Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Thu 14 Oct, 2021 8:57 am

We (my wife & I) have been up Fedder a couple of times. Once via the Geeves Corner or yellow route ( eggs Tue 15 Dec, 2015 10:27 am ) and once from the Southern Traverse via the red route. Can't say we had any problems with either one, but we we rather young then (Uni) and had a rope each time. The Southern Traverse was very good value, coming from Goon Moor to Bechervaise.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Thu 14 Oct, 2021 10:18 pm

Moondog55 wrote:So a couple of questions about balance training.
Are you riding a bike?
What about rollerblades/skateboard or balance beam?

Secondly as I've not read every post; have you tried indoor rock climbing at all? A few sessions in a rock gym with a harness and a belay partner might help, concentrate on the climb and not the exposures and it may be a little easier.

Hi MD.
1. Not riding a bike now that I live near the top of a decent hill. Gave away roller-blading a few years ago as a risk management step. Injuries take longer to heal these days. I do practice walking on anything I find that resembles a balance beam. And I do one-legged squats, practice the odd yoga pose etc. It helps a bit when I remember to use my core, but I haven't made a lot of progress in terms of noticeable improvement in balance. Can't hurt to keep doing those things, though.

2. I've done a bit of indoor climbing, but much prefer outdoor. I don't know why they make smooth holds instead of nice grippy ones! The arthritis in my hands, and a shoulder injury that's taking a long time to heal means I need to conserve my bits and pieces for real life scrambling. Never been scared on an indoor climb.

I should mention that after working on my fear of heights for a year (a few years ago now), I did Anne again (loved it, and didn't need a hand lowering self down at the tricky bit). And I did the Notch again, this time descending. Our group had a rope set up, but I preferred to climb down without it. Relaxation techniques, a bit of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and another climbing lesson (thanks Osik!) increased my focus and confidence a lot. As did our Geryon South trip.

We did go in via the Eastern Arthurs 5 years ago, but turned around not far up the direct ascent because of the amount of water coming down. Thrilled to have been there, lots of great memories. This time it'll be via Farmhouse Creek, the only option open at the moment.

I think the key points for me are:'

- Just focus on what I need to do. The rock climbing lessons helped a lot with that.
- Remind self that I have the skills I need to do it.
- Use relaxation techniques if I need them. (Slow breathing, longer out than in, intentionally relaxing muscles, etc)
- "Guys can often get away with reach and brute force. Small women often need better technique." Can't remember whom I'm paraphrasing there, but it gave me the mental shift I needed.
- It won't be a failure if I don't make it to the summit.

22 sleeps to go. Depending on the weather, etc, etc, etc, etc. :)
Last edited by Tortoise on Fri 15 Oct, 2021 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Thu 14 Oct, 2021 10:25 pm

rcaffin wrote:We (my wife & I) have been up Fedder a couple of times. Once via the Geeves Corner or yellow route ( eggs Tue 15 Dec, 2015 10:27 am ) and once from the Southern Traverse via the red route. Can't say we had any problems with either one, but we we rather young then (Uni) and had a rope each time. The Southern Traverse was very good value, coming from Goon Moor to Bechervaise.

Cheers
Roger

Hi Roger,

Can't say I'm rather young by any stretch of the imagination. I reckon the window of opportunity is not enormous for me, as gripping things is getting harder and more painful. I quite enjoyed the Southern Traverse, but we only had day packs, and didn't do the half to Bechervaise. Which is probably the most scary?

Anyhoo, we'll definitely stick to the red route and see how we go. Some of the party will have no trouble summiting. At least 2 of us may stop short and enjoy (?) the view. :)
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 5:53 am

Good luck with it tortoise.

Did you have any issues booking? I hear it's hard to get a spot already.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 8:17 am

Thanks, ILUV. It's a club walk, and the leader got in early. :)

Btw I do wonder if any of the southern folks coming (that I haven't met yet) might be forum members.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby beardless » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 8:45 am

Tortoise wrote:Hey Beardless, sorry I missed your reply for a few years. Very slowly sounds like my approach. Good to hear that the photos/videos are more scary!

I'm reviving the thread with 26 sleeps to go till the next trip for a potential shot at Fedder. Yay! Eek!


Exciting. Sounds like you have trained your body and mind for the climb. I hope you get good weather for it. And if you don't the mountain is not going away.
As for views. They are great from the top. But in some ways compared to the rest of the Eastern Arthurs it feels like something is missing. That's because you can't see Federation Peak because you are standing on top. All the best
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 12:02 pm

Hi Beardless,
Good point about the views!
Thanks for the encouragement. :)
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Mechanic-AL » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 12:29 pm

I can just imagine the headlines when you make it....

" TORTOISE FOUND ON SUMMIT OF FEDERATION PEAK !" :shock: :shock:

Sounds like youve done everything in your power to make this happen so I hope you have a great time out there......summit or no summit.

Al
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 15 Oct, 2021 12:37 pm

:lol: You're funny, Al. I did think I might be one of the first tortoises make it if I do so. :D
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Wed 20 Oct, 2021 7:15 pm

Hi Tortoise

Which half of the Southern Traverse was the most scary?
Um, well, good question. Bear in mind it was a LONG time ago, and that we (party of 6 walkers cum rock climbers) were rather young at the time. So ... can't remember.

I think we did the 4th complete traverse of the full Arthur ranges (E+W), and the 10 traverse of the Eastern Arthurs. I was the leader, and we were all from the MUMC. We navigated off a tiny sketch map from the Tassie Tramp mag iirc. And yes, we carried full climbing gear as well.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Wed 20 Oct, 2021 7:46 pm

Hi Roger. It would have been amazing to have done it in the olden days! Still, I'm grateful that I got to visit most of the Arthurs before too many hordes arrived. Challenging enough for me with great maps and tracks. :wink: Well...there's still mud, vertical obstacle courses, 3D mazes etc.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Thu 21 Oct, 2021 6:41 am

Yeah, well, it was fun.
SWTassie1Comp.JPG

Top Left: above one of the WA lakes. The girl is (now) my wife.
TR: abseiling off something on the WA, again my wife. Full climbing ropes. You can bypass the abseil.
BR: above one of the WA Lakes, again my wife, Mountain Mule pack
BL: Goon Moor in 'normal' weather. My tent was an MYOG dome 7'x7', and fine. The other tent was a Golden Japara Paddy, and it leaked a bit in heavy rain. The patched backside - he slid down something too fast.

I do have a pic of the jump in the middle of the Maze of Beggary, with my wife fully airborne. Is it still jumped?

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby norts » Thu 21 Oct, 2021 8:09 am

You now skirt round that area where the jump was Roger.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Thu 21 Oct, 2021 8:26 am

Ah, no fun!
Cheers
Roger
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby north-north-west » Thu 21 Oct, 2021 9:44 am

Lovers Leap has been bypassed for yonks, although there is still a trace of the pad leading to it.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Thu 06 Jan, 2022 10:11 pm

Mission accomplished! :D :D

clipart-turtle-frog-19-original.png

Thanks to all who helped me, in many different ways, over the past 7 years. It's been quite the adventure, physically, mentally and spiritually. A lot has changed in since I was paralysed by panic on the summit of Mt Anne, convinced a safe descent was utterly impossible for me.

In the end, I couldn't have summited Fedder without a hoik up on 2 or 3 occasions. The scary part was, as I expected, the bulgy rock on the ledge near the money shot:
Version 3 (1).jpg
Version 3 (1).jpg (209.71 KiB) Viewed 938 times

Sorry I can't reference the photo - I got it from the internet some years ago (the person normally has a face), and it's been up on my wall since then.

Part of the bulgy ledge was easy, with lovely finger holds. Part of it wasn't, where I only had splayed hands contacting the rock above me. The combination of that and having to lean my middle out over nothing was definitely adrenalin-inducing. I focussed as much as I could on what I was doing, but I probably rushed a little just to get past it. Taller people might have nice finger holds, and some apparently don't notice this bit.

Though it was challenging, I didn't find any of Moss Ridge scary, even in the rain. Geeves and Chockstone Gullies were fine for me too. They just required a lot of care, especially to not dislodge any rocks onto the head of anyone below.

Sliding about 3 m down the wet rock near the base of the direct ascent was an interesting experience. Instead of confirming my fears, I just felt peace, and made sure I didn't risk any more holds that I wasn't as close to 100% sure of as humanly possible. That's where the careful hoiks up provided the crucial, solid 3rd point of contact. I had slipped off a wet, slopey toe hold as I pushed off it. Fortunately there was a flat bit below me, and another member of our party there who made sure I stopped.

The walk coordinator had been up Fedder several times before, including on wet rock. He had found that up higher, where it was more vertical, it was actually less slippery. Maybe there's less lichen on the more exposed rock.

I'm glad that I later got to a point where I stopped and said I'd have to leave it there, because the next scramble was too dangerous for me. But with a good look around, and another careful hoik, it was no longer dangerous. (Thanks!!) It was good to know I could still make wise decisions, and not be consumed by summit fever. But even better to find that there was a way after all, with the right help.

One day I'll write up the story, but meantime here are a few photos:
Attachments
Hope rainbow (2).jpg
Hope, as we descended Geeves Gully
DSC09104.jpg
Ascending Chockstone Gully, with an awkward scramble up the rocks under the chockstone
Version 2 (6).jpg
Yep, it's a big drop
Kathy on cliff fullsize (2).jpg
A reassuring hand
K on summit (2).jpg
A very happy tortoise on the summit
Last edited by Tortoise on Thu 06 Jan, 2022 10:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Thu 06 Jan, 2022 10:15 pm

Oh, and I did end up with colourful knees from the bumpity bump slide:
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 6:33 am

Congrats Kathy!
Some of those pics look a lot more scary than my memories . . .
But then I was about 19 and immortal.

Cheers
Roger
Last edited by rcaffin on Fri 07 Jan, 2022 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby CBee » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 8:21 am

Well done!
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby icefest » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 10:17 am

Congrats!
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby whynotwalk » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 11:10 am

That's brilliant Kathy. It's been a long time coming, and you've had quite a journey (in all senses of the word). Congratulations! It's an accomplishment that will never leave you.

My moment came almost 31 years ago, on February 7, 1991. You can see the fierce mix of relief and joy in this pic. (That's me in the blue gore-tex & tam o'shanter, sporting a considerably darker beard than I have now!)

On Fedder.jpg
Federation Peak, 1991


cheers

Peter
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby peregrinator » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 11:13 am

Interesting to read the previous pages of this thread again. I'm in the same camp as Mechanical-Al, who wrote: "I can get dizzy standing on a milk crate!" Tortoise, it is very pleasing to know that all your preparation was worthwhile. Maybe Al and I ought to try to summit two milk crates.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 11:32 am

Well done; *&%$#! well done.
A large part of me is very jealous as I'm not sure I could do the same now
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 11:41 am

Photo (mine) from late 1960s on 8 or 16 mm B&W film stock. Back face of Fedder.
Trouble is, I can't remember which is the climbing gully we went up: the left or right crack!
I think we accessed it from the Southern Traverse, which is out of sight below.
Arthurs2.jpg

It was a long time ago.

I have lots more from that trip, but I have yet to scan them properly.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Lamont » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 1:25 pm

Fantastic achievement. Well done.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 2:21 pm

Yikes, that looks steep and exposed. Brava.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 3:32 pm

Thanks for sharing the celebration, folks. It does feel like a big achievement. The biggest of that kind that I ever plan to take on. :)

Roger, I imagine the access in the 1960s would have been more of a challenge too!

MD: Maybe not, but you've taken on some pretty big challenges of a different kind in the white season that I haven't. And I'm not going to. Mountains have always been a passion for me, especially sitting on top of them.

Peregrinator: :lol: I want the photos of you and Al when you face those milk crates! Remember 3 points of contact are much better than two.
I remember some people telling me it wasn't possible to overcome a fear of heights. I guess for people with a more severe phobia, it might not be realistic to aim quite so high, and for many people the carrot wouldn't be attractive enough to provide the motivation. But I've enjoyed the process, and it's helped me enjoy a whole bunch of other mountains that I wouldn't have attempted 7 years ago.

Peter: Classic photo! I think that sums it up - relief and joy. It was wonderful to be able to enjoy it, and leave the descent until it was time. Then I'd face it one step at a time, doing what I knew I needed to do. It's nearly 2 months since we summited, and sometimes it's still hard to believe we did it.
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 4:05 pm

Roger, I imagine the access in the 1960s would have been more of a challenge too!
Not having almost any maps other than a tiny illustrative sketch did make it fun. But we were young and 'immortal'.

The next year we did the southern route around the coast, over PB, and when we got to Danny Kings' place he was away, but there was a casualty there desperately in need of evac to hospital. So I got the emergency radio out and squawked.
I got a fast and slightly aggressive reply: 'This is D24. What do you want?' D24 being Hobart police emergency, like 000.

It turned out that they were a bit busy, handling the chaos of the massive Hobart fire, which we knew nothing about. Well, the wind was blowing from us to Hobart you see. But they came through.

The Chief instructor of the Hobart Aeroclub flew a twin-engine plane to Melaleuca Inlet with the chief medic of the Ambulance service on board. There was a storm coming, SOON, and I guess all the peons were fully committed to the fire. The plane landed, spun on the runway, we shoved the victim in, and the plane took off - climbing at 45 degrees! A powerful plane, driven hard. They dodged the storm.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby Tortoise » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 4:12 pm

I bet there was one very relieved camper - once they got to Hobart, at any rate. Sounds like a script for a dramatic film. :D
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Re: Overcoming a fear of heights for Federation Peak

Postby rcaffin » Fri 07 Jan, 2022 4:41 pm

Public Works employee, working around the coast line.
Got the starter cord caught on the prop on a tinny in the water. Other end was wrapped around his hand. Nearly tore the hand off.
He was surviving on a heavy diet of aspirin or codeine. I suspect he was out to it by the time they landed.
If I remember correctly, the hospital saved his hand.

Today I guess he would have hit the big red button on a PLB.

Cheers
Roger
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