Friday, April 6, 2012

Up Top

So the time has come again that I, Andrew, post.  I realize this is why most of you follow the blog and apologize for the long delay between posts.  I have been busy doing stuff, let's just leave it at that.

So as I'm sure you're all asking yourselves in your myriad of languages, "Why is Andrew, who is great, posting today?  He must have something really good to say."

To which I respond my dear readers, you are correct.  I have recently scaled a 80+ meter (240 ftish) turbine and have captured the event to share with you.

I shall begin on the ground.

For those that cannot read Swedish this sign says "Welcome to the Grötlingbo wind turbines. Please climb
them and throw rocks down."  Seriously who leaves a gate open with a sign only in Swedish before
 something that could kill you?  In the US people put "peligro" and "achtung" on signs.
Here is a movie of my class standing by the above sign while an epileptic films the terrain and turbines.

Yes, enough of scenery let's get to the action.

There it is.  Just asking to be climbed.

Meh. Not that tall.  But it is shiny.

I peed on the tree to the left of the shadow.
This wasn't some old fashioned turbine, it was a big new sucker.  It even had an elevator (not pictured because this post isn't about the people who took the elevator to the top like chickens.  To you chickens who read this, bock bock.).  The elevator was two person and very slow.  Oh did I mention this was a race against the clock?  It was.  To climb the turbine it had to be off.  Something about...blah blah...dismemberment...electrocution...didn't really pay that much attention.  Anyhow when a turbine is turned off people are losing money.  Money the university had to pay them, so the ascent must be done as quickly as possible.

That's where the climbers came in.  Unable to abide by the interminable ride on the elevator, and ever aware of the ticking clock, three brave souls climbed the full 80 meters to the nacelle (the box on the top of the turbine).

Here we see the first of the climbers, Nikolaos the Greek.  The harness was cutting off blood flow to his brain.  He doesn't normally look like that.
There are unfortunately no pictures of my heroic climb up the turbine as my camera was sent up the elevator.  But rest assured I climbed the full 80 meters faster and with more grace than the others, hitting my head no more than 3 times.

This big blue thing is the generator.  It is where the magic happens.

Oliver and Niko up top.  Oliver is suffering from oxygen deprivation.

I think I saw something interesting?

I enjoy pointing in pictures.  It gives me something to do.

Nice broad gesture here.  I could be indicating the Baltic sea, or possibly the row of turbines on the horizon, but I'm not.  I'm stretching.

Okay.  So I wanted to walk around up here on the top of the nacelle.  They told me not to.  I told them I hadn't ever fallen off a turbine before.  They still said no.  I said I would stand in the middle and not jump a lot, just spin my arms like a turbine and make whooshing noises.  Still no.

The blades were pretty dang big.  Skit stora in fact.

The nacelle was surprising spacious.  Nearly the size of our first apartment.  Seriously.

I begin my heroic descent.
Well there it is.  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Expect another post tomorrow or Sunday.  It has been a busy week for our exploits.

Please comment your immense satisfaction.


  1. Thank you dear Andrew for sharing,that sucker is on the large scale.So you got to top first but found no egg, what happened to the Easter bunny? Oh ya how is the pee tree , still living i hope

  2. This all happened the Wednesday prior to Easter. There were no eggs and no bunnies. Had there been either in the nacelle I think I would have had to reevaluate my career path.

    The pee tree was fine last I saw of it. It seemed mostly indifferent and aloof, like all trees.

  3. Who knew that climbing a windmill could be so entertaining!

  4. We in the industry prefer wind TURBINE...

  5. Yes, excuse me, I really did mean turbine.