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Sledding at Hyak
posted by John : February 23, 2008


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Up the hill


Years ago, in the before time, we went to Mt. Tubemore. Mt. Tubemore is the pay-to-play sledding hill the Summit at Snoqualmie runs. While we were there we saw several people badly hurt. Two were carried off on stretchers and one of them had a broken femur. Ouch.

Since then I haven't been terribly interested in sledding at the Pass.

But kids will do weird things to your mind. Clara, Lilly, and I headed up to the snow late in the morning to find blue skies and barely frozen snow. We were able to hang out in just fleeces without hats or gloves. Nice.

After finding the Hyak Sno Park I was stunned to see the place. Most Sno Parks are barely parking lots and if you're lucky some poorly maintained honeybuckets. This one, though, was a full-featured party place. There were bathrooms with honest-to-goodness flush toilets in the middle of the parking lot and an attendant checking passes on entry. I think he was even selling day passes for those who didn't have a pass.

(Of course all this is really for summer users who jump on the Iron Horse here. In fact, Amy once dropped Carl and I at this location so we could ride bikes through the tunnel and down the Iron Horse to Rattlesnake.)

After the mandatory potty-stop we found our way to the kids' slope. It was specifically set aside for kids under five and therefore not at all crowded. It was the perfect spot to introduce the kids to sledding and their new best friend, The Noop sled. (No, not noop like scoop, but Noop like No-Awp. You know, like the no operation assembly language command.)

Old number 0x90 (I'm such a nerd) served nobly on the soft snow. Both girls loved sliding down the modest hill, but longed for the big kids' hill just around the corner. (And me? I was longing to follow the adventurers disappearing down the Iron Horse toward Lake Keechelus.)

After we had lunch (and hot chocolate, gotta have the hot chocolate) we made a couple of runs down the big hill. While the little hill was a drop of maybe 10 feet the big hill was five times as high. There was little organization at the top of the hill so we had to just worm our way to the edge and launch. I sat in the back anchoring our team while Lilly lead the way.

We got going fast enough that I felt we needed to slow down (and steer away from others who were close to out of control) so I dug my heels into the soft snow and covered all three of us in the Slurpy-like ice.

Did my girls cry? Oh no! They wanted to go again. I made them haul the sled up the hill, pose for some pics, and then promise not to complain when we did only one last run.

Given the repeated walks up and down the hills I guess we can claim about 100 feet of gain making this an adventure of nearly epic proportions.

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