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...