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Why Am I Afraid Of Heights?

Imagine standing on the edge of a sidewalk, toes on the edge. You are perfectly still, but the road is busy. Are you scared?

Now, imagine standing on the top of a hundred-story building, your toes dangling over the edge. It's windy, but you're in a harness, attached to a secure rope. Are you scared yet?

In both scenarios, there is no actual risk: there is perceived risk. Managing this perception of potential danger is what Global Mountain Solutions (GMS) specializes in. Our team looks at scenarios that appear to be dangerous, and analyzes the environment to differentiate what is actual risk and what is perceived risk. In dangerous environments, fear comes from survival instinct; fear keeps us safe. But to regard working at heights as dangerous is to misunderstand the relationship between those instincts and our minds.

From ropes courses and fall protect courses, to rock climbing guide training and alpine guide training, to rope rescue, crevasse rescue and helicopter long line rescue, the team has undergone the full gamut of rope skill training so that when there is risk, be it actual or perceived, the GMS team can manage it.

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Further, they understand the importance of having a strong sense of both situational and self-awareness. This allows them to develop a completely accurate picture of what is going on around them, and limit accident-causing variables such as human error. Are workers under-tasked? Bored? Overworked? When at a desk, these factors are less critically compromising; in situations where environmental hazard is present, these factors are crucial. But through training and experience, GMS can put what can be perceived as dangerous into perspective.

Anything mountain-related has natural hazards. However, with the right skill set, it becomes possible to know when to worry and when not to. In this way, the team is able to approach a job, understand the environment, and create a safe and successful system to work at heights.

Now imagine you're a member of the GMS team. You've been through a rigorous process of training, supervision and mentorship. Years of experience working at heights on secure rope systems have given you a solid understanding of how to manage challenging environments. You're hanging off the side of a cliff in a diamond mine, putting up mesh, handling a drill, and using airbags to break up the rock face, so that the overhead hazard to the workers below is mitigated.

You're not scared, are you?

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