How Do You Steer This Thing?

Looks like Ryan and Brian are having fun, right?  We were just getting started!

When we heard there was a 4km toboggan run down the mountain, we were all intrigued.  Who doesn’t want to go sledding down a beautiful mountain on a very white Christmas day?  So, on Christmas morning before our cross-country ski lesson, we rented four toboggans and walked over to the gondola for another pretty trip up the mountain.  We hiked across the ski runs from the lift to the lake where we had hiked the day before with our old school toboggans in tow.

Along the way we talked about how to steer the toboggan.  We decided leaning would work.  That must be the way.  So when we approached a small incline where we thought we could practice, we tried.  Leaning did nothing.  Well, nothing apart from cause us to fall over.

The pictures below are from the smaller hills where it was possible to stop and regroup, remove snow from our glasses, beards and pants and of course to take pictures.

Once we reached the lake and the real toboggan run began, there was little stopping.  The fun 4km run was fun in the morning with an empty mountain and fresh powder.  We learned the trick to steering was to dig your heels into the snow on the right side if you want to go right and on the left if you want to go left. Simple, right?  Stopping or slowing down, that was another thing.  While the idea of having VERY little control over the toboggan while zooming down a mountain with one side dropping off to a rocky, icy river below is scary, it was also one of the most fun things ever!

We have no idea how fast we were going but it was fast, which was fun in itself.  The mountain was also beautiful.  There were a few times when we could steer our way into a patch of deeper snow to slow down and take in the view.

After our afternoon ski lesson, we threw some healthy snacks into a back pack, grabbed our toboggans and made our way back the lift.  When we got up to the top, it was quite a bit colder than it was in the morning.  The snow had begun to ice over a bit.

This time steering was significantly more challenging since it was harder to dig our heels into the snow.  As Kate said so passionately that day, “Radio Flyers would revolutionize this place!”  Having the ability to steer would have made things easier and a little less scary.

The second run was even scarier than the first.  There were a collisions, a few falls and some very close calls.  It was also an amazing, exhilarating feeling to be flying down the mountain with so little control.   At one point Ryan said this was the scariest thing he had ever done.  I asked, “scarier than sky diving?”  His answer, “when you’re flying down the side of an icy mountain next to a cliff and you’re blinded by snow and icy, it’s pretty damn scary.”  He was right.  At least when we went sky diving we had parachutes!  Still, it was so much fun that we decided to go one more time.  It was getting late so we practically ran back to the lift for another ride up to the top of the mountain.

This along with cross-country skiing was a fantastic way to spend Christmas Day.  We loved it so much that we are considering coming back next Christmas!

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