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Re: [TowerTalk] An alternative approach to safety climbing

To: "'Tower Talk List - Postings'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] An alternative approach to safety climbing
From: "David Robbins K1TTT" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 20:15:39 -0000
List-post: <>
If its climbable and has some kind of horizontal members you can hook the
carabineers to then climb it with standard safety harness and belts/arrest
lines.  no need for live working rated rope or hardware other than the
standard harness and equipment.  Note, you don't have to put a climbing belt
around the whole tower, you can do it through one or two legs just as
well... its just easy on rohn style tower to wrap the belt around and climb
with it sliding up and down with you... though not as safe as being clipped
onto horizontal rungs at all times.

Also if that stuff is what I think it is, you will likely want a crane to
take it down.  That stuff is heavy and probably has very well tightened
bolts that will likely be hard to remove by hand.

If you do insist on doing the mountaineering way, be sure you use properly
rated live rope and hardware... and if you haven't done it in years, and
only did it in the army, be ready for the sticker shock of what that stuff
costs these days.

David Robbins K1TTT
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:towertalk-
>] On Behalf Of Tom Scott
> Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 05:42
> To: Tower Talk List - Postings
> Subject: [TowerTalk] An alternative approach to safety climbing
> I have an 85' free-standing tower that is actually built from construction
> elevator mast made by Scando. (more about that another time) It is about
> two
> feet square and built to handle several tons of elevator load, but you
> can't
> reach around it, and can't easily climb the inside. I need to climb it to
> disassemble it, move it to a new site, and reassemble it, not to mention
> rigging antennas on it.
> I am planning to climb this with a mountain climbing seat harness and
> climbing rope in a "belayed ascent" with techniques I learned in the army.
> For those who aren't familiar with the technique, it works something like
> this:
> 1)  The climber clips into one end of a climbing rope, (or preferably the
> middle of the rope doubled over if you have enough rope) and then on his
> way
> up the tower, he clips into the tower with caribiners (climbing-grade snap
> hooks, not the cheap ones sold at Home Depot)
> 2)  A second person on the ground is "on belay" with the bottom of the
> rope
> through a rapelling friction device, letting rope out as the climber
> ascends, but ready to check a fall with the friction in his rapelling
> device.
> 3)  If the climber falls he can only fall as far as the last support he
> clipped into the tower.
> 4)  Then when he reaches the top and is secured with a second short safety
> line, by pulling the rope out of the safety caribiners, and attaching the
> middle of the rope to a caribiner at the top of the tower, he can rappel
> down in one easy descent.
> 5)  During the rappel down, the assistant on the ground can perform
> "bottom
> belay" by keeping light tension on the rope, which slows the descent, or
> stop it altogether with firm tension on the line, which locks the
> climber's
> rappelling friction-device.
> For attaching caribiners to the tower, since the tower members are too fat
> for the clip opening on a standard caribiner, I am going to use a few
> links
> of heavy grade chain to reach around the member, and then attach the
> caribiner to the chain ends. This will also let the caribiner hang cleanly
> with no side load (which they aren't well designed for).
> This may not meet commercial tower climbing practice, but it sure seems
> safe
> to me, probably safer than the way a lot of towers are climbed. It will be
> an easy climb up, and a heck of a lot less work getting down.
> That said, I would welcome comments and suggestions.
> - Tom Scott
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