F
or over 30 years, Timbersports — a gladiatorial competition between man and wood — has taken the outdoors sports world by storm. The events have been broadcast for so long that the only show on ESPN that’s older is SportsCenter itself, and it’s easy to see why: mix axes and chainsaws with flying sawdust, burly lumberjack competitors and riveting play-by-play commentary and, baby, you got a television stew goin’. But better than watching a Timbersports competition from the luxury and comfort of your own dust, blood, gasoline and fresh pine-free living room is witnessing the action yourself.

Stihl invited us upstate to Cherry Valley, New York, to see a regional qualifier. We weren’t sure what to expect beyond a small country town setting, testosterone and big saws. But once we exited our diesel-powered Land Rover Discovery (super quick and borderline perfect road-tripper, by the way) hiked into the fray, donned our now cherished camo-pattern Stihl trucker hats and entered the fenced-off competition area, we truly didn’t want to leave. We watched a bladesmith shave his arm hair off with the edge of an axe head. We watched men wield custom-made chainsaws that were loud enough to hurt our ears through protective equipment. We proudly carried home a “cookie” — a solitary slice of wood deemed to be of acceptable width by the judges. We met the competitors, discussed their workout routines, understood the fun and passion that goes into their sport… And now we’re trying to figure out how to get to Milwaukee for the Pro Championships this week.

How We Got There

The Land Rover Discovery

What We Did There

Chopping Some Wood

The Competition

In Photos