The shelves at Target extended a good 20 feet up, but the ladders filled the aisle between units and if you fell off the ladder, there were shelves immediately to either side. You'd have to work hard at it to fall any distance and sustain any real injury; about the only thing you could do would be to take a misstep and slide down the ladder to the floor. That would hurt, but as long as you kept one foot squarely on a rung at all times that wouldn't happen.
Here? Sixteen, eighteen feet up, above the stairs, plenty of room to fall between ladder and wall if it tips, and if the ladder were to buckle you'd plummet straight down into a tangle of twisted aluminum. Any fall at all equals very bad.
But I got done the job I needed it for: I got the ceiling taped over the stairs.
Og's fancy ladder is one of those hyper-flexible ones that can be configured a myriad of ways, which made it perfect for work done on the stairs. In stepladder mode with one leg at full extension and the other extended a couple of notches, I was just able to reach the corner above the bottom of the stairs with me standing on the second rung from the top. Masked 4 feet of joint before I had to move.
Collapsed the ladder, let Mrs. Fungus downstairs, then set it up again, this time a few steps up. With Mrs. Fungus holding the bottom leg, and with the top leg braced against the next step up, I climbed it again and taped the remaining section that I could only do this way; then got down and collapsed the ladder again and leaned it against a wall, its main task complete.
Sweating like a pig, entire body shaking, because that was fuckin' scary. The ladder was stable as bedrock the whole time but I sweated every single move I made on the thing. There are some nail pops up there but I am not going to worry about them. Maybe ten years from now I'll pay someone to fix that shit for me, but I didn't even know they were there until I was up on that ladder. Fuck it!
...and I've basically used up the roll of masking tape, so tomorrow I'll go out and get more. Maybe I'll take the motorcycle. That'd be a nice change of pace.