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Tony Grist

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Heights [Jun. 7th, 2018|09:33 am]
Tony Grist
How high is the tree. Fifty foot? Seventy foot? I'm no good at judging heights.

Anyway there's a man at the top of it. Apparently very much at ease, shouting down information to his mates on the ground below. He says the trunk is split into three pieces not two and he has a plan for taking it apart which involves attaching ropes to a nearby chimney. I couldn't do his job.

Lying in bed last night, thinking about the man in the tree, I found myself wondering about parachute jumps. They're not something I've ever had on my bucket list- but then I don't have a bucket list. Could I make one (a jump, I mean, not a bucket list)? I suppose I could with someone shouting in my ear and pushing me from behind- but I'd rather not put myself in that position...

Something I do rather like doing is crawling to the edge of cliffs and looking over. But the crawling is of the essence. Don't ask me to walk to the edge and teeter there. I once climbed to the top of the central tower of Durham Cathedral- by an internal staircase, of course- and there were parapets, but the only way I could approach them was at a crouch. Even sitting at the centre of the platform I felt vertiginous. There was just too much sky.

I've no idea how rock climbers do what they do. Four foot off the ground and I freeze...
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-06-07 09:30 am (UTC)

How well I understand this. I am not afraid of heights but to stand on the edge of any place high up requires a sturdy wall or railing in front of me. I cannot crouch or crawl any longer due to bad joints but I can stand with proper protection in front of me. Some years ago we went to the top of the dome of St. Paul's in London. The last bit requires climbing a type of internal suspended open metalwork spiral staircase. There are hand railings of course but all that open space around me and so high up almost made me freeze from panic. But I did it and I'm still proud that I did.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-06-07 10:37 am (UTC)
I'm full of admiration. I've seen that space on the top of the dome. I don't think I could make it up there.

I must have been braver once. In my late teens my mates and I made a movie that involved climbing to the top of Hadlow Tower- a neo-gothic folly which is not only very tall- but was also in a very bad state of repair at the time- with ladders and floorboards that really weren't to be trusted.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2018-06-07 01:09 pm (UTC)
I think we were all braver once but now that we're of a certain age perhaps we just recognize our limitations.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2018-06-07 10:41 am (UTC)
I just had a friend from India who took his family to Switzerland and they walked this path along Grindelwald that made me dizzy just looking at the photos. There would not be enough money in the world to get me to do that. Seriously. Funny that I had no problem stepping off a boat in the middle of the Red Sea to dive, but climbing a mountain? Not even on a bucket list.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-06-07 12:24 pm (UTC)
I went up Mont Blanc in the cable car once- and couldn't get back down again fact enough.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2018-06-07 12:26 pm (UTC)
I have done that as well with pretty much the same results as you.
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[User Picture]From: topum
2018-06-07 05:08 pm (UTC)
Russian roofers are very popular here. We have a teenager in our village who does this. I think you'll enjoy this video. I am not afraid of heights but Helga can't watch it for example. There are even worse videos of these guys out there.


Edited at 2018-06-07 05:09 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-06-07 06:38 pm (UTC)
I watched it- but it gave me the shakes.
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[User Picture]From: resonant
2018-06-09 02:06 pm (UTC)
Even tall slopes can be too much at times. Once in the Blue Mountains of Australia, I was on a 30 degree sloping hill with good footing, no fear of falling, and even if I did fall it would just be a gentle slide. Yet when I looked down and saw that the slope went hundreds of metres down to the bottom, I still was too terrified to keep walking upright, and had to crouch.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-06-09 02:47 pm (UTC)
I can relate to that.
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