tower climbing in three views

before a climb

tower climbing

Last Saturday, we did a trial run to see if we could get decent tower climbing footage. There are many adjustments that could have been made and will be made in the future. For one thing, that shoulder cam is not positioned right. I may have to mount it on a helmet or more in the front at a different angle. I’d like to make it removable so that it can be maneuvered, once at the top of the tower, for panoramic video.

And then there was the issue of a missing master key as well as the barbed wire fence, which didn’t stop my partner, yet left me at a distance to film. Really, that was an exception and hasn’t happened to us before this, especially since we always get permission.

This video is long and not what I wanted to make, yet it gives me a point from which to grow, practice, and learn.

[Edited to add: We shot this footage, and contributed other footage, to Frontline’s “Cell Tower Deaths” story by ProPublica, which was originally supposed to air February 21, 2012. It has since been replaced by a rerun, not a time-sensitive news piece.]

anemometer installation

anemometer installation

My man and I took a little tour down to Illinois this weekend to do a bit of tower work. Or, more precisely, he did an installation of five anemometers on a tower while I hunted around at the local thrift stores. I didn’t score a thing. I made myself feel better about that by a friendly little shopping spree at Sephora.

Here’s a little zoom in on theother23 while he’s working, and there’s another photo HERE.

tower climbing



For the first half of this week, there was a viral video of a tower climber online.  The video was removed because it was (really obviously) disregarding OSHA regulations for the industry.

I thought I’d share some photos and THIS VIDEO of my own tower climber.

Be sure to watch for the “heart attack”, which is when the climber’s lifeline shifts and he drops a few inches.  As you can tell, these guys love that.  In the background, you can see the snow-covered Mississippi River.  The guys are at 1000 feet.

These photos are from a work day five years ago.  We went to a half-dozen towers to take photos.  I covered the necessary ground shots of the electronic installations in the equipment buildings while my husband climbed and took pictures of the installations on the towers.

madison from 1250 feet

 Madison, west-side, … from 1,250 feet. 

Photo taken from “the can”, which is the tower located at the west end of Mineral Point Road, courtesy of theother23.



Oh, look.  After nearly being knocked off the danger-danger-will-robinson list of jobs the previous year, theother23’s industry is back on top with 183.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.  The #1 most dangerous job in America!!

Joy.  (Not.)

The report HERE.
TO23 video HERE.

hanging out on a thousand-foot tower


Apologies to my long-time readers (the ones who followed me here after nearly five years of blogging at Xanga).  I know that you’ve seen this video as well as some of the photos and poems that I have been posting lately. 

That stated, to the newer readers … This is a little video that theother23 made for me in February when he snagged borrowed my digicam.  Please ignore the Mr. Retardo voice that he uses in the first half of the video.  I don’t know what the hell is up with that.

Also, fyi … a “heart attack” is whenever the life support system of a climber shifts (due to wind or whatever) and the person drops a few inches.  Suddenly and unexpectedly.

Theother23 lives for that.

(edited to add: A few shots of my husband climbing towers, from when we worked together about five years back, are HERE.)