Building & Riding the Skinny Backyard Tree Jump

Western North Carolina is a temperate rain forest, and therefore so is Berm Peak. It’s a great place to leave.


Western North Carolina is a temperate rain
forest, and therefore so is Berm Peak. It’s a great place to leave something if
you want it to rot. This snake infested wood pile is a pretty
good indicator of what happens to untreated oak when you leave it outside here, and it’s
the exact reason for the cache of black locust under the flight deck. Black locust is rot resistant and can last
for decades out here, but that raises the question: Does everything we build here need
to last for decades? Today we’re going to throw caution to the
wind, and build something out of a couple of dead oak trees. Better yet, we’re gonna use them to make
a skinny bridge over this snake infested rotting wood pile. Sound good? Great, let’s go fell those trees. Some of you may recognize this guy, as Seth. Yes he has the same name as me, and he also
has a YouTube channel called Backyard Trail Builds where he does exactly what the name
implies. Although projects like the Adirondack chair
jump and the Skinny Gene are sufficiently different from what we’ve done here, this
could get confusing. So I’ll refer to the other Seth as Backyard
Seth. Anyway backyard Seth was passing through my
neck of the woods and offered to help on a project. After much deliberation the snake pit skinny
was what we came up with. This optional line will start near the bottom
of Woodpecker, traverse over the snake pit, and end at the intersection of Middle Berm
Peak Express and the Berm Peak Forest Road. To build the skinny part, we’ll need to
transport these trees to the wood pile and maneuver them into position. The day before we started on this project,
I installed a winch on the Git’r for this very purpose. A winch, put simply, is a motorized spool
of cable used for pulling. It can pull things, or the vehicle itself
should it get stuck somewhere. This one can be activated by a switch I installed
on the dashboard, or by a wireless transmitter. So now we can use the winch to pull enormous
objects like trees, and activate it from wherever we’re standing. We can even use live trees as pulleys to direct
the force accordingly. I already ordered some stuff that’ll make
this job easier next time, but we improvised with a block of wood to protect the tree,
and it did the job. Where the winch couldn’t help us, we used
a stud for leverage and some good old fashioned grunt work. That was enough to get the first tree into
position, but we still had one more to go. If you haven’t noticed neither myself or
backyard Seth are lumberjacks, and so the tree ended up hopelessly pinching my saw in place. The second tree was a lot heavier than the first
one, and it fell in a really awkward spot. Maneuvering it into place was like driving
a school bus through a movie theatre. The surface of this rotting wood pile is ever
changing, so we used logs as footings to spread out the load. With just two Seths to nudge these huge tree
trunks in place, we needed to get creative. In what took the better part of a day, we
finally got the tree trunks situated. But that was only the beginning of what we
planned to do here. Backyard Seth got to work on milling the tree
trunks flat. Milling 36 feet of oak would use a little
more battery power than this thing packs, so we borrowed a gas saw from my neighbor
so we could see the job through. If this becomes a regular thing, I may need
to pick one up. Meanwhile, I got to work on all the other
stuff that would make this project whole. By nightfall, we weren’t at a good stopping
point, so we lit the work area and kept on going. The following morning, we got to work right
away. Backyard Seth brought a whole pickup truck
of scrap cedar for this project. These planks will provide more traction, and
resist rot a lot better than the oak below it. In fact, we’ll probably be able to reuse
these planks someday. While Seth and Dana predrilled the planks
and fastened them to the bridge, I finished up the landing with locust planks. I guess we never officially discussed “the
landing”. The plan is to build a lip at the end of the
bridge and jump over this live tree. That’s the part Backyard Seth wasn’t so
sure about riding. A skinny lip into gap jump with a narrow landings
and a tree in the middle is—committing. Especially for someone who’s never ridden
a double. But Seth made it clear that he would be content
watching. So we have ourselves a new trail, and a new
feature. Time to see if it works. Despite the sketchy sounding name, the snake
pit skinny is actually really intuitive. The tree trunks feel really solid, the planks
are grippy, and the gap jump is smooth. For the first time on Berm Peak, we have a
feature with a good run up, where everything works, and there’s no crazy huck or blind
landing. So, Kevin suggested I try and nose bonk the
tree. That crash confirmed the worst fears of anyone
hesitating to ride this thing. To be honest, I’m not really sure what happened
there. After that I did end up landing a nose bonk,
but it was kind of weak. It feels more natural to bonk the end of the
landing since you have more time to set up for it. But I guess it’s something we’ll need
to work on. As for Backyard Seth and Dana, I’ve seen
them both hit bigger jumps than this, but never one with a gap and a tree in between. So they’re planning on building some small
doubles back home, so they can return another time with the confidence to ride this safely. Building this feature with Backyard Seth felt
really natural, as if we had been working together for years. So don’t be surprised if I take a trip out
to Missouri to build with him sometime. In any case you should check out Seth’s
channel for a very different style of building than we do here. I’m hoping to get four years out of this
log ride with a little maintenance. That might be optimistic, but regardless of
what happens, we can always build something new. If you or someone you know love building as
much as riding, check out the build and ride shirt in the description below. Until we build something else, thanks for
riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Building & Riding the Skinny Backyard Tree Jump”

  1. Next time I’m in WNC I’ll bring my MTB, chainsaws, and Arborist gear. I’d be willing to share some tips and tricks to make felling safer and easier.

  2. My two favorite YouTube trail builders collaborated???? Wtfff, yes guys! I always see peoples comments saying you two should put your heads together and come up with something wild. Didn't think we'd see the day tho!! More Seth and Seth!

  3. Mate, I do tree work professionally, and I’m going to go ahead and say that you should not be dropping trees, ESPECIALLY dead snags, without training and PPE. Just don’t do it. Frankly, you were extremely lucky that that tree only sat back on your saw, and that no branches broke out over head. Dead wood has zero tensile strength, so a hinge like that has very little holding potential when it sits back, and very little ability to direct the fall of the tree whatsoever. Experienced fellers are killed this way all the time.

    Love your channel, but giving a thumbs down on this one.

  4. Hey remember the mineral oil that you put in your fat bikes breaks?
    Are you planing on puting it in a video or making a video about this?
    Just a reminder

  5. Hey I know you reviewed the rockshocks 2in1 bike pump for tires and suspension s , you should check out maybe the giyo 2in1 pump alwayse for tires and suspension it's on Amazon and I don't know to buy it

  6. i got this Seth. what happened is that you didn't nose bonk the log, you bonked your nose into the log. it seems like mere semantics, but as you can attest, the results are quite different.

  7. I would love to come shred with ya man! Especially that air bag! Let's dial in some bars, flips and 3s! 🙂 Let me know I'll fly out ha

  8. Dear Seths,

    No fasteners in the mouth. They're filthy and coatings like zinc can cause sores or irritation. I think you were using pressure treated compatible decking screws (seem to be less irritating/more inert…) but it's still less than ideal. Y'all should have some belt pouches or full blown tool belts if you don't already….

    Stay awesome. Sorry for safety policing…

  9. You should replace your steel cable on the winch with a synthetic rope, just as strong but won’t split you in half if it snaps (kind of an exaggeration). If nothing else put a towel on the middle of the steel cable so when it snaps the towel soaks up a lot of the pent up energy

  10. I had a freaking weird dream where I met you in person and we just talked for a little while. cant remember the conversation but is so realistic hahah. I live in Brisbane Australia too.

  11. hey seth can you do a video covering what you carry in your mtb bag and what you recommend carrying such as a mini first aid kit for injuries

  12. My favorite part of the vid (under breath) "I don't know if that how it works"…hahaha. I don't think so either, but I personally use that excuse alot with my buddies, albeit usually about my terrible climbing.

  13. Finally… Seth uses existing wood for a feature! I've been expecting more North Shore Ewok type stuff since he first showed us the property. With that said, everything built so far is way way out of my league as a rider but I really do enjoy the videos! Seth, keep up the great work and I'll see you next Friday!

  14. Hey seth can we have a video of all the new equitment like tools gitter and more thx
    The Aussie Mountain Biker

  15. Hey Seth do you have a gaming console, if so can you try a couple MTB games e.g. Descender or Lonely Mountain Downhill

  16. hey, Seth, this is Caleb I live in Ohio so everything is flat I am looking to try and make my own full suspension bike right now I have a fuji 1.7 I just previously sprained my ankle on a jump made out of ice so I'm trying to find a good full suspension frame to replace my hardtail frame what are some good frames and suspension for cheap.

  17. Looks like the turn on the skinny could get a little dicey when it's wet. Cool idea, and I like the spice of adding the gap jump over the tree. But….for the love of God, PLEASE get someone who knows more about falling trees!! It's cringe worthy video, and by my count, we're already seen two times that pushing or cutting a tree didn't go as you planned. So…while you poke fun at "captain safety," you don't walk away from getting hit by a falling tree, or even a limb on a falling tree.

  18. Seth In Missouri? Saint Louis to oh my you could help me with my track give me some ideas I’m south of saint Louis a bit in the country and I got a lot of woods but I’m trying to figure out how to make a drop in or something off my cliff it goes anywhere from 7 to 80ft tall super long and it goes into my woods
    Thinking of recording it

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