The Places I Go: Tree Felling Day at a Ski Resort

 As many of you know I work part time at a small ski resort in Reno, Nevada as a ski patroller, snow cat operator, and general do it all employee. Our ski resort, like most others, is located in the mountains. This means that we are surrounded by beautiful views and lots of trees. We also have a lot of trees. Oh and next to those trees there’s more trees. I think you’re starting to get the idea that we have a lot of trees. Sometimes these trees die due to overpopulation or need to be cut back or thinned at the direction of an arborist/forester. This is one of my favorite jobs on the mountain and just this week we harvested a few dead trees for projects around the mountain.

On this particular day I get to the shop a little early to prepare gear and set us up for a successful day. Cutting trees requires a good amount of gear and the most important piece is the chainsaw. When I get to the shop I pull out the saws and make sure they’re all running well. After I start them and run them for around 30 seconds I move on to sharpening the chains. A sharp chain is an essential part of a successful tree felling operation. Then I fill the saws with mixed gas and top off the bar oil.

After all the gear is ready to go we load up in the snow cat and make our way to the trees we are going to fell (cut down). There are a total of 4 trees today. We are cutting 1 for fire wood and the others are for lumber. We are building a rack out of trees for park feature storage during the summer. We are going to cut down the trees then use the snow cat to drag them into place. 

To cut down a tree you cut a wedge on one side and a straight cut on the other. You drive a wedge in on the straight cut side to keep the tree from pinching your saw and to help push the tree in the direction you want it to fall. We were able to drop the trees without any incident and even flush cut the stumps at the end. This makes sure there aren’t any stumps sticking out and possibly catching someone’s ski. 

We dragged the logs using the snow cat and moved them to the site of the construction project. After that we packed up the saws and made our way down the mountain. Taking care of the equipment after using it is super important. This makes sure it’s ready for next time and keeps the equipment running better for years to come. We take off the bars, chain, air filter, and spark plug. We inspect all of the parts and use compressed air and rags to clean all the parts. After we get everything clean and blown off we put them away and clean up the shop. 

Today we only had to drop a few trees so it was quick and easy. We had a safe day and didn’t break any equipment. This is a huge success in my book and I’m excited for the next time we get to drop some trees. Did you like this blog? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on any of my social media platforms.

One thought on “The Places I Go: Tree Felling Day at a Ski Resort

  1. I agree that ski resorts are great places to find beautiful views and a lot of trees, and it’s awesome to see how much can be done with minimal amounts of equipment!! Great work!!


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