What technically defines “old school”

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
I had an old sales rep who didn’t know his ass from his elbow say to me, “we might have to do this old school and rig the whole tree to another tree”, then I’m hearing natural crotching is old school and not using a crane for trees on houses is old school. Seems like these are just all techniques
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
Great question!

Sometimes I feel like bad practices get labeled “old school” when in fact they are just bad practices. In my mind old school has meant techniques whose origins come from before the gear boom of the 2000s. Ways to get the job done without certain tools. Now, there can be a point where acceptable old school becomes bad practice when a particular technique is known to cause unnecessary damage that can be prevented with the proper tool/technique. Example- natural crotch rigging is great to know. It can also severely damage unions, which is a problem if the tree isn’t being removed.

I started out in a “new school only” environment. The years since leaving have been a great adventure of learning a plethora of “old school” tricks that have dramatically increased production without sacrificing quality of work.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I had an old sales rep who didn’t know his ass from his elbow say to me, “we might have to do this old school and rig the whole tree to another tree”, then I’m hearing natural crotching is old school and not using a crane for trees on houses is old school. Seems like these are just all techniques
exactly... But some of these techniques use to be the norm and are now frowned upon or specifically a no-no.

I went all oldschool on a walk in community job today. Cutting and chucking wasn't going to work as I originally planned without a huge amount additional work.. So i did some natty crotch rigging with the tail of my climbing line. Ideal? hell no, safe in this situation? very. Better than walking 1/4 mile back to the truck for a rigging rope and a pulley?, debatable...

When I started, those techniques were passe, but those I worked with and for it use to be the only way (or a very common way).. So those tricks would come out to play when needed.

Now have you ever rigged down a 100' conifer spar using natty crotch negative rigging with stub wraps? I have a few times, which was just enough to never want to do it again and very glad I don't have to.. Taught line or blakes? I will always keep that in my bag of tricks as should every climber IMO...
Teaching new climbers, I'll send them up new school SRT until they get the rhythm down (don't have to be proficient). Then they are grounded to closed blake's DdRT until they are proficient with it, once they get that down pat they go back to new school... I will never advocate for a closed blakes climbing system as a primary method, but it is a fundamental in my book. Every climber should know how to tie a closed blakes under extreme stress, cause your tail is always there if needed.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
I’d wager tautline is old school but Blakes isn’t. Trunk wraps is old school, but a device like Hobbs (circa 1980) dunno, maybe first wave new school? Certain devices haven’t been changed much over the decades (i.e double barrel shotgun) but still currently made and widely used. Old school means rarely used?? I competed in timbersports which is a whole different old school.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
I was trying to explain to the same arborist
Rep/ part owner what an open face notch was and he said “I’m not hip on all this new technology”. I said “tilting the bar?”. I’m only 29 but worked with a ton of older guys and I think it’s safe to say you can find more
Young guys who know “old school” than old guys that know “new school”
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I’d wager tautline is old school but Blakes isn’t. Trunk wraps is old school, but a device like Hobbs (circa 1980) dunno, maybe first wave new school? Certain devices haven’t been changed much over the decades (i.e double barrel shotgun) but still currently made and widely used. Old school means rarely used?? I competed in timbersports which is a whole different old school.
you are over thinking it... I'm pretty sure the term Old/New school came from skate culture or surf, but I don't have enough grey hair to know for sure.

In skate culture old school isn't tearing down a set of roller skates and slapping a board to it, its more about technique used which evolved with the skate decks, curved tails etc... Now skate park skating is vastly different from street skating, as well as long boarding.. Many of which though still use oldschool skate tricks amongst sub genera. Climbing and rigging is no different in my eyes... Some techniques should be left on the shelf to collect dust (spike climbing prune jobs). Others will have a limited application (ever try to Ollie a long board?), but will always be the best tool for the task (climber held natty crotch holdback when rigging into a near by spar on a two man crew) or a closed blake's for a second tie in point on a wide spreading oak (when the primary is a modern rope walker)..

I don't think anyone will argue a oldschool gibbs ropewalker should be used over a newschool one, best left on a shelf for the history books.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I was trying to explain to the same arborist
Rep/ part owner what an open face notch was and he said “I’m not hip on all this new technology”. I said “tilting the bar?”. I’m only 29 but worked with a ton of older guys and I think it’s safe to say you can find more
Young guys who know “old school” than old guys that know “new school”
I see your point and while that can be true in some regards, there are many "youtube" arborists that can't tie a blakes and think a left handed bowline is the spawn of satan. Let alone knowing what opposite and opposed means, and that it is a safe method of using non lockers in some applications.
 

Stumpsprouts

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
So i did some natty crotch rigging with the tail of my climbing line. Ideal? hell no, safe in this situation? very.
Haha so relatable. Just yesterday used the tail of my climb line as a slow down on the butt of a piece with a wrap around a stub. Not ideal. But had one person on the ground and a lot of tree to get safely to the ground and only one day to do it.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
I see your point and while that can be true in some regards, there are many "youtube" arborists that can't tie a blakes and think a left handed bowline is the spawn of satan. Let alone knowing what opposite and opposed means, and that it is a safe method of using non lockers in some applications.
I guess. Old school just always comes across as some way of doing tree work that was lost and only a few people still know how to. Gets kinda lame. Probably more of a harder, smarter thing
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
For me its a point where a technique or tool is either no longer used or used so little.

Natural fiber ropes...old school
Trunk wraps...approaching old school
PPE...varies...I rarely see crews without at least hard hats...some with helmets.
Manual transmissions...approaching old school

In another thread there is an illustration of how to cut a notch in a spar for negative rigging without a block or friction. That may be OK for the once a year occurrence. But not a good thing for all of the time.
Natural crotch rigging/climbing...approaching old school
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
I’m probably overthinking it but when I explain the best way to do a tree to a fifty year old salesman pulling in 150 grand plus a year and he clearly didn’t register any of it and says “oh I guess I’m just more old school” I want to whack him over the head.
 

flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
Manual transmissions...approaching old school
Three on the tree is old school.
Four speeds with granny low first gear is old school.
A Karl Kummerling rope saddle is old school and the original MCRS design.
A tar pot on your saddle is old school.
A paintbrush holder on your polesaw head is old school.
Manilla is old school.
Goldline is old school.
Damn near any Buckingham leather saddle is old school even if it was made yesterday.
Concrete in trees is old school.
 

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