Originally Posted by Firesec
I have found posts regarding the climbing of a mast with many variations of harnesses, etc but cannot find advice on climbing a mast with steps.
Ideally I would like advice on climbing without assistance from another person.
Any advice on the safest way to do this would be appreciated.
I'm assuming here that you have steps all the way up the mast. If that's the case then:
Take your primary halyard
and tie it down to the deck
in line with your climbing route
, take the major slack out of the halyard
and ensure that it's properly locked-off at the winch
end and cleated if possible.
Use a climbing harness and a <5ft sling to connect yourself to a petzl shunt type device (SHUNT | Petzl
) or any other self-clutching ascender attached to the halyard.
You can then start climbing the steps stopping occasionally to move the shunt up the halyard. It's always prudent to stop a couple of feet from the deck
and let go just to test out the safety
line system before you commit further!
The shunt will act as a lock to the halyard in the event that you fall, and you're only going to fall a few feet due to the sling.
The reason for tying down the 'sailhead' end of the halyard is to ensure it doesn't lift
or flap-around when you're trying to slide the shunt up the line.
Once you're at the top, you can use an additional sling passed around the mast to hold you in place while you work. NEVER remove the shunt until you're back down on deck.
To come back down, you simply reverse what you did on the way up. Remember, if any downward load goes onto the cantilever arm of the shunt it'll lock-off. While ascending, you'll have to depress the arm to slide it down the halyard.
...and as always, ensure you read the instructions for whatever kit you get first.