I had never been tubing before Wednesday when my buddies from Winter Park Resort convinced me to come check out the new Coca-Cola tubing hill.
I attribute my poor performance in the races to this being my inaugural tubing experience. That, and I was up against the self-acclaimed queen of the tubing hill, Rachel Anderson, who is communications coordinator for Winter Park Resort.
Anderson is the face of tubing at Winter Park Resort and dealt me a spanking in our race to the bottom. While loosing to a girl is always a hit to a man's pride, I still had a great time making laps on the new tubing hill.
The hill was fast on Wednesday, so fast in fact that they had to shut down two of the lanes because they were at risk of sending people screaming onto Highway 40.
Despite my best efforts to convince the lifties working the tubing hill that I needed the extra speed to try and dethrone the queen, they kept the lanes closed in the interest of my personal health. I did, however, get a "heady" spin from one of the guys and had a great time whirling my way down the hill.
The lanes are groomed every day using the resort's Pipe Dragon, a grooming machine that creates the walls of half pipes, so you can get some vert on your run and they have top of the line snowmaking machines to keep good snow on the runs throughout the season.
Probably the most impressive piece of the new tubing hill is the state of the art warming hut at the top of the hill. Not only did they serve the best cup of organic hot chocolate I have enjoyed in quite sometime, complete with a giant marshmallow and whipped cream (the hut also sports a bar so you can put some schnapps in your cocoa if you're really cold), but the building is also sustainably built and aesthetically pleasing.
Using beetle-kill wood and local sub-contractors, the construction of the Hill House benefited both the local economy and the local environment by providing contractors with work and by helping to utilize some of the wood that has been cleared from area forests.
A indoor/outdoor fireplace offers a place to warm your hands after a tubing sesh, and the inside of the hut is complete with tables and chairs so you can sit and chat with your family and friends.
The bottom line on tubing: It was way more fun than I expected it to be and I would recommend it to any of my family and friends.