Farther Experiences – Bobsledding in Park City

2 min read
Lifestyle
Feb 23, 2021

Farther Experiences – Bobsledding in Park City


“Just shrug your shoulders up and try not to let your head move.”

 

This was the last piece of advice I received before flying down the bobsled track at Utah Olympic Park. The entire experience lasts for less than a minute, swerving around 10 curves and reaching more than 60 miles per hour. We felt about 3 Gs of force, meaning three times the force of gravity. So if you aren't careful and let your head fall forward, good luck lifting it back up. This was way more exhilarating and sophisticated than any roller coaster I'd ever been on.

The 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics marked the first Olympic games that women competed in bobsled, so having a chance to trace their paths on the same Olympic track was really special. Utah Olympic Park is one of just two places in the United States that you can bobsled, and you definitely go faster here than in Lake Placid. Throughout the winter season, around 40 guests can bobsled each day, with a professional pilot leading the way. Our passenger bobsleds shared the track with Olympic hopeful athletes in training and I caught a glimpse of the Jamaican bobsledding team whiz by before I slipped on my balaclava and helmet.

For the winter bobsled experience, they don't let us laypeople start at the very top of the track, but rather mid-way down, right in front of curve number six. We also don't have to push the bobsled and then jump in, which I was fully prepared to do. Instead, we get comfortably situated while the bobsled is at a standstill, and then the pilot hops in and a couple helpers give us a push start. From the top of the track, pros can go upwards of 88 miles per hour and reach up to 6 Gs of force, so even they will only go through a half dozen runs or so each day. Spectators can stand at the twelfth curve to watch bobsleds swoosh by. The sound of the stainless steel blades slicing across the ice sounds almost like a bullet train.

Dress warmly and wear gloves since you'll be holding tightly onto handles on the inside of the bobsled and winter in Utah gets pretty darn cold. The idea is to brace yourself against the edges of the fiberglass hull so that you won't rattle around inside. You'll hunch your shoulders up to your ears to help hold your head in place. Arrive early and watch Olympians training on slalom, moguls and freestyle aerial ski jumping from the parking lot. It's pretty incredible to watch world-class athletes so close up and their speed and grace flying through the snow and air are even more mesmerizing in person than on television. 

After my bobsled experience, I'm ready for more. Next up? I want to try skeleton on the Cresta Run in St. Moritz.

To see more of what Amber is up to check out our Instagram stories to see her sledding down the track.

Farther is all about telling stories from our community. If you have a story to share email hello@farther.com so we can feature how you are going farther.

Amber Gibson

Amber Gibson is a Farther ambassador who lives a pretty incredible life. Living out of hotels for 360 days per year, she has unconvenitonal goals that Farther is helping her reach. As a freelance journalist, she specializes in travel, food, wine and wellness. Her work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Departures, Hemispheres, Saveur and Architectural Digest. Champagne, dark chocolate and gelato are her biggest weaknesses.


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