Hammocks are a great tool to use for outdoor relaxation. However, one group of Utah teens recently decided to hang their hammocks at the bases of incredibly high-voltage powerlines.
According to KSL TV, Weber County Utah’s local news station, the trend of climbing the hills outside the city to set the hammocks up beneath the powerlines is a result of the incredible view.
The news station spoke with 16-year-old local Lauren Rees. Rees took part in the hammock hangs with her friends about a year ago. That was before she realized how truly dangerous the habit was.
“All my friends were doing it,” she told KSL. “It’s what you do and they would always go up.”
The news feature shows a brief clip of the hammocks set up beneath the powerline structures, high above the city. And while the view at the base of the powerlines is stunning itself, others decided to climb even higher. Photos shared with the outlet featured several teens climbing high up on the power structures. One photo showed an individual perched just below a 75-thousand kilovolt power line.
County Representatives Set Up a Hammocking Area Elsewhere
“At the time [they went] I was scared,” she admitted to the news outlet. “And I figured it probably wasn’t the best idea that I was doing it, but I didn’t know I was trespassing.”
Because of the popularity of the trend and the danger associated with it, the Weber County Deputy’s office plans to send extra patrols up by the lines. Patrols plan to search areas both in North Ogden and Pleasant View.
For those who do continue to trespass near the powerlines, law enforcement plans to cite and fine those individuals caught.
To encourage a safer method of relaxation for teens, North Ogden installed a hammocking area in Oaklawn Park. However, KSL did point out that the new park area is lacking as far as the view goes.
While the images provided to viewers by the news source show hammocking poles set up for that reason exactly, it’s, unfortunately, surrounded by trees. Initially a good idea inspired by good intentions, it’s unclear how effective the park area will be.
Rees highlighted the fact when she told the news outlet.
“It doesn’t have the view and I don’t think they can pull as much attention to the spot without the view.”
While the installation of the hammock poles by Rocky Mountain Power was a good initiative, the western states offer a lot of mountainous regions with multitudes of spectacular views. Should the county look into installing a second hammocking area at a higher (but safer) elevation and location, authorities may have more luck keeping teens away from the kilovoltage powerlines.