July 27, 2006

TWP Tips

So as part of the work week last week I finally sprayed the AT with this super wood preservative called Total Wood Preservative. You're supposed to do it every year, and I missed doing it last year - so it was now or never. Here's a picture of me climbing up preparing to spray.
It's so much fun to climb wearing blue rubber dish gloves.

It was good to get the thing sprayed - here's what I learned - I pass this along to any other programs out there who are trying to figure out the best way to do this. And to remind myself how to do this better.

1) Get a Grigri from Petzl and use it to self belay. Tie the rope at the bottom and then ascend a single strand. If you want to get tricky, put a releasable lowering system on the bottom so someone can let you down if you should pass out from the fumes or hit yourself on the head.

2) The backpack sprayer from Alpine Towers is great, but next time I'll duck tape the bottom and top of the shoulder straps to the frame. Due to some kind of safety feature they kept popping off while I was trying to climb.

3) Don't do this in the summer - or any time that it's warm! Next time I'll do this in the late fall or spring. Wear a tyvek protective suit including a hat, goggles and face mask. The TWP is nasty stuff.

4) I needed about 7 gallons to do the whole thing plus the three benches. Next year I'll buy one 5 gal. tank and a couple of 1 gallon ones.

5) Ladle some out first with an old pan or something to pour it into the backpack. When the 5 gal pail is very full it's very hard to pour without making a royal mess.

6) Get a very comfy work harness and designate a work rope for this purpose. I hung in the rope a lot - and everything got coated with airborn TWP.

Otherwise it was a lot of fun and the tower looks sharp.

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