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Point Break

Going Aloft

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I usedd to be very comfortable on tall ladders, roofs, scaffold, catwalks, etc.  Later in life I developed vertigo.  Just seeing the video thumbnail made me dizzy, no way am I going to watch it.

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42 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Probably posted in SA but I just stumbled across it.....................

 

doubtful , youtube shows just 12 views , nice find PB

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13 minutes ago, soak_ed said:

I usedd to be very comfortable on tall ladders, roofs, scaffold, catwalks, etc.  Later in life I developed vertigo.  Just seeing the video thumbnail made me dizzy, no way am I going to watch it.

Working at height, ladders, roof work, etc. doesn’t “bother” me. I am not unaffected by it though. I become quite deliberate and careful. When Mrs PB and I hiked down to the floor of the Grand Canyon (south kebab trail) there were parts I did not like at all. Narrow trail (4 feet) with no railing or protection with a thousand or more foot fall over the side. Mrs PB could walk to the edge and look over. I couldn’t.....but I could hike the trail. 

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4 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Working at height, ladders, roof work, etc. doesn’t “bother” me. I am not unaffected by it though. I become quite deliberate and careful. When Mrs PB and I hiked down to the floor of the Grand Canyon (south kebab trail) there were parts I did not like at all. Narrow trail (4 feet) with no railing or protection with a thousand or more foot fall over the side. Mrs PB could walk to the edge and look over. I couldn’t.....but I could hike the trail. 

If I got within 20 feet or so of the canyon rim, I would probably start to stagger and throw up.  The view from a jetliner is just fine with me.

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9 minutes ago, soak_ed said:

If I got within 20 feet or so of the canyon rim, I would probably start to stagger and throw up.  The view from a jetliner is just fine with me.

Sometimes we’d meet mules coming the other way and have to get around them.........

38B66754-B75B-40E2-9FCC-B3CBDF07002D.jpeg

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17 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Sometimes we’d meet mules coming the other way and have to get around them.........

38B66754-B75B-40E2-9FCC-B3CBDF07002D.jpeg

That one would give me problems. Walk it? Fine. The mule would be get to do that bit without having to carry me. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Mark K said:

That one would give me problems. Walk it? Fine. The mule would be get to do that bit without having to carry me. 

 

Mark, I was stunned. There is a business that hauls fat tourists on a series of mules (like 20 mules all together) up and down that trail. They also haul supplies for the phantom Ranhc where we stayed at the bottom. We passed them when they were coming up and we were headed down right in those narrow switchbacks. So we press against the wall and they pass by on the outside of us. Buncha people sitting on the mules. No f*^*ing way.

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Just now, Point Break said:

Mark, I was stunned. There is a business that hauls fat tourists on a series of mules (like 20 mules all together) up and down that trail. They also haul supplies for the phantom Ranhc where we stayed at the bottom. We passed them when they were coming up and we were headed down right in those narrow switchbacks. So we press against the wall and they pass by on the outside of us. Buncha people sitting on the mules. No f*^*ing way.

done the same thing but up in Kashmir,  the drop was a lot further down..  the horses were fearless

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15 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Mark, I was stunned. There is a business that hauls fat tourists on a series of mules (like 20 mules all together) up and down that trail. They also haul supplies for the phantom Ranhc where we stayed at the bottom. We passed them when they were coming up and we were headed down right in those narrow switchbacks. So we press against the wall and they pass by on the outside of us. Buncha people sitting on the mules. No f*^*ing way.

 

20161228-DSC00845.jpg

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55 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Sometimes we’d meet mules coming the other way and have to get around them.........

38B66754-B75B-40E2-9FCC-B3CBDF07002D.jpeg

Our family rode the mules down from the north rim....I was VERY impressed with the animal...my wife was just ahead of me and my 2 sons behind me ,her saddle wasn't quite cinched tight enough and on a right turn she'd lean left and on a left turn she'd  lean right...each time there was more slip...we were trying not to let her hear us laughing....but she was pizzed at the bottom

Heights in my younger days I loved them and climbing what ever...jumped out of perfectly good airplanes...as I got older my nerves began getting in my head. I knew my was time up once up a ladder doing some chainsaw work ,when I noticed my foot shaking on the rung. ....I'll be 70 in April

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11 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Mark, I was stunned. There is a business that hauls fat tourists on a series of mules (like 20 mules all together) up and down that trail. They also haul supplies for the phantom Ranhc where we stayed at the bottom. We passed them when they were coming up and we were headed down right in those narrow switchbacks. So we press against the wall and they pass by on the outside of us. Buncha people sitting on the mules. No f*^*ing way.

Read some stuff about our army in the Old West once. Said mules were by far more common than horses. Mules are reported as being much smarter, tougher, and far more sure-footed than horses. The only downsides were speed and it was widely reported that if they decided to kick ya a horse might miss but a mule doesn't.

 Most soldiers who rode then rode mules. It was really mounted infantry, not cavalry, about 80% of the time. Not something Hollywood was ever interested in portraying, I guess. 

  All I've ridden was a few horses. I know I ain't riding a horse right there, anywho... 

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Just now, SailBlueH2O said:

Our family rode the mules down from the north rim....I was VERY impressed with the animal...my wife was just ahead of me and my 2 sons behind me ,her saddle wasn't quite cinched tight enough and on a right turn she'd lean left and on a left turn she'd  lean right...each time there was more slip...we were trying not to let her hear us laughing....but she was pizzed at the bottom

Heights in my younger days I loved them and climbing what ever...jumped out of perfectly good airplanes...as I got older my nerves began getting in my head. I knew my was time up once up a ladder doing some chainsaw work ,when I noticed my foot shaking on the rung. 

Well I'm impressed. Not only is your life in the "hands" of a mule......but you're sitting another 5 feet higher off the trail!! AS they went past us, they stopped for a minute stretched out down the trail and one of the mules near me we a step over to the side and leaned its head over the edge in order to munch some plant just down off the trail. At that moment I though "these people are absolutely crazy". I'm just glad they didn't expect me to go around the outside and I got to hug the wall!!!

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Just now, Point Break said:

Well I'm impressed. Not only is your life in the "hands" of a mule......but you're sitting another 5 feet higher off the trail!! AS they went past us, they stopped for a minute stretched out down the trail and one of the mules near me we a step over to the side and leaned its head over the edge in order to munch some plant just down off the trail. At that moment I though "these people are absolutely crazy". I'm just glad they didn't expect me to go around the outside and I got to hug the wall!!!

It did seem the hikers were no happy to see the mules coming...not to mention the solid and liquid messes they left in the trail....that night sitting on the terrace at the north rim watching the stars these two guys sat down next to us...they had climbed from the south rim that day and were going to climb back the next day...impressive !

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3 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Read some stuff about our army in the Old West once. Said mules were by far more common than horses. Mules are reported as being much smarter, tougher, and far more sure-footed than horses. The only downsides were speed and it was widely reported that if they decided to kick ya a horse might miss but a mule doesn't.

 Most soldiers who rode then rode mules. It was really mounted infantry, not cavalry, about 80% of the time. Not something Hollywood was ever interested in portraying, I guess. 

  All I've ridden was a few horses. I know I ain't riding a horse right there, anywho... 

You're right! Mules were hugely common then, not only as pack animals but also as the primary transportation. One of our sons spent a few years as a mounted forest ranger patrolling the high country in Yosemite (which pleased him immensely as he was a calvary scout in his army hitch). Although he rode a horse, I seem to remember him saying as far as mules went, with smarter came more stubborn and they happily bite unprovoked. 

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1 minute ago, SailBlueH2O said:

It did seem the hikers were no happy to see the mules coming...not to mention the solid and liquid messes they left in the trail....that night sitting on the terrace at the north rim watching the stars these two guys sat down next to us...they had climbed from the south rim that day and were going to climb back the next day...impressive !

Yeah, thats the "Rim to Rim". Some folks take pride in doing it in one day although the Park harshly discourages that. Seems lots of attempts end up as rescues. We stayed on the south rim trails, went down South Kaibab one day, spent the night in a cabin at phantom Ranch at the bottom and back up Bright Angel the next day. Its a pretty common route for those staying at the Ranch. South Kaibab is 4800 feet drop over 6 miles and Bright Angel is 4400 feet over 9 miles. It was...............strenuous. 

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It ain't the climbing,

It ain't the heights.....

It's the falling and going splat.

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ain't the falling either ...................

 

tis the sudden stop @ bottom :P

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

This one makes my stomach hurt.

 

Ish you beat me to it. Right at the very end of the video when the climber is standing on top he lets go with both hands to lock in. Fucking balls of stone. 

And if you fall on your safety recovery is intense work. 

Has anyone here tried to recover a climber hanging on a lanyard? I have and it's a fucking bitch. Can't imagine doing it at that height.

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33 minutes ago, bmiller said:

 And if you fall on your safety recovery is intense work. 

Has anyone here tried to recover a climber hanging on a lanyard? I have and it's a fucking bitch. Can't imagine doing it at that height.

Oh yeah......

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15 hours ago, Mid said:

Agreed fear of heights increases with age :(

btw it's called

Acrophobia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrophobia#Confusion_with_vertigo

 

Indeed, I still remember having no problems on 10/12 or 12/12 roofs, or walking the top plates on first and second floors while framing houses...not so much these days...running trim is so much more age appropriate...<_<

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1 hour ago, Grabbler said:

Indeed, I still remember having no problems on 10/12 or 12/12 roofs, or walking the top plates on first and second floors while framing houses...not so much these days...running trim is so much more age appropriate...<_<

Indeed.  I used to be fearless topping trees, up 80' masts at sea with a spinnaker set, standing in foot straps and working on mastheads, etc. 

Not so much any more.  Not sure I could do that clear floored canyon walk these days.   The trail?  Yeah.  Still could do that.  

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Never had any problem until I got older.  Always felt a ton better over h20, no matter how high always figured I could hit said H20 if things went south I guess.  Used to free climb the mast on our boat etc.  Now in mid 40's, the mast thing is no big deal.  The tower thing makes my butt clinch and even some chairlifts it creeps into my mind which is strange considering the amount of skiing I have done in my lifetime.   Weird how that works.  

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14 hours ago, bmiller said:

Be careful, serious rabbit hole alert.

https://www.youtube.com/user/AccessTechniques1

Honestly that area of expertise is one of the few I simply did not keep up with as I promoted. It is a relatively complex (as I understand you know) set of systems and equipment. I found that as it got more complex technically, it was more difficult to keep up with our heavy rescue units' knowledge base. A simple over he side rig...sure, I get those no problem...but some of those high angle setups and use....sheesh. It just takes so much time and practice....I relied on the advice of the Officers assigned to those units quite heavily on some calls.

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5 hours ago, Point Break said:

Honestly that area of expertise is one of the few I simply did not keep up with as I promoted. It is a relatively complex (as I understand you know) set of systems and equipment. I found that as it got more complex technically, it was more difficult to keep up with our heavy rescue units' knowledge base. A simple over he side rig...sure, I get those no problem...but some of those high angle setups and use....sheesh. It just takes so much time and practice....I relied on the advice of the Officers assigned to those units quite heavily on some calls.

My last assignment was at 66, we cross manned the heavy rescue. Our Captain was all about the latest and greatest new gadget. I was the polar opposite. My crew trained on a few simple techniques that could be adapted to a variety of situations. Eliminate options and confusion at every opportunity. 

I developed that mentality working on the SAR for the county in which I live, helping a friend instruct swift water rescue and ski patrolling. Go light go fast and geter done. That does not fit well in the modern fire service.

I agree that it is a diminishing skill which must be practiced regularly or you will lose it.

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48 minutes ago, bmiller said:

My last assignment was at 66, we cross manned the heavy rescue. Our Captain was all about the latest and greatest new gadget. I was the polar opposite. My crew trained on a few simple techniques that could be adapted to a variety of situations. Eliminate options and confusion at every opportunity. 

I developed that mentality working on the SAR for the county in which I live, helping a friend instruct swift water rescue and ski patrolling. Go light go fast and geter done. That does not fit well in the modern fire service.

I agree that it is a diminishing skill which must be practiced regularly or you will lose it.

I have a lot of respect for our rescue guys. They are able to stay current because of our USAR Team training commitment. All of our trucks were rescue rigging equipped and trained but 9 of them are "USAR" trucks meaning all personnel on those trucks (well minimum 3 out of the 4) are USAR qualified. Add the staffed Heavy Rescue and we had a pretty good USAR component on duty each day. We were darn near deployable with just the folks on duty (although as you know, no deployments ever happen that fast), but it gave us a really robust technical rescue component immediately available. Those boys have some toys.................me..........I learned to rappel with a pompier belt (leather and canvas with the big single hook) on some line I don't even know what it was.....3 braid with a sheath so it was a step above manila but not far. :lol: When we upgraded to sky genies for rappel work I thought we were hitting the sweet spot of technical rescue. My view would mirror yours (but still way below in complexity) - KISS - so you can imagine my view of the USAR tech stuff now.....a something plate and z rig or???.....I could tell when a plan was good and an operation was safe, but which rig for what purposes........not so much. We've got a urban search (dogs and tech folks) and heavy rescue component working the mudslides now. Good folks....very committed and well trained. Proud of them.

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think about the sailors 100-200 years ago doing this as a matter of course.

day and night.

sometimes in a gale. 

Sometimes  the other boat blowing your mast from under you.

Real sailors....

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7 hours ago, Foreverslow said:

think about the sailors 100-200 years ago doing this as a matter of course.

day and night.

sometimes in a gale. 

Sometimes  the other boat blowing your mast from under you.

Real sailors....

I would be comfortable with making that climb, albeit more slowly these days than the lad in the vid did, but the idea of being in the topmast in a big seaway, wresting with armfuls of wet heavy canvas as it tries to flick me off the yard in a sudden squall doesn't hold any appeal at all.  Neither does the narrow footpath pictured .  I am fine with heights, even extreme heights, as long as I can hold onto something secure or have faith in something in addition to agility and balance.

When I'm unstepping spars, I typically ride up to the spreaders, attach the collar and slide down the mast line.  As I get older, the trip down gives me pause on occasion.  It's generally not quite far enough to kill you, but you'd get scuffed up.  The kids in the yard refuse to do it without a chair.  They're a lot smarter than I am.

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12 hours ago, Foreverslow said:

think about the sailors 100-200 years ago doing this as a matter of course.

day and night.

sometimes in a gale. 

Sometimes  the other boat blowing your mast from under you.

Real sailors....

Aaaaand the average life expectancy was 35 or 40, you died before you got skeered.

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1 hour ago, chum said:

Aaaaand the average life expectancy was 35 or 40, you died before you got skeered.

So you are saying that recognition of one’s mortality isn’t a rite of passage for young men, but a process that happens over 50 years or so?

Makes sense. 

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I knowl I felt bullet proof until just about 40. I dont know if the equivelant only happened to a guy until he was 20 back then?

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On 1/14/2018 at 1:31 PM, Derek Grebe said:

This one always gives me Disco Legs

 

 

Not in a million fucking years would you get me up there.

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On January 10, 2018 at 4:35 PM, Point Break said:

More south kaibab.....

 

855BE6A5-F9F9-40E6-814D-C686C77D242F.jpeg

Beth and I did that one year at Thanksgiving, took fly gear. Fishing at the bottom was amazing.

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1 hour ago, Black Sox said:

Not in a million fucking years would you get me up there.

 

Same here!!  In my youth, I had no problem being 100 off the deck at the top of a 80' Maxi rig, but I definitely get vertigo nowadays!!

 

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1 hour ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Beth and I did that one year at Thanksgiving, took fly gear. Fishing at the bottom was amazing.

It was difficult for me.....Mrs PB was unaffected and danced happily along. Fearless.......

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7 hours ago, the_abandoned_brane said:

that vid has been around for years. looks fun.

It is mountaineering on S:V Sedov 177 ft

130 views
 
 

0 0 Share

 
 
 
 
 
photo.jpg

Published on Sep 30, 2017

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbUOOb7-44c

 

............................................

 

 

Published on Sep 30, 2017

put up or shut up

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On January 10, 2018 at 6:33 PM, bmiller said:

Ish you beat me to it. Right at the very end of the video when the climber is standing on top he lets go with both hands to lock in. Fucking balls of stone. 

And if you fall on your safety recovery is intense work. 

Has anyone here tried to recover a climber hanging on a lanyard? I have and it's a fucking bitch. Can't imagine doing it at that height.

What do you mean by lanyard? By recovery I assume you mean someone who is past rescue. 

When trad climbing on overhangs you should always carry prusiks so you can climb your own rope if you must. There's a super classic at Hueco Tanks called Indecent Exposure. The start of the second pitch you're about 200' off the deck. Feels airier than some 1000' faces I've done. For the person seconding, you're cleaning gear off a hand traverse as you go, at a certain point if you come off you will be dangling in air far from the rock. Your only choice is climbing your rope. Never did ugly there, but saw it several times. 

 

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1 hour ago, Cruisin Loser said:

What do you mean by lanyard? By recovery I assume you mean someone who is past rescue. 

When trad climbing on overhangs you should always carry prusiks so you can climb your own rope if you must. There's a super classic at Hueco Tanks called Indecent Exposure. The start of the second pitch you're about 200' off the deck. Feels airier than some 1000' faces I've done. For the person seconding, you're cleaning gear off a hand traverse as you go, at a certain point if you come off you will be dangling in air far from the rock. Your only choice is climbing your rope. Never did ugly there, but saw it several times. 

 

Lanyards are fall protection devices used in the industrial, construction and rope access environments. Like this:

DBI-09-Force2Lanyard-1245208.jpg

 

Hanging on a lanyard connected to your dorsal connection makes for a very difficult position. Your climb partner is your best chance for survival.

Sport climbing is a whole other world. Some type of rope grab, and the skill to use it, is mandatory. 

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OK. I've worked derricks on drilling rigs, we use similar stuff.

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On 1/15/2018 at 7:37 AM, billy backstay said:

 

Same here!!  In my youth, I had no problem being 100 off the deck at the top of a 80' Maxi rig, but I definitely get vertigo nowadays!!

 

You'll love this: 

  

Ya just  know that big baby is swaying around a bit in a breeze... 

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14 minutes ago, Mark K said:

You'll love this: 

  

Ya just  know that big baby is swaying around a bit in a breeze... 

Here is a vid of the Boise FD Aerial Ladder climbing requirements. I always loved climbing the aerial ladder.......until I didn't..........:lol: In my academy once we got to the top, we had to lock in, put our arms out on each side and bend over backwards till we could see the instructor on the ground. When he waved his arm overhead then we could come back down.

BTW - when flowing water from the nozzle at the top, the ladder actually bends away from the water force at the nozzle. Its not so obvious from the ground, but when you're up there....hoo boy......

 

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42 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Here is a vid of the Boise FD Aerial Ladder climbing requirements. I always loved climbing the aerial ladder.......until I didn't..........:lol: In my academy once we got to the top, we had to lock in, put our arms out on each side and bend over backwards till we could see the instructor on the ground. When he waved his arm overhead then we could come back down.

BTW - when flowing water from the nozzle at the top, the ladder actually bends away from the water force at the nozzle. Its not so obvious from the ground, but when you're up there....hoo boy......

 

Make or break indeed. 

 I knew a black kid from Oakland who eventually got a shot up in Seattle with their FD as a recruit at 28 years old. He made it and is close to retiring now. Several years ago he said that during his training in a stadium called the Kingdome they did a very odd test. The stadium was surrounded by formed concrete public access ramps all around the exterior, and near the top they had the recruits emerge from a stair doorway and have to follow an order to take a running jump over the outside edge of the ramp, which was about five stories up, and without looking first. They had a big net just ten feet down completely out of view, of course, but it was some kinda faith in command test, as he described it. 

 

 He said he hesitated for a moment. Thought to himself: "Damn near thirty, black, working a bit above min wage and gave that up to get this shot, two kids and a third on the way...."

And he ran and dove head first. :lol:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

Make or break indeed. 

 I knew a black kid from Oakland who eventually got a shot up in Seattle with their FD as a recruit at 28 years old. He made it and is close to retiring now. Several years ago he said that during his training in a stadium called the Kingdome they did a very odd test. The stadium was surrounded by formed concrete public access ramps all around the exterior, and near the top they had the recruits emerge from a stair doorway and have to follow an order to take a running jump over the outside edge of the ramp, which was about five stories up, and without looking first. They had a big net just ten feet down completely out of view, of course, but it was some kinda faith in command test, as he described it. 

 

 He said he hesitated for a moment. Thought to himself: "Damn near thirty, black, working a bit above min wage and gave that up to get this shot, two kids and a third on the way...."

And he ran and dove head first. :lol:

 

 

Good story. Probably true as well. My recruit class was the last that had to jump into the life nets. They don’t even carry them anymore. Although our jump was only 2 floors. 5 is a LONG way down. Thank goodness his wasn’t all the way!

We used to put a “plant” in each academy class. He would screw up for about 3 days then be fired very publically and very dramatically in front of the rest of the class. “TURN IN YOUR GEAR AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE’” fired.  The result was a remarkable attention to detail by the rest of the class for the duration. :lol: We can’t do that anymore......

BTW - when I retired 4 ago, our average age at entry was 26......not puppies......

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20 hours ago, Point Break said:

Good story. Probably true as well. My recruit class was the last that had to jump into the life nets. They don’t even carry them anymore. Although our jump was only 2 floors. 5 is a LONG way down. Thank goodness his wasn’t all the way!

We used to put a “plant” in each academy class. He would screw up for about 3 days then be fired very publically and very dramatically in front of the rest of the class. “TURN IN YOUR GEAR AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE’” fired.  The result was a remarkable attention to detail by the rest of the class for the duration. :lol: We can’t do that anymore......

BTW - when I retired 4 ago, our average age at entry was 26......not puppies......

I got the impression they did a significant amount of PT at the town's locations, away from their academy. Said they ran the stairs of the biggest skyscraper in gear. I imagine it had to have been on a Sunday or something like one. I suppose it makes sense to get the guys into some of the actual places where they just might have to go someday. Stadiums are empty a lot. 

  

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18 minutes ago, Mark K said:

I got the impression they did a significant amount of PT at the town's locations, away from their academy. Said they ran the stairs of the biggest skyscraper in gear. I imagine it had to have been on a Sunday or something like one. I suppose it makes sense to get the guys into some of the actual places where they just might have to go someday. Stadiums are empty a lot. 

  

When I worked in areas with high rise, on weekends we routinely worked out running up the stairwells of local buildings (with the building managers permission), usually in gym shorts and tee shirts, but once in a while we would add full gear and equipment to the exercise not only for the physical fitness aspect, but also to continually test/evaluate the amount of time it takes to get firefighters, hose and equipment to certain floors. It allows for realistic estimates of the amount of time to provide 1) an initial attack and 2) a reinforced attack to any floor in a high rise.....those are called "time tagged tactics". If I look up at a fire on the 9th floor, in order to estimate how far its gonna get before we engage it, I have to be able to estimate how long it takes to get everybody and all the stuff up there. Heck I have more time in stairwells than even Mikey....and some of it crying as well. :lol:

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29 minutes ago, Mark K said:

I got the impression they did a significant amount of PT at the town's locations, away from their academy. Said they ran the stairs of the biggest skyscraper in gear. I imagine it had to have been on a Sunday or something like one. I suppose it makes sense to get the guys into some of the actual places where they just might have to go someday. Stadiums are empty a lot. 

  

That would be the Columbia Center Challenge.  76 stories is all.  Firefighters do it in full gear.  Good marathoners do it 3 stairs at a time.  My friend did it, sloooowly, but steadily, and made it.  Popular fundraiser. 

Great view from the women's room in the top story private club.

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8 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

That would be the Columbia Center Challenge.  76 stories is all.  Firefighters do it in full gear.  Good marathoners do it 3 stairs at a time.  My friend did it, sloooowly, but steadily, and made it.  Popular fundraiser. 

Great view from the women's room in the top story private club.

 Might be the exact same climb, but I don't imagine an FD would want a class of their FD recruits-in-training in such an event. That would be REAL fire fighters maintaining conditioning and such. 

  

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I used to take stairs 2 at a time almost all the time, even carrying something heavy.  I have very long legs and they used to be very strong.  In the Army at age 33 I could do the 2 mile run for the PT test in 12 minutes.  Now at age 62 I can barely walk.  Shit happens.

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23 minutes ago, Mark K said:

 Might be the exact same climb, but I don't imagine an FD would want a class of their FD recruits-in-training in such an event. That would be REAL fire fighters maintaining conditioning and such. 

  

Lots of Stair Climb Challenges every year, usually a fundraising for the or that cause. I did a couple.....ass-kickers........here is video of one in Calgary. 

(BTW - these should not be confused with the annual Firefighter Combat Challenge or the Tunnel to Towers in NYC each year. The Tunnel to Towers is also a fundraiser. The Combat Challenge is simply a job related athletic event.)

 

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Here is the Tunnel to Towers done in NYC each year. Its a 5K run that retraces the route FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller took on 911 and ran (with his firefighting gear) from his car he had to abandon due to traffic at the Tunnels back to the WTC to participate in the fight. He was killed in the collapse. His family thought of this event as a fundraiser to honor his memory with the proceeds going to wounded/disabled veterans causes. Its a favorite of Gary Sinise in his fundraising efforts. I have run it twice. Once in gear........the second time I couldn't do that again.

 

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I’ve always been impressed by those steelworkers and riggers that work the high steel. Had one tell me once “after 50 feet or so it really doesn’t matter how high it is....a fall will kill you”. I understand that intellectually but..............

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My Grampa Tom raised most of the steel in early skyscraper days in Reno.  Had a German immigrant named Otto join the crew and of course the old guys had to haze him.  Sent him up a radio tower to change the light on top.  Big 12" glass bulb that screwed in from the very top into a 12" square plate.  They normally reached up from below to do it, but told Otto he should stand on the corners and they'd hand up the bulb from below.  Otto makes the swap, standing on a few inches of steel on either corner and the crew was really impressed.  Then he takes off his tool belt and tosses it to the ground and does a fucking hand stand on top of the bulb.  Freaked everybody out and certainly made him a member of the gang.  Turns out, Otto grew up in the circus.  And Tom could sure tell a story.  

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My dad did similar in Streator IL.  He was an engineer in the glass plant and was always interested in the stacks.  Tallest things for miles back then.  Coming straight from the Rhineland, one day at lunch, he decided to see what the view from the top was (shirt tie and all).  Earned great respect from the regular factory wonks at the time.  ;)

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Murray the Mohawk

      I lived next door to a High Steel Indian from that tribe up in Maine that built most of Manhattan. I forget the name of the tribe (Mohawk?) but they started in bridges and then moved in to the skyscraper trade and eventually followed the high steel work all over the country. Murray was the guys name and was a really mellow fun dude to hang out with and had some amazing stories. Higher the better for him as the pay scale went up the further from the ground (or river) you worked. He said the same thing about 50' being the threshold for survival. He had worked on the erection of the SuperDome in New Orleans. He said that was a very different situation and more like a omnidirectional bridge than a more upright building.  

    At the time he was working a Mississippi River bridge a ways upstream and after work each day he would stop and buy a pint and a fifth of Canadian Club. When he pulled into our driveway and stopped he would take the last swig of the pint bottle and toss it into the back of his pickup. The pint was just for the drive home. He would come inside and open the fifth which was his evening ration. He would finish the fifth and then hit the sack for some sleep and get up well before dawn to drive to work and do it again. I usually drank beer when we would shuck oysters together and three beers was about my limit. I asked how he could stay steady on his feet the next day on the high steel after both bottles of whiskey and he said that he was just used to it. He said that two beers would probably send him to his death but CC was just fine.

    He told about getting knocked off of a beam and falling two stories before he rotated enough to reach out and grab a steel beam as he passed after falling 20'. He would then pull himself up on the beam and climb back up to where he fell from and just go back to work and tape up broken ribs when he got home that night. He seemed impervious to pain as I watched him slip with an oyster and run the shucking knife right through the meaty part of the web between thumb and forefinger. 

    He had witnessed many accidents aloft but said the one that gave him nightmares was on the top of a grain elevator. They were assembling a gantry or some such on top of the huge concrete grain elevator and there was a square access hatch to one side that was open. A long steel beam was being hoisted on a wire choker sling and it got to spinning in the wind and slipped out of the choker and came clattering across the top of the silo right toward him and his partner. They ran away from it but but soon ran out of room as they neared the edge. Murray turned to the tumbling beam and timed it just right to jump over it and as he landed on his feet he looked for his buddy as the steel slid off the top of the silo. He ran to the edge thinking the other guy had gone over the edge but couldn't see him and then heard a scream from the access hatch. The other guy had dived in the hole in hopes of grabbing the ladder just inside but must have missed.  A couple of weeks after he had told me that story, he came home and threw a newspaper with the story of how that same grain elevator complex had exploded killing 36! He really tied one on that night but it seemed to free him from the ghost of the death that he had witnessed. 

http://www.wwltv.com/news/local/40-years-ago-today-continental-grain-elevator-explosion/501695152

   I found this documentary on the Mohawk steel Indians.

 

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