Adventure of the week: A screaming good time
Nordic Screamer at Howelsen Hill
What: The Nordic Screamer is a ride that allows people to ride down the landing hill of Howelsen Hill's ski jumps on a plastic saucer sled.
When: The Screamer opens to the public Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a demonstration of the new ride at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Cost: $20 for the HS75 hill, open to riders 13 and older. $10 for the HS45, open to those 8 and older. $30 can get two rides on the HS75.
Steamboat Springs — The view of downtown Steamboat Springs from high on the slopes of Howelsen Hill — say, from the top of a landing hill on the ski jumps — is a treasure.
What does it look like while flying down said hill as fast as gravity will allow?
I have no idea.
I got the chance to take that ride Thursday, getting an early go at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s newest summer attraction, the Nordic Screamer.
The ride basically sends children, adults, locals, tourists and sports journalists down the landing hill of Howelsen Hill’s two all-season ski jumps in large plastic saucers, and wow, is it a ride.
The speed is awesome, the thrill is amazing and the view, well, I can’t tell you about the view.
After loading my saucer, I scooted to the edge of the HS75 jump landing. Sprinklers sprayed in front of me, although I doubt I needed any extra help sliding. With one final surge forward, inertia took over, and I was immediately roaring down the hill.
As soon as I started, I spun around backwards.
It seems like a move a teenager would make on a second or third ride, after the novelty had worn off and to keep things cool innovation was required.
I wasn’t trying to be cool, though. I was trying not to soar out of the tube and on to the jump plastic, which was quickly whizzing by me like vegetation on the highway.
For some reason, I took my sunglasses off and set them in the saucer with me. When I rocketed over the steepest part of the ride, I seriously feared something was about to go wrong and my glasses levitated. I’d have grabbed for them if I’d had even a whisker of composure.
As it was, I was hoping with all I had that the pizza I had for lunch would be enough to weigh me and my sled down.
It was, and as the hill turned from steep to mellow and the surface from plastic to grass, I slowed to a stop and exhaled, finally scooped up my sunglasses, which miraculously made the trip with me, got out and let anyone who could hear know: the Nordic Screamer is a heck of a ride, even if you miss the view.
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