> On a couple of occasions after working for several hours
> at the top of a tower, my fingers cramped uncontrollably,
> pushing all four fingers into the palm of my hand.
> In order to open my hand, I had to use my other hand to
> rotate my fingers to an open position, then stretch the
> muscles by pushing my fingers against the tower leg
> until the muscles relaxed.
This is the sign to stop working and descend the tower. Your body is,
at this point, due to low electrolytes, producing lactic acid, which
causes those uncontrollable cramps. And they are uncontrollable; I've
had them in my forearms as well.
Until you get some electroylytes replaced, you will continue to have
problems. Don't ever "free climb" when this happens; always remain
secured by one device or another.
Some of the M.D.s on the reflector can give you the actual physiology
of what is going on, but the simple word is that it is a warning bell.
73, Rod N4SI
The DXer formerly known as N9AKE
(c) 5 November, 1996
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