Handle on brick chimney for stability--good or bad idea?
I have a fairly tall two-story house (25' at gutters) and a 32-foot ladder. Extended fully and properly placed, I get probably just over three feet of ladder past my gutters. I am really comfortable about 12 feet up, but when I climbed to my roof the other day, I decided to stay on the ladder. (I'm not used to the height and the ladder's a bit wobbly at that height--it's a good ladder, but it's fully extended).
My brick house has two chimneys, both are about 70" wide by 30" deep. They are set out from my house maybe a few inches beyond the gutters. I was thinking of installing a handle on the side of one chimney for me to use when climbing on and off the ladder. Not that I'd use it for really supporting me, just something I can hold with a hand while safely negotiating the top of the ladder. Then I'd always just use the same spot for my ladder - about 18" away from that chimney or something. Hope this gives a good mental picture.
Alternatively (maybe additionally?) I could get those ladder extension rails that extend high up on either side so you can just walk set your height just above the roof line and walk right over. Those things look slick, but I wonder they as good as they look.
Is this a reasonable approach or am I missing a huge problem inherent with this?