09/19/10 95 W, 1 I - + 7 - 3 Climbing a 1,768 Foot Transmission Tower

Here's your Sunday morning video treat. Climbing a transmission tower. Height of 1,768 feet, which is still a couple hundred shorter than WRAL's digital tower in Auburn, meaning off Highway 70 east of Garner. Notes the helmet cam-clad commentator, they can see 55 miles to the horizon at the top. Best quote is toward the end. "This is the tricky part." Yeah, just that part. The climbers climb smack to the top. Stop watching if you feel faint! Thanks to Marshall for passing along.

When I used to climb as a teenager, this was always my dream job. As a middle-age guy who sits behind a desk for 12 hours a day, this scares the crap out of me :)
Building the tower must have been a fun process.
Paul - 09/19/10 - 11:23

I knew you would get a kick out of this Mike!

I downloaded the actual video and watching it full screen is an experience of vertigo for sure!

I would love to see the process of climbing back down…wish that had been captured on film.
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 09/19/10 - 11:39

I’ve been up WRAL and several of UNC-TV’s 2000ft sticks in my time as a climber. After hanging outside the tower at 1700 or so feet to try to finagle a repeater cabinet out, around, and back into the tower around the waveguides, I can tell you firsthand that this is harrowing. I haven’t had the pleasure of cresting any of the towers, but I’m sure that is just as harrowing, even for experienced climbers.

The elevator ride isn’t exactly pleasant, either, as it’s a cage of about 28 sq. ft. that resides within the tower framework. They’re slow and bouncy, and susceptible to wind. And holy crap if you’re up very far and the power fails!!! I was watching an episode of “World’s Toughest Fixes” on NatGeo a while ago, and they did an antenna replacement on a 2000 ft tower somewhere in the midwest. They had to free-climb the entire height because they had to get a rope to the top to string a cable to hoist a gin pole system and a man-basket. The fix was replacing the TV antenna at the top. Check it out at the NatGeo website.
Duda - 09/20/10 - 11:13

I used to work for WFMX (FM 105.7) when they were a country station out of Statesville. I remember when a crew that was repainting our 1500 ft. tower fell from the top. They were doing the job without the proper safety gear. I’m in Davie County now (where the tower is located), and a couple of the rescue squad guys on the FD said the indentions were a couple feet into the soil. I think I’m gonna stay on the ground…
Barrett - 09/23/10 - 15:39

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