When we buy rain gear, deck shoes, or binoculars, we assume theyve been tested, not just in the factory and in the lab, but just as importantly, in the field in the normal manner of use. If a climbing company develops a new carabiner, rope, or harness, you can bet they give prototypes to their sponsored climbers, with instructions to take them out in the mountains and fall on them.
If you are like us, you may feel strangely guilty about leaving a mast up during winter storage. In our case, it is probably those old wooden spar days calling. Ideally, wooden spars need to come down and be sheltered and coddled at regular intervals. Aluminum masts really don't, and the sky is actually a decent place to store them.