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Old 09-16-2015, 04:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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False alarm on Saddleback's cliffs

This past Thursday my son and I, along with my dog Maggie climbed Saddleback, over to Basin, and then back over Saddleback to our lean to at Ore Bed. I am no mountain freak like so many on this forum are, and I climb at a pace that will never set any land speed records. In addition, living here in Cleveland does not afford me more than one or two trips a year up to my favorite place in the world. Throw in my age of 64 and you get the picture - I am just an ordinary hiker who loves climbing in the Adirondacks. That being said, the "cliffs' of Saddleback presented absolutely no problems whatsoever. While we did have to lift/lower my dog multiple times, at no point did we ever even begin to think we couldn't go on. I am simply amazed at how much publicity these cliffs have gotten over the years. Even as we hiked in and passed the ranger at the outpost, when he heard we were climbing Saddleback and Basin, he immediately suggested we take the far longer route of going up Shorey's to Basin and then only climb up the cliffs. Loved the limited views we did get, enjoyed once more climbing up Ore Bed, and being out there in all that vastness is always great. I admit the view of the cliffs from a distance look pretty awesome, but once up close it was just another route to climb.
Are you hiding in the shadows - forget the pain, forget the sorrow.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:50 PM   #2
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It's exposure. Couple that with vertical rise and most people get a little panicky. Unless you are accustomed to it or have trained yourself to get out of that mental rut, it's pretty common, even from yours truly. Some people are just less prone to it as well...

I've also read that sometimes what happens to people in high, exposed areas is actually a sensory overload which triggers adrenaline, instead of a fear of falling. I noticed I can get the same mental effect in a big city as I can on a big mountain. Once you become accustomed to, and/or adjust to it though, your brain adjusts to your surroundings and the fear subsides.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2006
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It's been a pretty dry summer. Please keep in mind that during wet conditions, steep rocky slopes can be very difficult to climb on.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:44 PM   #4
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It lives up to its rep in winter. In summer, not so much.

Saddleback and Basin, February 2013
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:28 AM   #5
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Very true. That's true of a lot of "slide / rock" routes. Contrast our easy scampering up summer slides with Mudrat's winter expeditions. The Trap Dike is very much like this as well; I have been up it many times in both seasons, and it's a completely different deal in winter vs. summer.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:05 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Going in my biggest concern was the safety of my dog. If I hadn't purchased a Ruffwear dog harness prior to coming I don't think I could have climbed with her safely. We also had her roped up to add more control in the steeper parts. When we did Gothics last year she never needed my help, but this climb was more complicated I must admit. For myself, I am super pumped at how well she did while we descended and ascended. She completely trusted my son and I even though there were a couple of spots she was anxious about.

Sure do agree about wet vs dry. Tried Gothic wet and it was not fun, came back and it was dry - whole different ballgame indeed. As for snow.......................................
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