Mike Gregory Photo Duck Paterson and RKM Cranes’ Steven McDevitt and Mike Morgetts lower a new pole into the ground at the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre on Monday afternoon.

New poles installed for this weekend’s Ladysmith Loggers Sports

Death-defying lumberjacks will have the honour of digging their spikes into a fresh new pair of timber poles for this weekend’s Ladysmith Loggers Sports.

Donated by Otter Point Timbers, the 100 foot poles were installed at the Transfer Beach Amphitheater earlier today.

“The cooperation from everyone has been fantastic. We’re almost ready for the show on Sunday,” said councillor and Ladysmith Logger Sports organizer Duck Paterson.

“The old poles, as well as being rotten at the base which is the main safety hazard, but they got hard at the base and it makes it very hard for speed climbers because their spikes could slip out.”

The annual Logger Sports is a fundraiser for Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock and all the money raised at the event this weekend will go towards the cause. Last year’s event raised over $3,600.

“All of the expenses for the show have been covered by sponsors,” said Paterson as the a heavy duty 120 ton crane hummed in the background. “It’s meant to be total family-friendly with antique vehicles, hot dogs, mini donuts and ice cream.”

In addition to the lumberjacks demonstrating their skills, also watch for the Best in the Bush competition feature teams from BC Hydro, Ladysmith Fire Rescue, Tour de Rock and one more to be determined.

The scene on Monday caused significant interest from people who looked on as the old 90 foot poles were carefully removed with help RKM Crane Services, the Town of Ladysmith, and Dave MacLeod from Husky Forest Products as well as a few volunteers.

The logs were first chopped near the base before the $2-million crane applied upwards of 17,000 lbs of force to try and lift the remaining 10 foot log out of the ground.

As it would turn out, the volunteers who installed the poles a decade ago did remarkable work at packing sand into the culvert.

Town staff used the vacuum truck to remove the sand before RKM tried again with better success.

“The other ones had a solid sand base with some wedges but that retained a lot of moisture and helped the rot so this time we’ve got some gravel in the base but it’s going to be all wedged with a cap to go around it,” Paterson noted

“There will be more air space and hopefully they last a few years longer.”

Ladysmith Loggers Sports takes place on Sept. 2 from 2-4 p.m. at the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre.

 

Mike Gregory Photo Husky Forest Products Dave MacLeod chainsaws one of the old poles at Transfer Beach.

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