First trip up the local mountains this season was a tubing adventure with E&A. Last Saturday we went for a two-hour tube bonanza at Cypress Mountain. Loved it!
We met at the Nordic ticket window, but the adventure started on the drive up. I had swapped my car with my cousin, trading the Corolla for a Ford Explorer with four-wheel drive. Always trade-up!
The first 3/4s of the mountain drive was no problem, but with maybe 2 km to go the snow appeared and then suddenly it was everywhere. By the time I pulled off the main highway for the tubing area, I was thanking the gods (new and old,) that I had made the vehicle switch.
I arrived early, but most of the crew was already waiting at the ticket booth. About 40 percent new faces, which is nice and a few of my friends from other events. Everybody was stoked to get going and we quickly made our way down to the sledding hill. I guess we arrived between busy hours, so we had our choice of tubes. For any readers thinking of trying the tube fun on their own, I HIGHLY recommend the red tubes. They are newer, faster and hold their air better than the older darker tubes. That's a free tip for you. You’re welcome.
After grabbing our rides, we walked around the corner to the tube hill. Unfortunately, just as we were arriving, the tube hill officials announced that the tow service was shutting down for maintenance. For most of us, the two-minute walk up the hill was not a problem, but a few members seemed literally crushed by this news. That kind of blew my mind. I actually heard one lady say: "If I had known that the tow was down, I wouldn't have come." I ended up carrying her tube up the hill after one slide, just so she wouldn't mope.
Fortunately they got the tow working later in the evening. Ironically, it was faster to walk.
On the hill, there were three separate tube runs and they seemed to fluctuate speed wise. Actually, speed fluctuation was a pretty big issue. When we arrived the runs were super fast, but a brief snowfall slowed them all down. Then the snow stopped and the temperature began to drop. By the time we were leaving, the runs were lightening fast. In fact they actually had to close one slide, out of possible fears a tuber could fly through the plastic fence barrier at the bottom and land in the parking lot. Personally, I think that would have been awesome. Next time I'm slipping the sled guy a twenty, just to see if I can do it.
After a few single rides, spinning and straight, we started to team up, heading down in groups of four to six. We used a number of different formations, from lines, to rectangles to huge circles. Those geometry lessons from grade school finally paid off.
The largest group I was a part of was an eleven-tube circle formation. One of our members recorded it on his Samsung. I bet that footage is awesome.
Setting up the groups took awhile, but it was a good excuse to chat with other members. This was probably the most social event I've attended. There was lots of incidental contact and high-fives aplenty. The walk up the hill also afforded a number of chances to talk with my fellow sledders. By the time we were hitting the last few runs, I had probably chatted with almost every member of our group.
Oh and did I mention Ambrea was the host. That girl knows how to have a good time! Her enthusiasm is infectious.
All in all, a great evening of sledding and socializing. And two hours is definitely enough time. My hands were pretty frozen by the end.
So what have we learned: snatch up the 'red rockets,' bring thick gloves, forget the towline and you'll have an awesome time on the Cypress tube hill. And it doesn't hurt to go with a few of your closest friends.