I have often wondered why some one does not make a combination ladder/tripod for times like this. I'll call it a ladr-pod. It would be a regular aluminum ladder with a tripod head mounted on it. I suppose it would not be too hard to convert a ladder to do this. Then you would not have to carry a tripod, but just a ladder. Maybe that is like saying, you wouldn't have to carry two pounds, just 10. Perhaps wheels could be mounted on it so you could just pull it. The ladder would also have to be adjustable so that it would work on a slope. I know, you are probably all saying, why not just borrow the ladder truck from the local fire department and have them raise it up to the 40 foot level for you?
It's called a Ladder with Manfrotto Super Clamp. And you mount your favourite ballhead to the clamp's socket.