Grass Skiing!
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scootertig
July 19, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Just thought I'd mention that my girlfriend and I are headed to Bryce tomorrow morning for some grass skiing... If anyone here is thinking of trying it, you should give it a go.

It seems there's barely anyone there when we go, so it would be fun to see other people out there. It's reportedly the only organized grass skiing opportunity in the US, and it's definitely fun.

We'll probably be there from first chair to last chair, which is really only about 2 hours (10:45 AM to 1 PM). That has always seemed like enough, anyway.


aaron
Ullr
July 20, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
The problem I had with it was the last time I checked, they wouldn't let kids do it. Kind of hard to go for me.
scootertig
July 20, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I'll ask about that... How old are you talking? I think they do summer camps for kids, so I can't imagine they wouldn't let kids try it...



aaron
Ullr
July 21, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Children have to be over the age of 11 to participate. That leaves my 10 and 9 year old out.
scootertig
July 21, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Ah. Yes. Too bad!

They do have a new attraction at Bryce... They've put in a zipline course. Horst was very excited about it, and said that there are only 5-6 of them in the US at this point. It's a collection of 8 platforms connected via steel cables. You strap up in a harness and then get clipped to the cable, and "zip" from platform to platform. For a group, he said it takes about 1.5 hours to get from start to finish. It's definitely different than the zip wires I remember where you had to hold on by hand. We were going to stick around to watch the 1:30 group, but by the time we were done skiing, we were absolutely beat.


aaron
jimmy
July 21, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
So how was the skiing? Were conditions good?
Ullr
July 21, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
I looked on the website, and I didn't see any age restrictions for the zipline though? That seems really strange..........
scootertig
July 21, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
So how was the skiing? Were conditions good?


Well, summer conditions prevailed. It was *hot*, but not so bad once you got going. We were the only grass skiers there (and there was a guy on one of their "mountain boards") until Horst and Kathy (a ski instructor in the winter, a swimming/tennis/everything instructor other times) took a couple runs. They do a good job mowing the run that they expect people to be on, and it's clear of sticks, most rocks, and relatively smooth going. There are a few little bumps/ruts here and there, but you figure those out pretty quickly.

The first thing that came back to mind was that there is NO skidding on grass skis. Getting off the chairlift, I almost killed myself when I tried to cut a quick corner to get around to where we were headed. Due to the the way the skis work (basically catapillar treads like a tank), you have to ski on their terms. That means really anticipating direction changes (you turn by changing edges), and being careful with your speed since there's really no way to scrub speed except by going further into a "snowplow" (it seems odd to call it that on grass). Once you get some speed, the idea of trying to go further into a snowplow seems like certain disaster, so it's definitely better to avoid a situation where you're going to need to make a big change like that. If you can manage your speed, you'll be fine. You also have to plan ahead for a stop, since hockey stops are out of the question.

After the disastrous first trip down (three falls for me in the first 10 minutes.... girlfriend didn't fall once all day), things improved dramatically (no more falls after that). I remembered how to get around on the skis, and had a blast. I'm definitely better on them than I was last year, and I think that's largely due to the improvements I made in my snow skiing over the winter. It's a nice symbiotic thing - snow skiing makes me a better grass skier, and grass skiing really accelerates my improvement on snow (in terms of learning to carve and link turns). The fact that you essentially have to "carve" the entire time on grass skis means that the skills are constantly reinforced.

Jana and I did swear that we're going to have to get to Bryce to snow ski this winter, since we never made it there last time. We'll try to do it during the early season rates, though, since I think the regular season rates are a little goofy for what is available there.

We're definitely going to go grass skiing again, probably at least once in August, and then again in October (it's nice during the fall). I'll try to give more than 18 hours notice next time, since it would be fun to have more people there. Actually, last year, we were there when the Duke and JMU ski teams both happened to be there at the same time. That was interesting, especially because a lot of them were wearing their race suits...



aaron
scootertig
July 21, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
 Originally Posted By: Ullr
I looked on the website, and I didn't see any age restrictions for the zipline though? That seems really strange..........


Horst said that the age restrictions for the grass skiing are because it takes a lot of strength to be able to do it, and younger kids don't have the strength. I didn't get the impression it was strictly an insurance thing. I'm guessing that the zip line, being a "let gravity do the work" scenario, doesn't require the stregth...


aaron
Ullr
July 22, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
 Originally Posted By: scootertig
Horst said that the age restrictions for the grass skiing are because it takes a lot of strength to be able to do it, and younger kids don't have the strength. I didn't get the impression it was strictly an insurance thing. I'm guessing that the zip line, being a "let gravity do the work" scenario, doesn't require the stregth...
aaron


Wonder why they don't have just a general height/weight requirement, like most other physical activities?
scootertig
July 23, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I would bet that if you called him, you could ask or explain that your kids ARE capable of doing it. He doesn't seem likely to turn away anyone who actually wants to grass ski (it's his baby, and all), but he also doesn't want to set anyone up for a miserable/dangerous experience by not being physically ready...


aaron
Ullr
July 25, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Will do.

Thanks
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