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 Too soon to climb a ladder?

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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:59 pm

Today the crew and I are on an adjacent property doing some post storm maintenance. My job was to hobble about, wave my arms, and suggest aprroaches. General management stuff......

A twenty-something lad was having issues getting up an extension ladder to trim a rather large branch off of an oak that was ready to come down. Ladder bouncing, legs shaking, etc. No amount of reassurances culled his apprehension, and he came down...

"I can't do it," he said. "It's too high up."

12 feet in the air, so not that high, but I understood. Falling is scary stuff. So as the rest of the guys were gathering flotsom that was scattered about, I slung the chainsaw over my shoulder, took a breath, and climbed up the ladder to the branch in question.

Mind you, it took me a while. The legs are still pretty numb, and my balance isn't great, but I had plenty of ladder to hold onto, and I felt OK. I laced my arms about the ladder, got the saw started, and then screwed up by looking around to see where the wood would drop.

I am waaay the Frack up there. Sure enough, that damn ladder started wiggling. Shaking. My legs didn't stop either. Totally out of control.

I leaned out and rested the saw on the branch until it was cut. Just as expected, the side of the tree stood up a little taller, about two rungs worth on the ladder. I shut the saw off, and rested until the tree stopped moving. Threw my lunch up, then by force of will lowered myself down the ladder.....

The kid brought my walker over to me so I could let go of the ladder. "That was crazy man, did you see the tree jump? Crazy!, he said, shaking his head. I nodded and unhooked my harness and sat down on the branch, wishing I had a bit of water or something to rinse my mouth out. After a while, I had the lad help me to my rig and got me in the seat. Cold coffee was what I had to drink, which I did. I watched as he cut up the branch and loaded the truck....

There have maybe been only a couple of dozen times in my life I was that scared, and only a handful of those by my own accord.

Maybe it's too soon to get off the ground for me yet. Either that or I need to schedule a jump and get it out of my system. Maybe next year?
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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:32 pm

Cripes Bob. I'd say you were damn lucky there, fella. I think perhaps you've answered your own question?!
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:50 pm

Stick wrote:
Cripes Bob. I'd say you were damn lucky there, fella. I think perhaps you've answered your own question?!

Lucky should have been my middle name. Not real smart, but my parents loved me nonetheless. lol!

I've just been of the mind that I wouldn't ask anyone to do that which I was not willing to do myself. I have to admit I was surprised how much of a physiological reaction I had though. I must be a wimp now..... Ah well, there is a season for everything I suppose.........
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:12 pm

Not a wimp by any means Ozzie. Ladders are evil things under the best of circumstances. You got lucky.....this time!

No more bravado stuff for a while yet, y'hear?

silent


Cheers,

RR
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:54 am

The twenty-something brought your walker over to you? Most impressive. At least he was good for something. I used to help paint my parents' house when I was twelve. Three part extension ladder, fully extended. Scared spitless, mostly by the wasps, but I did it. Dealing with Purple Fear ain't easy. So you proved something to yourself. Good show. But save yourself for a better risk/reward situation next time, would be my advice.
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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:24 pm

As my old Italian buddy used to say..."You keepa' dis uppa, you gonna' busta' you ass!!!! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes cheers FTRPLT
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:53 pm

I had a crew free climb trim my black walnut that they couln't get to with a truck and that gave me the willies. I'm not even comfortable with my chainsaw on the ground. I hope you and your "crew" are properly licensed and insured to do this sort of work. Shocked
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:39 pm

daveinlax wrote:
I had a crew free climb trim my black walnut that they couln't get to with a truck and that gave me the willies. I'm not even comfortable with my chainsaw on the ground. I hope you and your "crew" are properly licensed and insured to do this sort of work. † Shocked

Insured? Yah, plenty....

Licenced? to cut my own tree down in Booger County? Um, sure, why not?lol!
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:34 pm

Thatís just crazy. †My daughter the nurse has often threatened to make off with my power tools, ladders and snow shovels. †Her threats have at least made me more cautious. †Ask your doctor about treatment and recuperation of a 50+ year old man who was launched from the top of a ladder and broke assorted bones. Worse than taking a bad fall off a damn horse. You sound like one of the characters in Annie Proulx Wyoming tale. You have many good years ahead of you. Donít toss them away doing half-assed chores. No one on his death bed ever thinks, ďJeez, I wish Iíd cut back the pine tree.Ē Just calm down Spring will soon be here. Good luck.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:31 pm

Maybe crazy. Maybe not.

I did have a climbing harness on. Several lines ready to catch a fall. I don't free climb much anymore. Even El Capitan and Haystack Rock has plenty of petons available. If the ladder had fallen, I would have most likely just dangled from my harness. But I still went and talked to some of my clients that have had jump missions and they agreed that my biggest issue was flashbacks from forest landings.

Maybe so.

Anyway,the worst that could have happened was the branch kicked back at me. And I'd be dangling like a pinyata.

As far as deathbed thoughts, I think I will have a peaceful easy feeling, that finally, after all the adventures, glorious victories, and the glorious failures, I'll be smiling....
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:27 pm

I sure hope so. Best wishes to you on your recovery.
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Timbo

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Age : 42
Location : Australia
Registration date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:29 am

Cripes Wiz, not a good story to hear at all especially with you already being in recovery from another nasty fall. Please look after yourself better and wait for the tree lopper next time. Sheesh I sound like my dear departed gran. Smile

Take care mate.†

Tim
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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:07 pm

Brewdude wrote:
Not a wimp by any means Ozzie. Ladders are evil things under the best of circumstances. You got lucky.....this time!

No more bravado stuff for a while yet, y'hear?

silent


Cheers,

RR

+1

Body and mind are inextricably linked Bob, and your mortal hub has taken a beating...
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bosun1

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Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Too soon to climb a ladder?   Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:03 pm

Bit older than you (g). Realized a few years back that I wasn't a young superman anymore. Breaks don't heal fast or too well. Just getting your ligaments stretched means a long recovery time. You're management? "Young man, get your butt up there and do what I'm paying you for". Unless he's hired just to do ground work. On the other hand, if we're just talking about some friends giving you a hand, then maybe that branch can stay up there till next year. Laugh if you want, but I bought an electric polesaw last year. Works like a charm and saves these old bones!
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