust yourself, you will take control and develop a healthy respect for exposure, at the moment the exposure is pushing you around.

If your not confident you can recall the way over the bulge, get a more confident person with exposure if you have one to lead the way back over the bulge. It is easy if your on line, but if you are a bit off it can become more adrenalin producing than one needs. If you are off line, don't get worked up and persist. Go up a little, regather, then again focus on the rock and where the holds are. Then have another go. Once the holds are identified the move downward over the bulge is not hard.

My wife is not great on rock, even less without a rope and that is perfectly normal. She wimpered and wanted saving at times all the way to the top and back of Fedders. Not much I could do but be supportive. But she wanted to, and did, on her own, to here amazement, relief, and joy. Just be calm, breath and relax, take your time. It will put a smile on your dial, and be a nice achievement. I want to see the pic from the top when you knock it over.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby durks » Tue 08 Dec, 2015 11:55 pm

newhue wrote:My wife is not great on rock, even less without a rope and that is perfectly normal. he wimpered and wanted saving at times all the way to the top and back of Fedders. Not much I could do but be supportive.


FWIW I took a rope (30m x 8mm) plus a couple of nuts and slings when I and my wife did it. The 'bad steps' on the final ascent are all quite protectable that way, and it removes the risk of a serious fall.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 12:39 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your continuing thoughts, tips and encouragement.

Osik - pm sent :D

newhue, thanks for the extra info & tips. It's the bulge that's looming largest in my mind at the mo - especially given the short arms and legs that go with my short stature (without the benefit of a lithe gymnast's body). How tall is your wife, if she doesn't mind me asking?

The ledge a whole 4" wide, huh? If I'd have had that when I was in the harness, i'd have been laughing, but as you say, the exposure is still pushing me around. Less than it was a few weeks ago, though. :) One of the benefits of the climbing lessons is that it gives me some specific techniques to be mindfully employing, helping me to focus on the rock rather than the drop.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby stu » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 2:59 pm

As others have said, once you climb Federation you'll probably wonder what all the fuss was about, it's way easier than expected.
The very nature of the rock means that it's slabby (off-vertical) and there are edges & holds all over the place, in fact majority of the time there are no actual 'climbing' moves (coming from a climber).
The exposure as such is massively reduced by the slabbiness of the route & also the wandering / ledgey nature of the direct ascent.
I got past the so called bulge at the top & was pleasantly surprised that that was it...much less sever than expected.
Not sure any climbing will necessarily benefit you greatly; the very nature of the access (via any direction) means you're already prepared for it by the time you get there.
Now the ascent to the high point of the Four Peaks, that's a different story...probably a oncer :shock:
A few more photos of probably the worst sections of the direct ascent route:
IMGP0105.JPG

Picture 101.jpg

I suggest doing the following after your ascent to 'cool the nerves' :wink:
IMGP0112.JPG
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby eggs » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 3:09 pm

I presume your "bulge" is the money shot spot. My photos were to indicate that it is more of a steep ramp but yes, with high exposure.
However, it was not a spot calling for long arms and legs.

I will let stu's photos demonstrate the nature of what I consider the worst exposure on the ledge. Lots of good holds.
And the swim one is funny - given our weather up there and we were headed the other way.

There were perhaps 3 or 4 other spots in the climb that were more of a stretch for arms and legs, but without the same extreme exposure.
This is one of them.
_IGP9979.jpg
A significant spot taken on the way down.


Actually - I might add to stu - this is on the web in a few places but it is my wider shot of the ledge.
The guys are just coming down from the money shot ramp and are about to come towards me along the ledge.
_IGP9977.jpg
View along the ledge
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby newhue » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 6:02 pm

Tortoise, wife is 172cm, but I don't recall the holds or move over the bulge jumping out as a problem if one is a little short. You just chuck the leg over and we all can do that.

Eggs, yes the money shot is where I recall the bulge is looking at you first set of pics on page 1. Your ascent route also is how I recall it. Out along the ledge, which looks a good 6+" in your other pics. Over the bulge which is the crux of it, then a pleasent scramble to the top.

Stu, where is that second pic? Not feeders...or did I miss something. Definitely looks like a once thing a young man would do.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby eggs » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 6:10 pm

Stu's 2nd pic is the climb up to the ledge. The 2 options are the corner directly above the lower climber's head, or the nose. His higher climber is using the nose to get to the ledge. That is the route that I took up and down.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby DaveNoble » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 8:10 pm

You can always try the climbing gully (original route) - much less exposure, but the climbing is a bit harder.

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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 8:32 pm

stu wrote:As others have said, once you climb Federation you'll probably wonder what all the fuss was about, it's way easier than expected.
The very nature of the rock means that it's slabby (off-vertical) and there are edges & holds all over the place, in fact majority of the time there are no actual 'climbing' moves (coming from a climber).


Oh Stu, it sounds soooo easy for a climber! Like Mt Anne, which had me in sheer terror. :shock: I couldn't have even considered Fedders without getting into a much better headspace for it.

The exposure as such is massively reduced by the slabbiness of the route & also the wandering / ledgey nature of the direct ascent.

I'm counting on that making it a possibility for me. :)

Not sure any climbing will necessarily benefit you greatly; the very nature of the access (via any direction) means you're already prepared for it by the time you get there.

I won't know till I get there, but Moss Ridge with day packs, as gymnastic and short-cliff-scrambly as it sounds, probably won't be so scary for me, as the huge exposure is the main issue. I think the climbing has already helped - I found myself concentrating on where I put my weight to maximise the effectiveness of hand and foot holds etc etc. That made it much easier to be completely focused on what I was doing - which is what can help prevent panic.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 8:53 pm

Thanks for the extra shots and info, Stu and Eggs.
eggs wrote:I presume your "bulge" is the money shot spot. My photos were to indicate that it is more of a steep ramp but yes, with high exposure.
However, it was not a spot calling for long arms and legs.

Actually I might be confused re the bulge. I can't find the pic I had that looked like you have to get around a convex lump along the ledge. I'll have another look when i have more time.

I will let stu's photos demonstrate the nature of what I consider the worst exposure on the ledge. Lots of good holds.
And the swim one is funny - given our weather up there and we were headed the other way.

I must confess I wasn't the slightest bit envious of the wet rock and full packs you had to contend with! The ledge looks a bit narrower than 4 inches in places...

There were perhaps 3 or 4 other spots in the climb that were more of a stretch for arms and legs, but without the same extreme exposure.

I think I've probably negotiated that sort of thing ok, with some long-armed help at strategic points. I'm learning NNW's approach of using any body part that can possibly be of use - elbows, knees, butt etc. :)
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 9:03 pm

newhue wrote:Tortoise, wife is 172cm, but I don't recall the holds or move over the bulge jumping out as a problem if one is a little short. You just chuck the leg over and we all can do that.

Hey newhue. Your wife has 20 cms on me, with the extra arm reach that goes along with the height. Hopefully still ok for me though. :) I do have the advantage of having plenty of room in tents...
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 9:07 pm

DaveNoble wrote:You can always try the climbing gully (original route) - much less exposure, but the climbing is a bit harder.

Dave

Thanks Dave. I'll have a closer look at that again.
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