Back to Basics Coasting - Tobogganing at The Chalet (2/20/05)

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Friday, February 25, 2005 10:07 PM
Has anyone heard of any injuries on these? Going down is safe and the worst you'll get is bloody knuckles. But I'm surprised there isn't more macho idiots like me that tripped and took the long way back down.
Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly... stupid.
Saturday, February 26, 2005 12:28 AM
I almost suggested a tribute to LeSourdsville's slide by racing someone head first, but didn't want either of us to end up on the 11 o'clock news...

"If we can dream it, we can do it"

Saturday, February 26, 2005 4:12 AM

I can see it now....

"Uh. I don't know what happend boss. I let them go at the top and the next thing I know they are in the forest on the other side of the road."


You geek! I remember Jeff Johnson doing the same thing to my ECO trip reports. We will be thinking of you during the hellish summer that is Florida.


It was a blast. I just wish someone remembered to bring a camera so we could share the white out that Brad got.


I am sure the hills down in WV would provide some insane speed. Maybe we could build one of those ice tracks like was listed above. One that would have a angle of decent of about 80 degrees or so. Woo hoo!


I am not sure if the sleds were that heavy or not but they weren't fun to carry when there was a short line. When we were picking out our sleds, we had to laugh at the strange placement for a basketball hoop. I was surprised our knuckles didn't hit the side of the track, however, we were instructed to grab the ropes with our palms out so perhaps that had something to do with it.

Flying Scooter,

Now THAT is sick! We were thinking of different ways to go down. That would be the most insane way. Either that. Or riding in one of those sleds nude in April.

Ewwwwwww. Did I just type that?


Aaaaaa. The LeSourdsville slide. Was that not the most wicked Giant Slide ever? Poor Mike.


Saturday, February 26, 2005 10:19 AM
Accidents? Yes, there have been several.
One was when my ex-wife was in high school.
she and friends went there and somehow their sled tipped on its side.
there was a couple of burned arms and legs... nothing too serious, but scars were left.
this was in 1982. no one sued. these days, i think they could get like 200 grand each...
occasionally, i've seen the 'moron'. you know, the guy that tries to jump moving objects that are going straight at him. The guy cleared the front of the sled and nailed some lady in the face w/his boot. yep, there went a few teeth.
He got carted off by the Metro Cops.
still, they are a lot of fun.

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


Saturday, February 26, 2005 2:27 PM
One year when we went (yearly school trip kind of thing) it got into the fifties or warm enough to play a game and sure enough some of duty employees were playing basketball on that hoop.
Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly... stupid.
Saturday, February 26, 2005 4:11 PM
cedarit's avatar Sean, speaking of suing -- Kristin, Rob, Cindy, Jonathan, Janice, Tim, Brad, Tina, and myself are all filing a class-action lawsuit against you for scarring us for life... ;)

We'll see you at the courts in April!

-Skydiving Jeff

Sunday, February 27, 2005 8:08 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar LOL! I have dibs on his guitars and CD collection. ;-)


Sunday, February 27, 2005 1:35 PM after the ACE gathering in Cincy last night, a group of us decided to do something totally random at the last minute.

We went bowling.

I haven't gone bowling in over 15 years. It took me a while to get the hang of things again but I ended up having a great time.

Just as we were leaving, I looked down at my phone and noticed I had a message. I decided to listen to the message just as I was about to leave. I started laughing quite a bit. I know more than one person in the group was wondering what I was lauging about, but they would never understand so I didn't say anything.

Perhaps that has something to do with this supposed lawsuit that is coming my way?


It's funny you mention my guitars as I just played a few minutes ago to try and help move my arm around a bit as it is pretty sore thanks to bowling.


Sunday, February 27, 2005 9:29 PM
Great TR. I wish I could do that. BTW, you Cleveland folks might see me moving into your area; I'm planning to build a full recording studio up there.

John Moore

Monday, February 28, 2005 12:40 AM
Jeff's avatar Don't do it. Visit and do stuff like this. Living here gets really old after a few decades. I was tired of winter by December this year.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Monday, February 28, 2005 10:21 AM
While I didn't go tobogganing this weekend, I DID engage in another stupidly fun winter activity -- snowtubing.

Specifically, we went to SnoZone, a tiny tubing/snowboarding park in Finleyville, PA, on Route 88. In typical Western PA fashion, the directions on their web page simply state "Route 88 to the SnoZone." Fortunately, it was hard to miss.

Take a long hillside (the terrain in that part of PA consists of lots of rolling hills), groom it, add two towrope "lifts", a few snowmaking machines, a bunch of inner tubes, and a trailer serving hot chocolate and snacks, and you've got it. We actually just recently had some snowfall here, so there was some natural snowcover on the ground (plus, for tubing artificial icy snow ISN'T a bad thing -- the result is a fast slick course)

At $14 for 3 hours, it was actually somewhat pricey. We had to sign waivers to buy our tickets, but with no ID check I'm not sure how enforceable it would actually be. Still, it's safe enough if you're not a complete idiot.

There were 6 tube "tracks" set up, which basically consisted of one long hillside divided into "lanes" via mounded snow. One track was set aside for "little kids", with an attendant pushing the tubes to get the children started. The other 5 tracks were loosely watched by a few attendants to make sure people weren't doing anything stupid like following each other too closely. You'd line yourself up at the top, grab the handles, and SOMEHOW get yourself started (pushing each other quickly became the favored way... :) )

We got there at 2:30, and the track kept getting faster as the day progressed (and the snow glazed over into a thin sheet of ice :) ). So fast, in fact, that on each run we were going farther along the rubber mats (intended to stop you) in the runout. One rather large man went right through the runout, up the mini slope on the far and, and hit the stop they'd built! At that point they took out the snowcat and closed down the tubing section while they broke the ice up, but it was already 5:30, the end of our 3 hour tour. It was actually good to see them breaking up the ice, as I'd be afraid to see what the tracks would be like once the sun went down (the posted hours for Saturday were 10am - 10pm).

Overall, not a bad way to kill an offseason Saturday afternoon, but I still can't wait for the coasters to fire up.

*** Edited 2/28/2005 3:24:22 PM UTC by GregLeg***

"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

Monday, February 28, 2005 11:01 AM
Anyone here try the tube runs at Brandywine ski center? Last year, we skied primarily on Saturday nights, and the majority of all accidents leading to ambulances came from the tube runs. You'd hit the run-off, go up the 'breaking enbankment' and in some cases, get launched right into the trees.
keep in mind, we saw at least 12 occurances where this happened. there seemed to be no particular reason either: some people were heavy, but some looked like a high wind would knock 'em down.

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


Wednesday, March 2, 2005 12:26 PM
I've done the Brandywine tubing hills several times before and have had varying experiences. On one occasion the snow was very powdery and resulted in the hill being so slow that it was all we could do to even make it to the bottom before crawling to a stop. On another occasion, it was as you described above: so slick that we found ourselves going over the top of the "braking embankment".

I'll be the first to admit that we engaged in some not-so-safe tubing practices, such as hooking tubes together and going down as a group, going down the hill in quick succession and subsequently running into each other on the way down/at the bottom, trying to go down the hill diagonally and cross over to other lanes, etc.

Brandywine didn't seem to take many precautions to ensure the safety of people at their facility. The area is bordered by a wooden split rail fence that would cause some serious damage if someone ran into it. The "braking embankment" is very steep on both sides, which led to a lot of people taking nasty falls if they made it most of the way or all the way over it. There are also a lot of trees on the other side of the embankment. To make matters worse, they let people sit and rest on tubes at the bottom of the hill, leading to more collisions.

I don't doubt that you saw a lot of injuries. I've only seen one person taken away by an ambulance while I was there but it seemed pretty serious. It might have had a lot to do with the tubing area being run by teenagers who seemed to have a careless approach to supervising the hill. Last time I was there I don't think any of the employees were over 20. I prefer tobogganing because it's safer, and IMO, more fun. Then again, it's about the closest you can get to a coaster around here during the winter, so can you blame me? ;)

Kristin ...Proud lurker, seldom poster...
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 2:04 PM
Kristin: i think the main problem w/the runs at Brandywine may be the staff being lax now that you mention it. Here's one possible reason why. Skiing and snowboarding had inherent risks. the thing is, skiers and snowboarders know this from their first trip out.
Snow tubing is not the same, but i don't think the staff looks at it differantly. I think it's kind-of like this: 'they're slidding on their butts, what could happen?'
You are right pointing out the employees.

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


Wednesday, March 2, 2005 2:50 PM
I don't doubt that people were getting hurt.

The staffers at the top of the hill at SnoZone were pretty attentive, but we still saw a few kids hop on and go head-first on their bellies and various other stunts that weren't particularly safe. For the most part the patrons were pretty cooperative and quick to get out of the way at the bottom, which was good since there was only one disinterested staffer down there. My friend bumped into a kid who wasn't paying attention and walked right in front of her as she was coming down. It could have been bad but fortunately her tube was already slowing down, so neither party was hurt.

At SnoZone, if one were to really fly up past the end ramp, they'd potentially end up right out on Route 88. There IS a low fence there, though, so more likely they'd hit that. *** Edited 3/2/2005 7:54:58 PM UTC by GregLeg***

"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

Friday, March 4, 2005 1:19 AM
I have never gone tubing before. It sounds like a lot more fun then just plain sledding.

I was at a off season event this past weekend and was talking to another enthusiast who went tobogganing at a place in Indiana. He injured his hand when the side of the track rubbed up against his hand. It was pretty nasty looking.



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