Looking to Improve my Confidence

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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mtree
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by mtree » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:35 am

I don't think you can draw any conclusions from such a small sample size of fatalities. Statistically insignificant.

That said, you want to improve your confidence? Start hiking! Alot!!! Build your stamina and high altitude endurance with longer and more difficult hikes. Strength will come naturally. I don't mean jumping into class 3 or 4 climbs. Just more varied terrain and not the same route or peak. You can easily do this on many of the easy standard trails just by taking a more difficult ridge or series of moves. Variety is key. And it doesn't have to be high risk/consequence moves. Once you're bopping up and down 7-8 mile treks like its no biggy you can increase to 9-10 mile hikes or more. Instead of 3000 ft total elevation gain, start pushing hikes to 4000 ft. Then 4500, 5000, on and on it goes.

Its not that complicated. Just keep hiking. Often.
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
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Wildernessjane
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by Wildernessjane » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:33 pm

One thing that really helped me personally was to change my thinking about what it means to be nervous or afraid. It’s really kind of a very natural thing to be afraid of heights. When I feel nervous, this is a cue that I really need to focus and pay attention to what I am doing. This is what will keep me alive. It’s not something to be ashamed of. Of course it’s really important not to let that fear take over. As others have said, I think this will come from increasing your fitness and working your way up in terms of difficulty. Learning to rock climb can also be helpful but I know plenty of people who did not go this route and are quite confident scramblers. To me, it also really helps to stay focused on what my goals are and why I am doing what I’m doing. Also, this is kind of an interesting read on the topic: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/16286543 ... 1628654368
“Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.” -David McCullough?
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climbingcue
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by climbingcue » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:45 pm

I think improving your fitness level will go a long way. When you are super tired it is much easier to make little mistakes that can turn into big problems. I know the better shape I am in the clearer I think in the mountains.
Consecutive months with at least one 14er, 35 months.
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justiner
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by justiner » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:48 pm

Coming from a climbing background, have you heard of The Rock Warrior's Way?

https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Warriors-Wa ... 974011215/

It goes into a lot of how our mind prevents us from progressing due to things like fear.

For me, emotions like fear are tools I use to advise me on decisions, rather than what controls my decisions. If I'm worried that my emotions will take over during something stressful, like a difficult/dangerous route, I'll back down.
ltlFish99
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by ltlFish99 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:02 pm

When you think you are ready for it, I thought that Kelso ridge and the sawtooth were both wonderful experiences, and a lot of fun.
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randalmartin
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by randalmartin » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:18 pm

Having progressed myself from my 40s into my 50s now I think the biggest factors that contributes to confidence is overall fitness. However, too often people just focus on cardio and strength. Those are both important but as we age and on difficult terrain, balance and flexibility are just as important. Yoga is tremendous tool for maintaining and enhancing balance and flexibility.
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nyker
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by nyker » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:48 pm

cfischer wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:50 pm
Hello everyone,
I'm happy to have joined this community, and thought I would reach out for some advice. I was hopinh to tap your brains for ideas on where I can go hiking to help improve my confidence levels.

I've just started hiking a few 14ers, namely Cameron and Grays. I am a moderately skilled all-season hiker, climber, and mountaineer (summited Mont Blanc, and other peaks in the area, used to lead sport, trad, and ice), but it has been a long time since I've done anything more challenging than the mountains in the North East. Though confident in my skill set and am of average fitness. I am looking to rebuild confidence when confronting heights, knife edges, and terrain that just "feels" steep or exposed. To give you an example, even being up on Bear Peak in Boulder makes me nervous. I know that once I start getting flustered, I'll make poor decisions and will slip up technically with things like footwork and balance, and just generally fatigue. My goal is to feel comfortable enough on steep terrain to get into snow climbs, ridge traverses, and more technical terrain.

All that being said, do you all have any ideas of places where I might have a good shot at building up my confidence? I've been considering Kelso Ridge, and maybe the west ridge of Quandary. I live in the Longmont area and am willing to travel around 4-5 hours to reach good destinations; I also drive a prius, so accessibility can sometimes be an issue. Right now my hiking distance on 14ers tends to top out at 8 miles round trip, and that would be pushing it. Any ideas on locations, or other resources for me to look into would me much appreciated.
Thanks!
Charlie
Walk before you run. Start out on easier peaks so get comfortable at altitude, i.e. class one trails to 13,000-14,000+ft. Once you are acclimatized for any given hike/climb and after doing a bunch of ascents, you'll know how your body reacts at altitude and assuming you have no health issues, you should feel better with each ascent as you become accustomed to exerting yourself at altitude. After having some easier peaks under your belt, start the more difficult ones ("difficult" either by increasing vertical gain, trickier terrain, or longer, ideally not all three at once). Start to combine all those three facets of added difficulty and work your way to more difficult peaks with some exposed sections or Class 3, etc. Might be best to go with someone more experienced until you feel good going it alone.

One way to help confidence is to be in better shape so fatigue won't set in as early or as bad - assuming you have no injuries/health issues, one sure way to build your stamina is to engage in some regular sustained aerobic work and develop a "good" repeatable schedule (pick your poison here, running, cycling, stairmaster, cardio machines, whatever). Add in some targeted weight training as well. Tons of stuff online about training regimens or hire a trainer for a few times to get some main points.

One more point - Not sure which Northeast peaks you've done but there are plenty of tougher peaks in the northeast that have long complicated standard routes that are harder than the standard routes on 2/3 the 14ers so you might be in better position that you think.
Also, there are plenty of trailheads you can get to with your 2wd Prius to put a dent in the 13ers and 14ers.
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SamWerner
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by SamWerner » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:57 pm

There's plenty of scrambling available to get your confidence up. You mentioned Bear Peak made you nervous in Boulder, there are lots of rocks behind Bear Peak's summit (and South Boulder Peak's summit) that are accessible after a reasonably short hike, not far from help, and relatively low exposure. It's a great place to get your confidence on class 3/4 back, that's what I did this season as a refresher and I'm really glad I did.
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jasayrevt
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by jasayrevt » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:38 pm

Lots of great recommendations on this recreational hobby here. Be safety-minded and slowly work your way up on mountains. And, train. You can accomplish more than you think if you put your mind to it. I am still a novice. But, Brian, a.k.a LordHelmut, gave me some of the best advice I have ever received when we summited East and West Buffalo Pks: If you climbed Capitol Pk, you will be fine on any 13er
"A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never revert to old dimensions."

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ker0uac
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by ker0uac » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:57 pm

randalmartin wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:18 pm
However, too often people just focus on cardio and strength. Those are both important but as we age and on difficult terrain, balance and flexibility are just as important. Yoga is tremendous tool for maintaining and enhancing balance and flexibility.
Definitely agree. Five years ago I bought a book on fitness training for the outdoors and started focusing more on endurance and core strength. What a difference that made! And with it, my confidence also went up.
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
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daway8
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by daway8 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:58 pm

jasayrevt wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:38 pm
...If you climbed Capitol Pk, you will be fine on any 13er
Hmm, not to sidetrack a good thread but from what I've heard there are several 13ers that are significantly harder than Capitol and which include class 5 on the standard route - something not the case for any standard 14er route... Though I see your 13er count is significantly higher than mine so perhaps I'm just hearing overhyped reports on some of the ones I haven't done yet?
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angry
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Re: Looking to Improve my Confidence

Post by angry » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:07 pm

daway8 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:58 pm
jasayrevt wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:38 pm
...If you climbed Capitol Pk, you will be fine on any 13er
Hmm, not to sidetrack a good thread but from what I've heard there are several 13ers that are significantly harder than Capitol and which include class 5 on the standard route - something not the case for any standard 14er route... Though I see your 13er count is significantly higher than mine so perhaps I'm just hearing overhyped reports on some of the ones I haven't done yet?
I don't know of any standard 14er route that has any class 5 (including all of the traverses, those are pretty tame). Only class 5 I can think of that I've done on any 14er at all is most recently Ellingwood Arete on the the Needle. I can think of more 13ers that had felt like some actual climbing even if it was short lived.
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