Brian & the group:
I''d advise as follows. Clean the track as recommended, by hand, while on a bos''n chair. You''ll get more thorough cleaning, especially the farther up the mast you go, than using a ''slug-cleaning device''.
Respectfully, I''d suggest ignoring the advice on lubing the slugs but not the track. Instead, use a non-residue lube product when coming back down the mast. I''ve used MacLube repeatedly and find its performance exceptional (on hatch slides, YKK zippers on the dodger, the sail luff being fed up the foil of our roller furler, and a hundred other things). It does not last long but then, it doesn''t leave ANY residue, period.
If you want to maximize the period of time this maintenance will last, also remove the slugs, clean and then lube them, as well. But you''ll notice a sharp improvement even without this last step.
Aboard WHOOSH, lying Port of Spain, Trinidad