129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

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129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby dave » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:28 pm

Over the past couple of years, there has been a significant push to provide more cell phone coverage to the Catskill Mountains. This discussion is about a proposed tower above Twilight Park in the Kaaterskill Clove. It has been reported that a Public comment period will occur on January 2, 2018 at the Hunter Town Hall. But, there is no announcement at the Town of Hunter web site.

Over the past decade attempts to install cell phone towers was met with significant resistance and opposition. Most proposed cell phone towers were not approved. Mainly from significant opposition. But, in the past couple of years the opposition has been declining, and it is now at approximately 50%. Never-the-less, about 30 proposed cell phone towers are moving forward in the Catskills. This is being driven by Gov Cuomo, and down the political chain to local officials. And, they are determined to go forward with little input from the public.

Officials in the Catskills state that one of the primary reasons for the need of cell phone towers is because hikers want them for safety reasons. This is simply not true. Most hikers across the country are very much opposed to cell phone tower in hiking regions. The Catskills are no exception. Many hikers now carry SPOTs or PLBs for safety. Due to the deep ravines, cell phone coverage just doesn't work, where a PLB would. Furthermore, hikers are now using their cell phones as GPS tracking devices. So, hikers don't see cell phone towers as an advantage. They see it as a disadvantage. While people traveling in cars, or using their cell phones as phones in their homes would be the primary reason for installing cell phone towers. Many homes in Twilight Park do not have land lines, so they see this as an advantage.

Over the last couple of years, the cell phone industry has been pushing to change the frequency of cell phones to the range used by FM radios. In this case, a single tower would cover a 50 mile radius. The need for 30 cell phone towers in the Catskills would be a mute point in the future. Then the community in the Catskills will be stuck with rusting towers. We will get stuck with the bill for taking them down.

The primary disadvantage of a cell phone tower in Twilight Park would be that it would stick up far above the tree line. It is proposed to be 129' high, where the tree height is approximately 40' high. So, it will stick up above the tree line by about 90'. It will be an eye sore. It is not proposed to be a camouflaged tower to look like a tree. It will be a galvanized piping, that would have a significant reflection from almost anywhere in the Kaaterskill Clove. With the way that the sun light shines up the clove in the morning, and afternoon, it will be an eye sore for almost every one. AT&T has taken an intolerant position on it's location and height. If AT&T can't have their way, then they are not going to install a tower. AT&T's position is that they are only concerned about car traffic and homes in the clove and surrounding area. They don't care about hikers. AT&T refuses to consider other locations for the tower, or modifications to the tower. Officials say that the tower will provide signals on the trail to Kaaterskill Falls. But, due to the shape and walls of the Lake Creek Clove, cell phone reception will continue to be a problem there.

We understand that there is a need for more cell phone reception in the Catskills. But, we need to be wise about where we place them, the ability to remove them easily at a future date. If they really want to put a tower in the Kaaterskill Clove then, at a minimum, it should look like a tree. But, the wise position would be to wait for better technology in the near future.

Cell Phone Tower that looks like a tree

Cell Phone Tower that sticks way above the tree line
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby dundee » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:15 am

I won't be able to make a public meeting, but I can write a letter. Can you let me know when a meeting is scheduled or an address of the Hunter Town hall? thanks.
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby Jadugaar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:46 pm

http://townofhuntergov.com/planning-pub ... ruary-6th/

The Town of Hunter Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing for the proposed Tower North Cell Tower on the lands of Twilight Cottagers ( parcel id # 183.09-2-24) on Tuesday February 6th, 2018 at 7PM at the Town of Hunter Town Hall; 5748 Rte 23A Tannersville . Tower North Development, LLC as the applicant proposes the installation of an unmanned public utility / personal wireless service facility on the northwest side of Squirrel Rd. The project includes construction of a 125 ft monopole (overall height 129 ft- includes 4 ft lightning rod), associated 80’ x 40’ equipment compound and improvements/ development to access road. All interested parties may offer comment at that time.
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby TwilightMountaineer » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:46 pm

[The author has minimized this post which was inadvertently duplicated by the following one.]
Last edited by TwilightMountaineer on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby TwilightMountaineer » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:49 pm

Hello, all.

I am a mountaineer with more than 50 years' experience, beginning with overnight Catskills summit trips as a pre-teen.

I am also a lifelong summer resident of Twilight Park.

Five days ago, I tried to contact member Dave to discuss some inaccuracies in his post re the proposed cell tower in Twilight Park.

Since I have received no reply, even while Dave has been active on this site, I am going directly to the many who have read his post (480 as I write this).

Below, you will find what I sent Dave on the 25th.

To summarize what I think are the three most important points (There are other inaccuracies. See below):

1) "Stick-up height" height (above treetops) will be 35' to the top of the visible part (above which there will be 4' of slender lightning rod), not 90'.

2) The tower will provide both a cell signal and Greene County emergency services communications to areas not now covered by either, including the accident nexus of Kaaterskill Clove/Falls.

3) PLBs and SPOTs are not a viable alternative to cell/emergency services coverage as a means of summoning help for Catskills travelers who get in trouble.

Regarding the burden of proof, which the blog rules place on a person responding to a post:

3) Convincing evidence for the irrelevance of PLB/SPOT technology can be found on this very site. None of the 28 incident reports covering all of 2017 (on CatskillMountaineer as of a week ago when I did my research) mentioned either of those specialized emergency communication devices. Most reports mentioned, and most of the rest implied, that a cell phone in the possession of the party in trouble, or in a few cases a passerby, was used to text or call family, DEC, or 911. Please read those reports.

2) These facts are well known to the year-around residents of "the Mountaintop", the area above Kaaterskill Clove, and will be confirmed at the Planning Board meeting.

1) I personally have triangulated a couple of trees at the proposed tower site, representative of the height of the other trees there, at 90'. At a minimum, the tower company's estimate is 80'. On Thursday, Jan. 25, I offered to give Dave a tour of the site on Saturday 1/27, so he, too, could personally assess the tree height. I got no reply.

Thanks for giving fair-minded attention to this issue.

-- TwilightMountaineer, Jan 30, 2018, 3:46 PM

Dave, Thanks for the add and for providing this meeting place for Catskills mountaineering.

Could we talk about your post re the Twilight cell tower? I can be reached at [Number Redacted] (except when in Twilight Park, b/c ... no cell signal) or by email at the above.

There are some factual errors in your post.

As an example, the cell company thinks tree height at the site is 80', not 40' per you (or, as seems more likely, per whoever misinformed you), and that's actually conservative. On one of my hikes to the site, I personally triangulated two representative trees and got 90'.

There is a possibility I could take you to the site, Saturday, if you are interested.

The tower will not be shiny galvanized metal. Its top will look like the thumbnail on the main CatskillMountaineer page next to the listing of the post, or maybe darker grey or dark green. (It will not be a Frankenfir, much less one standing on bare ground, or an old-time red/white lacework, as in the two photos accompanying the body of the post.)

Nor will it become a rusting derelict, both because of a contractual provision requiring removal in the event of non-use and because the tower company is required to post a bond (running to the town) guaranteeing performance of that duty.

As you know, the tower will provide cell coverage, vital for summoning first responders, in Kaaterskill Clove, including generally in the Kaaterskill Falls area. Yes, that side canyon is a bit snaky, like the clove itself, but it opens directly toward the tower site, and is still the scene of multiple incidents annually, even after trail "idiot proofing".

But, are you aware that the tower will also support the Greene County first responder net, which will have antennas on it? Currently first responders in the Clove have a lot of trouble communicating back to their base.

As for PLB's, etc., I read all of the 2017 incident reports on the website. Most make it clear (and most of the rest imply) that a cellphone in possession of the party in trouble or of a passerby was used to contact 911 or DEC. None mention a SPOT or PLB being used.

However widespread their use may be among experts, they just aren't carried by the casual hikers who are most numerous and, on top of that, on a trip for trip basis, are more likely to get into trouble.

Again, I hope to hear from you, soon.

-- [Name Redacted] TwilightMountaineer [Jan. 25, 4 PM]

P.S.: perhaps I should say a bit about my mountaineering experience: lots of summer hiking and overnights in the Catskills as a kid and with my kids; Adirondacks and Mt. Washington in both summer and winter; numerous high peaks out west in the lower 48; Mt Robson in the Canadian Rockies (via the Kain Face); several big peaks in Central and South America, up to Illimani at (21,100'); rockclimbing in the Gunks, Seneca rock, Tetons, and Yosemite (including the grade V South Face of Washington's Column); a multiday ski tour in the Yosemite high country; some waterfall ice climbing; etc. (BTW, never with guides.)
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby TwilightMountaineer » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:00 pm

A representative of CatskillMountaineer wrote to me that, "Our primary issue is that it should blend in with the mountainside.", and suggested that the tower should get the fake tree treatment.

But Dave’s post which started this thread goes well beyond that. It contains both scare arguments, that the tower’s visual impact will be far greater than in actuality, and soothing arguments that it isn’t really needed since use of alternative technologies (communicating to satellites) is more widespread than it is or that cell phones which use FM to talk to a few, widely spaced towers are just around the corner.

The fact is that this tower is vitally needed now to provide cell coverage in Kaaterskill Clove, ascended by a dangerous, heavily traveled road, and its side Canyon containing Kaaterkill Falls, which is the site of heavy hiking activity, often undertaken by, …, well, not by mountaineers. Not only do cell phones not work there, but emergency communications, especially back to base, do not work well there, either.

The proposed tower would carry both cell base station panels and Greene County emergency services antennas.


Let me say first of all that, personally, I do think there may be a case for a "Franken Fir" approach, compared to a bare tower top which would look something like the large thumbnail associated with this thread on the main CatskillMountaineer website. A tower top that pokes up looking like the top third of the fake tree that accompanies the main body of the thread maybe can be more easily missed in a casual glance.

But, the advantages aren’t entirely on that side:

1) The fake tree treatment inevitably makes the tower top wider and fuller, and thus more visible, if you look right at it.
2) The tower will stick up above the surrounding tree canopy by only 35 to 45 feet, not the 90 feet asserted.
3) There are scattered trees in the area (Spruces, I believe) which also stick up by several tens of feet, so there will not be just the one “sore thumb”.
4) Those sticking up real trees, however, look very different from the standard fake tree tower tops, having a few very broad horizontal limbs, rather than a lot of vertical ones.
5) Lastly, such fake tree treatments are more expensive than bare towers, possibly enough so to kill the deal.


Surely somewhere among the coatings on any tower there is an anticorrosive layer. If it literally is galvanicly applied zinc, all I can say is either the overlayers are very long lasting or there is periodic repainting, because I have never seen a bright, shiny cell tower.

So, it is hard to worry that this tower will be the first.


To be blunt, there is no support for the assertion that the trees at the site are only 40 feet high, not in Dave’s post or in a follow-up email from another representative of the site. Both representatives ignored or declined my offer of a visit to the site.

The tower company says 80’. I was skeptical of that and so I went to the site and carefully triangulated the heights of two representative trees (not extra tall ones), using a homemade theodolite. I got 90’, I would guess +/- 5’, possibly +/- 10’. In the email the CatskillMountaineer representative asserted that most species in the Catskills top out at 60 to 80 feet, tacitly abandoning the 40’ assertion.

Quite simply, the trees at the proposed site are 80’ at a minimum, must likely 90’, and possibly higher.

Therefore, the tower stick up height, above the surface formed by the crowns of its immediately surrounding trees, will most likely be 35’, or maybe as much as 45’, but not 90’. (Note the tower is essentially 125’ high. The remaining 4’ of its total 129’ will be a very slender lightning rod.)

Let’s make no mistake though: Because the tower will be on a North facing slope, high above the South side of Kaaterskill Clove (at about 2300’), more than just the stick up part of the top will be visible from some vantage points on the other side which can look into the small cleared area surrounding the tower. But, from such positions one will also see houses, and maybe other buildings, roads, other utility poles, etc.

The Catskills just aren't part of the great North woods, and haven't been for a couple of centuries.

Where the 40’ figure, used to support a claim that the tower will stick up 90’ above surrounding trees, came from apparently will remain a mystery. Why that assertion was put in front of readers of CatskillMountaineer I leave for them to decide.


Could that happen? Not only maybe, but certainly it will, sooner or later.

Will it be via some form of FM cell phone that only needs towers every 50 miles? I doubt it. While you are in Kaaterskill Clove, listen to how bad your favorite Albany FM broadcast station, probably about a 1000 watt signal coming from a tower about 40 miles away, sounds. Given that, I can’t see how a 1 watt handheld can be heard by even a high tower that far away.

"Most hiking parties have at least one SPOT or PLB.", says the CatskillMountaineer

Then how come NOT A SINGLE ONE of the 28 incidents (often minor) in the Catskills in 2017, as reported on that website, involved one? Most of the writeups clearly showed that a cell phone was used to get help.

"The groups most likely to need help are inexperienced hikers and very experienced hikers."

That sounds right, and it may well be that the few very experienced ones, when, rarely, they get into trouble, will be able to pull out such a device and signal to a satellite.

Should the inexperienced also carry a satellite transponder?

It is easy to say "sure", but for that one trip a year, maybe undertaken on the fly? A trip for which a cheap backpack and sleeping bag, together costing under $100, was a big investment?

The get out of the city and get far enough from the road to get into trouble once a year types will never carry PLBs or SPOTs. Why should they? They have a cell phone in their pocket and those work "everywhere", and always, right?

Yes, it may be naive for them to think that, but should they die for that mistake? Is it really reasonable to expect 76 year old Delaware County hunters to carry PLBs?

And, what about those who never venture into the woods? Surely it is not the position of Catskills mountaineers, generally, that every resident of The Mountaintop (the area from Haines Falls west), needs to have a satellite device in their car for when they might need to drive up or down the Clove during an ice storm.


This is a valid concern.

The first two lines of defense are clear: a) The tower company is contractually required to remove the equipment soon after it stops paying rent. b) It also must post a bond, running to the town of Hunter, before construction begins, to guarantee that performance.

But a CatskillMountaineer representative warns that bonding companies, if faced with waves of such claims, may balk at paying. Speaking as someone with 25 years of experience in the property casualty insurance industry, in such a scenario, some insurers might try to fight the first few claims, but, c) they will lose and eventually paying will be cheaper than fighting, and then having to pay.

d) If it were to become clear that no funds were available to remove an abandoned tower, a few pounds of dynamite would drop the tower below tree level and make available a considerable amount of valuable scrap.


This is also, I am sorry, just plain wrong.

The tower will be placed right across the main clove from the side clove, close to being on the side clove's axis.


You can't really understand how ill-conceived opposition to this particular tower is until you have sat on my porch, once again listening to a chopper hover in the Clove on a summer weekend afternoon, and wondered whether this time they will get to the victim soon enough.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

(Note: I am a member of the Twilight Park community, but write strictly in a personal capacity.)
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby mtnclimber » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:04 am

Wow Twilightmountaineer! That is quite the manifesto!

Never heard of a tree grove that was 90' high. What species are the trees?

Are all the trees there 90' high?

What are the heights of the other trees?

Are they tightly packed?

I think what Dave reported is that 40' might be the lowest height tree, so there could be visibility down to that level. Especially from the Escarpment Trail that sits higher up.

I hike every week, and every group I hike with has a PLB or SPOT or InReach. Even with cell phone reception, sometimes it is too cold for them to work. Cell phones just are not reliable. Furthermore, in the deep ravines, cell phones aren't going to work. Most hikers don't consider cell phones as a reliable device.

I have always been able to get some cell phone reception near Kaaterskill Falls.

Can you post the Terms and Conditions of the Bond for the tower? Often times there are exclusions.

BTW - there are radio stations in NYC that reach 150 miles up to the Catskills.
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby TwilightMountaineer » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:46 pm

Hi, mtnclimber. Thanks for reading my post(s?).

[This is a second attempt to respond; the first went up in smoke.]

“Never heard of a tree grove that was 90' high. What species are the trees?

Are all the trees there 90' high?

What are the heights of the other trees?

Are they tightly packed?”

The area is mature deciduous forest, probably second growth, with the former climax community of hemlock forest (which possibly dated back to the little ice age?) I expect having been logged over in the mid 19th century. The area immediately around the site is over 90% maple, of several species. The trees measured were representative of those whose crowns form the top surface of the forest canopy. Are there places where, even when the trees are in leaf, there is nothing directly above some point, so that the forest height at that precise point is zero? Probably, but this is s fairly dense stand of substantially 90’ high trees.

“I think what Dave reported is that 40' might be the lowest height tree, so there could be visibility down to that level. Especially from the Escarpment Trail that sits higher up.”

One or a few 40’ trees scattered among a stand of 90’ trees will have no effect.

However, there is a kernel of truth here. If you are above the plane of the downsloping to the north surface where the tower will be situated and somewhere north of the tower (i.e., at a southward view on the Escarpment Trail?), you could see, looking at a converging angle toward the (from that point) upsloping surface of the forest in which it is set, even over a screen of 90’ trees, somewhat more of the tower. This is because the screen must stop a bit short (50’? 100’?) of the tower so that the tower will be set in a small clearing.

But, to be on that other, southward sloping, north side of the clove, a) you will necessarily be pretty far away, so the whole business will subtend a small angle of view, and b) you will have, unless you are quite far away, only a small converging angle, so you won’t see much more of the height.

Further, from any high vantage point, with a long range view, you wll see lots of other signs of human presence. The Catskills just aren't the middle of the Maine woods.

“I hike every week, and every group I hike with has a PLB or SPOT or InReach.”

I think there is a disconnect between the practices and level of equipment of this community and that of the casual hiker. Even though they are much less often in the woods, they come from a much more numerous population and are, surely, more likely, on a per trip basis, to get into enough trouble to call for help.

Maybe that “trouble” would be something like getting lost, benighted – without a light – or suffering some minor injury, which you or, maybe, I would not have or would self rescue from. But, again, their incidents are so much more numerous that they will also make up the preponderance of serious incidents.

And these folks, the out once or twice a year people, already have trouble justifying to themselves, a spouse, etc., the expense of basic equipment, boots, backpack and sleeping bag. They just will not buy the satellite devices, when they already have a communicator which “always” works, “everywhere”, in their everyday experience. Naïve, yes; but that is the thinking.

What is my proof for this? Again, NOT A SINGLE ONE of the 28 incidents from 2017 on CatskillMountaineer.com, as of a couple of weeks ago when I read all of them, mentioned a satellite device. Most writeups made it clear that a cell phone was used to get help and most of the rest are suggestive of that.

“Even with cell phone reception, sometimes it is too cold for them to work. Cell phones just are not reliable. … Most hikers don't consider cell phones as a reliable device.”

Sure, lots of people don’t know to keep a cell phone in an inside pocket in cold weather. Others will forget to charge it, or pay their bill. No technology is foolproof.

“Furthermore, in the deep ravines, cell phones aren't going to work.”

Well, really, this is the whole point, isn’t it?

Even towers which are within the usual spacing will not work in a ravine if they are on the opposite slope of one of the bounding mountains. That is why there is a need for a tower which specifically looks into (and so, unavoidably, may be seen from) Kaaterskill Clove.

“I have always been able to get some cell phone reception near Kaaterskill Falls.”

Some cell phones work some places sometimes. Why would a cell carrier want an expensive tower where, you say, there is already cell coverage and besides there are not many residences?

Let me answer that question, somewhat speculatively: I suspect that the carriers are under intense pressure from government to close this gap in their coverage because this particular, notoriously uncovered, ravine has a major, heavily traveled, steep and snaky road, and a major “attractive nuisance” which, even after expensive state idiot proofing of trails near Kaaterskill Falls continues to be the scene of frequent incidents.

Further, the lack of coverage also applies to emergency communications. First responders, even if they have been summoned, sometimes by a companion of the victim having to go on foot to Haines Falls to seek a land line – there is no coverage there either – have trouble communicating back to their bases when they are in the clove.

“Can you post the Terms and Conditions of the Bond for the tower? Often times there are exclusions.”

I can’t, but a committee of Twilight Cottagers, which included several lawyers, including two with telecommunications experience, which negotiated the lease, was satisfied with its terms, including on this specific point.

“BTW - there are radio stations in NYC that reach 150 miles up to the Catskills.”

Please don’t tell me that NYC AM stations can be heard (at least at night) in the Catskills, or that maybe there are some points high on unobstructed south facing slopes, say Hurricane Ledge on High Peak, where the more powerful NYC FM stations can be heard.

The challenge posed by Dave stands as something seemingly easier, but in fact much harder: Talk BACK to a tower less than 50 miles away – so just Albany, no need to go to NYC – via some future FM band cell system’s handset, presumably, like today’s cell phones, radiating no more than about 1 watt, and with no antenna extension, but from deep in just the same kind of ravine where we both agree even a much closer cell tower, under current technology, if it doesn’t have line-of-sight into that ravine, will not hear current cell phones.

And to that, I proposed a simple hurdle, to test whether that particular pipe dream of a future FM cell / distant towers technology had a chance of being plausible:

Tell me that your car FM can get a clear signal from the Albany classical station, WMHT, 89.1, coming up through the Clove on 23-A, and I might begin to believe that some day a 1 watt hand held can be heard talking back to it from there.

My car gets it fine at 2000’ in Twilight Park, but does not get a useable signal in the Clove. Come to think of it, during my free trial, my car would lose SiriusXM at some points in the Clove, too. (So much for sat. comms.?)
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby TwilightMountaineer » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:58 pm

Here is the description of the procedure I used to measure what turned out to be the shorter of the two trees I measured (90 ¾ feet):

On April 20, 2016, I went back [to the proposed site] with a 50' tape, a 2' level, which has a protractor on it, and a camera tripod -- together, a home brew theodolite. I picked two trees to measure. I didn't pick especially tall trees -- no thumb was on the scale -- but ones representative of the height of dozens of trees, the preponderance, around the site. (Indeed, I was careful not to inadvertently support what I still thought was an overestimate of the tree height.) The only way the chosen trees differed from their neighbors was that they had a somewhat simpler crown structure, neither widespread, nor skewed much to one side, which would make it easier to get a sightline on the top.

On both of them I was surprised to get angles to their tops, from a point 50+ feet away from the base, and level with it, of +/- 61 degrees. If you need to look up at a 61 degree angle to the top of something, with your eye on the level of its base and 51' away from it, it is 92' high.


Tree 2 (the shorter):

Photo 2094 shows the 50' tape laid out toward the level, from the tree, where it is tied so that zero feet is a point on the center of the left side.
Photo 2096 shows that the level is on the level.
(Note that the tripod, level, and protractor were not moved throughout the sequence of photos.)
Photo 2100 shows it pointing to the base of the tree.
Photo 2102 shows the sight along the protractor to the top of the tree.
(Tree 2 is the one on the left whose top does not extend above the top of the frame.)
Photo 2103 shows the 50' mark on the tape at the 21" point on the level.
Photo 2104 shows the protractor set at the 5" point on the level.
(Thus, distance to the base is 51 1/3 feet.)
Photo 2106 shows the protractor set at 60.5 degrees, as it was in photo 2102.
Photos 2107-2111 show the calculation: tangent of 60.5 degrees is 1.767; times 51.333 feet, gives a height of 90 3/4 feet.

[I'm going to omit the photos for now, as they are each 3-5 meg. Ill try to figure out how to post them.]

Certainly this is not a procedure that is accurate to the inch or even to the foot. With the eyeballing of the angle, the straightness or not of the tree, etc., I would think the error is +/- 5' (corresponding to an error in the estimation of the angle, most likely the major source of error, of about 1.5 degrees).

But, I would be very surprised if that tree is either shorter than 80 feet or taller than 100 feet.

Could I have faked the photos? Of course.

For the record: I didn't.

And, I recently offered to take a representative of CatskillMountaineer.com to the site, and was declined.
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Re: 129' Cell Phone Tower in Twilight Park

New postby mtnclimber » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:27 pm

I serious doubt that the trees are 90' high. Maples max out around 50-75'. And if the leaves are not on the trees, then you will be able to see all 129' of the tower. So, I guess Dave's report of 40' being the lowest possible visibility is wrong. It should be 0'. Maybe he was using an average of 0' and 80' between summer and winter.

I would imagine that the engineers used the 80' as the tallest possible tree species in the Catskills. Otherwise, they would have to make the tower even higher.

The houses in Twilight Park are quite visible from the Escarpment Trail, so the tower will be quite visible.

People do keep their cell phones in their inner pocket. But, when you take them out in cold weather they stop working almost instantly. Like I said before, cell phones are a poor choice for an emergency device. PLB and SPOT work completely differently. SPOT and InReach are used often in rescues. Under Federal Law PLB's can only be activated if there is no other option, and the person will die if you don't use it. Just because it isn't written up in the News report doesn't mean that it wasn't used.

Kaaterskill Falls does get a lot of News coverage, but there are quite a few other rescues that don't have coverage. Even after the tower is put up, there will be many dark spots in the clove.

I get good radio coverage in the clove. Had no problem with XM either.

When I talked with a guy who works for an insurance company that does these kinds of bonds, he was pretty sure that when that frequency is changed, it will fall under an exclusion. It would be good if you could publish the T&C.
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