Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Thanked 86 Times in 85 Posts
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I spent many years deep into serious mountain climbing....
Well a lot of the newer designs for going aloft on sailboats actually came from mountain climbing gear. Also in my opinion once your above 40 ft or so it doesn't matter if you fall from there or from 300ft - its still going to hurt you very bad or kill you especially on a larger sailboat with a much taller mast so why take the chance.
And people die falling 20-30 feet all of the time. And the mountains don't rock when a skier comes by.
I like the mast mate fine, and I have no remaining fear of heights, but I ALWAYS wear a seat harness, take a few slings and biners with me so that I can tie-off at the masthead to work with 2 hands (or rest if tired), and always back-up with a second halyard (I use one of several rope grabs or a gri-gri).
Please don't let us know you climb without tie-offs or safeties. It doesn't make you brave.
And by the way, I climbed some rather severe crags un-roped as part of the game. Part of the challenge. But never a mast. No point.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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