Cutting class: Students learning lumberjack skills in Adirondacks throw axes, climb poles, saw

Ax throwing is encouraged in lumberjack class.

The annual Adirondack Woodsmen's School is being held this summer amid the tall pines and placid waters of Paul Smith's College in New York. Despite the course's name, there are no bushy beards and no flannel shirts.

Instead, 18 young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. Student Tommy Grunow says he wanted to learn the "lost art of lumberjacking."

Instructor Brett McLeod says students get a hands-on experience about natural-resources management and the history of the Adirondacks, a popular upstate wilderness destination. Some students will need these skills if they go on to work as park rangers in wilderness areas that don't allow mechanized equipment.