Ski All Season On Grass

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Greg Limeberry

Grass Skiing

Alpine skiing depends on hills and snow, at least according to conventional thinking. Not for Brian McKay, The Columbian reports, who has been trying to get extreme sports enthusiast on board with his niche sport of grass skiing.

Grass skiing is precisely what it sounds like. Exiting the slalom gates, carving your way down hill, just on grass and not snow. It makes for an exciting ride down, and often a rough landing.

“It’s just like sliding into home plate,” McKay says. “No big deal.”

Believe it or not, grass skiing is not a new idea. It was actually developed in the 1960s when competitive snow-skiers in Germany were looking for a summer training regimen. Some folks picked up on the idea in Europe and it made its way to the US east coast and eventually was introduced to crowds in San Francisco in the late 1970s.

Obviously it never really took off, but there are loyalist like McKay who like to take out their poles and grass skis – short runners with wheeled treads on traditional downhill skiing boots. McKay says that he is willing to take any other extreme-sports enthusiasts out for a test run if they find themselves in Southern Oregon looking for something different to do.

“I want some ski buddies,” McKay says.

Snow skiers can have a difficult time mastering grass skiing because there is no gliding or sliding to speak off. The skis must carve and they leave no trace in the grass. Also, it can be very difficult to regulate your speed.

“You just go faster and faster until you run out of hill or reach terminal speed,” McKay says. Though he would insist that its that kind of risk that makes it fun.

Learn more about grass skiing in The Columbian.

via Greg Limeberry: Skiing


The Battle for Park City Ski Properties Heats Up   

Greg Limeberry’s Latest Blog Post

Greg Limeberry

Park City

Rarely is the adventurous world of Park City skiing associated with hostile corporate strategy, but in reality the resort-peppered mountains make up a businessman’s battlefield in the midst of a full-scale war. According to an article on Outside, owners of a few ski resorts are vying for land and eying a 7,500-acre mega resort along with it.

The Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) operates almost exclusively on private land. PCMR owns the base, but a company named Talisker owns the land that holds the lifts and inclined runs necessary for skiing. Talisker had been operating Canyons Ski Resort, one of a trio of resorts located northwest of PCMR; however, in March 2011, PCMR failed to send in the paperwork to renew the land it leased from Talisker.

Though it may seem a simple mistake could be rectified, it’s important to note that PCMR had a lease dating back to the 1970s that gave them full use of the land, estimated around 3,500 acres for only $150,000 a year. By industry standards, it was the best deal in the sky business, giving PCMR an incredible advantage against its competitors.

Once realizing the mistake, PCMR tried to cover up its misstep by post-dating the paperwork. Still, it was too late. Talisker promptly sold the operating lease of Canyons to Vail Resorts, the largest sky resort company in North America for $25 million plus a percentage of revenue. Vail Resorts’ decision to purchase would put it in control of both the PCMR property and Canyons, leaving them with a combined mega resort of 7,500 acres.

Naturally PCMR attempted to fight it out in court but as of late May, a judge ruled that Talisker was legally within its right to lease the land it owns to Vail Resorts. Now, to add insult to injury, PCMR has threatened to remove its lifts and disallow access to the resorts from the private land it owns at the base. Valid threats or not, it’s clear that the resort owners plan to continue this battle throughout the summer.

via Greg Limeberry: Skiing

Top U.S. Alpine Skier Makes Move To Ski For Mexico

Greg Limeberry

Skier Sarah Schleper de Gaxiola

Sarah Schleper de Gaxiola has been one of the top women’s slalom skier for nearly a decade for the U.S, skiing in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. As NBC Sports reports, she has recently announced that she will come out of retirement in the hopes of competing in the 2015 World Championships as a Citizen of Mexico.

Schleper de Gaxiola began her Olympic career at the age of 18 in 1998. She would compete in each Olympic games until her last appearance in 2010. She placed 10th in the slalom in the 2006 Olympics, her best finish.

In 2007 she married Federico Gaxiola de la Lama and gave birth to a son, Lasse. She would retire from competition in 2007. With one World Cup win in slalom in 2005, she will be the most decorated of any Mexican Alpine skier.

Schleper posted the announcement of her return on her facebook page, saying, “I am proud to announce that I have received Mexican citizenship. I aim to get back into the starting gate and perform in the World Championships Vail 2015. I was presented a letter of citizenship by the president of Mexico, Señor Peña Nieto. I feel proud and excited to be a citizen of this beautiful country.”

To read the original article, head over to NBC Sports.