23 October 2007 16:56

What if I freeze with fear on a scramble?


By Anonymous

If you’ve followed the all-important rule of never going up anything that you wouldn’t be happy with climbing down, then stay calm, take a deep breath, and then slowly and with infinite care, carefully climb back down and find a different way up. For your first scrambling trips, always pick somewhere where there’s a walking alternative to each scramble, so that if you lose your nerve entirely you can always circumvent any particular rock face – this is easy on Tryfan. If you lose your nerve on a sharp, exposed ridge like Crib Goch, where you need to carry on or else abort the whole route, then decide which side of the ridge is causing your anxiety (the drop is usually steeper on one side than the other) and look for a route just below the very crest on the ‘safe’ side – you’ll usually find one. If not, then you can always resort to going along the ridge on hand and knees.


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What if I freeze with fear on a scramble?


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barryw says

Re: What if I freeze with fear on a scramble?

Great response oldstephen, full of positive notes.  There is nothing more fufilling than the sense of achievment when you finish a walk/scramble/climb that at some point looked like a step to far.  :biggrin:

01 February 2008 20:27


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oldstephen says

Re: What if I freeze with fear on a scramble?

This was the topic of my very first posting here when I found myself in a very difficult spot on Clogwen-y-Person arete.  I don't think I froze exactly but I certainly had to think calmly as BarryW says, thinking there was no way I could get down safely,I just had to find a way up and I did, just keeping three points of contact and a bit up brute (?) strength to get me up the seemingly impossible pitch.

It wasn't a question of freezing, that's more a paralysing through fear of falling, a natural self-preservation reaction. You just have to say to yourself that other people have done this so I must be able to, taking the most careful way of doing it, and it will make the sense of achievement all the more great when you conquer that bit of rock.

26 January 2008 22:11


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barryw says

Re: What if I freeze with fear on a scramble?

You all seem to missing the point here.  The question was "What should I do if I freeze".  They are not asking to be lectured on whether they should be in the hills or not!  Until a person gets themselves into a situation they will not know how they are going to react.  Saying people should not go out into the hills because they do not have the same level of knowledge or experiance as youselves is wrong.  The only way they will earn is through expperiancing these situations first hand.


My advice would be to calm down and think rationally.  Look at where you are and the reason you have frozen.  Think of the solution, not the problem.  Conquer your fear, pull on the advice strength of a group.  If on your own look at the easiest way out of the situation and take it.  Always have an alternative route in mind when you start out.


I've had this feeling myself the first time I stepped out onto Crib Cogh.  I froze and didn't know what to do.  Even though I have exxperiance of mountain walking, scrambling and rock climbing.  I slowed down, took deep breaths looked at where I needed to step, (not over the edge), and took insperation from my friend.  Once out there it was uplifting.


Hope this helps, rather than lectures.  Go out and enjoy.  The hills are not the domain of the elite!

17 January 2008 11:00


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pakua says


I had to help a guy on Tryfan last time I was there after he got stuck in a gully, done the same on bristly ridge too, I usually take a couple of slings when Im scrambling just in case and have used them more than once to help people.

Its easy to say that the mountains are only there for people who can get up them but how are people meant to get better at something if they dont at least try something they consider difficult. Isnt that how we learn??

Saying that though I do also believe in using your head when doing stuff


14 December 2007 23:41


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HikerPunk says


Ay good point Lost Me.

When i did Tryfan via the North Face the other month, it was amazing the amount of people that were following our little group from the uni mountaineering club.

It was interesting to watch when we stopped for a butty stop by the cannon stone, as people were literally following us almost like a dog at heel!!!

We did have to point out to one couple who were following us with their dog, that there was no "easy path" up that side of the mountain and that we were all compotent and confident in what we were doing, and that it wasnt advisable to follow us.

The looks on their faces is something i will remember for a while yet.....:wink::lol::lol:

14 December 2007 14:43

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