Slide 1

Ladders of Celebration

February 18, 2015 0
New Orleans' Mardi Gras parade is known worldwide for the bright colours, cheerful music and flamboyant parades that attract onlookers of all ages.  The carnival flows through the streets, celebrating the city that hosts it. People line the pavements (or should that be sidewalks?) to watch the procession and join in with the fun, but for the younger generation it can be hard to make out what is going on from low down in the crowd. In the 1960s people started bringing ladders for children to sit on so they could watch the parade go by without their view being blocked by taller adults.  These were not ordinary ladders, that you or I might use, but evolved into brightly painted customised ladders that parents decorate for their children, especially to use at Mardi Gras. The ladders are usuall...
Read More

Crossing a River by Ladder

January 30, 2015 0
A ladder could be used as a rudimentary bridge across a small river in an emergency, but it is not the sort of equipment you would normally have to use in order to cross a river.  Unfortunately, villagers in Venpala, India, found themselves having to use a ladder to cross the Manimala River after local authorities failed to secure the land to build approaches to a new bridge. The bridge was built last year at a cost of £340,000, but the Kerala State Construction Corporation stopped work after building the bridge itself after they learnt that the local authority had not acquired the land needed to build the approaches.  With no way to reach the new bridge, the villagers on either side were forced to use a ferry to cross, meaning long waiting times.  The local civic council stepped in to pro...
Read More

Ladders For The Daring Only

January 25, 2015 0
Following on from our post about beaches that are only accessible by climbing a ladder we are going to look at ladders that are only accessible for people going on a long hike.  We start in Peru, close to Machu Pikchu, a common tourist destination and the site of the most familiar buildings of the Inca civilization.  The peak behind this important historical site offers fantastic views over the estate and the surrounding river valley and it can be climbed by the intrepid hiker.  Called Phutuq K’usi, the mountain gets its name from the round shape that faces Machu Pikchu, which translated from native Quechua means ‘budding cucumber’.Peruvian Ladders The hike to the peak takes you to 2,560 metres above sea level and takes around an hour and a half, but is recommended for reasonably...
Read More

Ladders of Fire and Ice

September 01, 2014 0
Temperatures were record breakingly low in the US during January, with some places experiencing -50°c with wind chill.  In Mansfield, Massachusetts, a fire in the Odd Fellow building needed 100 firefighters to extinguish it, which they managed before the blaze spread to neighbouring buildings.The fire on January 3rd happened during the cold weather and the water needed to extinguish the flames caused its own problems.  Almost every piece of equipment used got damaged from frozen valves and pumps and the building and surrounding area became encased in ice.  Pictures show dramatic icicles hanging from windows, doors and lamp-posts, as well as frozen cascades down the walls.   The next day, Plainville’s ladder truck was still iced over.Fire Deputy Chief James Puleo temporarily earned ...
Read More

Spiderman Uses a Ladder for a Rescue

August 28, 2014 0
A South African electrician who found his ladder wouldn't reach earned himself the nickname ‘Spider Man’ when he scaled the front of a building to rescue a 7-year-old boy who was trapped in the living room of his grandfather’s apartment. Luade Reddy had been in the shower when a fire broke out in the third floor flat at 10am. His grandfather, Moon, was in his bedroom at the time. When Luade came out of the bathroom he panicked and they both ran to the living room window to shout for help.Residents in the area of Durban, South Africa, had erected a ladder under the window, borrowed from Dicks Hardware Store opposite, but it was too short to reach the window. Meanwhile, other residents were trying to open the gate and access the flat to rescue the two people trapped inside.Local hero, ...
Read More

World of Ladders! - Haiku Stairs

August 06, 2014 0
From the name alone, it would be safe to assume that the Haiku Stairs are situated in Japan, but this is not the case, although the reason for their existence can be detected in Japan. The Haiku Stairs, also known as the Haiku Ladder and the Stairway to Heaven, is a hiking trail that was installed in order to facilitate the set up of radio communications in 1942. Antenna cables needed to be strung across the Haiku Valley, Oahu, Hawaii and the signals produced by the communication station could be picked up in Tokyo Bay and India, even though the signals were transmitted at a very low frequency. Originally, the trail was made so crews could access the cliff top at the height of the valley and took the form of a wooden ladder spiked into the cliff, but was replaced in the 1950s with metal st...
Read More

Hiking Up Ladders

October 04, 2013 0
The idea of installing a ladder near to the summit of Everest was in the news earlier this year: not such an odd idea when you consider some of the other mountains and peaks which feature ladders and other aids for climbers. The Drakensburg Mountains in South Africa, Carpathian Mountains in Europe and the Acadia National Park in America all feature ladders of some sort as an aid for climbers and hikers.Ladders For Hiking The Drakensburg Mountains are in Royal Natal National Park in South Africa and the most famous part of this range is the Amphitheatre. This natural rock feature is over three miles long and cliff faces, some of which rise more than four thousand feet, sit along the length of the valley. The world's second tallest waterfall, the Tugela Falls, is part of the Amphitheatre's c...
Read More

Chinese Children's Ladder to School

June 06, 2013 0
Now, we all know what climbing a ladder is ultimately for: to get to a high place that we otherwise could not reach. Well, these school children from Sangzhi county in rural Southern China, take this undisputed fact to a whole new level. Located high in the Badagong mountains, is a small remote village of around 100 residents. Totally cut off from the outside world, every single one (including pet dogs and livestock) has to make a terrifyingly precarious journey in order to reach the valley below.130 Feet of Ladders Using an assortment of rickety looking wooden ladders that reach a total of one hundred and thirty feet, adults and their children, some as young as five, climb up and down the sheer cliffs that surround their home. The ladders are unsecured, rest against vertical rock faces an...
Read More

Ladders to Scale the Roof of The World

May 30, 2013 0
Mount Everest is one of the most desirable climbs for any mountaineer and the peak is classed as "the roof of the world", along with other high peaks in the interior Asian mountain ranges. The last stage of the climb is known as the Hillary Step, after Sir Edmund Hillary, the man who first navigated the vertical face to reach the peak on 29th May, 1953, almost exactly sixty years ago. Nowadays, hundreds of people a year undertake and achieve the impressive feat, but the sheer numbers of people involved (not to mention that each climber or team is accompanied by a Sherpa, trained and experienced in that particular mountain) mean there is now a traffic jam around the Hillary Step. Already in 2013, more than 520 people have reached the summit, and given the short climbing windows available du...
Read More

Which Fish Can't Climb Ladders

May 27, 2013 0
 As regular readers will know, most fish can climb ladders (well, the ones that follow an upstream migratory path anyway). We've looked at fish ladders in the past, mostly because they're actually quite interesting and the mental image of a fish climbing a ladder is amusing! If you haven't seen it before I highly recommend our post in December last year where we gave some fun examples of the North American autumn Salmon migrations and their ladders. Fish ladders, for the uninitiated, have several types of construction, but the basic premise is a series of obstacles or pools which slow the water flow down and provide a bypass for man-made obstacles on the rivers such as dams.  The fish swim or jump from section to section in order to get upstream past the dam or other blockage.How to Build ...
Read More