As we know, people react very differently to heights. This is an area we walk fairly often but we've never tried Giddy Edge, a short path above Matlock Bath.
There are more precipitous paths elsewhere and I'd do it for a bet, but when we're up there on Tuesday, Giddy Edge won't be part of the walk. The viewpoints are fine - they have guard rails.
I'm surprised that's still open. I wouldn't do it. But I expect it's a rite of passage for local kids, and doing it on a trail bike attracts real applause.
We are currently in the French Alps, where there’s a lot of this kind of thing and the locals seem to take it entirely for granted, merrily chatting as they stride along*. We have been wondering whether they are all conditioned through continual exposure from childhood - there are plenty of surprisingly small children or even babies in backpacks - or whether those with a fear of heights invariably flee to the lowlands as soon as they can, thereby removing their genes and influence from the population.
It’s not just the people; last week, while cautiously inching along a steep and narrow section of path, we rounded a corner and discovered - to our utter astonishment (and horror) - a fresh cowpat.
*As observed mainly from the places where we have stopped, shuddered and turned back and from horrified viewing of videos.
I'd not go up there.
Sam - anyone doing it on a trail bike deserves some applause, assuming they make it.
Macheath - you could be right about the genes, because it seems to be a physiological effect which you have, or you don't. Childhood conditioning might reduce the effect I suppose.
James - fine views though.
Cripes it's not called Giddy for nothing, is it.
Incidentally, there are lots of worse paths in Italy, they quite often have a chain for you to hang on to, and as you happily swing yourself along, hundreds of feet up a cliff, you do find yourself wondering who installed the chain, how thorough they were about the job, how often (if ever) it's maintained or checked, and - of course - whether the Mafia had anything to do with it.
Peter - "how often (if ever) it's maintained or checked"
Makes me think of people with clipboards edging along the chain, testing each rockface fastening. Not a job for your average bureaucrat I imagine.
Via Ferrata — installed in the Dolomite during the First World War.
djc - if it's that old, I'd certainly want it testing. Not that I'd use it anyway.
Via ferrata are something of an obsession here. The nearest alpine resort - summer motto; ‘a hundred new ways to injure yourself’ - has just installed three new via ferrata routes, while the local park has one which, climbing two hundred feet up a narrow spine of rock with sheer drops on either side, is described as ‘an ideal initiation, suitable from age 3/4 upwards’.
Macheath - a few people in our Ramblers group used to go alpine walking every year. From the sound of it, they enjoyed narrow paths, precipitous views and a sense of being high up the mountains. They sustained a number of injuries over the years.
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