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[TowerTalk] Climbing harness & Mountaineering gear

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Climbing harness & Mountaineering gear
From: (
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 10:48:38 EST
In a message dated 99-03-15 00:11:11 EST, writes:

> I'm paralyzed from the waist down and tired of not being able to service
>  my antenna system or get up the tower to hang wires or try any forms of
>  loading the tower for the low bands. My question is about climbing the
>  tower and using mountain climbing gear in conjunction with conventional
>  climbing belts or harnesses. Since I will not be putting any weight on
>  my feet, I will have to "tie off" at whatever height I'm working at so I
>  can use my hands to work with. I think I have a plan here that will keep
>  me safe and will permit ascent and descent of my tower. I've done rocks
>  before, so I can't see how a tower could be any more dangerous. 

      Interesting. It looks like you've got two choices for getting up and
down the tower. One would be to have a fixed rope anchored at the top and use
an ascender to get up and a figure 8 or some other type of descender to get
down. Obviously this is a lot of work and you'd either have to replace the
rope frequently due to UV damage or rig it up each time you want to use it.

      The second method is to rig up some sort of electric winch to raise and
lower you. This could be permanently mounted and uses a wire cable so that
would eliminate both above problems. Bob, W7GG, broke his foot and was able to
work on his tower with this technique. You could use some sort of 12VDC truck
winch - it's got a remote switch and since you're not going to be pulling
trucks out of the mud, you could put smaller cable on the drum - certainly
enough to get a person up and down a 70 foot tower. 

      When you get to your working height, use a positioning lanyard to hold
you in position and a fall arrest lanyard to back everything up.

      There are some real neat climbing belts for arborists that have
beautiful seats in them. Some of the seats even have separate D-rings for
support and they have really good padding so you could work in it for awhile.
Manufacturers of these are Bashlin and Buckingham. A nice catalog is available
from WesSpur (800-268-2141).

> Here are
>  the basics of my tower setup for some insight.
>                                              ALUMINUM FREESTANDING 70'
>                                              30" base tapering to 18" top
>                                              Big Ole' Mosley Pro 67C at
>  70' 3"
>                                              13B2 Horizontal 2m   at 77'
>                                              Dualband vertical at 78'
>  (top of mast)
>  Pros, cons, ideas, comments, ......hit me with 'em.
     Since you asked. I don't know if the tower manufacturer will authorize
your personal elevator system on their tower. Be sure to check. Aluminum
towers move around MUCH MORE than steel towers and aren't very confidence-
instilling. One manufacturer doesn't even want their tower to be climbed -
they want you to crank it down with their jackscrew arrangement. 

     The Mosleys wound up at the bottom of the pile in our tribander
performance comparison report plus you won't be able to mount your 2m (or any
antennas) near it - they're very susceptible to nearby antennas. (The report
is available from

Cheers,   Steve    K7LXC
Tower Tech
Champion Radio Products

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