WHAT THEY SAID: Surviving Park City in Summer

Utah Olympic ParkThe following is an excerpt from an article originally published at examiner.com:

You don’t have to wait for the snow to fly to have a thrill-filled vacation in Wasatch Mountain’s skiingmecca of Park City, Utah.

During the months when skiing and snowboarding aren’t options, the resorts adapt their winter venues for summer use. But don’t think trail-hiking and scenic rides on a chairlift. Think risk and danger and seeing your life flash before your eyes.

My initiation began at 9,000 feet on a five-mile mountain bike course down (and alas, up) the ski slopes. Then it was on to the “World’s Steepest Zipline,” where I hung on a wire and was pushed off from the top of the ski jump mountain on a 60- second, 2,300-foot screaming descent.

Next was the Alpine Slide, during which I maneuvered a sled along a 3,000-foot winding channel at roller-coaster speeds. And then came the adrenaline coup de grace when I careened down the concrete Olympic bobsled run at speeds over 70 miles an hour, mostly in awkward and unnatural positions. Yes, people actually pay $65 to $200 to take this sadistic plunge in summer on wheels and on ice in winter.

And to add a little excitement to an otherwise peaceful moment, I was riding on the all-metal chairlift above tree level for the luge run when it began to thunder and lightning. I drew the line on flying face-down on the bobsled run atop a minuscule sled called the “Skeleton.” I might have tried it, but I couldn’t get past the name.

Utah Olympic Park was the site of most of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and it’s where the U.S. Ski Team trains. Ski-jumpers as young as 6 years old soar hundreds of feet in the air and land on manicured grass surfaces in summer.

Click here to read the entire article.

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