Modern day logging sports

Today I got to observe a Logging Sports Competition hosted by the Oregon State University Forestry Club. I had noticed the logging sports arena at Peavy Arboretum during a hike there and was eager to come back and see it in action!

The first event was buck sawing, in which each contestant had to push and pull a “peg and raker cross-cut saw” to slice through a log. Some make it look easy, and others showed how hard it was! Both of these folks were aces:

Next was the “choker race”, in which contestants had to carry a choker (a flexible cable apparently used for hauling large logs) with them through an obstacle course. They had to scramble/leap over a massive downed log (6′ in diameter), then find and unhook their choker from another 4′ log, then climb over a pile of 3 logs, then jump over a low beam, then trace their way back and reattach the choker around the 4′ diameter log.

Then teams competed in the pulp toss, where they alternated throwing logs back and forth (as with horseshoes, but so much heavier). The teams each had one lumberjack and one lumberjill :)

Next was a chainsaw event (with chaps, safety goggles, and earplugs, but no gloves (?)). And then was the horizontal chopping event, wow! The precision and efficacy of these axe blows were very impressive. Yes, they are chopping right between their feet.

Amusingly, I recently watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie (“Founder’s Day”, 1975) in which they had the same wood-chopping competition!

The final event I watched was the axe throw – I’m amazed that this is even possible, to hurl an axe end-over-end and have it stick into a wood target 20 feet away.

Overall I was impressed by the difficulty of these challenges and the skills displayed. I wish I could have seen birling (log rolling) too!

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I knew this already. I learned something new!