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EWolfe

THE FEAR

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Just curious what the most frightened you have been and pulled through unscathed?

 

Pat Ewing on Looking Glass Rock in North Carolina - 5.10.

All the pro on flaring horizontal eyebrows and the crux required you be 6'7" (shoulda known by the name). The anchors were 3 crap cams in a severely flaring brow, and I braced myself on a sloping ledge for the follow blush.gif. I had aided through the crux, none of the cams were good, and I seriously wondered whether we would get off that dome. My partner was 5'6" and when she fell, I could feel my feet slipping on the water-smoothed rock. I came tight against the nest of cams...and prayed. They held, and she never found out how frightened I was. tongue.gif

We bailed after that second pitch, I was happy to be alive.

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bigdrink.gif to that.

High Uinta Wilderness, Naturalist Basin, Mushrooms, group solo, ledge system, 1 foot wide, sloping, bushes, soil, shakes, lying down, looking at the ground, layed there for an eternity, turned around traversed back, and down climbed. hellno3d.gif

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outer space... last pitch in the rain... until i got a cam in, i was shitting bricks... looking at a 70+ foot meat grinder onto a tied off shrub hellno3d.gifbigdrink.gif

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Alpine climbing with a friend. Touched a rock and loosed an avalanche of 10 to 20 pounders right at him. He had a second or two to respond. I was screaming "ROCK" immediately and he dove into a step. It went over the top of him without hitting him or doing any damage to gear. cantfocus.gif

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falling a couple years ago on the 3rd or 4th pitch of a climb and busting up my shoulder. at the time, not thinking super clearly for a variety of reasons, being certain that my only option was to finish the pitch. VERY VERY scared even though it was only 5.7ish climbing.

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1st time aiding on sandstone....all those cams spit dirt back at you!!! silly me tho...i learned later that is a good thing!!! bite bite bite!!!

 

i dont think i have ever personally been scared. more like annoyed that we are in a situation that we could have avoided. but i am sociopath.........

 

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Having an asthma attack on the 11th pitch of Royal Arches because of the stupid forest service burning in the valley and shifting winds. Finished the climb with my patient partner and once we got out of the smoke things calmed down and I could breath again. cantfocus.gif

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hard aid routes usually do it to me alot but ...

 

The first time I climbed Weeping Wall. I lead p3. Started off a hanging belay, no prob so far so good. Got a nice screw. Next screw punched through to air and I said "hmm, thats interesting". Next 2 screws also "punched through". By now everything was sounding very hollow, and the ice I was climbing was only about 2cm thick. I scraped through the snow with my tool only to hit rock, and hooked onto the top of a 60 foot long ice "flake" that was slowly separating from the wall. I could look behind it down the other side of it and see my little screws 30-40 feet below sticking through this thing. I could feel it flex under my weight pitty.gif At this point a fall would have killed my partner, if not me. I had to stand up and balance on the top of the flake, scratch out some dry "mixed" moves, then move slowly up easier ground to the big ledge with no pro. My partner came up and says "Hey Alex, that was a pretty good lead!" smile.gif

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Watching my wife tumble 500 feet down chair peak. Running down the talus after her fall and seeing blood spatters on various rocks.

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Screw & ClimbAxe WI 3+ in the Adirondacks. I was working my way up between two large pillars of ice I set a screw for safety near the bottom of the right side pillar. About 15 feet above the screw I sunk my axe in to the right side pillar only to have the whole formation slide/move about an inch, including my screw placement. With the utmost care I removed my axe from the ice and continued on only using the left side pillar. My second was very quick about getting to the death screw and cleaning it. Once the screw was out I felt like I could float the rest of the way up the climb.

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Topping out on Bugaboo Spire, we noticed a black cloud coming from the West and figured it was time to leave. Fifteen minutes later, lightning hit the Howsers, and pretty soon we started seeing green sparks all over the place. As we set the first rappel, the rocks were buzzing and our hair was standing up on end; even my siser-in-law's braided pig-tails were sticking up!

 

Two "old guys" came running accross the arete from the main summit and asked if they could join forces and share ropes wit us to get down more quickly. We said "sure." The first one jumps on our rope and after he completes the rappel his buddy throws two coiled ropes to him (nobody's hanging on to either end of them) and he sets the next rappel.

 

The electricity is at this time getting really intense: we hear short-wave radio noises when you raise and lower our arms and stuff. Two quick raps down, and these guys set it up again for us. Running back and forth on the arete, though, one of them is left behind and just as we are pulling the next rappel rope down we see it stop, and slowly creep back up. What'r you trying to do, he asked after he raps down to join us.

 

After that second set of rappels, we are out of the spark zone and we take the time to introduce ourselves. What'd you say your names were? Tom and Sandy. I was a novice at the time but I was reading the climbing magazines and quite impressed when our heroes turned out to be two guys I'd read about: Tom Frost and Sandy Bill.

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jj221 said:

Screw & ClimbAxe WI 3+ in the Adirondacks. I was working my way up between two large pillars of ice I set a screw for safety near the bottom of the right side pillar. About 15 feet above the screw I sunk my axe in to the right side pillar only to have the whole formation slide/move about an inch, including my screw placement. With the utmost care I removed my axe from the ice and continued on only using the left side pillar. My second was very quick about getting to the death screw and cleaning it. Once the screw was out I felt like I could float the rest of the way up the climb.

 

Thats N Face of Pitchoff right? I soloed alot of those lines (Weeping Winds, Arm and Hammer?) in winter of 1990, and they scared me!

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Good story Matt. The CJ couloir nearly got me a few years ago - it was only freaky later, as I don't recall a whole lot of the most exciting couple seconds. Looked up to see a LOT of pretty darn big rocks coming down (we were only a hundred or so feet from the top and the glacier), and don't even remember jumping in the moat on the side. I do recall big blurs going by both in front of and behind me, though. There's more to that trip, but that's another story..... Jens?

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ehmmic said:

Having an asthma attack on the 11th pitch of Royal Arches because of the stupid forest service burning in the valley and shifting winds. Finished the climb with my patient partner and once we got out of the smoke things calmed down and I could breath again. cantfocus.gif

 

Was it the Park Service and was it two summers ago? I was there and they burned the trees directly below the Nose. Poor people on various wall routes were getting absolutely hammered with thick smoke. That must have been a few peoples "FEAR". No escape from choking thick smoke hanging from aiders 2000 ft up. I saw no warning signs around before hand.

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THE PARK ALWAYS PUTS UP WARNING SIGNS AND YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK WITH THE PORK SERVICE B4 HAND.

 

 

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chirp said:

Watching my wife tumble 500 feet down chair peak. Running down the talus after her fall and seeing blood spatters on various rocks.

 

That is absolutely horrible.

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Alpinfox said:

chirp said:

Watching my wife tumble 500 feet down chair peak. Running down the talus after her fall and seeing blood spatters on various rocks.

 

That is absolutely horrible.

 

yikes! i certainly hope that she is/was OK after that!

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I think i get more scared watching OTHER people in sticky/dicey situations than when i get myself into them...i just get that totally sick feeling in my stomach...

 

I can't imagine what i'd be feeling if i watched my own wife gettin' into something nasty...probably would quit the sport altogether...

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Not rock climbing but scary nonetheless. After skiing 2 days straight (and every single run) at baker up and around rumble gulch just before the big avy came down in '99 was humbling. I remember skiing out the bottom in a powder-busting smile…less than a minute later Mother Nature flexed her muscles like I've only been present to witness twice in my life. On the chair rid up no one said nothing and after helping with the search until one fatality was found (amazingly there was only 2), we left.

 

Another moment of fear was during a January climb of rainier. I was skinning up and my partner said he was going to drop his rope. I said right up there looks like a good place, as he put his pack down everything collapsed.

 

09Scary.JPG

 

Notice the skin track behind me. Also, the picture doesn't give this nearly the justice it deserves. What collapsed was much more than what you can see...

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RuMR said:

I think i get more scared watching OTHER people in sticky/dicey situations than when i get myself into them...

 

I agree, especially when it is someone you care for.

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minx said:

Alpinfox said:

chirp said:

Watching my wife tumble 500 feet down chair peak. Running down the talus after her fall and seeing blood spatters on various rocks.

 

That is absolutely horrible.

 

yikes! i certainly hope that she is/was OK after that!

Yup! Amazingly she was (still climbing today), her bomb pack protected her back and neck and she only took major damage to her face and head, I had to put her scalp back on and secure it with my cap. She was able to walk back to Melakwa lake ( albeit a little dazed) where we waited 7 hours for an assist. We ended up slipping her into my pack like a little baby and with help, carried her about a mile down the trail where S&R was waiting and a MAST army helecopter ported her out to harborview.

 

Analysis: Climbing on loose rock unroped can mess you up.

 

Ill post a pic if I can find one

 

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