Grass Skiing TR (7-19-2009)
13 posts
5 users
6k+ views
scootertig
August 5, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I finally got the pic uploaded to Photobucket, so I figured I'd put this up, even if it's late (and even if I'm about the only person here who seems to care about grass skiing!).

We left around 9:15 to head from Leesburg to Bryce - it's about an hour and a half-ish, but we stopped for breakfast at Sonic in Winchester. I wish we had one closer, but it's probably just as well that we don't...

Got to Bryce around 11. On the drive in, everything was nice and green, even though they've been about as dry as we have. It was cool, too, probably in the low 80's.



I thought to take a picture of the ski itself, since I'm always explaining to people that it's "like a tank tread on a platform":





You can see, the bindings are pretty simple, but they work well.

Jana was excited and raring to go!




(We rented helmets and pads... her name's not really Kevin)



There's something weird about the view from a ski lift with grass and rocks underneath you instead of snow:



That day, there were a TON of people taking the "scenic chair ride," which meant that the lift was stopping a LOT for them to load/unload. Of course, with a view like this, it's easy to understand why they were doing it!




Here are a few "action" shots (and I use the term rather loosely):







The obligatory "here's us together at the top" picture. Note that I'm wearing kneepads - she's not. I fall more than she does.

scootertig
August 5, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
And you can see why.



There was another guy there (actually 2 others skiing, but one in particular) who was running the gates, and FAST. He had his own gear, and really put us to shame. By the time he showed up, we'd already dropped the camera off (she didn't have pockets, and I was sure I'd crush it if I fell on it). Here's me doing the gates slowly:




Long runouts are not fun on grass skis.


All in all, a great day. We're about 80% sure we're going this weekend. If anyone else wants to go, that number will probably go to 100%. Who's in?



aaron
David
August 5, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Wow, I've never been, but that looks like a good time. I'd definitely like to try it out some time. Thanks for posting!!
GGNagy
August 5, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
Am I correct in reading that the session "ends" at 1:30?

Boots part of the rental package, or is it BYO?
scootertig
August 5, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
They have boots available for rental. Our first trip (3 summers ago), they were awesome rear-entry boots. I think I saw that they have 3-buckle versions now, but we had our own boots with us. It's more comfortable, and a good way to break in new-ish boots, too.


aaron
GGNagy
August 5, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
Barring health issues, i plan on going on sunday. I am trying to talk a few people at work into going as well. We will be coming down from the Martinsburg area.
scootertig
August 5, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Cool! It's good to have a few first timers together, since you have to take the "intro" course. Depending on how that goes, you get out to do your own thing once they're sure that you won't kill yourself.

The full grass skiing session's about 2 hours, but last time, they had people coming to do the zipline course, so Horst said that they'd keep running the lift for another hour. We were pretty spent, so we packed up at 1:15 or so.

Looks like the weather forecast is a little less hot for the weekend... Hopefully, that sticks.


aaron
Roger Z
August 8, 2009
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Scooter that looks like fun! I might send an email to the local ski lump and see if they've ever done that or would think about doing it in the future...
scootertig
August 8, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Hey all, sorry to bail last minute but my internet and cable went out this afternoon and the earliest they could get someone out here to look at it is tomorrow between 1 and 5 p.m. Pisser. Jana and I were looking forward to it.

aaron
GGNagy
August 9, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
So looks like I am going solo. Might ski, might not. If you need to find me, use my tag line. smile
pandita
August 12, 2009
Member since 08/2/2009 🔗
5 posts
This loks like fun.. where is this? I am in DC so I was wondering where this was located. How long does this "season" last?
scootertig
August 12, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
It's at Bryce Resort, about 2 hours from DC. Basically, head west on 66 to I-81, and it's south of there.

They run the grass skiing through September 6th. We didn't make it over the weekend, thanks to Verizon, but may try to get out again before the 6th...


aaron
GGNagy
August 13, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
451 posts
So i did it, and i lived, but I think any more trips like that will have to be a group/social thing. It was probably TOO hot to have been out, but there I was, the only paying idiot on the mountain. Still, I am glad I did it, and got a checkmark for the good ole skiing bucket list.

It's not quite snow skiing, but it's also not quite rolerblading either. The beginners stance is almost a split, so that you are riding on the inside edges of both treads. To turn you unweight the inside ski and to stop, you open your legs even wider so both skis track inward. This works fine at lower speeds, but not as much when you pick up momentum. I never did get comfortable enough to get up to speed and start making parallel turns, as I had problems getting that inside ski lined up right and a bit too fearful of what happens when I don't. Ended up taking 6 runs down Red Rum before the heat and my old joints got to me.

Oh yeah, if you thought surface lifts would never be a challenge for you any more, think again. You start out on the conveyor lift, and once on the lift you need to turn sideways to keep from rolling backwards. It is tricky to do and I fell my first attempt.

The instructor said that this system was popular in the 70s/80s, and that other resorts in the mid-atlantic had grass ski programs. There was even a "grassstar" series at one time. However, over time, places like Libery and Roundtop got out of the business and sold their inventory to Byrce, until Bryce was the only place remaining with the grass skiing program.

I say, go out and try it. With the snowflex system getting a toehold in the US/Mid Atlantic, who knows how much longer this type of grass skiing may be around, even at Bryce.
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