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RE: [TowerTalk] Climbing is risky business

Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Climbing is risky business
From: "Noel" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 11:43:43 -0500
List-post: <>
Reminds me of an incident in basic training many years ago.  My first
job in the Air Force was as an antenna maintenance repairman (huah!),
and many of our antennas were installed on wooden telephone poles.  In
basic,  the test to see if you were inclined to succeed in this job, was
for you to climb a 35ft and later a 90ft pole.  The 35ft pole climb was
with the use of Gaffs and the 90 ft pole was using Gaffs up about 12
feet and had steps the rest of the way.  

Many people of course didn't make it past the 35ft gaffed climb.  One
kid, spunky as hell, after falling a few times was determined to pass
the test.  He got halfway up on his third try and froze.  The TI, that's
Training Instructor for you non service experienced, tried to talk the
kid down for about 20 minutes.  Finally, in a fit of rage, or at least
we thought it was back then, had had enough.  He promptly sent another
kid for the chain saw.  When the TI fired up that big chain saw and
threatened to cut the pole down with the kid on it, the kid gingerly
began climbing down on his own.  He did fall and broke his ankle even
though they tried to soften the impact by putting sawdust around the
base of the pole. But because  he was so scared he wasn't jabbing his
gaffs into the pole as he was supposed to.  He was doing what we called,
"sneak-climbing".  And so his gaffs wouldn't hold his weight and he

The rest of us were afraid for him at first, but when the TI fired up
that big chain saw we all but died laughing as the kid about wet his


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of dan bookwalter
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 11:20 AM
To: Tower (K8RI);
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Climbing is risky business

a similar situation happened in this general area many
years ago... i wont mention the calls of the hams

one night ham1 got a call from ham2 asking if he could
come over before a contest to do a little repair so he
could operate in the contest, unfortunatly ham1 was
busy, so , ham2 decided to do the work himself even
though he had never done any tower work and was afraid
of heights...

well, later that night (10 pm'ish) ham1 got a frantic
call from ham2's wife saying he had been on the tower
for sometime now and wont move or respond to anyone...
(the temperature was around freezing) so needless to
say ham1 went over to see what he could do... he
climbed up to ham2's position on the tower (less than
50' i believe) but he couldnt get him to move or
respond to anything... since ham2 lived way out in the
middle of nowhere and time was short the only solution
ham1 could come up with at the spur of the moment was
to pry ham2 off the tower and throw him over his
shoulder and climb down with him (not the best of
ideas) ... when they were safely on the ground ham2
still wouldnt say anything, ham1 took ham2's belt away
from him and told him to never attempt climbing
again.... interestingly ham2 never said a word to ham1
about the entire incident...

i am sure there are hundred's of stories like this in
the ham world...



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