I have tried dozens of way to climb my mast. In the process I have accumulated 7 ascenders, three rappel devices, a GriGir, and numerous carabiners. I think this climbing system is the best. It is simple to rig, quick going up, requires very little to transition from up to down, and very fast and controlled going down. I can get down in 2 1/2 minutes including rigging the rappel device.
This video goes pretty fast so follow the link where there is much more detail on how the system works.
I use the GriGri system to climb my mast although I still don't recommend it because it is a bit complicated. But I find it just too easy to use to pass it up. Initially there were a number of problems that made it unacceptable but now that I have solved those, I wanted to share the tricks that made it work.
Six methods to climb a mast unassisted are reviewed including a modification of mountain climbing techniques adapted to climbing a mast that has the best score of all six. This articles represents many weeks of testing and improving the techniques presented. It is the result of over 20 years of frustration with trying to find the ideal unassisted mast climbing technique.
The setup of the modified approach is fairly simple. The boson's chair is attached using a carabineer to an Microcender. The foot loops are made of climbing grade tubular webbing and are attached below the microcender to the lower basic Petzl ascender. The attachment is with a second carabiner and it is hooked through the top hole in the Basic Ascender. The reason for using the top hole...
NOTE: The link for this article was broken when first published. Here is the corrected version.
The Black Diamond Bosun's chair is a well made chair produced by a well known supplier of equipment for climbing. It has a padded seat, is comfortable and adjustable. There is only one problem with it. It is not a Bosun's chair.
According to Black Diamond technical support this is not a life support chair. In other words, don't let your life depend on this chair. They purposely leave off any specifications on the strength of this chair because they don't want people using it for life support.
In the article on Unassisted Mast Climbing I prefer the modified method but mention that the GriGri method is easier to use. There are two things I did not like about the GriGri method 1) It requires re-rigging the setup at the top of the mast. That is really a most unpleasant experience. 2) The descent, while quick and easy, it jerky and can be frightening and if you panic, can be really scary. I have developed a new method for the re-rigging and descent that solves the second complaint but you still need to do the re-rigging. This article presents that technique and reviews the GriGri method.
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