Sledding a new experience thanks to Swiss Bob |

Sledding a new experience thanks to Swiss Bob

The best purchase I have ever made in the world of winter gear also happens to be the most inexpensive piece of equipment I own. It also has garnered the most fun.

I honestly don’t know how I lived without a Swiss Bob for as long as I did. Ever since I picked up the plastic snow sled, my fun meter has gone off the charts.

I love to climb vertically in the winter, but since I don’t own the proper equipment to skin up and ski down, I’m regulated to hiking. After reaching the summit, I always loathe having to walk back down because I’m sweaty and I’ll be freezing by the end.

Knowing I’ve got the Swiss Bob to look forward to on the way down, my time hiking up Buttermilk, Highlands and Smuggler has dramatically been reduced. I practically run up the mountain just so I can fly down later.

I tend to hike and sled early in the morning ” right after sunrise. It’s a great way to start the day. There’s nothing that puts a smile on my face more than sledding down an empty mountain at mock speed, giggling like a child.

Easy to carry and control, the lugelike Swiss Bob is a blast on packed snow ” and corduroy if you can make it up and down a ski area before the lifts open.

Because its snow base is packed down with heavy foot traffic, Smuggler is like riding a luge track on a Swiss Bob. Speeds can reach what feels like 30 mph. But the Swiss Bob performs beautifully because it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Perfect conditions for the Swiss Bob are groomed runs at Buttermilk; the grooves on the bottom of the sled easily mesh with corduroy snow. The Tiehack side of Buttermilk is a bit sketchy because it’s so steep, but it can be conquered on a Swiss Bob. You can always jump off if you lose control. However, that is unlikely with this sled.

The sled is made from high-quality plastic for maximum durability and it’s compact; it measures 18-by-18 inches. It only weighs 2 pounds, 2 ounces so it’s easy to carry. I strap mine around my waist with a dog leash and I don’t even know it’s there.

The grooved underside helps the rider to go straight, and the handles offer the best control and stability I have ever found on a sled. Those traits make it easy to steer and stop, which is fortunate because the sled is extremely fast.

Available in blue and red at the Ute Mountaineer for $24. It’s a perfect Christmas gift for any age. The sled also is available for purchase on the web; just Google “Swiss Bob.”

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