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SOUTH JORDAN — Many Utahns welcomed the warmup to spring-like 40- and even 50-degree temperatures to start the week, but one South Jordan family was less enthusiastic.
Thomas and Chrissy Williams and many of their 15 children spent their Christmas break constructing and testing a 300-foot-long luge in their yard, only to watch their hard work melt away.
“The kids and the neighbors are highly disappointed, and my husband is highly disappointed too because of all the work he put into it,” Chrissy Williams said Monday morning. “If it were to snow right now, they would rebuild it, but I don’t think that’s in the forecast right now.”
The luge Monday was still nearly two stories high at its beginning point, and had stairs made of snow and ice leading up to it. It ran along the back yard of the Williamses' home before taking a jog along the side of the house and ultimately ending in the front yard.
Daniel Williams, 15, said he and his siblings shoveled and collected snow from the neighbors’ yards to aid in the construction.
“We’d get all their snow and put it into garbage cans,” the teen explained. “We’d wheel it back and dump it — which is where the girls, my sisters, they’d go and get water from the garage and fill it up in jugs because it’s all powder snow and it wouldn’t pack, so we would pour water all over it and then we would take it and pack it on the luge and start icing it down.”
The process, the family said, took up to 10 or 11 hours per day over the course of Christmas break, and included plenty of testing to ensure it was safe.
“Last Saturday, we had all the neighbors come over and we had a big party and had them ride it,” Daniel Williams said. “(We) had a big, long line up the stairs.”
Chrissy Williams said the family had made the luge a tradition for about 15 years now, only not building it in years where there wasn't enough snow.
She said it started with a simple 5-foot-tall slide.
“(The kids) wanted a snow slide,” the mother said. “He made it taller and bigger and then the kids started helping. I think it’s insane, but they love it.”
Daniel Williams said he was sad that the warmer temperatures cut the neighborhood’s fun short for the year.
“Usually we get to luge for about a week — you know, like every night when it’s cold — but this time we only had a couple of days,” he said.
The family said they would likely try again next year.
“Every year, my dad says it’s the last one, we’re never doing it again,” Daniel Williams said. “But we always do it the next year.”