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Report - Battersea Powerstation Chimney Climb - 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by fb, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. fb

    fb big in japan
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    I absolutely love Battersea Power Station. I know that's not very trendy, but there is a pretty special, incomparable vibe to the place. It could be its size, its iconic status, its position amongst some of the most valuable land in the UK, the fact you could very easily kill yourself just by moving around it, probably a combination of the lot..
    ..Way back in December, I was out on a mission with Katie and OllieGT (who I still owe breakfast) trying to get ourselves the very same chimneys we had in our sights for this latest jaunt. I remember it taking a very long time (jungle jim of a maze this place), and on reaching the base of the SW chimney, being knocked out by the view (as well as the trick to climbing the thing proper clicking into place).
    I'd read accounts of both of Stepping Lightly's accents of these monsters, and if the blurry iso3200 photos were anything to go by, the view at the top looked like something rather special indeed. Wanted it.
    Badly.

    It took 10 months before I found my sleep deprived self on the way to West London in the company of BigJobs, Millhouse and Sho. Sporting a car boot laden with more gear than a leading branch of GoOutdoors, we had our plan pretty much set, although the last time any of us had touched A-Side was the year previous (anyone who has been before will testify, access can be somewhat variable).

    The first thing to strike us as we hit Nine Elms Lane was that the power station facade was lit up like a Christmas tree, the back yard being full of trucks and tents.. My heart sank. The fk is this??
    Frantically checking our phones, we realised that there had been some event on the night previous, and they were on the pack down. While the activity in the yard might have disguised our entry, the flood lights on the chimneys would have certainly scuppered our ascent. Choosing to wait it out and get some kip, we crossed our fingers, hoping the flood lights would be killed and that the event staff would knock off for the night. We were proved right in less than 30 mins. Boom. With that, we went round the corner to a back street to prep our gear.

    [​IMG]
    observe: shit festival thing


    With no local help on hand – we just had to cross our fingers and hope the layout of the anti-explorertron measures hadn't changed too much after the number of people that had been caught there in the last six months. Luckily, the usual in was still good, and after a quick dash across no mans land and a scramble up some scaff, we were on the 3rd floor of the giant megaderp, surrounded by nothing but pigeons, concrete and rusty iron.

    Anyone who's had a go at A-side in the past will know its basically a level from Tomb Raider. The only way up (without having a go at all the wooden boards security have erected there) is lots of free climbing up lots of rusty girders with a death inducing number of feet to the ground on all sides.
    SideNote: Whoever rigged that big wooden ladder up to the old rope
    ladder.. Why?! It was fine before!


    It took an age to reach the base of the South West chimney, due to lots of once-good dead ends and new panels, but it was a perfect night for it. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, leaving us plenty of moon light to prep the gear we needed for the ascent. There wasn't much contest as to who was going to lead it. With the very real possibility of some seriously esoteric rigging at the top (he's the only man I know who can tie a Martian triple third sheep hitch), it had to be Jobs for the job.

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    Up he went, on a mammoth two hour mission. Slowly and steadily, bolt after bolt. All was going well, until about 40 mins in when the helicopter came which had the unfortunate characteristic of heading straight for us..
    While we all got down and stayed still, there was really nothing we could do but continue. Jobs clocked
    it, but just carried on, and eventually the chopper left – steering us away from the fate that befell ds, snappel and sl on their last attempt back in 08.

    [​IMG]
    photo by millhouse

    I can tell you now after a 2 hour belay, my neck was knackered by the time he came down, collapsing on the scaff platform next to us, utterly exhausted.

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    One by one, we all shot up the static line that jobs had anchored for us up top, got our snaps, and came down. Not to get too soppy about it, but it was utter magic. Being that high above one of the most iconic buildings in London with a perfect stary cloudless night. Brilliant!


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    The only bit of drama was a security patrol when Sho was 1/2 way up, necessitating a bit of retarded Cirque du Soleil maneuvering to swing himself round the opposite side of the chimney to the guards as they moved round the A Side yard.


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    Once everyone was down and safe, we packed down and shot down the scaff. Sho and Millhouse wanted to have a gander at control room A which was now sealed from all entrances. After a bit of monkeying around in the roof cavity, we called it quits and bailed, the only way you're
    getting in there now without being a crim is some rather time consuming rope access. It was getting light and we needed to move.

    Exhausted, and climbing down the way we came, we made our way out without a single hitch just as the sun was coming up.
    Jaunting down the road, rather full of ourselves, I felt as if I'd just put in a full day at work. Not surprising as we had clocked up nine hours inside Battersea Power Station.

    [​IMG]

    Mission and a half.

    (I swear the more you do this shit the worse your photos get..)
    Rest of the team should have some better shots than this.
     

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  2. Bigjobs

    Bigjobs Official Smartarse
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    Re: Battersea Powerstation Chimey Climb - 2012

    OK, my shots are shit. I know this, you know this. I don't care this time.

    They are in no particular order. THanks to the lads for waiting for me to get them sorted.

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    All in all, this was probably the most ontop feeling entry, and such a relaxed climb. I enjoyed every second of it.

    10/10 would urbex again
     
  3. Millhouse

    Millhouse 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Battersea Powerstation Chimey Climb - 2012

    The adventure begins:

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    And what an adventure this was! A totally surreal and amazing experience, hanging off the side of what could arguably be described as one of the most iconic chimneys around. Good effort everyone involved, the night was a real cracker - from working our way through the maze of girders, to falling asleep in the freezing cold due to exhaustion whilst watching Bigjobs climb, to ascending the side of the magnificent white chimney while being completely immersed in the moment. Brilliant!

     
    #3 Millhouse, Oct 10, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    [​IMG]

    Love that picture, sums it all up really. Look for cheap imitations coming this way soon.
     
  5. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Awesome report. I'd love to do Battersea. georgous building :thumb
     
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