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Report - - Jib Climb - Quayside Luffer Crane, Newcastle upon Tyne 02/02/08 | High Stuff |

Report - Jib Climb - Quayside Luffer Crane, Newcastle upon Tyne 02/02/08

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
A while ago me and Kona were out for a spot of recceing in Newcastle City Centre when I spotted this beast. I knew it had to be done but Kona seemed slightly less keen :gay

After getting all the neccessary kit together and having a chat with a few climbers about my plan I set off with a friend to get this one done.

We approached the front of the building site but it was clear security were doing their rounds as we could see torch light in the building. We waited a while before heading round the back which was more out of the way, neighbouring some waste land. We couldn't spot any security systems, just the security men themselves. After lying in wait for a while and watching them go back to the security building we started crossing the site, sticking to the shadows. Unfortunately getting round the corner I realised two things I had not wanted to see. Firstly, the crane was right next to the security building entrance in plain sight, and secondly the crane was locked on the second or third level.

After hiding and waiting for security to return to their building we started our ascent, climbing around the outside of the locked level. We eventually reached the cab platform where we stopped to take snaps. I then explained to my friend exactly why I had been running round with a climbing harness on. Inspired by Lawrence and Userscott's excellent jib walks I had decided to climb the jib on this luffer crane, an idea which I don't think has been carried out by a 28DL member before. A scary prospect but one that somehow appealed to me. At about 60°, climbing it was a strange sensation.

Anyway, whilst my friend sat shivering in the cab I climbed the jib. Please note I did have safety equipment and would not advise doing this without it. It was an extremely slow ascent due the technique I used (I've thought of a quicker way for the next one :D) but I managed to get most of the way up in about 45 minutes before getting a phone call off my friend wingeing for me to come back because it was almost 2am and he was cold. HE was cold, sitting in a cab with the heater on. I was up the top of the jib shivering like mad, my hands so cold that at times I struggled with opening my karabiners, but HE was cold!

I came down a lot quicker then I went up. Probably too quickly though as I slipped at one point, both my legs leaving the metal. I was however attached securely so it wasn't too bad. I got down, unclipped myself and then went to see my friend in the cab.

Sitting in the cab I noticed security commencing another patrol so we decided it would be more sensible (as sensible as you can be climbing cranes) to sit in the cab and wait until they re-entered the security building. The second we saw them close the door we started our descent. Travelling pretty quickly down the ladders, we were shocked to see them at the base of the crane, only two floors below us. They had came out the office literally 2 minutes after entering it and we musn't have heard them open the door.

Luckily, we weren't spotted and they stood at the base shining torches around the site before heading off into the building on another patrol. It was time to leave, and quickly. If we weren't down and out of sight by the time they reached the top of the staircase we were sure to be seen. We made it down quickly and managed to escape with being seen.

Oddily it occured to be afterwards that the crane deck which had previously been locked was open on our descent. I guess this means they must have climbed the bottom couple of floors and unlocked it for some reason.

Anyway, the pictures:


The building itself.


The building alongside the crane.


The crane, viewed from the back of the site.


The platform, taken from the cab.


The cab itself. This one was very neat and tidy inside compared to other ones I've done. There were also slippers on the floor! Blue fluffy ones!


The Metro bridge (called the Queen Elizabeth?), my favourite of all of Newcastle's bridges.


The platform from atop the weights.


Newcastle's quayside does look great at night, even if it is over-photographed.


Me starting the jib ascent.

Sadly I didn't take my camera up the jib with me. Safety was paramount and photography comes below life so no pics from the top unfortunately. The view was unbeatable and it's probably the best climb I've ever done. Apoligies for the long story at the start but I felt it was neccessary since I talk a lot and since I didn't have any pictures from the jib.

Also hats off to the security guys down there who, although we slipped past, were doing a fantastic job and patrolled about 5 or 6 times in the 3 1/2 hours I was on the site. I don't think you could explore the site itself without being caught by them so well done them!
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