The good news is competitive pole-climber Kat Spencer will be in Slave Lake on June 3 to do logger sports demonstrations. The bad news is she won’t be demonstrating pole-climbing. But she will be demo-ing other traditional logger sports, at the event she’s helping to organize with the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society (LSFES).
“She’s trying to bring back traditional logger sports competitions to Alberta,” says MJ Munn-Kristoff, executive director of the LSFES.
In a phone interview last week, Spencer said she’s the only woman who consistently competes in speed-climbing on the logger sports circuit. She also does the other events – one of them with former Slave Lake resident Danielle Tkach.
In the lineup at this point are events in three categories. There’s the competitive team category, a ‘public’ category and a ‘youth’ category. Teams will compete in Swede saw, axe throw, obstacle course, Jack and Jill crosscut saw, power saw bucking, accuracy cut and the underhand chop. Adult members of the public can step up and try Swede sawing, axe throw, obstacle course, log rolling, Jack and Jill crosscut and a Wajax (water spraying) contest. The youth division contestants get the same suite of events as the ‘public,’ minus the Jack & Jill, plus nail drive.
The log-rolling takes place in a portable 20’ x 20’ ‘tank’ trucked in for the occasion. Built of timbers and lined by a waterproof liner (donated by Vanderwell Contractors).
The action runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on June 3, in the open area between Northern Lakes College in Slave Lake and the Travelodge. For more information, or to enter, get hold of Kristoff by phone at 780-849-8627 or email at [email protected]
And that’s not all! That evening is the Forest Ed. Society’s annual dinner in the college gym. Spencer is the featured speaker, on the topic of the history of logger sports. The dinner – which costs $40 a person (or $300 per table), gets started at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails.
The annual dinner is a fundraiser for the LSFES, which provides programs in forest education to students around the region. Munn-Kristoff says she’s fully into field trip season right now, and expects by the end of the year (Which is August for the LSFES) to have reached 7,000 kids.