I've read several of the messages regarding climbing
safety, fitness, etc.
I run at least 5 miles a day (7 days a week) and I
work on muscle fitness at least four days a week. I
bet that I'm probably in better physical condition
than 95% of hams who climb towers, yet I climb
carefully and deliberately, using the same dual fall
arrest line method outlined by others. I know that I
can get to the top of my 140 Rohn 45 G tower a lot
faster than I do if I don't tie in on the way up, but
I don't...it just doesn't make any sense to
me...whether I'm climbing 14 feet or 140 feet.
I use at least the same degree of care climbing down
as I do climbing up, in fact, probably more so since
it's more tempting to move quickly on the way down.
And, although I know I can make the ascent (and
descent) in one non-stop session (even allowing for
the dual-fall arrest line method), I don't...I force
myself to stop at every guy station and rest...whether
I think I need it or not (I usually don't need a
break...but, as stated, I force myself to stop). I
take the time to drink some water and check the tower
for any rust, damage, etc.
Speaking of water...you should take some with you,
regardless of how long you think you may be up there,
especially if you are working alone. By the time you
are thirsty, you're already dehydrated...and it will
take some time to get re-hydrated. If it's a hot day
with the sun beating down, you may NOT get
re-hydrated, even if you drink voluminous amounts of
water (gatorade, or whatever your favorite thirst
beverage is). When your body is dehydrated, your
judgement, reflexes, muscle strength, and reaction
time can all be affected, regardless if you are in
good shape or not...and being on top of a tower is
probably not a good time to realize that you've been
affect this way.
Hence, certainly my advice to anyone climbing towers
is to make sure you can physically do so and you
should maintain your strength and keep your wits about
you when you are up there. But regardless of the
physical shape you are in...you should always be
secure to the tower from the instant you leave the
ground to the moment you are back on the ground.
Just my two cents.
73, Jeff W3KL
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