Episode 5: Yarder

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Ed and Marcus take on the dangerous challenge of logging in the Oregon forest as they try to haul the massive logs up a snowy mountainside. Read more...

In Sandy, Oregon, Marcus and Ed head to the Waynestone Logging Company's worksite where Jim, the foreman, reveals their main challenge: Transport ten logs up the mountain in under 40 minutes using the yarder.

Before tackling this task, Ed and Marcus must use a smaller machine to stack four logs in a "log cabin style" quadrant. Whoever completes this challenge fastest will operate the yarder next. The loser will be the choke setter, attaching sky car cables to logs ready for transport. Ed hurries through the test while Marcus works carefully but more slowly. Although Ed was faster, Jim designates Marcus as yarder operator because he deems Ed too reckless.

While Marcus reads up on how to operate a yarder, Ed talks with Jim and fellow loggers Zach and Riley about how to avoid breaking cables when attaching logs to the sky car.

At the start of the challenge, Ed heads 1,600 feet down the snowy mountainside with Zach while Marcus consults his yarder manual. Ed struggles to get three logs choked. Once he does, Marcus brings the sky car up to the mountaintop. After unhooking two of the logs, Jim gives Marcus a hand signal that means one log is still attached, but Marcus misinterprets it to mean "all clear" so he sends the sky car back down. The still-attached log knocks several more logs down the mountain, almost hitting Ed in the process.

The guys start over, pausing further when Ed slips on the ice. Near the end, Ed rushes to wrap cable around two final logs but the choker hook breaks and the logs fall. Time runs out.

Afterwards, Marcus and Ed share how much they respect the difficulty of logging. “Not only is it 23 degrees outside, but everything you do is dangerous,” Marcus says. “That was so much fun, but I was legitimately nervous every step of the way.”

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Next Episode: Tall Ship

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Marcus and Ed take on the challenge of sailing a Tall Ship off the coast of California to a chain of islands and then returning back to port.

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