The last scramble?


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Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 17, 2017 - 04:47pm PT
David-did you get my e-mail via ST?

Mountain climber
Jul 17, 2017 - 05:27pm PT
I was born with amblyopia(right eye). It never affected my climbing, skiing or cycling. I think that if you have good vision in your remaining eye, you should be fine.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 17, 2017 - 05:27pm PT
Hang in tough.

My Mom lost the sight in her right eye about 6-7 mo ago.... (she has diabetes and gets shots in her eyes, something went wrong)

For several weeks she could hardly walk because she had no depth perception.

It slowly started to change for her.

Now she feels pretty confident and has started driving some.... like down the street a few blocks during the day.

I hope it works out for you.


Just Livin' the Dream...
Jul 17, 2017 - 06:12pm PT
Hang tough David. You can also use those sticks to bbq squirrels.

Not only squirrels, but big furry marmots, too. Delicious!

Sorry to hear about this health challenge, David.
I think the poles will help you adapt more quickly; I've been using them for years because of knee issues--they're the bomb.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Jul 17, 2017 - 06:25pm PT
Yeah man,

I've got 4 eyes but I'm constantly reminded by my friends about being able to see things only in black and white...

A long way from where I started
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2017 - 07:17pm PT
David-did you get my e-mail via ST?

No, sorry, but I did not. I think the ST mail function has broken, but since you're the sailor man, I do have a nautical email address you can use (I named my cat after the greatest seaman of all time). So try haddockthecat ... at ...

And, for the record, I'm not about to die, I'm not blind, I can still ride, drive, climb, garden, and cook with no problem.

What I cannot do is run downhill. Or boulder hop. Or even descend lumpy trails at the speed I could a few months ago.

There is no expectation of regaining full vision in my left eye, but it probably won't get worse. No, the real point of this thread was the amazing realization that my subconscious mind had stopped me from doing something really foolish. Something I'd done a thousand times, but which would have been a Really Bad Idea.

Still, thanks for all the good wishes, and I look forward to climbing with some of you again, and some of you for the first time (as long as you don't want me to do any talus running).

Jul 18, 2017 - 07:38am PT
Detached retina? Central occlusion?

Big Mike

Trad climber
Jul 19, 2017 - 01:06pm PT
Hi Dave!

I see you have experienced the wonderful mysteries of the phenomenon known as proprioception. Your senses all combine to tell your body where it is in time and space. This is something I had a lot of trouble with when i was learning to walk again!! Good news is with time you get used to it, and you find ways to adapt, like feeling with your hands and feet more or using the poles. I used poles for almost a year after i hurt myself to promote a proper gait, and help me understand when i wasn't walking correctly.

You'll adapt and you'll be scrambling again in no time!! Let me know next time you guys are in town eh?!!
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Jul 19, 2017 - 07:00pm PT
Dave - well, that’s a bummer. Sorry to hear that. But you will start to adapt and compensate, and in the meantime use those sticks and a lot of pro and have Mari keep an eye on you until it improves.

After 4 artificial joints, some other heavy maladies and 85 years, it seems like half of my proprioceptors have been cut and my balance sucks. But a couple of poles make a helluva difference, and I miss strength and energy a lot more than balance! Hang in there, buddy!

just southwest of the center of the universe
Jul 19, 2017 - 08:29pm PT
My right eye was poked out almost 38 years ago when I was 15, so I've had a lot of time to adjust. But you, and your subconscious, will too.

I don't have any problems running down steep broken terrain and talus fields. I think my brain has learned to take the info from my one eye combined with movement to do the math subconsciously so that I can confidently, accurately and quickly run down precipitous terrain. Interestingly, I've noticed that I can get an aching sensation in the back of my head if I'm running down a long intricate descent; I wonder if it's from overtaxing my vision center?

I do have more trouble with a standing jump across a gap or a dyno move. But I've found that just moving my head laterally a couple times (like an owl moving it's head from side to side) gives me the depth/distance info I need. Same thing if someone tosses something to me, but I still often fumble those because I don't have time to get a read on it.

Proprioception is something different. That is where you can consciously or unconsciously know where and in what position a part of your body is in space--without looking. I have turned my ankles while on long trail runs when I was so exhausted my proprioception became lazy. When I notice that happening I try to be more consciously aware of where I'm placing my feet, but that is doubly exhausting mentally.

Also, I played a lot of ping pong after I lost my eye, but ymmv . )
Big Mike

Trad climber
Jul 19, 2017 - 11:01pm PT
From Wiki

Proprioception (/ˌproʊprioʊˈsɛpʃən, -priə-/[1][2] PRO-pree-o-SEP-shən), from Latin proprius, meaning "one's own", "individual", and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of one's own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.[3]

In humans, it is provided by proprioceptors (muscle spindles) in skeletal striated muscles and tendons (Golgi tendon organ) and the fibrous capsules in joints. It is distinguished from exteroception, by which one perceives the outside world, and interoception, by which one perceives pain, hunger, etc., and the movement of internal organs.

The brain integrates information from proprioception and from the vestibular system into its overall sense of body position, movement, and acceleration. The word kinesthesia or kinæsthesia (kinesthetic sense) strictly means movement sense, but has been used inconsistently to refer either to proprioception alone or to the brain's integration of proprioceptive and vestibular inputs.

just southwest of the center of the universe
Jul 19, 2017 - 11:26pm PT
Look BM, this thread is about how surprised Ghost was when he lost some of his vision in his left eye and his subconscious prevented him from killing himself.

Buuuuuut if you really want to make it about you, and how you don't have the reading comprehension to realize that the wiki excerpt and link you posted to support your description of proprioception actually supports my explanation instead--we can do that.

A long way from where I started
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2017 - 06:12am PT
Easy there Lennox.

As you say, the op story was about surprise at being saved by my subconscious. But other stories are welcome, and Mike is a friend.

So everybody spark up a virtual bowl, relax, and feel free to tell your own stories.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2017 - 11:16am PT
Lennox- Where in that description does it say that you must have your eyes closed for proprioception to come into play?

just southwest of the center of the universe
Jul 20, 2017 - 11:52am PT
Your senses all combine to tell your body where it is in time and space.

--Big Mike

No they don't.

I don't need to have my eyes open or closed; proprioception does not require that I have eyes at all--nor ears, nose or touch receptors--as the wiki points out, those senses are involved in exteroception.

Proprioception is degraded, not by anything related to one's vision, but by musculoskeletal, nerve and/or inner ear damage.

To run through talus one needs proprioception and depth perception.

If someone had spinal or lower extremity damage, he or she would likely have problems with the proprioceptive part of hiking.

But if someone could only effectively see from one eye, his problem while walking across an exposed ledge would be all about depth perception and have nothing to do with proprioception.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 20, 2017 - 11:57am PT
"In the land of the one-eyed, everyone is a jester."
Here's looking at you, Ghost.
Here's looking at you, Ghost.
Credit: not mouse from merced
The locally renowned One-eyed Parrot Line Dancing Club.

A long way from where I started
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2017 - 10:01pm PT
Interesting. I imagine that I could wear an eyepatch and still be able to function, albeit with a smaller field of view, on exposed terrain.

You're both right and wrong. Yes, with one good eye you can function on exposed terrain. Just not in the same way. The issue isn't field of view, but rather depth perception.

You can see pretty much everything with one eye that you can see with two. The problem is that you can't locate things in space as accurately. So, when you're taking a step downhill, you can't be quite sure where your foot will land. You can see the spot where it will land, but not how close or far away that spot is.

No, it's not like you'll misjudge a short step down by three feet, but all it takes is three inches to throw off your rhythm.

Put on that eye patch you mentioned, and go for a trail run. Or a talus descent. You'll see.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 21, 2017 - 03:46am PT
Paging Daphne!

Adjust and adapt I guess. The poles sound like one ticket. I'm about to get some myself, and I see fine, I think.
I' m readapting from dislocating my shoulders few months ago.just turned 61, and there is always something not quote right that I'm compensating for..

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 21, 2017 - 11:05am PT
Moshe Feldenkrais proposed that proprioception relies on two "channels."

The first is our still body. This information degrades the longer we remain still. For example if you lay still on a bed for long enough you will progressively lose precise awareness of where your extremities are in space. This has been called sensory motor amnesia.

The second is at the onset of movement. Your proprioception is instantly "refreshed" by even a small movement.

When a gymnast or dancer moves in a manner which challenges their proprioception we often see them begin to move in little notches as their nervous system needs to repeatedly reset to gain precise control of the body's movement.

An interesting blog about ways to exercise and improve proprioception:

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