I Must Confess…I’m Scared of Mountains

Hello good people and welcome to yet another confession from yours truly as part of the I Must Confess linkup.

This weekend sees me travelling down to the NSW south coast for a family get-together with the rest of the immediate Russell family clan. It should be awesome.

But I’m not looking forward to the travelling down part when it coincides with traversing mountains. I have a deep-seated and highly irrational fear of them. Which is why I’ve never been on a skiing holiday and probably never will!

image source

And that’s why you’ll never, ever see me doing this!

I remember travelling down to the Snowy Mountains when I was a young girl. I was freaked out by driving through clouds on the way and was terrified when we made the obligatory visit to Charlotte Pass. Even though I couldn’t see a thing, I lost it, visions of either myself or another member of the family just stepping off the side of the pass filling my mind with fear.

Apparently I am even more scared when the sky is clear. On a later trip up to North Haven, just south of Port Macquarie, we drove up North Brother mountain to enjoy the vista of the Tasman Sea from goodness knows how far up. I hid in the car while I experienced my first ever panic attack. That is definitely one of the more troubling memories I have of my childhood.

Years later and I still do not like going up mountains. Not that many years ago I made my husband wait until it got dark before we left Lithgow for Mudgee to avoid me seeing the Lithgow enscarpment, where the land just falls away as part of the Great Dividing Range. On a another trip down to Huskisson, I ensured someone else was driving when we came up out of the Kangaroo Valley so I didn’t have to see the view!

This weekend the only two options for getting to our destination is to go through the Kangaroo Valley again or go down via Bulli Pass – both options are not looking all that good to me. So I will be driving the first half down through Sydney and then passing the wheel to my husband while I strategically close my eyes at the crucial moment!

Do you have a deep-seated and irrational fear?

If you do, please share either as a comment here or on the facebook page. Or even better, you could also be brave and link up your own post – you’ll feel better afterwards, I promise!

The Rules…

– I Must Confess is a link up that will be happening every Sunday – a bit of a homage to my Catholic upbringing, in fact!

– The link will be live from 10pm Saturday night for the whole week.

– You can link up something old or new, we’re not fussy around here.

– Please go forth and share the comment love – it is bloggy crack after all!

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11 Responses

  1. carmen says:

    I get that about mountains… I am heading “home” in a couple of months… and “home” is on a mountain. I’ve always had a deep hesitation in driving the range. Even though I lived there for years!
    Hope the reunion is awesome! Enjoy!
    You know I’ll have to put up Tuesday’s post now don’t you? 😉
    carmen recently posted..The value of kindness…

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who is not a fan of mountains. Hoping your trip home is a good one when it happens. And thanks so much for linking up!

  2. Vaness says:

    I was ok with hills as a kid, though I think I was occasionally nervous on them it was more windy roads with sheer drops that I didn’t like.

    Then when I finally learned to drive about 5 years ago I was never really taught how to do a hill start, I learned to drive in a flat area (because that’s where I live) … I’m a bit of an inexperienced driver on hills.

    One Sunday my husband & I had been to some markets & decided to go for a drive to the nearby dam, since we hadn’t been there before. I had a quick look on my phone for the road name (I’m old school, no GPS for me, just a map and memory!) and off we set!!

    When we were on the road down to the dam I freaked out. I didn’t even know it at first. I became aware that I had stopped driving and my husband was looking at me. I think I had stopped because the road was too steep. It just looked like it dropped away under the car. I think I thought that I wouldn’t be able to get back up (I drive a Getz, after all, love it but it’s not powerful) and then the car was still and I was shaking violently.

    Thankfully this happened on a fairly flat section of the road (probably why the road looked so steep, contrast!) and there was a driveway there. So after what felt like a year but was probably an entire second where all that happened, I pulled into the driveway, put the handbrake on and spent a minute crying and calming myself. As soon as I was calm enough to feel safe driving (but far from relaxed) I turned the car around and left, heading a minute or two back down the road to a public park by the road, where we stopped until I was actually relaxed and we could continue on with our day.

    (This all happened on a very quiet backstreet, so the danger was minimal with regards to traffic etc.)

    Since then I’m only fine on some hills. But I can’t find a pattern of what bothers me! I think it does have to do with familiarity of the hills. I’d love to take lessons to get over this, but they’re so expensive. For now when I’m on a hill and feel a panic reaction starting, I remind myself it’s actually pretty flat, I have an automatic car so don’t really roll back, I breathe deeply and concentrate on swapping my foot from the brake to accelerator smoothly, instead of roughly. It seems to work enough to stop the panic!

    I’d love to get over this because I want to explore some new places and this fear stops me. Thankfully being at lookouts or bushwalking and those types of hills/views don’t bother me.

    Um… can you tell I’m glad it’s not just me with weird hill related issues!?!
    Vaness recently posted..Interviews With Myself Part 2: Laugh Link

  3. charlotte says:


    I hope you are well and do not mind me contacting you on here – I am working on a brand new series with the world famous adventurer Bear Grylls for Discovery International, which will follow Bear and several unlikely survival companions overcome huge hurdles in the wild.

    Unlike Bear’s solo adventures, I am looking for people to take part in the series which follows Bear and his survival companions overcome huge hurdles in the wild. This series explores the dynamics between Bear and his travel companions, and the challenges they have to endure together. Each episode will aim to achieve the impossible, and hopefully change someone’s life for the better through determination and courage. We are looking for people who have been struggling with a fear or phobia, a physical challenge or disability, or someone who is generally unhappy with their lifestyle and in desperate need of a change and who are willing to face their fears and issues head on. They will be taken into a wild and remote location with Bear Grylls, where they will learn survival techniques, both mentally and physically.

    The reason why I am contacting you is because I noticed on your blog you mentioned that you suffer from a fear of mountains and I am looking for people who might potentially be interested in taking part who suffer from this.

    If this sounds like something you would be interested in and you would like to chat, or would like some more information please don’t hesitate to get back in touch I will be happy to answer any of your questions, I am happy to call you at your convenience and you can email me at charlotte.critchfield@betty.co.uk

    Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,

    Warmest Wishes,

  4. John G says:

    Hi. I know this post is nearly 4 years old and also I’m American living in arizona (as of February 2016). I’m originally from Chicago, born and raised (500 ft above sea level. I live in phoenix now which where I am is about 1000 feet. Hardly a bother. However , everywhere around here is surrounded by mountains as it is on the valley. I’m a phobic by nature. I have emetophobia and I’m diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. (The fear of open spaces) LOL!. I wanted to leave the Midwest and live in “gods country” and get away from the concrete jungles. So I thought phoenix seemed like a good place. I will say, I absolutely love nature and the mountains , but… I’m REALLY SCARED of them..Just looking at them sometimes freaks me out!! I’ve been here a bit and got used to the mountains around where I immediately live so that’s fine. But even just when I see ones in he distance it makes me feel dizzy and queasy! Forget actually traversing them lol. I have to almost know a daily bases but thankfully they’re not extremely high or anything. But, and this is a bit late to make a point , I am, as we speak, sitting shotgun going to the grand canyon (about a three and a half hour drive from where we live… and guess what is sitting between us? About 7 thousand feet of mountains for 150 miles. Fantastic. Now, this is also not the first trip I’ve taken through mountains , nor are these the tallest I’ve been exposed to. I’ve driven back and fourth from here or Los Angeles 5 times now. And I also visited Seattle Washington and drove from Washington to California and the mountains there were quite a bit taller but I also wasn’t having anxiety issues 13 years ago when I took the trip there…
    I will say as far ad driving through the mountains. ..I’d much rather do it during the day. I actually want to see what is there, I don’t like doing it at night because then not only do I feel like “I know they’re there looking at me and I can’t see them..” but then also, what if some animal comes out of nowhere and I have to avoid it etc. Or if rocks fall, not that I could prevent it or that light will somehow save my life but then I can at least see my demise Lol! anyhow, it’s an odd thing to me to be afraid of them..I try to understand my fears and I can’t understand this one..maybe it’s my agoraphobia or something… but I want to get over it! I love the mountains and I want to be comfortable being “one with nature” but this is a huge impediment to that enjoyment! So I decided I’d write to you as I take this trip..I don’t suspect I I’ll rekindle the conversation but that’s okay. This has been therapeutic for me to take my mind off of it. Sorry if my post is boring and dumb.

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks for being so open with your fear – I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who fears mountains. I wish you well with your trip too!

  5. sabine says:

    Hi,I have also fear of mountains but not of height but feeling enclosed and cut off from the world.I cant see beyond and I always feel that I miss out and I cant get out.I could never live near mountains that people say thats so beautiful.I am so scared.

  6. Kate says:

    I grew up in foothills of North Carolina. My family would go camping in the mountains multiple times every year. I always associated my fear of the mountains with the saying “so beautiful, it takes my breath away.” I thought everyone felt the same way I did lol. I relized that wasnt true when I went to the beach and saw the sunset, and learned the meaning of the saying. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels uneasy riding through or looking at the mountains.

  1. February 18, 2013

    […] am scared of…mountains.  Since I can remember I have been scared of them. I can’t really explain why but the […]

  2. April 28, 2014

    […] I have blogged before about my insane fear of mountains which makes my knees weak with terror […]

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