Abseiling down a rocky cliff or a raging waterfall can be exciting and frightening at the same time. Standing at the edge and taking the first step could be the hardest.
All rational and natural human instinct of preventing a potential fall materialize. Almost too instantly you feel the urge to turn back and retrace your steps. It gets worse once you are dangling from a rope held by a few metal clips, 100 feet off the ground. All unimaginable fatal disasters come to mind as you depend on a harness as a lifeline.
This is a dimension of the extreme sports experience, a premise that any enthusiast would straight away go for. But for someone who is trying abseiling for the first time, all of these unsettling possibilities may almost be too much to handle.
Abseiling is a great and fun sport in which participants as young as 6 years old can engage in. Preventable human errors contribute mainly to abseiling mishaps. If you are up to the challenge of abseiling, here are some tricks and tips to overcoming the vast fear that wells up inside you.
- A self-assessment if you are really up for the activity. Avoid being coerced or pressured into doing it. You would have to WANT to do it.
- Learn more about the sport that you want to engage in. The internet is a very powerful tool and will give you the facts that you need to know about abseiling. Get familiarized with the process, the equipment and the people involved. This way you will have a better understanding of how things work, and be as safe as possible.
- Get acquainted with people who have been into the sport. First hand info and experience will prove to be beneficial in pursuing your abseiling quest.
- Go with a group of friends or relatives. It’s where courage in numbers applies.
- To ease your qualms, look for a certified abseil instructor. Summer camps are popular venues for finding such professionals.
- Trust the guide and your equipment. From your previous research, you surely came across equipment safety checks and precautions. Be certain to listen to your guide’s instructions. Don’t be afraid to ask or question things and procedures that you are doubtful of. Fear of asking is one phobia that abseiling does not help you overcome.
- Take small steps. As a beginner you will probably start out on a fairly small rock face ranging from 60 to 75 feet in elevation. Despite the qualms you had before the first rappel, abseiling will surely keep you coming back for more great heights.
Having prepared mentally for this exhilarating activity next will be the physical preparation. Nothing fancy and intense, just as you sign up for the abseil adventure, remember to disclose any previous and current medical condition so that you can be thoroughly assessed for your eligibility to participate in the sport. As much as you can, clear your bladder before the abseil as there are no pit stops on the way down.
All set now? Take a deep breath and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
By the way, keep your eyes open, the view is just absolutely breathtaking!