Oct 062011
Authors: Erin Udell, Tyler Cashion

Wood chips will fly and logs will roll Saturday morning as the CSU logging team plans to host their second annual Choptoberfest, a college club timber sports competition.

Held at the team’s practice facility at the end of Vine Street past Overland Trail, Choptoberfest will begin at 8 a.m. as CSU takes on teams from schools like Northern Arizona University, the University of Montana and Oregon State University.

“There are about 18 schools in the west that have timber sport teams,” said Westin Vayre, president of the CSU logging team.

Logging itself has been around for thousands of years, but competitively for the better half of the century. The CSU logging team has been active since the 1980s, Vayre said.

The team is made up of 14 members: 10 men and four women.

“It (logging) is sort of one of those things I always saw on TV, and then I just stumbled upon it on the SLiCE page,” said Adam Jorck, a junior construction management major who joined the team as a beginner last fall.

“We’re pretty much open to anyone who’s willing to put in the time and come to practice,” Jorck added. “There are no tryouts.”

Choptoberfest began two years ago after CSU gave the team their practice facility, a field located near Vine Street and Overland Trail. According to team Vice President David Calabrese, the field finally allowed for CSU to host its own competitions.

“If you haven’t been to one of these competitions before, it’s comparable to a track and field meet,” Vayre said.

“We will start with individual events, which will add to our combined score for the end of the competition.”

Competitive logging has over 20 different events, including both individual and team events. CSU will be competing in a pole climb, sawing events, chopping events and even a few competitions with chain saws.

“The pole climb is an event where men and women climb to the top of a 60-foot pole as fast as possible with spikes on their feet and a rope around the pole,” Vayre said. “The sawing events are broken down into the individual event, which is called the Single Buck, the team event called the Double Buck and a male/female team called Jack and Jill.”

A crowd favorite that Vayre is competing in Saturday is known as the Obstacle Pole.

“The Obstacle Pole is where you run up a tree that is at a 35-degree angle with a chain-saw. When you get to the top of the tree you lop off the top, turn off your saw and run back down the tree,” Vayre said.

But, according to Vayre, spectators shouldn’t expect to see any blood or gore.

“Our team is very safe,” Vayre said. “I have not seen anyone lose a finger yet, but I’m waiting.”

To learn more about Choptober Fest, or just logging in general, check out the Colorado State University Logging Team Facebook.

News Editor Erin Udell contributed to this story. Collegian writer Tyler Cashion can be reached at news@collegian.com

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