Wednesday, June 28, 2017

President Cathy takes on Crosscut Saws!

After the Rendezvous in March, our MVBCH President Cathy Upper had the honor of traveling to the historic Ninemile Wildlands Training Center (NWTC) in west-central Montana to attend an intense hands-on crosscut saw sharpening class. The facility, the Ninemile Remount Depot, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Remount Depot was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps as a pack stock breeding/training facility and is still a working ranch. Because of the unique facility and history of training at the Remount, the NWTC was started in 1988 to again provide traditional skills training to Forest Service employees. Classes cover all different types of traditional skills: care and handling of traditional tools, horsemanship and packing, historic building preservation and maintenance, and low impact backcountry stock use. 
Cathy practices on a crosscut saw
Cathy was one of only two members from BCHW sent to join the class of learners and experts in crosscut saw sharpening. She found it to be a fabulous experience and worked long hours for 4½ days learning the many tricks and skills of the almost lost art of crosscut saw sharpening. There were 6 students in her class and 2 instructors from around the west. She was in the company of Forest Service workers, Pacific Crest Trail and 100 mile runners and others in love with learning the art of crosscut saw sharpening. It was a “family” of learners and experts. Cathy remarked “I should be pretty good after 1,000 saws!" 

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