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They came, they sawed, they conquered
Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The coup de grâce in the standing block chop. / Photo: Neale McDevitt
By McGill Reporter Staff
On Saturday, Jan. 25, lumberjacks and Jills from eight universities in Eastern Canada and the United States rolled up their sleeves for some friendly competition at the 54th annual Intercollegiate Woodsmen Competition. As per tradition, the event was hosted by Macdonald Campus.
Over 100 competitors braved the frigid winds whipping up from the frozen waterfront to vie for individual, doubles and team honours in traditional woodsmen events that included axe throwing, log rolling, pole climbing, water boil, snowshoe race and any number of wood cutting disciplines.
When the wood chips settled on the men’s side, University of New Brunswick 1 emerged victorious out of 11 teams, with McGill 1 finishing fourth overall. McGill 1 won two events; the Super Swede Saw, and Team Super Swede Saw. McGill 2 won the Snowshoe.
On the women’s side, Sir Sanford Flemming College proved to be a cut above the rest of the seven-team field, taking the overall team title. McGill’s women finished a solid fourth, winning the Snowshoe, Super Swede Saw, Water Boil, and Cross Cut Saw events along the way.
Click on each picture in the gallery below to view a larger version. All photos by Neale McDevitt
A McGill Lumberjill has lubricant applied to her buck saw.
Bearing down in the Swede Saw event.
The coup de grâce in the Standing Block Chop.
Making kindling in the Water Boil event. Competitors must build a fire and boil water as quickly as possible using three matches, a hatchet and a small block of cedar.
Building the fire around the tin can holding eight ounces of water. The competitor who’s water boils over the fastest, wins.
Fuelling the flames with much-needed oxygen.
Big windup in the Standing Block Chop.
In the Log Decking event, teammates must roll a log from the deck to the stakes 10 metres away and back again as quickly as possible using only a peavy or cant hook.
Chasing the log as it rolls from the deck.
A log that has rolled awry is wrangled back into place.
Competitors work together to roll the log back onto the deck. If they touch the log with any part of their body, they are disqualified.
No shortage of wood.
A lumberjack waits for his turn.
Another one bites the sawdust in the Swede Saw event.
What’s a little subzero temperature to a lumberjack?
Although this McGill lumberjill is the only one sawing in the Single Buck Saw event, her teammates help brace her feet, hold the log steady and keep her saw cutting smoothly by applying lubricant.
Gentlemen, choose your weapon.
A pole climber sprints up the 8.53 metre (28ft) pole and…
… rings the bell to stop the clock.
Apparently, seeing isn’t necessarily a part of sawing.
The fruits of his labour.
More firewood. Notice the protective armour on the competitor’s feet and lower legs.
Shoes are cleaned of ice and snow in prepartion for the Underhand Chop event.
Lubricants like WD-40 are applied to keep saws from sticking.
A lumberjack awaits the starter’s signal in the Chain Saw event.
A McGill lumberjack takes a mighty swing.
Done for another day.
A lumberjill and her trusty saw.
An interested spectator takes in the competition.
No shortage of sawdust.
The littlest lumberjack.
A McGill lumberjack takes a big cut.
Tools of the trade: keeping axes sharp and well-lubricated are essential.
Steel toed boots are mandatory.
Making kindling as part of the Water Boil event.
A lumberjill blows into the fire to speed up the water boiling process.
Mission accomplished; boiling water spills over the blackened can.
Lumberjacks leave a trail of splintered wood where ever they go.
Coming around the clubhouse turn in the Snowshoe Race.
A McGill lumberjack sprints to the finish line.
Chopping wood with bare hands in subzero weather.
Teammates work in perfect unison in the Crosscut Saw event.
In the Quarter Split event, a pair of teammates must eam members must each quarter a bolt of wood.
Making cookies in the Chain Saw event.
A lumberjack scrambles up the pole.
It’s a long way down, but all pole climbers are attached to a safety rope.
A competitor in the Axe Throw lines up the target.
Getting ready for another throw.
McGill lumberjills take part in the Underhand Chop team event.
After cheering on her teammate, this lumberjill starts chopping.