Hurtling Along Skyline Luge’s Downhill Karting Track at Winsport COP

Hurtling down the concrete-paved race course, swerving around tight hairpin bends, white-knuckled, screaming like a girl.  As an onlooker, I’m sure this ride down the Skyline Luge track at Calgary’s Winsport COP didn’t look like a particularly spectacular race between Christa and myself.  However, this description captures my blurred recollection of the fun-filled five-minute gravity-driven rush, and I’m sticking to it!  By the time we reached the end of the ride I was very grateful we’d bought the two-pass ticket so we could get to enjoy it a second time.

Ready. Set. Let’s get this party started.
Waiting for our chairlift ride to the starting line.

A mellow chairlift ascent up the iconic ski hill, home to the downhill skiing events during Calgary’s hosting of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, creates the perfect introductory segway to your pending luge ride, as the lift hovers over the luge track that snakes beneath you.

A sweeping view of Winsport COP from the top chairlift station

Riders are dropped off at the luge departure station at the top of the hill.  Here, first-time karting racers are channeled into a lane where you are shown the ropes of how to operate your adrenaline-inducing kart.  Once ready, you’ll be let loose for the hill to swallow you up!

Waiting for our briefing at the start line. Like Gary – our mascot – small kids are allowed to ride for free in tandem with a full-fare paying adult.
Recording equipment and Gary, braced and ready to rock ‘n roll
Waiting in line to board our karts and receive our one-on-one briefing

Darting down the track, one of the longest in the world, riders drop an altitude of 100 metres over 1.8km.  Sporting over 50 twists and turns, including eight hairpin bends, numerous chicanes, and even a thrilling hill that might see some drivers become momentarily airborne, one quickly realizes why this thrilling ride has been voted as one of Calgary’s best outdoor attractions.

A Google map view of Winsport COP and the snaking Skyline luge track showing the start and finish lines

Determine ahead of time to exhale with shrill screams or guffaws of laughter.  Aside from helping to dissipate your adrenaline, it also provides much entertainment – and maybe not just a little angst – to the arriving new Karters ascending above you on the chairlift.  I was determined to be hoarse by the time I arrived at the bottom.  I didn’t quite succeed, even though we did the ride twice, but I made a gallant effort.  Christa and I had an absolute blast chasing, racing and daring one another along the route as we tried hard not to intimidate some of the kids that we edged past during our speedy descent.  We had so much fun!

You can view our experience at Calgary’s Skyline Luge in a one-minute high-speed video on our YouTube channel here.

Review and adhere to the facility’s code of conduct but remember – HAVE FUN!

Various pass options are available, including individual or family packages that cover single rides to multiple.  Check their pass offerings here.  Once the bug has bitten, you may need to be prepared to visit some of the six other skyline luge locations around the world, whether in Singapore, South Korea or its country of origin, New Zealand!!

This outdoor event is ideal for a wide range of ages.  Certain age and height restrictions apply for safety reasons.  You can check that information here.  Skyline luge is ideal for a family outing, a hot date opportunity to see what your partner is made of, or just a fun group or team-building event.

Plan your visit and check ahead of time to ensure that the track is open since seasonal hours do apply.  Check their hours of operation here.

Navigate to Skyline Luge at Winsport COP here.

For other fun outdoor summer recreation activities, check out our kayaking experience down the Bow River.

IAC’s Moral-of-the-moment: “He who screams the loudest gets hoarse the quickest.”


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