Tubing – Vancouver’s Fountain of Youth?

Gnarly’s Tube Park Photo: Julia Toren

When’s the last time you felt the sheer joy and exhilaration of careening down a snow covered mountain, the wind in your hair and heart in your mouth?  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of tobogganing with friends and family on cold, crisp, snowy winter days.  There was something magical about sledding down the hill, not a care in the world, except a slightly out of control feeling during descent. Nothing surpassed the excitement of arriving safely at the bottom of the hill, giggling with friends and hiking back up to do it all over again.  To my delight and the relief of my ageing knees, times have changed, and with advances in technology, there have also been terrific advances in sledding.  Welcome 2017 – I have been introduced to tubing and more importantly the tube tow!

Tube Lift Photo: Rob Weiss

Tubing you ask?  Exactly as it sounds! In fact, the dictionary defines tubing as “the sport of moving across the snow on a large inflated inner tube.”  Frankly, I struggle to view tubing as a sport, but I would certainly argue that it is a wonderful family oriented activity. Wanting to experience the thrill for myself, I ventured up Cypress Mountain to Gnarly’s Tube Park.  Within minutes I found myself on the top of a well-groomed toboggan run, perched on an inner tube, gazing at a 100-metre long snow chute.  Doubt crept in! With a quick push and a hearty goodbye, gravity took over, and I found myself accelerating down the slope.  Unable to contain myself, I screamed with sheer glee.  I was a kid again!

Tubing on Cypress Mountain Photo: Rob Weiss

The ride was finished all too quickly.  Grabbing my tube, I quickly exited the chute and made my way back to the lift.  With ease, the friendly attendant clipped me in and I found myself thoroughly enjoying a pampered ride to the top.  Noticing my enthusiasm and clearly advanced tubing skills, the liftie asked if I felt ready for the “spinner.”  Why not?  With that, he expertly gave my tube a quick push, and I found myself spinning uncontrollably in circles as I descended the run.  What a thrill! Fun, friends, family, laughter and the infamous “spinner”– maybe the Fountain of Youth is on Vancouver’s North shore?

Friendly staff at the Sliding Area Photo: Rob Weiss

Gnarly’s Snow Tube Park

Located on Cypress Mountain, in the Nordic Area, Gnarly’s Snow Tube Park features six man made snow chutes.  All tubers must be 42” tall or six years of age. For current rates, hours and snow conditions, visit the Cypress Mountain website.

Check out the Family Day Weekend Festival for great deals on tubing tickets.

Under six crowd on Cypress Mountain Photo: Rob Weiss

Little ones will enjoy the Children’s Sliding Area.  Designed especially for children under six years of age, families are encouraged to bring their sleds and enjoy the gentle slope of the sliding area.  Parents will be thrilled to learn that kids can easily manage the walk up by themselves.

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