How To: Build A Log Jib
Editor’s note: Check with local land owners and the National Park Service before building. It can be dangerous and illegal if not done correctly.
When the park jibs are lacking, it's time to ride the rails of the woods. Early season, before the snow piles up, is the best time to build your own secret stash. Our guest, Mark The Lumberjack, shows you just how. Round up some friends and tools, and let's do this!
Search for an easy spot to access, yet hidden from popular runs. You'll need sufficient speed, space, and tranny for a landing, so look for rolling areas, clearings and lonely trees. Scope for pre-existing features like downed logs, arched trees and double line possibilities. Stealth is key, even when you're building. Don't get caught or lost!
Clear The Zone
Before you start building, make sure you can clear the area of obstacles. Move stumps, rocks, and trees in the runway and landing or change your approach. Trim away only what's necessary. Remember, the season's snow will sink your creation, so aim high.
Pick a six- to eight-inch diameter, 20- to 30-foot-high tree and lop off the lower branches. Cut a "<" shaped notch in the tree about six to eight feet high in the direction you want it to fall. Make the top cut first and bottom second, then yell timber! Carve a V in the remaining tree for the log to rest. Determine the angle and length of the jib then cut off the remainder and continue lopping off the branches.
Make 'Er Sturdy
Bury the front of the jib in the ground and screw the end to the post with L or I brackets. (Depending on how long your jib is, you might want to add a middle support. Bury this like a fence post.) Lastly, use a draw saw to slightly plane the sliding side of the rail. Now sit back and wait for snow. If all else fails, head to Vail or Beaver Creek, link up with a local, and go ride the legendary tree jibs.
Illustrations: Shawn O'Keefe