43, scared of heights, climbed In Pinn
by giladt » Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:51 am
Route description: Sgurr Dearg and the In Pinn
Munros included on this walk: Inaccessible Pinnacle
Date walked: 29/08/2016
Time taken: 9 hours7 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It started back in January when, after a few beers, I agreed to walk the Cuillins with friends. With hindsight, in the following days and weeks, I wouldn't have watched all those GoPro videos on YouTube, or read the walkhighlands reports, or looked at the photos, or the map. They just made me more and more anxious. Talk about the power of negative thinking. I was teaching my brain to be afraid.
They say the only thing worse than the torture is the waiting. I'd been waiting 6 months. As the time approached, the sickening feeling got worse and worse. I took up vaping, like a baby needing a dummy for comfort.
I took what I thought were practical steps to prepare. Firstly, I took a guided walk of the Aonagh Eagach ridge in Glencoe. Secondly, I took instruction at a climbing wall. I'm not sure they helped. Yes, I felt the exposure on Glencoe. Yes, I got basic scrambling experience. But they also reinforced my fear of heights. Now I was certain I'd be terrified on the In Pinn.
When the day finally arrived, I was totally s******g it.
The walk in was much shorter than I'd anticipated. Our guide, the phenomenal Scott from Skye Guides, took us up Sgurr Mhic Choinnich as a warm up, which got us into using our hands. The weather was deteriorating fast so we high-tailed it to the In Pinn. There were 4 in our group, which meant two to go with Scott, two to wait for the second run. I elected to wait. I reasoned that I'd gain confidence from the safe return of the first pair, which is thankfully how it turned out. But that was the longest 45 minutes of my life. Freezing cold, huddled up in a stone circle, with the prospect of the In Pinn towering over me, literally and metaphorically.
When my time came, I forced myself to take the first step onto the rock and upwards, ever upwards. It was an emotional rollercoaster. There were moments I thought I couldn't go on, and others when it felt easier than I'd expected. Being roped up was essential for my confidence because, whenever I stopped climbing, there was upward momentum via a friendly tug on the rope by Scott. Movement allayed the fear. Concentration allayed the fear. I had to remind myself to breathe. I tried shifting my perspective to see what felt better. Turns out it was best if I focussed on the square inches of rock in front of me.
The abseil down, and the waiting in driving wind and rain for the abseil down, made me nauseous in the extreme. My relief at the bottom was palpable, I was virtually in tears. I hugged my friends and thanked them profusely for pushing me further outside my comfort zone than I ever imagined myself capable of.
And now it's over, how do I feel? Simply, that no one can take this away from me.
by OpenC » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:59 pm
by Sgurr » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:10 pm
OpenC, there's no hurry.
by OpenC » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:15 pm
by seriousjon » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:58 pm
by mrssanta » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:58 pm
we did the Inn Pinn with a guide in 2012 when we were in our late 40s. My husband was terrified but he actually enjoyed it as he felt safe with the rope. we had a gorgeous day with a rainbow and a golden eagle thrown in! We did all the cuillin munros with a guide actually and had a brilliant week with a lovely group of people. Go for it OpenC I still get a buzz remembering it.
by Alteknacker » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:51 am
OpenC: if you're OK with heights, you'll be fine with the Inn Pinn. It's very easy scrambling, comprising - except for the start - really big and easy step foot placements and good hand-holds. And the start is pretty straightforward too - just a bit more vertical, whereas the rest is a gentle slope of about 40 degrees.
by Mountainlove » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:15 am
by giladt » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:34 pm
Go for it OpenC.
by Huff_n_Puff » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:00 pm
Long may you elation last
by Sunset tripper » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:51 pm
Its always a bad idea agreeing to something after a few hours on the beer
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