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    Posted December 22, 2014 by
    Montreal, Quebec
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wintry weather

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    Snow tubing can be your safer replacement for marry-go-rounds and water parks

    Snow tubing can be your safer replacement for marry-go-rounds and water parks

    *Mandeep S. Oberoi


    Snow tubing, also known as glissades is a sport where the participants sit on inflated tubes high up on the mountains that have carved lanes for each participant to glide through the slope, sometimes at very high speeds. To add more fun, tubers hook their tubes in series of five to eight participants and slide together to add thrill and a sense of camaraderie. Looking down the mountain or higher-up when you are at the bottom, the heights of up to 250 foot could be overwhelming. But when you actually get involved with the sport, you would most likely want to have some more. It happened to me when I tried the sport first time last year in the Laurentian mountain ranges close to Montreal in Canada. The Laurentians have North America’s (NA’s) highest snow tubing or glissades parks.

    The upside and the downside of this sport

    Literally, you take conveyor belts and gondola rides to go up on the mountain and you swing down on snow tubes through the carved lanes.

    The upside of the sport is that the mountains are well covered with snow. The chances of having an accident or injuries are quite low as compared to doing similar activities on iron and steel marry go-rounds or the water parks. It’s also more thrilling because you are on top of real mountains.

    The downside is that this sport is offered for a limited period of time during winter. One has to really plan for it. Last year we had to cancel our plan initially because the temperatures became positive for the weekend for unprecedented reasons and the snow started melting. The next time it was perfect because the temperature was around 21 deg F (-6 deg C). It was cold enough for the snow to stay on the mountain and for us not to become too cold. Of course, water proof winter clothing is important.

    What is snow tubing?

    Snow tubing is an easy sport to experience speed and exhilaration with snow during winter. The tubers usually slide down on chute or the tubes from a mountain on a cushion of air down the snow lanes that are carved for the act. The tubers can then relax by bonne-fires to warm up along with a snack. It is usually a weekend day-out activity for a group or a family.

    Some venues also offer snow rafting and tornado rides. A snow raft is like a boat sliding down the mountain, also on carved path and can usually take up to 8 people. A tornado is a circular raft that is designed to swing in a circular motion while it glides down the mountain to add extra thrill to the sport.


    Winter has a very different meaning for people from diverse geographic regions in the world. For Northern regions such as those in Canada, winter offers freezing temperatures, but it also offers a plethora of outdoor activities and sports that can build a lasting memory. One has to be brave to dress up well and enjoy those activities, snow tubing included.

    I may like to thank my friends Christine Blake and Jean-Simon Demers for editing this article.

    *Mandeep S. Oberoi, twitter @mandeepsoberoi is an outdoor enthusiast. He is an intermediate hiker, kayaker, camper, poet, and writer. He has ventured across Laurentian mountains and Eastern Quebec townships in Canada, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in the West coast of USA, Scottish Highlands, Toco range in the Caribbean, Swiss Interlaken mountains, and the Himalayas, among others. He works professionally as SAP financial services consultant for his firm Dexteyra Consulting Group Inc.
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