Local kids discuss the perfect sled-riding technique

Kids sled near Mt. Albert Road and Carroll Mill Road in Ellicott City. (WTOP/Ari Ashe)

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — At one of the most popular sledding spots in Howard County, more than a dozen children came to Mt. Albert to take advantage of the snow Friday.

Locals call the steep hill Mt. Albert because it’s located at Mt. Albert Road and Carroll Mill Road in a quiet neighborhood tucked away in Ellicott City.

“You have to get the track ready. First, you have to go a few times to smooth it out, get out the bumps. Then, you can go down pretty fast,” says 12-year-old Greta.

“The conditions are good today. It’s really slick out, so you can go pretty fast,” she says.

Charlie, 10, came with his own sled in the shape of a seal. He has a specific plan for each run.

“At the beginning I usually run, and then I jump and go down. It’s really fun because there is a jump, so I go over it. It’s pretty steep, but you go pretty slow at the beginning and then you start going really fast,” he says. It was his first time at Mt. Albert.

Michael, 9, has been here before, even landing in the far-off woods once and almost landing in a stream.

“I had my board and I was going down, but I was one of the first people, so there wasn’t a lot of marks on the track. I started moving too fast on a bump and [it] made me go farther and I went towards the trees and almost landed in the water. It was kind of scary because I couldn’t get out,” he says.

But now he’s learned his lesson and knows Mt. Albert well enough to have fun, but remain safe.

“What I do now is that I go all the way to the back and then really fast I move to the front. That will put a lot of weight on the front so that I’ll stop.”

Lily, 12, went down several times during the day, including one run that ended with her face planted in the snow.

“I went off the jump and I kind of lost my board and I hit my face on the ground. It was kind of fun, but scary at the same time,” she says while catching her breath, yet still with a smile on her face.

Greta has also learned from experience about the best way to go down the hill.

“You don’t want go on your stomach if you’re going over a jump because I learned from experience it really hurts. You want to sit on your butt when you’re going over jumps. But if you just want to go really fast, then you definitely want to be on your stomach,” says Greta.

Michael’s mother, Kim, tells us that Mt. Albert is legendary for its sledding stories.

“A couple broken bones. A few kids in the stream, a few get caught in the trees down there. What’s the best part? It’s fun, the kids have a lot of fun. It’s something to do instead of being trapped in the house,” she says.

With more snow expected over the weekend, there’s a good chance they kids will be back again with their sleds before Monday.

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