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Don't Look Down

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Don't Look Down

Old 20th Jan 2014, 12:33
  #1 (permalink)  
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Don't Look Down

I think I have a good head for heights. My idea of fun is being suspended from a paraglider wing by thin kevlar lines, hanging over a balloon basket swapping tanks while climbing through (broken) cloud or pulling G inverted while doing aeros. I watched a programme last night that churned my stomach. There are nutters out there who climb buildings and structures for kicks. I'm not talking about BASE jumpers who take risks but total eejits who take chances such as climbing a 300 foot construction crane and walk along the jib before dangling off with one hand.

If you can access Channel 4 on demand or catch a replay, have a look at this programme..... I warn you that you will have nightmares.


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Old 20th Jan 2014, 12:42
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Adrenalin addiction is the new craze. Like all addictions the more you take the more you crave for it

Adrenaline Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Soteriology - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 13:24
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I watched it up to the point of the pic in your post mate, then turned over.. Total nutters! It really was uncomfortable viewing.

I'm with you, irrational fear of heights unless some powered flight is involved.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 13:39
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I think that anyone who has climbed bridges, towers, masts and buildings as part of their job, as I have, will understand the feeling of exhilaration that these individuals experience. There's no doubt that it gives a "buzz" to be walking along the main cable catenaries of a big suspension bridge, or to arrive at the top of a communications tower on a mountain top in East Africa with spectacular views into the Rift Valley and of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya in the misty blue distance.

But there are important differences between those situations and what these rash young men are doing. Hanging on by one hand to show off is possible in both instances, but my continued existence today to post this is clear evidence that I never, ever did anything so stupid. Another major difference is that I was well paid to be where I was, with inspection and measurement tasks to perform, and full authority from the structure's owners to do so. That being the case, I was very heavily insured, so that had the unthinkable happened, my dependants would have been very wealthy indeed. These "adrenalin junkies" are there illegally, uninsured and at high risk of catastrophe from an unexpected gust, a muscular cramp, or a dizzy spell. Sad but true, though as I said, having been there myself I can see the attraction, albeit potentially fatal ...
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 14:11
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Yup Urban Free climbing can almost instantaneously become Urban Free falling and as the late great Fred Dibnah so eloquently put it you only do that once. As the Ukrainian guy mentioned I believe four recent fatalities including his mate who got electrocuted on a radio mast and another who back flipped off the edge of a building, I was have expecting this to be posthumous programme.
Edited to add that when doing this sort of thing for work you have to ensure the safety of the public below. A meat bomb hitting some one below would be fatal for both.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 14:21
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I also watched it and it also churned my stomach - that back flip on the Moscow bridge was bonkers and almost had me nervous wretching.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 15:54
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AA. A fear of heights is completely rational!
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 16:08
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Fear of heights is silly. Fear of depths, however...
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 16:09
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I watched a few minutes of this and had to switch off, as it was seriously disturbing. I have a serious problem with a fear of heights, but only when on or close to structures. I can't go up a ladder more than about 8ft without a white knuckle grip on the thing.

I've never been able to work out why I could happily sit in the open cargo door of a big helo with my feet dangling over the side, 1000ft or so up, and feel no fear at all. Same goes for flying in general, I've flown in, or dangled under, a fairly wide variety of flying machines over the years and never felt so much as the slightest twinge of fear (at least not from the height).

There must be something specific about being on or next to a structure that induces this fear, but quite what I don't know.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 16:28
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Yep, same here. I can do all sorts of things that others would think were daft such as leaning forward against the harness straps in a paragliding harness, collapsing and recovering the canopy etc.

Can I go 10 feet up a ladder.... yes but it's white knuckle time
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 20:16
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Not so much a fear of heights, more a fear of the sudden stop at the bottom.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 20:26
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Oddly enough I have no fear of heights, but I am petrified of jumping or trying to dive into water, even off the edge of a pool or a boat. I can swim and am not frightened of deep or rough water, but I have to lower myself into it. Quite irrational.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 21:04
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Capetonian, I have a friend with similar "issues" She does lots of energetic sports, including waterskiing, wake boarding, skiing, snowboarding and has done quite a lot of aerobatic flights in a Pitts....but is almost phobic about moving forward into a drop. She has to start her skiing runs by going off to one side, rather than straight forward, and won't dive or jump off a boat. Nosing over and pulling -ve g in the Pitts was her least liked manoeuvre. Every other aspect of these hobbies, no problem! So you're not alone.

On the subject of the TV programme, I watched it all, was fascinated but there's no way I'd be doing it. The bloke seemed to have been heavily indulged by his mum and had a child-like self-centredness and no charisma! The Ukranian bloke was more charismatic, but seemed to have a more cavalier approach to his free climbing. On a quite shallow level I enjoyed watching for the vicarious thrills (now I don't have aeros to enjoy anymore), but ultimately I didn't really see what the point of the documentary was. Still, it gave us all something to talk about at work this morning....
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 21:22
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Similar to PTT, I used to have a fear of heights, now I have a fear of widths.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 21:34
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Similar to PTT, I too have a fear of heights, now I have a fear of widths.
Not once, but several times, one has been saved from a plausibly horrible Fate by sudden onset of a deep instinctual fear at the precipitous edges of certain broads with humongous breadths.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 21:35
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humongous breadths.
So you write with a lisp as well.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 21:59
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Quote: So you write with a lisp as well.
Struth, tho one was inclined more to ALGOL for the sticky parts. Too many parentheses give one the sort of vertigo for which there is no simple cure.
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Old 21st Jan 2014, 04:56
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The Emperor Mong is paying close attention to their activities. His Eminence is a good mate of Darwin, you know...

The last sound many of them will hear is bound to be a ghostly mwahahaha! fading into the distance.
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Old 21st Jan 2014, 08:52
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Something like this sound as they are propelled towards the darwin thread.

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Old 21st Jan 2014, 10:15
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Well, if you have a fear of heights, I wouldn't recommend taking this particular job (or maybe even watching this video). As someone commented, it's amazing how he can even climb that high lugging those great b*lls of steel!

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