It is a sickness. How else does one describe this compulsion for Adventure Skate Skiing? Why else would ASS skiers roll out of bed at an ungodly morning hour only to grunt up and zip down steep hills during the coldest part of the day? And why would they risk being interrupted by noisy, smelly snowmobiles, which ruin skiers' tracks and foul their moods?

I'll try to provide some answers below. But to illustrate how potent a drug ASS skiing is, here is a true story:

My friend Claude and I were climbing on the Tennessee Wall in southeastern Tennessee one sunny spring day. From out of the blue while leading a pitch, Claude looked down and asked, "What's your favorite outdoor activity?"

Whew, that is one tough question. I mean, there's hiking, backpacking, beer, sport climbing, alpine climbing, sex, scrambling, running, biking, mountain biking, backcountry skiing... so much good stuff.

"And," said Claude. "You can't say sex. That would be too easy."

Oh. Well, then the answer was easy: "Adventure Skate Skiing."

That's how good ASS skiing is.

Not that it made any sense to Claude. "What the hell is that?" he demanded to know. And when I told him, "Why would you want to do such a stupid thing?"

Claude's first question is a good one. I will let you judge his second question, however, after you've given it a try. (Besides, what kind of question is that from a guy dangling from a rock face?)

See the Trail Guide to see what you are in for if you try some ASS.

Duck as you pinball your way down a hill on a snow-encrusted morning (notice the drop-off immediately after the trees)– from lower Faultline Loop (Trip #12)

Pristine Skiing - Miles of This