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Tubing Big White Adventure Park – A Screaming Good Time

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I drove a van full of pre-teen girls to Big White Ski Resort, one of North America’s best skiing destinations, drawing skiers from around the world in search of the magic Okanagan powder. It’s been almost 30 years since I’ve been on skis, and the only kind of powder I search for these days is talcum. My chances of keeping up with five tween girls on a ski mountain are about on par with my chances of keeping up with my wife during a half-off sale at Tiffany’s, so why did I make the drive from Kelowna up to a mountain we have no intent of skiing? There’s more than one way to get down a mountain.



This is the kind of thing they don’t warn you about when you buy a minivan. You think, “Oh there’s tons of space. Now my kids can spread out and there won’t be as much fighting,” and you’re right. What you don’t think about, though, is the day that your van isn’t filled with your own children, but with your tween daughter and four of her friends. Whoever Chrysler hired to design the Caravan obviously didn’t anticipate this kind of situation either, or at least they didn’t appreciate that it’s almost a 45-minute drive to Big White, otherwise they would have installed in every van one of those soundproof partitions that they have in limos.

In addition to being a top ski destination, Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia is home to the Mega Snow Coaster, Canada’s largest resort tubing park. I may lack the coordination necessary to stand up and maneuver my way down a mountain, but I’m more than qualified to sit in a tube and let gravity do it’s thing. Of course gravity doesn’t have to work that hard to get me down a mountain. After a few mental calculations involving mass, acceleration, and slope I came to the conclusion that I would most likely break the sound barrier on the steepest run, and breaking the speed of light was a distinct possibility. There may have been some rustiness in my physics, but before I could recalculate the girls were ready to go and we were up the hill.


There are five separate runs in the tubing park. Three of the runs are gentler and designed for either young kids (you must be 36 inches to go down without a parent) or for people who want to go down in groups. The other two are steeper and built for maximum speed. These are the runs where I would expect teenagers to be, but I have that expectation because I was a teenage boy. I would have abandoned my friends immediately and headed for the steepest run I could find. Apparently pre-teen girls think differently. They would gather up at the top of the hill and get themselves all positioned so that they could slide down while holding hands the whole time. It didn’t seem to bother them that they had to take the slower slopes, it was more important that tubing was a group activity. I stood at the bottom of the hill for a while trying to figure this out, then eventually decided to classify it under the same section as girls going to the bathroom together as something I’ll never understand.



While we’re on the topic of things I don’t understand, why do girls scream at everything? I could possibly understand yelling if you were hitting the dips on the steep run, but I don’t grasp the need to shatter glass for a slow trip down a gentle slope. Think I’m exaggerating? See for yourself:

Warning! This is a video of 5 pre-teen girls (and my wife) sliding down a tubing run. Please, for your own safety, lower the volume of your computer!



You’d think maybe that was just their first run down the hill and they didn’t know what to expect, but truthfully that video could have been taken on any of the 25 or 30 runs the girls went on that day. Each time gathering at the top of the hill, and each time coming down shrieking like Justin Bieber was in the tube next to them. Some might consider it embarrassing, but as the parent supervisor it sure made my job easy. Every couple of minutes, whether I was looking or not, I knew exactly where all of the girls were. Of course so did everyone else on the mountain, but if anybody complained I could just say my wife was in charge and they should go talk to her.



The tubing park at Big White is located at the bottom of the mountain in the lower village. Admission for the day is $19/$21 and includes the use of the outdoor skating rink (which coincidentally is another sport that I have absolutely no aptitude for). It’s a fantastic place to spend your day, but I leave you with a warning. A short, free gondola ride will get you up to the main village where all of the hotels, the majority of the restaurants, and the main ski lifts are, but for some reason, every bump that the gondola goes over on it’s ascent to the main village causes pre-teen girls to scream in the exact same manner that the tube rides did, only this time in an enclosed space. There’s no denying you’re with them when you’re trapped in the gondola car together, and trust me, it’s too far down to jump.



Steve and his family are based out of Kelowna, British Columbia, although their misadventures are just as likely to take place in a town near you. Leaving a trail of mayhem, iPhone chargers, and Canadian pennies wherever they go, you can follow their travels on the More Kids Than Suitcases blog, their Facebook page, or on Twitter. They’re even on Google+, although it’s painfully apparent that they have no idea how to use it yet. 

So, do you think Steve is crazy for a taking a van-load of tweens tubing for the day, or is he just a sweet guy fulfilling his Travel Daddy responsibilities? Let us know in the comments!

About Steve Pratt, Travel Mamas Guest Blogger
  1. This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while!

  2. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Thanks so much for sharing your hilarious take on traveling with tweens for a day of tubing, Steve. I love your blog and you are ALWAYS welcome to write a guest post for Travel Mamas!

  3. That tube looked like it was going pretty fast to me – I totally get the screaming! 🙂

  4. Phil – Thanks! My kids usually confuse me enough to make people laugh. It’s just never me.

    Colleen – Thanks so much for having me. It’s a privilege to post for a site that I have so much fun reading. Thanks to all your readers for sharing in my…well…confusion.

    Lisa – Believe me it wasn’t going that fast. I think you’re being persuaded by the audio track.

  5. That was beyond funny!! Gosh could those girls scream…imagine them at a live rock concert? At least you did know where they were and they sure were having fun 🙂


  6. The real trick is trying to figure out how much of the screaming was being done by the girls, and how much by my wife. She claims she was quiet, but I have my doubts…

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