[TowerTalk] Sad day - W9ZUC tower accident

Keith Dutson kdutson at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 18 15:41:10 EDT 2014

I know this may sound preposterous to some, but there is a lot of truth in
your statement.

I learned to climb from a friend, Ken, who only free climbs.  The first time
I climbed with him was really an experience I shall never forget.  We
installed my 150 foot Rohn 45, a section at a time, with help from a ground
crew and WB0W gin pole.  Everybody wore hard hats.  We had a pre-meeting to
make certain everyone knew what to do.

Ken and I wore climbing and tool belts.  He used leather belts in the past,
but changed to the modern plastics when the leather showed signs of rotting
over the years.  I asked why he does not use a climbing harness and he said
it slows him down too much and makes him tired, which can be dangerous.

Since that time I had a heart attack which resulted in one stent and a
triple bypass.  Four years later, after rehab and a regimen of running 13
miles three times a week, I free climbed to 40 feet (just above first guys)
with success.  However, I now have fear of falling, particularly when
climbing around ring rotors.  So, I now use two gorilla hooks to climb.  It
slows me down, resulting in less work done per climb, but I know I am safe.
I still do some climbing at age 72, but am considering hiring a professional
from now on.

Ken stopped climbing about 3 years ago when his wife turned ill and he
needed to spend more time with her.  She always worried about his climbing
activities.  Ken turned 81 last month.

I believe most climbing incidents resulting in death or injury are the
direct fault of the climber.  Some are confident and have complete control
and knowledge/experience to avoid situations which are dangerous.  To me,
these are the real climbers.  All others are learning, and would be better
off wearing a safety harness and honoring the 100 percent connected rule.

73, Keith NM5G

-----Original Message-----
From: TowerTalk [mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Doug
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:42 PM
To: 'Joe K2UF'; 'Ken Beals'; towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Sad day - W9ZUC tower accident

I have said this many times before.  If you can't 'free climb' then you
SHOULD NOT be climbing at all.  The use of a gorilla hook has it's place -
for resting or at the work station.  But IMO it should not be used to assist
the climb!  Every time you have to hook and unhook the gorilla hook it means
you only have one hand left on the tower.  That to me is unsafe.  With free
climbing, both hands are available to grab the tower.  If you can't free
climb - don't climb.

I wasn't born in Saskatchewan, but I got here as soon as I could.

-----Original Message-----

I use two lanyards when climbing (at 76 w/bad knees I climb very little
these days).  I keep one lanyard attached when I get to a guy level I attach
the second lanyard above the guys before unhooking the lower one and
continue up --- very slowly these days.

Condolences to the friends and family of W9ZUC

Joe K2UF 

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