Looks like fun
He's using cow tails, it's perfectly safe.
It would be even more fun (although not as safe) if he'd brought a parachute for after the job.
Those of who you who get a bit wobbly at the top of a stepladder are strongly advised to look away now, because here's a helmetcam vid of just how you get to work when your office is at the top of a 1,768ft TV mast: This vertigo-inducing footage went viral recently after appearing on TheOnLineEngineer.org, and suffice it …
He has cow's tails but he's not even using them for the transitions. The only time he's hooked on is when he stops to take a rest.
Strange that it's done this way really, I don't think it would be too difficult to build some sort of arrest system that you could hook into at the bottom of each section. I'm guessing they don't need to be climbed too often so the accident rate is very low.
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Erm, he's only attaching himself to the structure when he stops for a break. Other than that, there's nothing holding him on, other than himself. If he falls, he can just hope that the bag he's tailing behind him snags on something.
Still, if he falls, he's got a good amount of time to think about what went wrong! Just over 10s I calculate..
Too right, only way you'd get me up that thing!
It'd be a quick (fun) way down, and way safer than dangling about with no safety, or a safety hooked over the end of a thin foot rung!
Actually, I lied. That still wouldn't get me up there. You would also required a gun about 6 inches from my head - so you're coming up with me too!.
There are points in that video (especially at the top) where he is unclipped to any safety rope/anchor point. At one point he anchors to a part of the ladder (with scope for the thing to slide out of the side.
He should have always been connected to something in case he fell. He was just being a potential danger to himself and anyone underneath.
I've climbed, as have a lot of friends, and we've always at least anchored up the cliff face so that you only fall a short distance (which does happen when you lose your footing/hand grip)
Especially around 5:30. Putting the clip onto a rod with only a slight bevel at the end of it won't do much good if you fall sideways - it looks like the clip would hit the end of the rod and jump off the bevel. I hope his buddy is manipulating a second clip with more care...
Aren't there running safety harnesses? I'm thinking of a T-shaped rail that goes all the way up the mast (bottom of the T is where is bolted to the mast). There's a semi-closed U-shaped clip that runs up this rail, fitting snuggly around it. Inside the clip is a brake pad, attached to an arm that points upwards, and the arm is attached to the safety harness. If you fall, the arm is pulled downwards, and the brake is applied is pushed against the top of the T-rail. You are then left dangling in mid-air, slightly winded, until you can grab the ladder again.
Just outside Zermatt is a 'test run' for candidates for climbing the Matterhorn. From memory it goes up very steeply through rough,loose terrain for ~~600m height or about the height of the mast. If you can reach the top in (I think) one hour you might have the stamina for the ~1100m up the Matterhorn from the Hornli hut.
If you look towards the horizon, you'll see the gentle curve (just below the distant thunderheads, mate). You'll also notice that you can see a greater and greater distance, the further up you go, proving once again, that Newt Gingrich and his crowd is wrong, the Earth is round.
Hahaha I saw this vid the other day and *&^% me its scary just to watch. I like the bit at the end where he is at the very top and not even holding on. Mental, and makes me feel a bit sick.
Question: For £1000000 cash would you climb it? I think most people would be crying like a baby by the time they got halfway hehe.
There is a club that you can join only if you have survived exiting from an aeroplane in flight without a working parachute. There are surprisingly many members.
From memory, the record is falling about 40,000 feet. It's what you land on that matters. The side of a pine tree and thence into a deep snowdrift is a good recipe.
Then there's the Czech woman who jumped off the top of her tower block when she found out that her husband was having an affair. Guess who she landed on? She survived. He didn't.
And the odd lump in Europe, Kenya and South Africa. I've hung upside down over a 200m drop for a bet (I was young, dumb and stupid, OK?) and I've jumped out of perfectly serviceable aeroplanes with a sheet in a knapsack.
Yet for some reason watching THIS made me feel a little bit sick.
I hope they get paid well. Kudos to some very hardy people. They must be related to the New York High Steel workers of the 1920s :)
Reminds me of the window cleaner I saw on Wall Street. He simply climbed out the window on the 10th floor and stood on the ledge wiping the window, then swung himself round the pillar to the next window... all without any rope or harness! Absolutely crazy, makes me feel faint just to think about it.
Helicopter's a much better way to die, when a gust blows it into one of the guy wires or the top of the tower itself then you get to go out with your friends in a ball of flame.
Million quid? I'd climb it but the bloke following me up would get wet...
Paris, I'd climb her for considerably less..
But there is a quick way down if a storm blows through - base jumping!!!
And if I were there I'd check on the storm conditions BEFORE climbing that thing!
Still - respect for those guys.
Now to develop stratellites so these guys can do their job in somewhat more comfort...
After 50 feet you're dead anyway. And it's just an average job paywise. $55,000 a year and you have to know how to maintain the radio equipment as well. Two standard business radio technicians I know work on 400-600 ft towers quite regularly to take care of winter ice and water damage to feedlines and antennas.
In the UK masts only go up to about 1200 feet.
There are two groups of people dafter than antenna engineers. Painters (transmission masts are painted every five years) and stay greasers. The latter are winched up and down the mast stay wires and apply grease to them.
I watched it a few days ago thanks to another news site, but this time I was watching out for the other tower and his colleague climbing after him so it seemed even more unreal.
I wish I were that fit and that able to concentrate for the ammount of time needed to get up there safely.
Oh, did El Reg dig at all to find if free climbing is within the rules? Some sites suggested the vid was removed because it isn't.
You are out of your tree.
Hey, I have been up the mast on a sailing vessel and I got queazy. Also up a 50 foot wind machine tower. And even part way up a antenna. But, these guys are nuts. The pay must be great. But, no medical benefits. Who needs medical benefits if you have absolutely no chance of surviving the fall? Maybe the company pays for the funeral?
I swear at one point the guy let go with both hands and jumped to the next higher rung. I know my heart skipped a rung or two.
Too bad the video did not last long enough to see what he actually did. Most likely replaced a light bulb or two. It appeared to have a strobe on top. Buy a longer lasting bulb next time.
Maybe it is two bucks per foot. And usually those towers do have an elevator that takes you almost to the top. But, the last couple hundred feet are on your own.
I guess you could wave at the International Space Station as it flys by. That would be fun.
$5 a foot is not enough to convice me. Those gloves can slip. And somehow he managed not to grap one of the aluminum antennas. If he had, he would still be holding on to it as he hit the ground.
I also wonder is all of his tools had tethers? Dropping a simple screw driver can ruin your day if you are walking around at the bottom. Not to mention going down to retreive it. Maybe your good buddy has a spare?
When you fly up a mast on a boat you are actually being lifted up the mast. And that gives you a sense of security. Weak but no doubt comforable. Free climbing like those idiots is crasy. And did you notice how the guy hangs on with one hand and swings around looking down to see if he buddy has chickened out? And the guy even took the time to scratch his leg once. Hate to have an itchy leg, right?
I'm a rock climber who is used to climbing with some pretty hairy exposures but you wouldn't catch me doing this! If I were, I certainly wouldn't climb without protection of some sort. The "cow tail" he is using should be attached to something at all times not just while resting. To do otherwise is just fscking stupid. They make 'via ferrata' rigs that would be perfect for this application and allow him to always be clipped to something.
I noticed that his partner was climbing on the other side of the tower from him. You bet your ass I would too.
You have to give the guy credit for balls of steel though...
... the workers don't have gloves that tighten up around the wrist.
(Loose fitting gloves can give rise to the hand slipping out - the gardening gloves those guys are wearing look a bit dodgy to me. Same things hold if working with buddy - those glove covered hand grips can slip yes?)
a) The top looked far too small for one man to be stood on, and then his "climbing buddy" got up there!
b) The narrator made reference to a "too-b", wotdatden?
c) If there was a fault, did they they try turning it off, then on first?
Mines the one with the concealed parachute.
OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......OhMy God!......
That was scary, im now currently lying on the ground holding very tight! (after typing this!)
i wonder how long such workers last in that industry, do they get fried when going up or is the tower off ?
and there i was thinking climbing 100foot cliffs without ropes was bad enough (when i was aged 10).
first time i suffered vertigo was when going up the all glass lifts in Lloyds, now i really hate heights!.....
i got no bottle for that job, so a pint to the man who has....
About 30+ years ago, I'd have laughed at that. I remember scaring the shi*t out of one of my buddies by hanging - one-handed - from the dish of Antenna-2, Goonhilly. Lunchbreaks were spent in the centre of Antenna-4, with the reassuring sound of the cryogenic cooler puffing every couple of seconds or so (Parametric Amplifiers, anyone??)
Then, somehow, I developed a terrible fear of heights, such that I paid a bleeding fortune to learn to fly microlight aircraft. Didn't cure it. Nowadays, if I so much look at a roof-worker, I can puke.
One fault in the video. "Once you're this high, there's no quick way down".
Disagree. Might make your eyes water a bit, but it's quick...
There are several comments in YouTube asking why not use an helicopter and also a couple of replies trying to explain, but I still don't get it. Wouldn't be much easier and safer to be lowered from an helicopter, anchor yourself to a safe place in the top, do the job and be taken away? Also, is he meant to go down the same way?
Bouncy, bouncy, swing, swing, thump, bang, thump, thud.
Haven't watched a helicopter in hover much?
It's not a stable platform, due to wind drift, up and down drafts and the fact that you are a swinging pendulum on a long cable as the guy in the helicopter wants to be a long ways away so he doesn't attempt to mate with the mast or trim his rotor blades, killing all involved.
Ever been lowered onto a nuclear sub. by chopper? Unless they've done something about it in the last twenty years, there needs to be some 'matelot' on the deck to ground the cable with a long stick before touchdown against the rather large eye-watering static the 'chopper's blades generate.
And, yes, it rocks about a bit, even with an anchored and tethered boat.
Elf And Safty wouldn't allow it.
Some-one asked if £1,000,000 would be enough to make people do this.
The answer is no.
Maybe, just maybe, if I was offered the whole world, I might go up as far as the top of the lift, but no higher than that, and even then only for an insane reward.
Tombstone, because I just know that's all I'd have if I were to try this.
There's a reason why at least once of twice a year you hear about some tower rigger making his last climb. Way too much macho, and way too little safety consciousness.
There are regs, and equipment available, but some of these guys just refuse to show an iota of brains.
What impressed me were the climbers in Ottawa, Ontario who would climb the giant CBC (and everyone else) tower in the Gatineau hills. Because they were only allowed to climb when the power levels had been turned down they did it at 3 AM. In February. Wind chill minus 40C.
Did I mention ice? Lots and lots of ice?
...and my dad was a linesman all his working life. He taught me there are only two heights; those that are enough to kill you, and those that probably aren't. 100ft or 1700ft makes no bloody difference at all. It's all psychology; what climbers call 'exposure' - you can get used to pretty much anything.
...Well I cannot tell you too much about it but it included a 600m height mast. The PM of the contractors team described a similar mast "it is it is triangular in plan, 1800mm wide sides at the bottom; the legs are 250mm solid steel. I has a ladder but is also fitted with a lift which crawls up the ladder. We can arrange for you to go to the top if you like"
As you can imagine there was an enthusiastic response from our side of the table "Hum! Yes! How interesting"
Brown trousers just thinking about it.
to pay for university. Until I fell from 36ft height onto a steel floor.
The climb down from the turbine should have been (relatively) secure since I followed regs and used protection equipment. But the anchorage in the wind turbine tower was installed incorrectly and bent open when my hands slipped on the oily ladder on a cold December morning.
In Germany you can't sue your employer for negligence, since there is a "Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung" that insures him against all your claims, unless he tried to injure/kill you on purpose. In return, the "Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung" is supposed to pay for an equivalent education if you can't do your job anymore and compensate you for permanent consequences of work accidents.
In my case, that means no help in getting an education (since I was still a student at the time of the accident) and 400€/month for not being able to walk without a crutch, two smashed elbows, some nerve damage to the arms and higher back pain when my back is upright. The courts still have to decide on that, though.
Nothing for about 20 month of hospitals.
At least I can type, and luckily my parents pay for food and room while I finish university.
I recommend against believing you will be cared for if anything happens to you while working in Germany. I don't know about other countries.
..whilst training as an engineer with a major broadcasting organisation here in the UK, I found myself stationed at a transmitter high up on the Yorkshire moors.
Occasionally engineers were required to ascend the mast - a triangular structure a bit like a crane jib tipped on end - to carry out maintenance work.
Because of the dangers of working near the output end of a 100KW transmitter, our thoughtful employers provided us with a "Field Strength Meter" to warn us if some idiot switched the transmitter on whilst we were up there!
The Field Strength Meter comprised a large-ish cast iron box, roughly 8"x6"x4", with a meter on its face, with a dipole aerial sticking out of the top, and a wooden handle sticking out the bottom with which to grasp it.
One was then expected to climb several hundred feet up the middle of the open frame-work mast, whilst holding this contraption in one hand!
Needless to say, being engineers, a much more elegant solution was quickly found! This comprised an old car headlamp bulb with a 1" diameter loop of copper wire soldered across its terminals. This could be quite conveniently pushed into a button hole, or clipped to a lapel, and as soon as you got anywhere near a dangerous RF field, the bulb would start to glow brightly!
One of the other short cuts was measuring the SWR (standing wave ratio) on the feeder co-ax by running your hands along the 1 foot diameter pipe and feeling for hot-spots! If the skin started to peel off your hands the next day, you knew something needed attention!
the last 2 ladders i went up.....
i fell off of!
cue image of up a wall and ladder falling sideways and me falling whilst scrabbling onto the wall for a handhold... like in a tom and jerry cartoon...
2nd was up a ladder in the loft... till the ladder decided to slip out backwards!... one moment doing electrical stuff, next !....... going down.. next floor.. 1st (at the very top of the stairs!)
(and once everything had stopped doing the Crash/Thud thing, i managed to do a succesful audit of all bits, whilst still firmly clamped/gripping the ladder. (eyes, head, fingers-(wiggle) arms, ribs, hips(fail!), legs(fail!), toes) )
i honestly dont think ive ever seen such am amazing range colours, that were in the bruise on my leg.
yes lying flat on the ground with eyes firmly clenched shut and gripping on to the carpet is very reassuringly safe ;p
maybe digging a hole and climbing in wil be safer?
I'll get set to start in a minute........
I have climbed two different radio towers, both times to change the warning lamps at the top of the tower. These were just baby towers though - 100 feet and 200 feet. Since both were on the tops of major hills in the area, the view was spectacular. Not as good as the one in the video, but still impressive.
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