Fifteen years ago, there were only a few Alpine Slides in Colorado; today they are an international sensation. What is an alpine slide? Picture this: a three foot diameter PVC pipe split in half that snakes its way down a mountainside. You drive a sort of snow sled on wheels down the track with a handle to brake and gravity to accelerate. An alpine slide is the summer version of a luge. With average speeds of 20 miles per hour, the half mile track provides a great ride that is far from quick.
While alpine slides have exploded in popularity and locations, our favorite is the one where I first experienced the thrill, located in the beautiful mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Breckenridge Mountain, a member of Vali Resorts, is home to a summer fun park at the base of its Peak 8 were there are many summertime activities including the Alpine SuperSlide, mini golf, and rock climbing. This is a great location for a one day getaway or a mid-summer vacation. They have three tracks which run side by side. One is for those who want to go slower, and the other two offer the opportunity to go faster as well as race your kid. (Dads with younger kids can place a child in between your legs to experience the thrill together.) While somewhat expensive, one or two rides usually pack more than enough excitement for most patrons, and leave you wanting to come back for more.
In this clip, you’ll see some GoPro action shots as well as see Alex take a page from his Dad’s playbook. Ten years ago, I flipped my cart in a turn as I was trying to beat my brother. This time, it was Alex who took the flip while we were racing each other. Make sure to watch the camera picture turn upside down as he flies through the air. Paralleling my experience ten years ago, we had to visit the medical center to remove the chards of fiberglass in his wound. That part’s not much fun but gives you even more to reminisce about with this adventure. Unfortunately for Alex, he will have to wait until next year to beat his Dad down the mountain!
To experience an alpine slide yourself check out the Breck Summer Fun Park at http://www.breckenridge.com/info/summer.aspx#activities#top.
Breckenridge not in your area? Here’s a list of alpine slides in other states and even other countries!