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Stephen Blair

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About Stephen Blair

  • Rank
    Site Moderator, Raffle Sponsor 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 201
  • Birthday 16/09/1975

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Carrbridge, Cairngorms
  • Interests
    Mountain biking and walking the dogs
  • Occupation
    Dad, husband and worker
  • City

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  1. I was obsessed with knives when I was younger and bought all various types. The only 1 I can carry 24/7, is the smallest Swiss army you get. I received my first 1 when I was around 6 years old, I was so disappointed it wasn’t a Rambo knife!😀 And tbh I’ve never needed anything else from wiring plugs, cutting rope and even trimming my nails, oh and tweezers for thorns and skelfs. He will most likely laugh at it, but it’s a perfect little pocket knife. Theres no risk of getting arrested for carrying it and if your boy needs 1 for his harness, it needs to be a 1 handed knife like others have posted. They are usually about £10 from an outdoor shop.
  2. I miss the wee chipper life! At times it was a bit small for the jobs but everything else was simpler. Paid £2.5k for Gloria, made that back in 3 days on jobs, kept her for 10 years and got £1500 trade in for her.
  3. Trust me, with enough practice and adrenaline you can undo it quick enough. I’m talking from 22 years climbing experience doing all the daft things, I try and advise others now not to. i was taught to cut with a saw not on a strop, and no too handles either. It was a big screwgate tied to my harness with about 8” of blue string. No cutting and holding or 1 hand swash buckling. Everything was either free fall or break cuts. If something got away from you, it was clip saw back on and grab branch and trust me if you dropped the saw I’d be out a job. When you do something enough it’s second nature. All the daft things are done in your first few years, as the years go by and you get more sawdust down your back and baws you do less swinging about and stunts.
  4. You don’t want something that breaks under load, you want something that’s easier to undo than a 3 way carabiner. When I started it was screw gates, when I was nervous and beginning my climbing career like yourself Joe and weighing 10 stone 2lb I just wouldn’t screw it up so I could quickly unclip. I knew a 150kg screwgate held 15kg undone because a man in New Zealand on a 400’ abseil I was doing told me. If it was really dodgey ( to me at the time )I would just clamp my legs and not bother with side strop, it was my inexperience that lead me to believe it was a good idea. Graeme McMahon ( I think ) made a rip chord break away 20 plus years ago and it was an epic tree of huge scale, it had a huge top that must of been damaged years before, so twice the girth of the trunk. I reckon it was 6-8’ in diameter. As the top went over he baled out above the bulge and swing down under to the thinner part of the trunk. I think he was 150’ at least up too. Mans at a different level!
  5. Using zip ties with no idea of breaking strains is just stupid. If you need to get out of a situation in an uncontrolled swing, then you haven’t done the task in hand right. Either stay where you are securely and knock that top out confidently or don’t. Marks right, someone poor management isn’t worth your life. Or buy a rip chord device that’s designed for the job if 1 exists! Zip ties 😀!
  6. Yes Joe, lean back onto those zip ties and then just give a little extra shove, break off and swing away like Tarzan 😀
  7. I don’t need to see the job, trust me it’s good advice!
  8. Or not play super hero’s and do the job properly!
  9. When I first used my makita grease gun I used 2 cartridges on the 3cx, as time goes on I use just the 1 full 1. I have it on the impact drill, when it clicks then there’s resistance so I stop. It’s out of ease with 1 hand so I can hold the end on and when I’m on my back doing the under carriage it’s much easier on my back.
  10. Makita hete Pete, then you’ll buy the grinder, then the impact drill, then a grease gun, then a torch. Once you buy the charger and batteries they are buttons to add the tools.
  11. Contact Dan at Apex Tree Surgeons in Drumbadrochit, he’s always busy and looking for extra guys of all skill levels.


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