ADRENALINE JUNKIES: TOBOGGANING IN CARÌ
The splendid region we call home along the Swiss-Italian border is often justifiably referred to as “Mediterranean” Switzerland. In other words, winters are short and mild and snowfall is generally a rarity. But you needn’t venture too far to get your fix of a good frolic in the snow.
We’ve been hearing some buzz about a massive 3 km tobogganing run over by the Leventina Valley and this week we decided to round up the Base Camp recruits and see what all the hype is about.
Carì is located on the southern side of the Swiss Alps at 1650 meters above sea level and is one of the top winter destinations in Ticino due to its remarkable offer of activities. We were warned that on sunny winter weekend days the parking lot fills up quickly. Lucky for us, when we arrived at 10:00am there were still ample parking spots.
While Carì offers 20 km of ski slopes, 20 km of snowshoe trails, a playground in the snow for children as well as educational hiking trails, the Jr. Base Campers had already made up their minds. We purchased a family ticket for the sledding trail ( a family pass costs 48 swiss francs for full day access), rented sleds at the shop and were on our way. The ride up the mountain is a steep one. Be sure to pull down the security bar on the ski lift (especially if you have any fear of heights issues).
Full disclosure, our sledding experience up to now has been mostly limited to backyards and glorified neighborhood “hills,” so when I got a look at the downhill slope ahead I did for a moment question my sanity. Needless to say the fearless Base Camp adrenaline hunting teenagers were off like rockets, while this Base Camp mom and toddler got off to a more prudent start.
After a few trips down and many a tumble in the snow, we enjoyed a nice lunch on the sunny restaurant terrace at the top of the lift where you can purchase lunch at the Osteria Belvedere or picnic nearby.
After lunch part of the team chose to dive back onto their sleds, while others stayed to soak up some sun on the terrace. Before too long, the sun disappeared behind the mountain and a cold fog began to descend upon us. Alas, what goes up must eventually go back down and there are a few ways to accomplish this aside from tobogganing. You can walk down the 3km path, or, you can ride the ski lift as we did.