Most Frightening Experience

What has frightened you the most?

I was in Luang Prabang, Laos and was going to cross this bridge. The bridge itself was a single track for autos – planks laid down for the tires and absolutely no room for a person to be on when a car was on it.
Alongside the bridge, attached to it, was a foot path. This was a little below the main bridge so that when standing on the foot path, the car bridge came about to your neck. The foot path was made out of planks of wood that were variously broken or missing. There was a steel cable hand rail, but the whole thing moved and was very unsteady.
Add to this the fact that the river below was probably 50 meters down and the bridge itself was about 50 to 70 meters across.
I started to cross the foot path and after getting about 40 percent out there, began to get panicky. The thing was narrow (about a meter wide), the boards were loose, some were missing, the whole thing was shaking, the water below was very far down…it was a deathtrap. I finally stopped, clutching the rail and thinking, “I can’t take another step.” I looked at the situation and thought that going forward 60 percent would be better than retreating nearly the same distance (I wanted to see what was on the other side).
Well, of course I inched my way across…while native Laos passed me walking on the path without even touching the cable hand rail.
It was a strange sensation, gradually getting to the point were I could not move…petrified I think is the word. I have never before or since been so immobilized.
(And fyi, I came back across running on the car road. Better to face a truck head on than that fucking path again.)

  1. Me… Jetski…falling…into…water…no… life-jacket…drawning…big jetski on top of me…finally…swim as much as I can…scary…

  2. Me… in my friend’s car…falling…off a cliff…which leads into a highway…car in the middle of the lanes…car coming towards me @ 80 mph…though I was going to die… my life flash before my eyes…

very scary…

When I traveled from Vientanne up to Luan Prabang I had read in Lonely Planet that the boats are unsafe because they often capsize and people drown, but the road was unsafe due to snipers who had been firing at vehicles. Nonetheless, I chose the latter and took a small bus. I thought about what they had said, though, when the bus filled up with passengers and they ordered several, including myself, to climb up on the roof and I thought what a nice target this sole whitey on the roof would make.

But that wasn’t as scary as the hydrofoil in rough ocean seas from Thailand to Cambodia, on which half the people were puking, and every time it smashed down into the trough of a wave I was certain the hull would split open; or the bus ride in Nepal to the start of the Annapurna trek, over roads so narrow and rutted which such deep ravines that I was certain we would fall off the road and tumble down the hillside.

I lost my keys once.

Your wife would follow that up by saying that her most frightening experience was you finding them again.

New Zealand, surfing a huge swell. While out there waiting for the big one to come in there was a thud under my board. It was big, follwed by something rather large and long brushing against my leg. It could have been a log, but then logs usually don’t have a swinging motion with brushing against your leg.
I decided to get the heck out of there, remote beach and I didn’t fancy my chances with a shark.
I caught the next wave, only to discover that it was out of my league and I got smashed. My board, driven by the waves, slashed accross my body twice, a thruster, so those triple fins didn’t show any mercy.

One more wave and I make it to the shore. I looked at my wetsuit, or what was left of it, and saw it was gashed beyound recognition from my fins and a 5cm gash nicely opened up on my hip. The blood would have been great in the water.

Later that night I saw on the news that a Tiger shark was spotted in the area where I had been surfing. I was scared at the time and a little more scared as I pondered what could have been.

What key did you lose, Fluffster? The car key or the key to someone’s heart? :sunglasses:

Australia… similar to Bassman…

When I am out body surf I enjoy taking mini-dives under water for extended periods. Anyway… was out with a group of surfers doing said mini dives/body surfing… came up after about a while underwater when I noticed all the surfers had gone in. Curious stuff. Then I noticed the food chain in action. Small schools fish had been driven to shore by bigger fish and then larger fish behind them. Then I noticed the surfers on shore calling me in, in a particularly frantic manner. So, shitting myself I got on the next wave I could, and in my panic screwed it up… and so forth.

Anyway the news that night was discussing Vic Hislops (famous shark fisherman) latest catch… a 4m GW, caught within a 1km radius of where I was swimming.

Done a lot of camping, hiking, and water recreation stuff, but never been scared of anything.

My most frightening experience was taking an extremely rough flight from Reno to Las Vegas. We bounced all over the sky. I swear that if I hadn’t been strapped in, my head would have hit the ceiling of the plane a dozen times. Never had such a terrible flight before or since. Next time I had to go to Reno, I drove.

My gf’s father is a pilot by hobby. He took us up in his Cessna from Toronto to Owen Sound. There was lots of turbulence and the engine cut out one time. Our stomachs dropped over and over. Of course, her dad was cracking jokes as usual. But after a while even he had a worried look in his face. We landed safely. The next day we read that one of the Kennedy’s had died in a plane crash due to turbulence. VERY FREAKY.

Race Day, Alpine Valley Series, Whistler BC. Feb. 14th, 1995. Now, I am a hacker racer at best…even using the first person singular and ski-racing in the same sentence is just wrong. I can ski…pretty quick too, faster than any snowboarder on a groomed slope could…any day…but put those gates up and I just flail about like some tourist.

The Valley Series was a bi-weekly event…6 races in total…2 slalom, 2 GS and 2 Super G’s. Open to anyone and if you entered, you stood a pretty good chance of winning some skis or a dinner or some such promo. And there’s nothing like hanging out with racers to improve your own turns…

On this fated day, of which I speak, it was a slalom course…with what seemed like thousands of gates…I had just finished doing my slip (course inspection) and was heading down the last 100 meters to the chair to go back up for my start. It was then that I came to the crossroads…go right around a switch back and coast to the chair…or go left, down a nice quick pitch with a beauty compression lip at the end…a pitch I had done 50 times already that season…

I went left.

On this day, the pitch was covered with shin deep cystalline powdie…as light as gossamer…and maybe 2 sets of tracks had preceded me…the sun was cresting behind me and the air was crisp and frozen, you could feel it thawing as you drew it into your nose…

I got in about 20 cherry turns and noticed that there was a nice line over beside the left side trees…I laid down a hard edge and shot across the run…when…

a twenty five foot wide, twenty foot deep creek bed presented itself under my skis…

I remember twisting around backwards as I plummeted towards two crisscrossed trees…and smash…

I don’t know how long a time passed, but the pain was excruciating…I had really done my lower back in…I struggled to my feet but could not stand up straight…here I was, at the bottom of a pit, very few people, if any could hear me, even if I was able to summon enough breathe to scream for help…if I didn’t find a way out myself, I would be a tasty frozen bear treat come spring…

I tried going upstream as the alternative was a mess of logs and boulders…but the upstream option required some climbing and scrambling that I was simply unable to do…so I turned and began back down…

The first obstacle was the two logs I had smashed into…too high to climb over, I had to wriggle myself, feet first, under the space made below them. The next was to lie on my stomach and belly-shinny up the log to the lip of the creek. Punching holes in the snow pack, I was finally able to hoist my torso up and over the edge…after about 5 minutes, a skier came around the corner and I summoned my greatest “UGH” and got his attention…he put the rescue process into play and 30 minutes later I was in the clinic sucking nitrus and floating into happy happy land on a demerol/toradol speedball…

Diagnosis…35% compression fracture to my L2 vertabrae…

After 8 weeks of watching every video available in Whistler, I returned to the slopes…the same season…gently, but still on my boards…

Numerous scary experiences:

  1. 2 bus trips. Kunming to Xishibanana province (24 hours, thin roads, 2000 foot drop offs) Many times during the course of the trip, I said to myself “there is no way in hell it will make this.” The other was Namtha in Laos to Phongsali. 18 hours to go 150 km. Some locals were busted for amphetamine smuggling and everyone in the bus had to spend 4 hours in a provincial communist police station. lovely.

  2. Czech Airways flight from Prague to Cairo. Over Italy the plane dropped about 2000 feet. Everyone screamed. Very scary. I kissed the tarmac in Cairo.

  3. Hiking in BC, Canada - Was tubing during summer vaction and we hit a log jam. Had to freeclimb up a very steep mountain to get back to the road at the top. Didn’t sleep for two days afterward.

  4. Talking to North American girls after living abroad for many years!


Had a similar experience on Saturday night.

A few:

Recently nearly being pushed off a crappy concrete road by an amateur bus driver in the mountains behind Xinzhu. The car we were in was so close to taking a 300 meter tumble down the local rubbish dump that I started praying. (No joke). The other passangers wanted out or cursed the skills of Taiwanese drivers - most tried to do both at the same time, but the door in the right side led to the great nowhere, and the other one was blocked by the bus.

1990 UK, nearly lost my sailing mate while sailing a topper round Dover harbor. He jumped and he couldn’t swim. I nearly drowned while trying to pull him out of the water and back to the beach.

Early 2000 Shenzhen. The plane suddenly lost altitude while landing. We went down like a stone, jumped up again, and nearly went sideways afterwards. Lots of screaming and the light went out. Although sporting a somewhat greenish hue, the air hostesses still managed to look as if everything was normal. I thought that I was about to die and sent a prayer to my wife and my daughters.

  1. Car crash at 100 km/h with my brother. My dad’s brand-new Mercedes E was completely smashed, as as I did not have a drivers license, he didn’t get anything out of the insurance. I, however was happy to be alive - even though facing the music form the police and the family was less than exciting. My brother was moaning about the battery acid on his trousers…

  2. Nice summer vacation in Dubrovnik - the civil war was still in full progress, even though they had stopped bombing the city - one of the most beautiful in the world BTW. We nearly drove over a mine in our rented renault 5, we got shot after (they aimed over our heads - lucky me :smiley: ), and we was about to get into a fight with the local militia at cafe Adolf (named after a notorious dictator) as they believed that our presence in the bar was unacceptable.

I had the same experience on a flight from SFO to Vegas this last summer. I thought for sure we were going to go down, but the lady next to me said, “It always does this,” as she calmly read her book while the plane shook violently.

About a decade ago, I discovered my boss at the time was involved in a scam, and him threatening to blow my brains out if I snitched, which included gangster threats and bullet holes, was pretty scary. A few years later, he got a job at the American Chamber of Commerce, of all places. I hated the executive director who ran AmCham at the time and thought this was poetic justice and there really was a God who loved me after all. I did tell one of her subordinates, though. They fired him–not just because of my intervention, but also because of his horrible body odor, apparently.

Most scary: Ex-girlfriend finding my keys.
Next: Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis, watching the end of the rope slip through my carabiner with 150 feet of exposure under my boots, only one ax and just enough good ice to get two crampon points in.
Next: 300 feet arse over tit at over 60mph on the Hannenkahn that gave me a broken clavicle, two smashed knees, concussion and a lifelong aversion to downhill racing.

Driving from the airport to the city center in Cape Town (in a VW microbus) I slowed behind a jam. On the highway’s grass shoulder, I could see the dead and the dying splayed out of every orifice of the minibus in which they had been riding. They were all victims of a drive-by shooting, another in our then seemingless endless taxi war.

Running out of gas outside Butterworth at 10 o’clock at night.

Dear Frightened People,

I would like to share with you my own most frightening experience.

One fine autumn election morning in 1996, I had had one too many G & T’s on my yacht before heading out to the polls to do my civic duty. Upon arrival at the allotted polling booth, I tripped and my arms flailed wildly.
My heart stopped. I had just cast my vote for Bob Dole. I demanded that my vote be recast for this was clearly an accident. To my good fortune, I had attended Exeter with the head of the polling station and I was allowed a second chance to vote. Thank goodness.

In no particular order:

Foothills of the Alps. As my head clears the ledge I’m grasping I find myself face to face with a coiled, and very alarmed, snake. Could see the fangs just a couple of inches from my nose.

Getting attacked by a Komodo dragon in the wild. Still have the scars from that one.

My first outing in the Cook Strait, 30kts of wind against the tide, and hitting the deck so hard on the way over the side that I paralysed my leg for 30 minutes.

Writing off my 30-day old Peugeot 405 after losing it on an innocuous looking bend in Somerset. Rolling the Astra SXi that replaced it, only six weeks later, in the fast lane of the M4.

Standing on a footrope a hundred feet abve the deck of a 19th century sailing ship for the first time. I had a piece of rope in my hand, but suddenly couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do with it. The worst of it was that this was something I had got mself into relatively slowly. I had time to get scared as I climbed. That’s the occasion I can really remember being wide-eyed, white-knuckled, and shaky.

Being 7 yrs old, and there’s a police car parked outside my house when I come home from cubscouts. Me and a friend had got ourselves caught playing in a haybarn with matches in our pockets that day, but the parents hadn’t been involved…yet!

Good topic this one.