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Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Falls, After the fall/save

To: Doug Renwick <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Falls, After the fall/save
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2007 20:10:11 -0700
List-post: <>
Doug Renwick wrote:
Good points Pat.  A full body harness will probably add a few minutes to
your life, but will it save your life?  Unless you have immediate
assistance it may not save your life.  Could be classed as a false sense
of security.  But then it would be better to have a chance of saving
your life rather than no chance at all.
The best advice is to not get into a situation where you need to
activate the full body harness.
At my QTH I would estimate that it would take at least 30 minutes before
a response team would arrive.  Maybe too late.


This is in the same class as the folks who do rock climbing in the wilderness. I have friends who said it's not worth using 11mm ropes, and you might as well use a 7mm or 9mm rope (saving the considerable amount of weight of the rope). rationale: If you fall from a height where having 11mm would not break, but the 7mm would, you're dead meat anyway, by the time someone gets in to rescue you, carry the Stokes litter out to civilization, call the ambulance, etc.

Same sort of arguments for folks doing rapid speed climbs (e.g. El Cap and Half Dome in a day). At that speed, any mistake is death or worse, regardless of whether you're using a rope or not, so why carry the rope and the gear, which just slows you down.

I don't claim that the argument is valid, but it *is* a rationale. There's a big difference between what's a reasonable scenario in an occupational exposure (where there's a ground crew, you're in a area with rapid emergency response, etc.) and a solo climb on that tower out on the back 40 on your ranch that's a 3 hour drive from the nearest town, much less a trauma center. Maybe the idea that it's better to burn out than fade away isn't all that far off. In any case, a personal decision.

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