I'm begging you - just don't.

Earlier this week, I was in a video conference call with colleagues at radio stations around the country.  In that meeting, someone mentioned that there was a movie due out soon where the plot revolved around people climbing a radio tower.

Poster for FALL
Lionsgate Film photo

Lionsgate Film photo

The movie is called FALL, and it comes out Friday, August 12th.  I watched the trailer, and here are the relevant plot points, so here's a spoiler warning if you haven't seen it.  Two women climb a broadcast tower that is:  a) very tall, as in several times taller than any of the towers around Great Falls, b) abandoned and in very poor condition, and c) in the middle of nowhere.  Because of those three things, they get trapped at the top of the tower and have to find a way to get themselves down.

Aside from the fact that it's an act of trespassing, here's why I'm begging you not to try this yourself.  It's just not safe, for multiple reasons.  Climbing those towers requires training and safety equipment.  Going freehand is not an option, and the stuff the protagonists bring with them is not the right gear.

More important is the high electricity and electromagnetic radiation involved in a working tower.  For those without a background in the field, here's the bare bones version.  Radio, TV, and cell phone towers broadcast using microwaves, as in the kitchen appliance, just far more powerful.  So if you get too close to an active antenna or dish for too long, you will cook yourself.  This is why, when a radio or TV station needs to do routine maintenance on a tower or towers, they have to shut down the tower(s) and go off air, so the workers don't electrocute and/or cook themselves.

If you prefer a visual demonstration that is safe for work/home, please take a look here or here.

I'm not saying don't see the movie, I'm just saying please don't do what the protagonists do yourself.  Some things just are just better left not done.

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