I have also heard the horror stories of climbers and believe they are ''wives tales'' told by those who never used a climber or the real old ,very first models that were sketchy at best.
I have used my summit viper ss...for several yrs and got it because its alum. not steel[so lighter and wont rust]...besides the reputation and hundreds of satisfied users....the harness that comes with it also rocks!....As far using on a wet tree ,i have several times and never had an issue...ice is another story...the only way you could get the bottom portion to fall is by doing something completely dangerous and stupid...i dont know what that is but its almost impossible,,,the only to other factors that would come into play would be if it slid off your feet while climbing or the pitch of it.....the sit and climb [like i use are extremely safe].....Always use the cinch strap on the top portion when at your desired height...it locks the Top Portion...so if you bump it UP...it will not move...dont go overboard i only use a pull strap...a ratchet strap can pull on welds and warp the stand.
When i first used a climber i had the top portion drop to my ankles...i bumped it ''UP''...like when your climbing and didnt have a pull strap to cinch the top portion...you must do this every time....and cinch it first thing!...always stand with your weight on both feet equal....and climb slow and methodical...some trees the bark will flake off but a climber works on leverage ...get to know your trees and how to pitch your climber correctly...i step out to the outer edge of the bottom platform..to help seat it tight when at my hunting level....never move your weight from section to the other until it is fully seated...going fast is a no no..and i would gather that thats how accidents happen...i was told ''only take bites as far as your willing to fall''... so 6inches to a foot is safer than taking huge leaps while climbing or coming back down....watch out for leaning trees also ..once you first start climbing with a climber you find that every imperfection in a tree is magnified while climbing it...lean..knots...wounds and stubs....
Climb your trees pre-season.and trim those branches then.sit in that trees and decide which way is east and west...It sucks to find out for a morning hunt that the sun will be blinding you from an east rising sun...possibly ruining your chances of a deer of a lifetime...p[ractice using and setting up PRE-SEASON...and also shooting from it...during season isnt the time to get familar with your stand...it should be a safe asset ..not a burden...good luck bud-JON~
One more thing never ,,never,, ever,.... leave your stand..... esp a climber in the woods ...pack it back out every time ...if its left out all yr. snow and water get in it and the freeze and thawing pops welds ..sometimes weakening them form the inside....you might not see a stress crack from this and could be deadly!!! The sun also degrades any and all ratchet straps...its the most overlooked by most hunters ...the sun destroys straps beyond belief and a tree NEVER stops growing...those are just a few reasons i pull my stands EVERY yr..and never ever leave them in the woods for more than a month or so after season ends...than they come down and get put in a basement or barn storage..away from light and the direct elements--be safe Climbers are safe when used right.