Ok, but I suppose you'd have to say that a shorter rope does mean more switchovers and thus more risk.
Theoretically so but if you're using good switchover technique it's a wash. Your butt is covered.
I just wanted to emphasize that it's much more important to have a safe switchover procedure then it is to worry about how many switchovers you're going to make during a climb. A longer vs. shorter rope can introduce other risk variables, I prefer good safety practice over crunching numbers to find the lowest theoretical risk per tree climbing approach or move.
I side with Moss. Switchover technique must be programmed into the climbers mind to be done flawlessly EVERY time. The programming starts with the first climb and carries over to every climb in a tree climbers life. The climber is at one of the most vulnerable moments during a switchover and must program into the mind to slow down and look at all of the elements of a safe transition over to a new setting (TIP).
Does a climber ever let down their guard, like with extended years of experience? The climbers that keep up their guard and scrutinize their movements and decisions as if it were their first climb last much longer, even come out of their climbing life unscathed.
I know of many climbers with a decade or more of climbing experience that had the attitude \"I'm a good climber\" fall out of grace due to leaving out a tiny little climbing detail that starts the cycle of personal disaster.........the F word. We are not talking about sex. We are talking about FALLING.
I had a saying to my crew when going out on a job. \"Treat today like it was your first day on the job. Do that every day and you might make it out of this line of work in one piece.\"
The same applies to the recreational tree climber. Treat your climb with respect. Develop your safe practices and use them.
I was self taught. In my early days we had no books or videos. I was a VERY slow tree worker. That is why I elected to work for myself. I was a loss leader, not a good money maker.
Notice how many views this thread is getting. Everyone is interested in not getting hurt or preventing another climber from getting hurt. Everyone is looking for the \"cure.\" or fix. From where I stand I see the only cure as paying attention. Extreme attention at that. It is after all one of the draws to tree climbing or any dangerous pursuit. That heavy dose of stimulation that comes from being at the edge by going aloft.
Bad things happen to good people. But the mathematics narrow down when you don't get in a rush and pay attention to what you are doing. I am testimony that you can climb trees on a regular basis, be it as a cutter or as a recreational climber, and not fall out. For me my life preserver was to not forget the gravity issue- the F word. There are a thousand ways to fall out of a tree and it only takes a short fall to have major impact on your life. Focus on what you are doing and climb on.