Me climbing up the final ascent of the Cornice on Jones Pass, 12,495 ft photo by: JJonas
Fun fact about me: I'm scared of heights
But I've worked as Quality Control for a 120 ft high bridge over the Neuse River in Eastern North Carolina that required me hanging from outriggers and crawling on 4x4 slats spaced 18 inches apart under said bridge.
I've also dived off of a Platform called Green Springs that stands over 60 ft tall into the same river.
I've always fought hard to keep it under control. It never really seems to bother me on the bike though. We'll except for a few instances like the shot above. I looked behind twice and both times suffered instances of vertigo. I was just at just about 12,500 ft and looking back into the valley below which sat around 10,000 ft while climbing a 40 + degree angle slope of snow seriously messed with my head.
So on this climb we used a form of ice climbing that I believe JJonas developed. If I hadn't known he had done it successfully a few times or watched the other two fellas do it before me I would've probably tucked my tail between my legs and went to hang out on the porch with Northstar.
The basic premise...throw your bike down hard into the snowpack so that your handlebar and hopefully peddle dig in and provide a bite. Then, just as if your using crampons, kick your shoes hard into the snowpack a few times to provide a pocketed wedge for your feet and pull against your bike to pull you up and repeat the process.
I don't think I'll ever be up for any sort of real ice climbing but this got me close enough.