Wood removal video / photos - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-28-2013   #1
Whistler, BC
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 25
Wood removal video / photos

Thought I would post this as it may have some useful information to anyone involved in wood or boat removal, as it's fairly rare to get pictures and video.

The video and photos are of a team of my friends removing the log that pinned Peter Thompson this past September on the Cheakamus river.

Note that the log was only under about 2 - 3 feet of (aerated) water at normal kayaking flows and no-one knew that it was there, even though it appears that the log has been there for several years. There have been hundreds of kayakers who have landed within feet of the log and even people who have swam in the nasty river left pocket. Peter was just the unlucky one who penciled straight in behind the log. RIP.

I apologize in advance for my monotone voice...


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Old 03-03-2013   #2
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 294
thanks for posting, very informative and impressive!
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Old 03-03-2013   #3
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,494
Rip Peter. You honored him with your effort--his loss was not in vain.

Don't apologize for your voice. The narration added a ton to the video.
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Old 03-04-2013   #4
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 572
What was your lifting setup? A similar approach is likely needed at the scene of another tragedy from last year, Lower Zig Zag on the White Salmon.
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Old 03-04-2013   #5
Whistler, BC
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 25
I had tried to remove the log a week prior using a Z-drag, but there was insufficient force / too much friction on the bank; we came back better armed for round 2....

We had two 1-ton come along winches side by side - i.e. pulling force up to 2 tons. It did make it a lot harder to release them as they were touching side by side.

It would have been easier to use a single 2 or 5-ton come along but we didn't have one available. Just remember that using more than 2 tons of force will likely result in failure in karabiners / pulleys / slings / rope.

Another key technique was using a directional anchor and pulley from a tree directly above the log, thus completely removing any friction from the bank.

Also note that our setup took a long time to minimise the time spent faffing around in the water on the log - e.g. taping karabiner to the rope and with the gate open with electrical tape to make clipping easier.

Good luck with your project.
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