Shovel the bubble?

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - You’ve probably shoveled your driveway and sidewalks already, but how about your roof? One local business had to do just that after the heavy snow kept deflating theirs.

Roger Speyer has a big problem. "We had too much snow on the roof. Three feet in some areas," he says.

On a normal structure that wouldn't be a problem, but his tennis center is in a bubble. "It would sag then we would blow it back up again then it would sag," says Speyer. Just the other day the roof completely caved in causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to the lights. "We had to get the snow off of there especially with more snow predicted this weekend," says Speyer. To fix the problem he called in an expert rock climber.

"I wouldn't say I'm a professional, because I don't really know what that means, but I have a lot of experience," says Ryan Dutch. Dutch owns the local rock climbing gym but has never climbed a bubble before. Dutch says, "(I’m) kinda scarred of popping it."

The first problem was getting on top of it. "Basically jug up,” he says. That means getting a rope over top and climbing it with special gear which is not as easy as it sounds.

Speyer and Dutch tried several methods. "We were trying to shoot arrows over there and throw a baseball over and couldn't do it," says Speyer. The string was too heavy for the arrow and the ball just got stuck in the snow.

Eventually they used a bit of both, shooting over the small end of the bubble then throwing the baseball from the middle to the top. Dutch used to play center field. "He doesn't give up, we've been at this all day," says Speyer.

Once the rope was pulled over Dutch just had to climb up. "It can be dangerous,” he says. The shovel went up next then the snow started coming down. And there was a lot. The roof may only be 36 feet tall but its 120 feet across, not an easy bit of shoveling. “I'm impressed," says Speyer of Dutch’s persistence.

Speyer says the two haven't discussed payment yet but he plans to give him something. Anything to make sure its not him taking the next round of shoveling duties.


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