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zip lining with a fear of heights

Gainesville, Florida
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118 posts
18 reviews
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zip lining with a fear of heights

Hi, we are contemplating a trip to Costa Rica next March; considering Arenol and Monteverde as two of our destinations. My husband really wants to go zip-lining and canyoning, but I'm afraid of heights. Has anyone with a fear of heights done either of these? If so, how did you overcome your fear?

San Jose, Costa Rica
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32 reviews
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1. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

Hard to answer your question...I have had driving some people with fear of heights...some of them were very happy and with a courage to do it ...others did not even tryed!

It is nice...but be aware that once you pay...very hard they will give you your money back!

roadadvisor

Cartago, Costa Rica
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20 posts
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2. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

I would say that if you have a fear of heights you should do a different tour. Your husband can take the zip line tour etc and you can take another tour.

Portsmouth, Virginia
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276 posts
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3. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

I was with a large group of friends on tour the first time I zip-lined. One of the guys in our group had an undisclosed severe fear of heights. He was visibly uncomfortable---knees shaking, etc. Trouble for him was after the first cable, all the connections were at elevated platforms way up in large trees. He had no choice but to complete the course., scared to death all the way.

If you have a strong fear of heights, I'd suggest you and your husband agree that he does the zipping/canyoning, you do a spa day or nature tour.

Bethesda MD
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4. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

examiner.com/theme-parks-in-orlando/zipline-… . You can test your fear, or get this crossed of DH's list, before you leave home.

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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5. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

If you have a real fear of heights, I would give it a pass. Some of them involve climbing straight up, standing on small platforms high off the ground, rappeling, etc. It's not really a scary activity, but for someone with a fear of heights, I don't think it would be enjoyable at all.

Gainesville, Florida
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118 posts
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6. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

Wow, thank you for your answers. I'm so glad I found out now before there was no turning back!

Uvita, Costa Rica
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for Uvita, Ojochal
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2,646 posts
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7. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

Many places that do Ziplines also have some kind of rainforest walks you can take wille your husband ziplines. Check with them. I don't have a full fear of hights but I am unconfortable, I can do ziplines but not canyoning - which is basicaly rapelling on a rope down a waterfall. For canyoning you can check with the tour company and maybe you can join in without rapelling but enjoy yourself at the waterfall base and do some relaxing and swiming in the meantime.

Austin, Texas
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82 posts
25 reviews
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8. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

I have a pretty good fear of heights but we did sky trek and I was just fine. You didn't have to jump off any platforms; you got belted in and then the guides pushed you a few feet to the end of the platform and then you just soared to the next platform. I didn't find it very scary at all. If I had had to jump off the very end of a platform, I'm not sure I Could have done it, but I had a blast at sky trek Arenal. It was a real highlight of our trip and I wouldn't have missed it for anything. I really, really hope you do it. You will be glad you did.

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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9. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

We did a canopy tour in Monteverde, and at one point they said, "Okay jump off the platform!" It was a complete surprise to us. It was just a straight descent. They had us do it with no hands, and we just plummeted to the ground from really high up, and they pulled on the ropes to stop us before we hit the ground. We had fun doing it, but I was scared. If I had a fear of heights, I would probably still be up there - lol.

Ventnor City, New...
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for Walt Disney World, Orlando
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10. Re: zip lining with a fear of heights

I can share my experience.

I don't know if I have a fear of heights or rather a fear of falling. For instance, I LOVE staying in a room on the highest floors of a hotel. I love looking out the sealed windows. But I'd hate it if that same room had a balcony with a normal railing.

I had no trouble being inside or outside of the CN Tower in Toronto; inside has no worries for me, but the outside was totally caged in, meaning that I knew there was no way I could accidentally fall to the ground, and therefore I wasn't scared being at that extreme height.

I was nervous about zip-lining. I was nervous that my fear of heights might prevent me from trying it, or worse would cause me to panic once doing it (I've never had a panic attack before, but you never know).

But my fears totally disappeared minutes after I arrived at EcoGlide Park in La Fortuna de San Carlos (the Arenal area). The reason is that I felt totally secure with the equipment and the staff. I could feel how tightly I was rigged in the harness. The staff did a great job of explaining all of the safety rules.

And then they took us to "school" by training us on a zip-line essentially at ground level ... we had to walk a few steps up to a platform and then we zipped a short distance to the ground. Just from that small taste, I could tell I'd be fine. It just felt so secure. It felt like there was no way I could fall to the ground.

And so when I went and did my first real zip over the rainforest I was able to enjoy the view rather than be overtaken by my fear of heights.

I even survived getting stuck during my second zip. I had applied too much brake and I came to a dead stop maybe 50 feet from the next platform. I was just dangling there, and I was somewhat scared, but a staffer came right out to me and dragged me along the line the rest of the way.

In the months leading up to the trip, I had been telling myself, "OK, maybe the zipping itself will be OK, but I'll be terrified of the platforms because it must be easy to fall off of them." Again, once I saw it in practice, my fears disappeared. There were actually two wires, the one you zip on, plus a safety wire. Your zipping pulley rides along the one wire, and your safety line glides along the second one, meaning that even if one wire breaks (yikes!) you're connected to a second one at all times.

So getting back to the platform thing ...

When you zip onto a platform, the first thing they do is unhook you from the pulley and thus that is unhooking you from the main line. But it's important to notice that you are still connected to the safety line. You stay connected to that safety line until you are hooked onto the next pulley/main zip line. Once you get hooked back onto the main line for your next zip, only after that is your safety line undone from the previous line and then hooked up to the next safety line.

Long story short, at all times you are hooked up to at least one of the two lines, meaning you are NEVER at risk for falling off any platform.

I'm a therapist, and as I'm writing this I'm discovering that my fear of falling is more or less a rational fear. If it was an IRRATIONAL fear, no evidence or explanation could talk me out of it. But I guess it is a rational fear because I was able to use evidence and reason to make the fear just disappear.

I truly enjoyed my zip line experience. If you think you can be talked out (or demonstrated out) of your fear, then go for it! But if you think that no rational explanation or demonstration will do the trick, then you're better off avoiding the activity.

Pura vida!

Edited: 12 September 2011, 02:17