UTS Tower Abseil

As part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations for UTS, we were asked to abseil down the western face of the UTS Tower builind (building 1).

For years we’ve all looked up at what has been called the Ugliest Tower in Sydney and dreamed of what it would be like to abseil off it. Now was our chance!

According to the surveyor’s data, we would be abseiling from the roof down to level 6 – 105m!

Almost 30 people expressed interest in the abseil – this meant 2 ropes would be essential. With some help from the union, we purchased 2 new rolls of 9mm rope especially for this abseil, because we don’t normally have need for 110m ropes!

5 of us met at 9am on the morning of the abseil with enough gear to fill a 4wd. After hauling it up to the roof we set about rigging, organising harnesses & name tags for everyone and putting up signs.

We setup 2 main abseil ropes and a separate rescue line (11mm), complete with bolt on haul system, reversible brake and load-line lower – just in case there were any problems. Having several of our members as qualified vertical rescue personnel can be very handy – and Kevin Dawson from BWRS (a vertical rescue instructor) dropped in to give us a hand (keep an eye on us?) as well.

We also put in a 40m rope for our resident photographer to use. Some of the crowd were heard to gasp “Oh no – his ropes too short! He’s going to die!” when Andrew first appeared on the rope to take photos!

Starting about 1pm, everyone safely descended in pairs, with the last of us finishing as it got dark.

Despite the darkness, packup was swift thanks to lots of help. All the gear was bundled into the car and we headed home.

All in all it was a fanstastic day. Any abseil that large would rate highly, but with a perfectly clear day and the Sydney city backdrop it was just awesome! By all reports the event organisers were very happy with our display as well.

Here’s to hoping we get another chance before too long!


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