...it was finally completed, with the 100 ounce (2.85 kg) aluminum tip/lightning-rod being put in place on December 6, 1884. The tip was the largest single piece of aluminum cast at the time, when aluminum commanded a price comparable to silver. Two years later, the Hall–Héroult process made aluminum easier to produce and the price of aluminum plummeted, making the once-valuable tip nearly worthless, though it still provided a lustrous, non-rusting tip that served as the original lightning rod. The monument opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
I like photo #3....lots of loops of webbing wrapped around the thing.
I wonder if there's an OSHA description of exactly how, safety-wise, a crew is supposed to go about inspecting the Washington Monument for damage after an earthquake? (Maybe goes like "Section CXLVIII.R.92.a (iv): Post-earthquake inspection of government-owned obelisks")
On Wednesday, 7 August 1974, shortly after 7:15 a.m., Petit stepped off the South Tower and onto his 3/4" 6×19 IWRC (independent wire rope core) steel cable. He walked the wire for 45 minutes, making eight crossings between the towers, a quarter mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan. In addition to walking, he sat on the wire, gave knee salutes and, while lying on the wire, spoke with a gull circling above his head.
As soon as Petit was observed by witnesses on the ground, the Port Authority Police Department dispatched officers to take him into custody. One of the officers, Sgt. Charles Daniels, later reported his experience:
I observed the tightrope 'dancer'—because you couldn't call him a 'walker'—approximately halfway between the two towers. And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire....And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead he turned around and ran back out into the middle....He was bouncing up and down. His feet were actually leaving the wire and then he would resettle back on the wire again....Unbelievable really....Everybody was spellbound in the watching of it.
To be precise, free-soloist. Free climbing is when one uses a rope and protection but only as back-up, with progress up the climb made with only the hands/feet (sometimes the knees, hip, elbow, etc). Free soloing is that guy, no gear. Aid climbing is when one weights their protection, to rest or to advance upward.
I'd say young Alex Honnold has a 50/50 chance of living another five years. I've never climbed in the Valley, but the crux pitch of the route he soloed on Half Dome has a few incredibly sketchy moves, pure friction moves with hardly a wrinkle in the granite for the hands and feet. The Phoenix, shown on 60 Minutes, is rated 5.13a and the first time that rating was ever used on a rock climb was 1979. He's soloing what was at the limit of what guys were climbing with ropes thirty years ago.
Wasn't sure whether to put this here or on the Darwin Award thread. Don't think we've had any slacklining posts here. Google "Taft Point Yosemite slacklining" for more photos and videos. I was at Taft Point last Friday with my kids and there were some guys slacklining, but they had on climbing harnesses and a tether to the line, should they fall. And a long fall it would be....3000', no exaggeration. So some people, like Dean Potter, a climber who also solos a lot of rock climbs, have done it without a tether.