Emily Mombourquette stood on top of a log suspended a few inches off the ground Tuesday and methodically swung downwards with a broad-bladed ax. Wedges of wood flew into the air until half of the log was cut out. Then she turned around and repeated the process until a final blow split the 9-inch-thick log in half. Mombourquette, 20, is one of several members of SUNY Cobleskill’s Woodsmen’s Club practicing their skills in anticipation of the college’s first intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Competition, slated for this Saturday.
SUNY Cobleskill students Emily Mombourquette and Aaron Swartwood practice the cross-cut saw at the college on Tuesday. SUNY Cobleskill will host the college's first intercollegiate Woodsmen's Competition, an event expected to highlight old-fashioned logging techniques. They'll be tossing wood, throwing axes and working with chain saws. The competition will be held on Feb. 28, at Cobleskill Fairgrounds.
SUNY Cobleskill student R.J. Rooney of Hoosick Falls practices a vertical v-chop for the Woodsmen's Competition.
SUNY Cobleskill student Emily Mombourquette of Rhode Island practices her underhand v-chop.
SUNY Cobleskill student R.J. Rooney, right, shows leg wear needed for horizontal v-chopping while preparing for the woodsmen's competition at the college. Kevin Poole, SUNY Cobleskill advisor of the Woodman's Club, who is sponsoring the event, is at left.
SUNY Cobleskill student Emily Mombourquette is a member of the school's Woodsmen Club, sponsoring the competition.
Rooney shows a chain mail leggings used for protection while chopping wood.
“A lot of these events are based off of old forestry techniques. Back in the day, the lumberjacks would hang out at the end of the day and cook dinner. For games, they would throw axs at trees, and that’s how it developed into part of the lumberjack competitions,” said club adviser Kevin Poole, a technician at SUNY Cobleskill’s Fisheries and Wildlife Department.