Did I mention that I’m afraid of heights? Not a crippling fear. I do not have acrophobia and do not want to diminish a very real anxiety disorder. Instead I have what I consider a reasonable fear — the fear of falling off high places. Since I have a history of fighting the urge to “fly” off bridges and cliffs, this fear relates to not only a reasonable fear for basic survival, but to a history of manic or hypomanic symptoms. “Stay on the bridge, Kitt, you cannot fly.” “Stay on the road, Kitt, you cannot fly. You are not driving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Luckily, today I only felt the normal level of fear and had no manic desire to fly. Anyway, back to the prosaic…

Mammoth’s easiest trail, aside from their skill-building loop, requires taking an open air chair lift with no safety bar. (Postscript: My husband and son later showed me that there indeed was a safety bar. I didn’t see it because it was above my head, and I certainly wasn’t looking up any higher. Well, actually, I did enjoy a peak at the summit.) Did I mention that chair lifts freak me out? Well, while my more highly skilled man-boys (husband and teen son) took the gondola high into the clouds, I took the Discovery chair lift alone. So far, twice.


  1. As it turns out, there was a safety bar. I just didn’t know, and the two men who told me where to stand didn’t tell me. After lunch, my husband and son showed me. So, today I’ll use the safety bar.

  2. Or, at least told me, as there were two guys telling me, and only me, where to stand for the lift. The least they could have done is pointed out the safety bar.

  3. You would think they would have had instructions up somewhere.

  4. Yikes– scary!! And no safety bar in place!! You are one brave woman. And it is a very entertaining post although not too entertaining for you. Hope you have a great vacation!! Thank you for being such a great support. Now don’t go on any more chair lifts without a safety bar in place.

  5. Scary, yes. But I felt the fool when my son and husband pointed out that it did have a safety bar. All I had to do was reach up for it and pull it down. How was I to know?

  6. Hi Kitt, I too have a fear of heights. Even looking over a balcony brings surges of fear and anxiety. The last time I took a chair lift was when I was a child. I have only ever been on one twice. Once at the snow on a family day trip and the other a chairlift at the Easter Show. The Easter Show one was not that high but it scared the hell out of me.
    It even affects me when I see it in a movie. That must have been scary with not having the safety bar down.

  7. As it turns out, there was a safety bar, but I didn’t know. I was riding the lift solo. My son and husband rode it with me after lunch and pulled down the bar.

  8. NO SAFETY BAR??? TWICE? Omg dear Kitt. You are brave brave brave! I commend thee!
    I don’t think I could take the Discovery lift right now without a bar fixed on my chair – my anxiety is pretty bad. I love the pictures, and thank you for sharing them!

    When we went to Squaw Valley during one of my seemingly endless bipolar depressive episodes, I had to take Xanax to ride the gondola. However, I later slowly weaned off Xanax and did the same gondola ride benzo-free & I didn’t lose my sh*t in it! So it’s all about timing.

    Have fun & if you visit Whiskey Creek or go down to Convict Lake or any other fancy schmancy restaurant, or if you hit the Schat’s Bakery (danger zone) I want details in all their caloric glory!

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