[There was a video here]
If you dread the thought of a long winter and being stuck inside with your family for weeks or months on end, you can make the most of the impending wintry doom by recreating this awesome sledding snow coaster in your backyard. I'm jealous I never thought of this when I was a kid.
The video is making the rounds on Facebook right now after someone posted it back in January. The original source is unknown—it doesn't appear anywhere else on the web that I can find—but they seem like really fun people to know. The intrepid folks in the video built the structure almost entirely out of snow, creating a ramp from the top of the stairs on a low-rise deck, allowing the kids to build up speed before going into a series of banked turns that dumps them out on the other side of the yard. It's your very own backyard luge track without that uneasy feeling that comes with competing in the Olympics.
All it takes is a similarly-sized backyard (or even a nearby park), lots of snow, and persistent subfreezing temperatures. The top layer of snow may need to melt and refreeze after a day in the sun to give the sledders the right amount of slipperiness they need to make it to the end. If the snow is too icy or slushy, though, it could be dangerous. Make sure the turns are banked properly*, as well. The work looks like it's worth the reward—the kids have hours of frostbitten fun outside while you get to stay inside with a bottle of wine and Netflix. It's a match made in snowy heaven.
*The Vane is not responsible if you live at elevation and launch your child off a cliff because you misjudged the bank on one of the turns. Encourage your children to soar but please don't fling them off a mountain.