Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta

Kansas Viewpoint

Heavy wet snow and lots of it make for happy memories for grandkids newly introduced to joys of sledding

Published on: February 27, 2013

Ah, snow days.

It’s been a long time we had snow days in Wichita, let alone two at the end of the week and two more at the beginning of the next week.

I hadn’t realized how long until the gorgeous snowfall we woke up to on Tuesday morning hit me as perfect for children on sleds – wet enough to pack down nice and slick, deep enough to last with weather warm enough to making playing outside fun without frostbite risk.

When I made calls to the grandkids, however, I was reminded of a startling fact: none of them had ever been sledding before; not even the almost 12-year-old. It has been that long since the last really sledding-friendly snow in Wichita.

Yes, we have had snow, but sometimes not enough. Or it came with howling winds that made being outdoors miserable. Or it melted so fast you couldn’t make two trips down a hill before you had more mud than snow.

Of course, we had had to hit the store and buy some sleds which in and of itself wasn’t the easiest of tasks. The first couple of places we checked were sold out already before we checked a hardware store that had gotten a shipment of shovels, ice melt and, yes, sleds – just in time for the second of two big snows in a row.

I’m still nursing a cracked kneecap, so actually sledding with the kids was out of the question for Grandma, but standing at the foot of the hill taking pictures was well within tolerance.

What a great couple of hours it was before the wet soaked through the outer wear and the gloves and little bodies began to get cold enough to make heading home for hot chocolate sound like a better idea than another trip down the hill.

Even the more than 20 inches of snow we got, a record for February in Wichita, won’t last long with sunshine and warmer weather in the forecast for the next several days. But the memories of the time it snowed enough to go sledding will be around for a long, long time to come for a bunch of happy kids.

Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta
THEY’RE OFF: With 4-year-old Geneva in the lead, the cousins are ready to push off on their first sledding adventure. Michele, Chole and Jaime are close behind.

Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta
WE’RE FLYING: Alyssa, left and Michele make a discovery: a sled goes faster with two on board.

Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta
OOPS: Chloe discovers that even falling off can be fun in the snow.

Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta
DOWN SHE GOES: Michele takes her turn in the “spinny thing.”

Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta
DO IT AGAIN: Geneva pulls to a sideways stop, anxious to head back up for another run.

Perfect Sledding Snow A Rare Opportunity in Wichta
OH, TO THROW: Lewis seems to wonder: how far can a boy at the top of tall hill throw a snowball?