A good telephone installer will always check the condition of the pole prior to climbing it. You want to
look around the pole to see if it is cracked. You also want to check the base of the pole to be sure the
termites haven't eaten the pole too badly. If there are steps on the pole, what is the condition of each
step and where it is in the pole. Has the pole been gaffed every time someone had to climb it? Are there
large pieces missing where someone lost their footing and slipped? You want to look for knots too
because they do not accept gaffs too easily. See Figures 12 and 13.
Figure 12. Telephone pole with gaff marks, knots and rotten wood.