On the woodsmans team, we have a few quirks. We dont
get to practice very often. We usually forget at least one or two tools, and we always have fun at meets, no matter the conditions. After getting back from Mt Katahdin, the temperatures plummeted, right in time to go to the coldest woodsmans meet that we do McGill U in Motreal. We arrived in the great north and proceeded to the captains meeting on the Macdonald forestry campus. There sitting in a classroom were the other schools, all Canadian. Canadian woodsmans teams have quirks as well: line dancing, only playing country music, and being on average the size of two of me, but during competition they mean business.
So in we come to an intense woodsman’s meeting, tripping over our feet and trying not to show everyone how unprepared we were for this level of serious competition. Needless to say, after three years of being the American team, we werent changing our image one bit.
Per usual, our team dressed in crazy colors and outfits and put on a show. I competed in single buck and vertical chop, two of the most rigorous singles/doubles combos. For V-chop, one teammate chops one block then the other teammate chops another and the total time is the score. When Im not chopping, my job is to tell Annie (Animal) Laurie whether she should chop down/up, near wood/far or to switch to the other side. It is an exhausting, but incredibly fun event.
For single buck, I need to cut a piece of log 2 in diameter with a really really long saw. To do this, the sawyer gets in a really low stance and tries to use a rocking motion to keep the blade cutting smoothly. With the snow and ice on the ground, I used microspikes and two teammates holding my feet in place. Even with all that help, I was ready to pass out by the time I was through the wood.
The best part of the competition was some of the funny moments. A snowshoe race is a one of the singles events and our guys team ran out of his snowshoes three times over the course of the two miles. The same guy lost one of his spikes in pole climb (see a pattern forming?) and still tried to make his way up. I became known as the panda girl by other teams and we even got a red and green picture featuring the winning Canadian team in matching union suits.
After all of that? The McGill culinary school made us some delicious dinner!