Tuesday night at The Ice Sheet at Ogden, the Olympic curling venue, is league night. And while club members compete, newcomers try their hands at "throwing stones."
After you put a teflon pad under your shoe, the object of the game is to grab a 42-pound rock and slide it as close as you can to a target 130 feet away. Your teammates, armed with brooms, vigorously sweep across the stone's path to draw it one way or the other.
Just don't call it bowling on ice. "There's a lot more to it than that," says Iain Hueton, Ogden Curling Club president.
Top-level play requires the finesse and agility of an ice skater and the mental stamina of a golfer. But it's evident from the league scene - there are curlers aged 15 to 70, male and female, able-bodied and wheelchair-bound - that the sport is accessible to everyone.
Hueton was born in Scotland, the birthplace of curling, and reared in Canada, where two-thirds of the world's curlers live, yet it was only after he moved to Ogden that he discovered the sport. Utah's not exactly a hotbed of curling, but he's working on it.
Site: The Ice Sheet at Ogden.
Cost: Lessons $5.
Hours: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, noon to 3 p.m. Thursday.
Season: October to March.
Details: (801) 399-8750, www.utahcurling.com
Olympic snowboarders won't be riding any ordinary halfpipe at Park City Mountain Resort. It's a "super" pipe. The latest innovation in halfpipe riding, it's described as a bobsled track for snowboarders.
A halfpipe is just that - a giant half-cylinder made out of snow, 350 feet long with 17-foot-high side walls - the perfect arena for snowboarders to jump, spin, and flip through the air. From the inside out, it looks like a manmade canyon.
The new design helps riders land more easily, so they can jump higher. Now world-class riders like American Ross Powers are busting air as much as 15 feet above the lip of the pipe. That's 32 feet off the ground!
After you've strapped on your board, slide over the lip and drop in the pipe. Ride down the wall, pump your knees for power and speed, race across the flat, and begin the transition up the other wall. You shoot straight up and, for an instant, hover there in midair. That's the rush; that brief moment in hang time. On the way down, push off and slingshot yourself back to the other side. Maybe, with a lot of practice, you'll be doing alley-oops (180-degree uphill rotations), inverteds (to get upside down while performing a 180-, 540-, or 720-degree rotational flip), and mctwists (inverted aerials with a 540-degree rotational flip).
Or maybe not. You don't have to shoot three stories up to enjoy a superpipe ride.
Site: Park City Mountain Resort, Park City.
Cost: 2002 season ticket prices are $63 for adults, $32 for children.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Season: November to April. The PayDay Superpipe will be open to the public through the entire season.
Details: (800) 222-7275, www.parkcitymountain.com