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London Eye FA (Read 4466 times)

tommytwotone

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London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 12:56:26 am
Seems someone has cranked out the first ascent of the eye...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/5190736.stm

Anyone care to own up? Offer a grade? Was it S O'C - then Shirley E12 or summat??  ;)

Houdini

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#1 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 07:09:29 am
I can reveal it was Rich (Bitch) Cross.


And it was dry-tooled!

Bonjoy

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#2 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 09:27:20 am
 Certainly not the FA, because that was me  8) .

 I was working for CAN at the time as part of a roped access team installing various bits, including attaching the 'spokes'. A day or so after the wheel had been cranked upright the engineering company threw a celebratory bash at a pub over in Blackfriars. Our team leader who was days away from leaving his job and the UK to set up in the states had a few too many free beers and started bragging to all and sundry about how he was going to climb the wheel the next day. He wanted the FA and didn't care if it got him the sack cos he was off anyway.
 Next morning we were all sat in the site canteen nursing grim hangovers, all thoughts of wheel ascents kicked into the long grass, when in walks the media circus! Word must have got around about this wheel ascent and Carlton TV and the Daily Mail ( :wank:) had been called in. We were given official permission for the ascent and given film and still cameras to take up.
 As the other level three on the job I was picked as the second person to go up the thing along with Gaz the TL.
 As the access ladder around the rim of the wheel was not complete the only option was to climb the ladder up one of the legs onto the top of the spindle and then prussic the last 200+ feet up the spokes on slings. In order to effect an abseil retreat we were also to drag up 150m of static rope trailling off our harnesses.
 Me and Gaz both set off at the same time up seperate spokes. He put too many raps on his prussic and had a real struggle working them up as he went. I put too few and made quick progress but kept experiencing very disconcerting slips down the cable. The prussicing was very arduous due mostly to the ever increasing weight of ab rope blowing in the wind below. As a result of the prussic rapping I ended up beating Gaz to the top and bagging the FA. :dance1:
 When I got to the top I had to hold a radio interview with the guy from Carlton, which was very embarassing as he kept asking me what I could see from up there, and as I had as much interest in London then as I do now I naturally had no idea what any of the buildings were except Big Ben, which is only spitting distance away anyway. They aired the interview that evening anyway and we got more free booze for our troubles :beer2:.
 The Daily Mail refused to give us any money for the pics, so we held there uber-plush journo camera to ransom for two weeks (claiming we may have mislaid it), until they stumped up a couple of hundred each for me and G  :greed:. How we laughed.
 I have a photo that was taken from the top of the Shell building behind the eye, of us on our way up the spokes. I'll try and remember to scan and post it later.

Bonjoy

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#3 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 09:29:45 am
 The first 'free' ascent was by some base jumpers a few days later when the rim ladder was more complete.

Houdini

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#4 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 09:31:46 am
Great Post.   And a fine Tale.  :thumbsup:

About time the frog with a western fetish got his lazy scaredy-cat ass up this methinks.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2006, 09:33:43 am by Houdini »

Falling Down

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#5 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 09:51:47 am
Great story Bonos - have some waddage...

Bonjoy

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#6 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 09:01:27 pm

I'm on the left.

Ru

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#7 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 10:29:16 pm
Have more waddage from me. I wish this had been posted a bit earlier (or indded if I'd mentioned it to Bonners whaen I talked to him earlier) as I've just mentioned it as part of a news article for Climb. Will have to get on the phone...

unclesomebody

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#8 Re: London Eye FA
July 19, 2006, 11:51:54 pm
Luckily that's not your only evidence... a blurry out of focus shot...

very good story, and definite wad points.

SA Chris

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#9 Re: London Eye FA
July 20, 2006, 07:42:07 am
Pre and Post photo wad points awarded. That looks well scary.

Houdini

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#10 Re: London Eye FA
July 20, 2006, 08:10:39 am
Hmmm... Undecided whether climbing cables is fun or a chore.  Climbing fixed but untensioned/super-slack cables can be a laugh (if you can't deck/clonk something if you slip): wrap both cowtails around it and hand over hand.  Good footless training handicapped with tools.

Johnny Brown

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#11 Re: London Eye FA
July 20, 2006, 08:32:58 am
Effort word. Having my training head on this week though, I'm not sure your rescue plan would pass scrutiny...  <analmoticon>

Houdini

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#12 Re: London Eye FA
July 20, 2006, 08:51:53 am
Yeah - it would give Parkin double eye hernias - no bad thing   :o:whistle:

Falls under Non-UK techniques...




(The tails roll and lock.  Muchos friction: slide slow and easy, Boss...)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2006, 08:54:51 am by Houdini »

Bonjoy

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#13 Re: London Eye FA
July 20, 2006, 09:05:34 am
 Our rescue plan was all level 4 stuff, you wouldn't understand JB  ;).
 Part of the fun of those sort of jobs was that you could get official sanction for doing unorthodox, interesting, conceivably dangerous stuff. When there is no previous precedent, nobody can come up with anything safer, the job needs doing, the budget is vast and time is (big)money. Like we used to zip line from the hub down slightly down sloping cables on chains of crabs done up really tight (with slack backup strops for brakes of course) as a quick way of getting to the 3 or 9 o'clock positions.

Bubba

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#14 Re: London Eye FA
July 20, 2006, 09:31:58 am

Nice one Bonjoy :) :)

 

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