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  1. #41

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    Stay in your three foot world. That is, focus on the three feet that surround you. Exhausting for all day fare but easily accomplished on the hard technical stuff the trail has for us. I’m not a thru hiker but do harbor irrational fear of heights... I’d much rather hike and muscle past fear than work a full time job.

  2. #42
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-18-2018
    Location
    Chesapeake, Ohio
    Age
    37
    Posts
    7

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    Mike,

    I'll be starting a thru hike in just under a year. I don't have any personal experience with the AT (yet!), but your post reminded me of a wonderful documentary called Walking Home (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4TWPbBlf70). One of the hikers in the documentary, Black Bear, mentions several times that she has a fear of heights; near the end of the documentary, she takes a moment to congratulate herself a little on gradually overcoming this fear during her thru hike. Black Bear has a blog; you can contact her here: http://happyhiking.bangordailynews.com/contact/

    Perhaps she'll be able to provide you with some details on hiking with a fear of heights. Also, that documentary is wonderful! Definitely worth a watch.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaze556 View Post
    A little introduction. Im Mike, im 37 and live in between cornfields known as Illinois. In 3 years im planning on a thru hike of the AT. For my entire life ive had a horrible fear of heights. Mostly centered around man made structures ( stairs, bridges, roller coasters and ferris wheels etc etc).

    My main questions revolved around being able to venture on a thru hike with my fear of heights. The start of the trail is Springer Mountain GA, do you have scale the stairs at the water fall to start your hike or is there a way around that? Where else would I run into problems? Ive been researching for a bit now and Ive seen that Knife edge in PA, Bear Mountain Bridge in NY, Palmerton PA and some other places. Is it possible to Uber or hitch hike across the big bridges? Are there any spots where you are cliff walking or rock climbing?
    Hi Mike! Are you thru-hiking with anyone? I "had" a fear of heights and started climbing mountains, bouldering, rappelling off rock walls and climbing fire towers. Even with all that, I still don't really look down. Fear of heights is a real thing. If your fear is "man-made" structures like bridges, then maybe you could hitch across them, but don't know about all the "man-made" structures on trail. Are you all right climbing rebars? What if the stairs are made of rocks/boulders placed there by trail maintainers? How about wooden foot bridges or logs across a stream crossing? I'm just thinking about some of the sections on the AT that is "man-made" AKA trail maintainers. Each AT section is managed by different partners of the ATC and they put their own spin on things. There are also wooden foot bridges that go above the swampy, muddy sections. They are not too high off the ground. You are also ascending and descending mountains, but you don't have to follow the blue blaze for a view either. You don't have to climb up Dragon's Tooth or even look or sit near the edge on McAfee Knob. Are you OK ridge walking? Well anyhoo, I think many here already pointed out some things to consider.

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