For perhaps the first time in his career, Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins is speechless.

Puffing wispy clouds of condensation as he stands momentarily dazed on the ice at the bottom of the Canada Olympic Park bobsled run the man of a million one-liners, briefly, has no words to offer.

The so-called "world's most Australian man", a heap of rock star blond hair on top of an athletic frame that's been squeezed into an Australian flag onesie, searches for the right words in the -10C afternoon heat.

The Australian rugby star has just hit 4G's of gravitational pull (where you begin to lose colour vision) whipping his way through 1475m of icy hell in just 57.76 seconds, hitting 130km/h inside a coffin on skates after the shortest bobsledding crash course ever given to someone at the facility and there is simply no making sense of his maiden voyage. But, as you can always count on, The Honey Badger has a red hot crack at it.

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"Its probably similar to entering Earth's atmosphere in a working industrial strength washing machine," he says.

"Not being able to see where you are going at bulk speed, having your helmet smacking on the opposite side of the sleigh to where you're going, having light and darkness flashing around you, it's a hell of a rush. Nothing compares to it.

"Yeah, there is a little poo in the dacks."

The scene is WinSport's publicly accessible bobsled, luge and skeleton run in Calgary, Alberta, on the second day of our week-long bucket-list jaunt through the adrenaline junkie's Disneyland that is Canada's Alberta province - and the poor bloke has no idea there is still worse to come.

Here's a quick look at the 29-year-old's Alberta shenanigans.


THE SELF-INDUCED SQUIRREL GRIP

Nick Cummins is at full stretch clinging to the face of a frozen waterfall, 20m off the ground.

The pickaxe in his left hand is sure and with the bear claws strapped onto his hiking boots, he is comfortably gobbling up the jagged frozen wall.

The situation is not as calm as it looks from news.com.au's view standing on top of the icy Johnston Creek looking up at the amphitheatre of a frozen waterfall that wraps around Johnston Canyon, a short hike within the iconic Banff National Park.

Wrestling with his harness, Cummins later divulges the -15C temperature has combined with a harness deployment issue to create a very serious situation.

"Basically, my beans went over my frank," he says.

"There was a small altercation between the harness and the family jewels. My fear was not so much falling from the height but being caught by the harness at the end of the fall."

He's hopeful of his tacklebox returning to full working order. We decide it's better left unexplored.

The unfortunate, self-induced, squirrel grip is worth the pay-off at the top of Johnston Canyon.

The snow-covered pines, framing the chandeliers of ice columns hanging above the frozen creek is like something from a dream.

But, just 10m away from where Cummins is soaking it all in, we're about to get a reminder that the unique beauty of Johnston Canyon comes with a catch.

A group of tourists, without proper equipment and safety gear, have wandered up to stand directly under the largest of the daunting ice chandeliers and our own guide, Patrick from Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, is forced to rush over and intervene.

The Yamnuska ice climbing guru, who was likely born with a pickaxe in his hand, clears the surprised group away from the falls.

He points at the frozen ceiling above and explains some of the ice columns are time-bombs weighing up to 8 metric tonnes and held in place by natural ice pillars as thin as a human arm.

"They are death on a stick, and those guys didn't even know it," Pat says.

'WE HAVE KICKED A GOAL THERE'

Nick Cummins takes one look at the Calgary Olympic Park bobsled run and immediately regrets eating that giant burger and sweet potato fries for lunch.

He's here as a guest of Travel Alberta to meet up with Heath Spence, the Australian Olympic bobsled team pilot, for the quickest crash course in modern day sleigh ever given at WinSport's Ice House training facility.

Inside the hangar of twisting mini bobsled tracks, Cummins meets the men's and women's Australian bobsled teams and after what seems like an unfairly short amount of time, he's cleared for takeoff at the top of the Calgary bobsled track.

This is no ordinary track. This is the Cool Runnings track. It hasn't been altered since the famous Winter Olympics of 1988, immortalised in the 1993 Disney movie about the Jamaican bobsled team's first appearance in the men's bobsled.

It is simply frightening. All 14 turns could be your last.

There's good reason East German bobsled villain Josef Grool warned the Jamaican's about the No. 12 turn on this track. It's the final turn on the section of track known as "The Labyrinth" and it's where those sweet potato fries are most likely to make an unwelcome reappearance.

After a few warnings about no farting in the bobsled, it's suddenly time for The Honey Badger to take flight. The real deal.

"Back, set, up, HIT!," is the barked call from Spence and, with an explosive jump, the four-man team is hammering down the ice.


In the movie Cool Runnings, the Jamaican team qualifies with a run down the Calgary track in just under 60 seconds.

In his second ever run, Cummins, Spence and their team complete the same track with a time of 57.76 seconds. The four-man track record, set by a German team is 53.16 seconds.

It's a pretty bloody good effort. And it's come at a cost.

Bobsled is the kind of sport where you bruise easily and don't even realise it until the adrenaline has worn off.

Most of Cummins' bumps and bruises are from contact with the sled, his teammates and his teammates' studded shoes as they all cram into the sled with the ease of a mosh pit entering a kitchen pantry.

Cummins doesn't realise until afterwards that he has angry purple and black splotches all over.

"Yeah, they're still showing up in random places," he says a few days later.

"Me pooing gear's upper right quadrant is still black among various other minor scratches. Wouldn't change a thing. We have kicked a goal there."