Telemark Skiiing
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TomH
July 6, 2005
Member since 07/6/2005
374 posts
I used to be a pretty decent skier but took a 10 year hiatus for grad school and a bunch of years in the flatlands of the midwest. Now that I'm back East I going to start skiing again, but I've decided to learn to telemark (always wanted to try and an old friend told me he made the switch and loves it). Does anyone know of a resort in the area that has a teacher that is particulaly good in telemark instruction as I would like to get started on the right foot. Also any ideas on purchasing equipment ect would be appreciated. Thanks.
JohnL
July 6, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Whitegrass is probably the best spot in the Mid-Atlantic for both tele skiing and tele lessons. Whitegrass Link Denis, one of the posters on this forum, instructs at Whitegrass from time to time. I may take an introductory tele lesson from him this upcoming winter.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
July 7, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,647 posts
Yeah, my first thought was to check out Timberline ski area, which is right next to Whitegrass in Canaan Valley, WV. Whitegrass may be best place for lessons, but note that it is a rare "cross country" ski area for our region and doesn't have uphill ski lifts. Many folks stay in the flats or hike to ski there - which would be fine for a learner. Timberline is an alpine ski area with chairlifts and probably the largest percentage of telemarking patrons (10-20%??) in the mid-Atlantic region. Not sure if they offer telemark ski lessons, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Welcome.
jimmy
July 7, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Tom, Check w/darrel hensley @ Timberline, PSIA Examiner, teleskis exclusively now.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
jimmy
July 8, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
TomH, JohnL, Ive been curious about telemark myself. One of my TL buds started two years ago, mainly to find some challenge while teaching/skiing with his kids. He's pretty fun to ski with and has progressed to a few trips down Lanesville. From Denis' posts i'm sure, though we've not met yet, he's a very experienced freeheeler. Maybe we have the beginnings for a beginners clinic this winter?
TomH
July 8, 2005
Member since 07/6/2005
374 posts
Sounds good to me. When it gets closer to the season maybe we can arrange something with either an instructor at a resort that rents equipment or with a DCSki member that is interested. It would be nice to chat with some knowledgeable people regarding equipment. I've done a little research and there are some decisions to be made about which way to go with boots ect.
teleman
July 8, 2005
Member since 07/8/2005
144 posts
You can demo tele equipment at Whitetail, ask for Dusty at the retail ski shop. They have Scarpa T-2 boots and various ski/binding demos.
For instruction, T-Line probably has the largest and most experienced staff, considering local lift-served areas. T-Line also has several nordic/telemark clinics throughout the season. If you have any questions about equipment, especially boots, let me know. I've tried many boot/liner combinations before finding a perfect fit. I have spent a lot of money in the process to learn about fitting tele boots.
JohnL
July 9, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Quote:

Maybe we have the beginnings for a beginners clinic this winter?




Count me in.
TomH
July 11, 2005
Member since 07/6/2005
374 posts
Teleman,
Thanks for the note. I definitely could use some info on boots/skis. I am a fairly experienced alpine skier that took 10 years off. My guess is that I will ski at resorts at least 80% of the time. My foot is a little above average in width and I'm medium size. Any advice on boots (people's preferences seem to vary alot on stiffness) and ski's (width, cut, length ect). Thanks alot.
Swimmer
July 12, 2005
Member since 02/3/2005
143 posts
www.telemarktips.com

One of the best websites that I've found.

If you've never been to Whitegrass, make the trip. It's got a real granola vibe to it, the guy to see is Chip. He can seem a bit off kilter but it's all good. They do trail work in the summer then rip it all winter. You gotta earn your turns (hike/climb) but that's one of the beauties of telemark. Most people don't use climbing skins out there as the terrain is too "rolly" but rather go with waxless skis which have fish scales on the bottom, or they play the wax game. Which wax for what conditions, changing their wax as the conditions change..bleh. The trails from Whitegrass link up Timberline and I believe you can find your way over to Canaan as well. Not to mention the acerage of the state forest which backs up to Whitegrass. Have you whipped into fighting shape in no time.

At Whitetail there is a small telemark community starting to form. I took up the sport last year and was out at Whitetail beating myself silly when a ski patroller cruised by on tele gear. I dropped in behind himn, finally caught him at the lift, and asked a few questions. He was very nice, introduced me to a dude named Niko, also an avid knee dropper. They put together a tele clinic last winter on a mellow scale (cost 20 bucks if memory serves me right, not including gear).

For more clinic ideas check out http://www.telemarknato.com/

If you wanna road trip for some tele vibe, head north to Mad River Glen, Vermont. Buncha old school freaks up there. I hope to make the drive myself this year.

If you haven't already, start doing lunges. Thousands and thousands of lunges. Mix some cardio and core strengthening. Makes the whole tele ski thing much easier. You can ski them in a parallel technique, but whats the point in that?

Good luck, have fun
Steve
Denis - DCSki Supporter
July 17, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,171 posts
Sorry, I haven't been paying much attention lately. Telemark is great. I started in the late 80s to deal with boredom in the local terrain. It has become a way of life for me. A properly executed telemark turn just feels sooooo good. In powder it is sublime. And it opens up the backcountry. You can go uphill and on the flats as well as down.

I started with a lesson from Chip Chase at Whitegrass Touring Center in Canaan Valley. Now I teach with Whitegrass on busy weekends. Chip held a free backcountry clinic at WG in spring 03 which I helped to teach. He said he would be doing more of that. There were about 8 people in the clinic and we had a blast. Furthermore I have seen almost all of them subsequently at WG. Thus, a generous gesture on Chip's part proved to be good business sense as well and everybody wins. If you prefer to ride lifts, nearby Timberline has the largest and best telemark ski instructor contingent at any mid Atlantic resort, by far.

As for lunges, they are a good exercise but I don't think they are of much use for tele skiing. The problem is that lunges place most of the weight on the front foot. That is exactly what you don't want to do to telemark. The control from the tele turn comes from the rear foot. So if doing lunges, go ahead and lunge but then roll your weight back onto the rear foot. Keep that rear knee well bent and keep the heel low. If you can, briefly lift the front foot and stand there in a martial arts crane stance. That will develop telemark specific strength. Modern ski technique, both alpine and telemark is to be two footed. The old, all weight on the outside ski technique, went out with straight skis, so tele and alpine are not very different today. In fact, everything is the same except which foot leads. If you watch a good telemarker and a good alpiner side by side in powder that is knee deep or deeper, you should be unable to see the difference.
bawalker
July 18, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I've had problems when skiing that may related to this discussion.

Going back to the last time I ever skiied which was in 2002, I noticed something really strange that I think comes from the problem of me not exercising ski muscles during the summer. Feel free to correct me on this. Anyway I was at Timberline with friends who skiied on and off, but they weren't more than moderate beginners themselves although they could tackle greens with no problem, but still fell on things like dew drop and such. Well for me personally I had issues being able to stand in the skis without my legs feeling like they wanted to buckle. I had a really embarassing moment in the thunderdraft lift line where I actually fell because my knee areas became shakey and just gave out.

With snowboarding this has never once been a problem, but when standing in ski's with the knee's slightly bent, that seems to put some sort of weird non painful stress on and around my knees causing them to get jittery. After several minutes of this I simply can't stand because they just give out. This isn't painful, this isn't anything that hurts in the least. It's just like they tire out and give out.

Is this unique to me or is there something I can do to fix that? I wouldn't mind trying to ski again sometime and definately trying telemark. But until I can figure out what is happening I don't want to put myself in danger or danger others.
TomH
July 18, 2005
Member since 07/6/2005
374 posts
Denis - I was glad to see your post. I have searched the archives on telemarking and saw many interesting posts from you. I plan on visiting Wintergrass and Timberline this summer to get the feel for the area and maybe talk to Chip. I hope to take a lesson or two very early in the season to get started on the right foot (or the right backfoot) and to get some guidance on choosing proper equipment. I'd like to get my own equipment as soon as possible so I don't have to deal with renting and can get used to my own stuff. Maybe I'll see you at Wintergrass this winter. If you hear of any clinics that might be held at Wintergrass (or any other nearby area) I would appreciate a post as I would definitely attend. Even when I was heavily into alpine skiing I was always fascinated by telemark skies - I can't wait to give it a try.

Tom H.
comprex
July 19, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
TomH, be sure to keep an eye on PATC-STS's trip calendar here:
http://www.patc.net/chapters/ski/

Note the Tele trips as well as the Ski Fair in early November.

The Ski Fair is a potluck lunch/dinner, trip signup party, place for presentations of trip slide shows or whatever else, and a ski swap all in one. Come on down! (Now, how to get Denis to do a beginner-tele presentation at the Fair . . .)

bawalker hope you get that diagnosed soon. I think it actually deserves its own thread, both here and perhaps on Epicski?
ridenski - DCSki Supporter
July 20, 2005
Member since 04/11/2004
81 posts
My two cents: I'm being recruited to the granola side by some friends who are hardcore pinheads, and I'd really like to get into the backcountry at Dolly Sods. Last winter I headed to Whitegrass for my first tele lesson and had a great time (found out it's harder than it looks, even though I'm a decent alpiner). I wasn't in great shape and spent a lot of my energy hiking back up the hill rather than concentrating on learning tele technique. I was totally exhausted at the end of the day, in a good way, but I think I would make faster progress in my skiing if I had the chairlift time to rest and recover (it's a long rest period at Tline) instead of humping it back up the hill every run. I also happened to be there the day after a few inches of fresh, and the beginner area hadn't been groomed, which I think also increases the degree of difficulty for learning (although it would have been pretty sweet on my regular skis or with a splitboard). Next year I think I'll go to Whitegrass to rent the equipment, and then over to Timberline for a lift-served lesson. I think that's a better setup for learning, and I can have dinner at Whitegrass when I turn in the equipment! I'm definitely up for the group beginner lesson; Timberline's probably the place to have it.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
July 20, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,171 posts
I'd love to meet up with DC Skiers and do some tele skiing. The caveat is I am not much for plans. For many years my life was regimented both weekdays and weekends and everything went according to schedules and plans. Now my kids are grown and gone and successful, and guess what? I've become addicted to living without plans. That said, I do a lot of skiing and a lot of it at Whitegrass. So my recommendation is just go there and ask for me by name; there is only one Denis. If I'm there, we'll ski and if I'm not there somebody else like Chip or Stro, or Charlie, or Tony, or Teri, or Greg, or - - - . Any of us will be glad to do it and we'll have fun. If you guys make a plan for a particular day, I'll try to be there. Likewise if you let me know when the PATC has their ski fair.

Edited to say that it makes a lot of sense to rent tele gear at Whitegrass and take it to Timberline or Canaan and ride lifts. Many people do that. Getting good means skiing a lot of miles and that means riding lifts, unless you can climb and ski every day like Chip. It's hard to ski a lot of miles while climbing for it.
jimmy
July 21, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Denis, I'd be more comfortable learning to turn before learning to earn the turns. Halfway thru the unseason. It feels cooler out already.
comprex
July 22, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Denis any thoughts on learning to tele-turn with Snowfield-class XC boots on skis like the Fischer Outbound series/Atomic RT/Karhu Dorado? Impossible or just plain difficult?

(PS I am using the nomenclature as specified on Pinnah's page here)
teleman
August 3, 2005
Member since 07/8/2005
144 posts
TomH,

My $0.02 about boots, good information is available in Couloir and Backcountry magazines. I have the most experience with Crispi and Garmont.

Crispi:

I skied the CXP for three seasons trying various liner combinations/fit pads to achieve a good fit. After three seasons I gave up on the Crispi's and now use a different boot. The Crispi boot flex is nice, however, a specific foot type is required. I believe you need a medium forefoot width, a low instep, and a medium to narrow heel to be satisfied. I have two of the three and constantly had arch problems because my instep is closer to medium; the pressure was too much to endure even with a custom insole. Most people talk about having the "Crispi Foot" and based on my experience I concur. I would not recommend buying any Crispi boot (built around the same last of the past several seasons) if you don't have a low instep or "flat" foot. Crispi does offer a new boot this year (05-06), the X-R and it may fit differently, but is probably too stiff for the beginner/intermediate.

Garmont:

I now have the Syner-G with the thermo liner. This boot fits my foot with out any significant problems. However I caution you on the sizing. The information on the popular website backcountry.com is not correct. If you base your purchase on their recommendation you will end up with a boot that is too big. The conventional mondo point sizing of 28.0 being a US 10 is misleading. My street shoe size is a 10 and the 27.0 fits fine and I possibly could have gone with a 26.5. The shell sizes change on every whole number, i.e. 27.0 and 27.5 are the same shell. A sizing chart is available on the garmont website and is the most useful information to base a purchase on.

Scarpa:

I have not skied on any of their boots, but have tried on the T2 and could not get a great fit. Whitetail has these boots to demo. Scarpa has a new boot for this season (T2X) and will be a litter beefier than the regular T2.

Liners:

The thermo-moldable liners are warmer and a better fit than the traditional sewn liners. Garmont liners only expand about 5% where Scarpa's expand about 10%. Therefore, a more snug initial fit is recommended for Garmont liners.

I encourage you to buy soon, the prices this upcoming season are high due to the Euro exchange rate.

Telemarkdown.com has the Garmont Syner-G for $375 and the older Gara for $275. If you wait too long the price this fall will likely be $500 for the Syner-G. If you get a boot I can give some advise on molding the liner using your oven at home. This will give you a better fit than the boot heaters at your local shop. Good Luck finding a boot.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
August 8, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,171 posts
Snowfields were the first tele boots I bought. Learned on them and still have them. They are the most comfortable boots I've ever owned. On gentle slopes that are not machine groomed they are a delight. On hard packed ski area slopes they are work. Plastic boots revolutionized tele skiing just as they revolutionized alpine skiing 30 years before. I know. I am old enough to have experienced that one too.

Good boots are expensive and I'd recommend going to Whitegrass and renting for the first few times, just to see what you like. Try climbing for turns at WG itself and renting and taking it to the lifts at Timberline and Canaan Valley. See what you like. Chip will sell used equipment at any time of year but especially after President's weekend. Depending on its condition you should be able to get a good boot for 1/2 to 2/3 of its cost when new. Of course if you get addicted, like me, cost is no object.

Edited to say that I know Pinnah. He is a hard core old school guy and we've had many a friendly argument. A good guy who comes to DC occasionally and we will have a beer and talk. Never skied together which I would like to do.
comprex
August 9, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Thanks Denis.

Any idea if there is still a source for smiley plates?
Denis - DCSki Supporter
August 10, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,171 posts
You don't need them. This is one of the arguments I've had with Dave (Pinnah). Every boot made for tele in the last 15 years has a steel plate buried inside the sole. My snowfields (vintage 1989 or so) have them. I have occasionally had to clean out the pinhole with a bent safety pin or drill bit and I can both feel and see the steel plate. I generally use T3s now and I ground off the duckbills so they would fit my step in crampons for Mt. Washington in the spring. A friend in a local ski shop ground them down for me with a grinding wheel. I was there when he did it and you could see the sparks flying and the bright metal that was exposed.

There was a time when smiley plates were needed but now they are an historical anachronism, just like heel locators. 3-pin bindings are also pretty much an anachronism if you wish to make turns. I use them for touring and easy rolling terrain. For downhilling we are all using cables now. A good lightweight backcountry cable binding is the Riva 2 and you can still get them cheap; try google. It has the added advantage that it will release the boot in a bad fall.

For serious lift served skiing I use Hammerheads. They have amazing control; as good as alpine really.
camp
August 11, 2005
Member since 01/30/2005
554 posts
Quote:

Of course if you get addicted, like me, cost is no object.


Um, yeah, I can certainly vouch for that now...
POWPOW
August 15, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005
124 posts
Wel lsince we are on the good subject of tele gear and myself a class 1 AAA gear whore i am happy to report i have added a 05-06 ski to the quiver. A beauty of a pair of ScottyBob Headrush with Hammerhead bindings.
Swimmer
August 15, 2005
Member since 02/3/2005
143 posts
Anyone have any feedback on the Karhu Dorados? Thinking about a pair for touring around Whitegrass but would love to hear some feedback from them. I am a bit new to buying this sort of gear, and am looking for a waxless backcountry touring ski for the terrain such as Whitegrass. For dinking around in the larger mountains, I just slap on some skins to my K2s.

Thanks in advance
Steve
Denis - DCSki Supporter
August 15, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,171 posts
I have the original ScottyBobs in standard flex; a great ski. It's the sweetest turning tele ski I own and amazingly good on ice. The most powerful ski in my quiver is a Volkl Explosiv (95mm waist) 165. Both of these skis have Hammerheads. My most versatile is the Fischer Boundless Crown 179 (69mm waist) with a Voile VP2 binding. Skis, bindings and boots (Thermoflexed T3s) are under 13 lbs and my favorite WV backcountry set-up. The Boundless is in the same class as the Karhu Dorado, which I've never skied.

I'd love to try ScottyBob's Moby Dick in deep powder, but really any of the above 3 work fine in deep powder once I've made a few turns to get dialed in.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
August 15, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004
2,171 posts
I have the original ScottyBobs in standard flex; a great ski. It's the sweetest turning tele ski I own and amazingly good on ice. The most powerful ski in my quiver is a Volkl Explosiv (95mm waist) 165. Both of these skis have Hammerheads. My most versatile is the Fischer Boundless Crown 179 (69mm waist) with a Voile VP2 binding. Skis, bindings and boots (Thermoflexed T3s) are under 13 lbs and my favorite WV backcountry set-up. The Boundless is in the same class as the Karhu Dorado, which I've never skied.

I'd love to try ScottyBob's Moby Dick in deep powder, but really any of the above 3 work fine in deep powder once I've made a few turns to get dialed in.

So many skis - so little time.
Taylormatt
August 16, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004
339 posts
Another option is 7 Springs. Jim Kapp is an L3 Nordic instructor. He's available nearly every weekend. He also coordinates Telepalooza each year which is a big pinhead event
comprex
August 17, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Does Willi's stock telestuff?
Taylormatt
August 17, 2005
Member since 12/3/2004
339 posts
To be honest, I have no idea.
POWPOW
August 17, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005
124 posts
for tele gear check out
www.telemarkski.com

Backcountry.com
I have had excellent service with both
comprex
October 12, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Right.

The PATC Swap/trip signup date is November 5th. (Saturday)

If any of you pinheads feel like hanging around crunchy nordic types, or to join for a potluck lunch/lecture/slides/swap, it's at the Vienna headquarters of the Potomac Appalachian Trail club as shown on the map: 118 Park Street, Se
BrianS
October 12, 2005
Member since 09/15/2005
4 posts
Willi's does not carry tele gear, although they will special-order it. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, Exkursion in Monroeville carries tele gear, although I don't know what they are stocking this very minute. Seven Springs also rents tele gear and offer tele instruction.

For more info on Western PA tele skiing, check out the Appalachian Telemark Organization: ATA homepage. "Telepalooza" is a great event: instruction at all levels, gear demos, races, prizes, and general fun -- highly recommended if you can make it.

If you prefer the Canaan Valley area, I can't speak highly enough of Whitegrass. If you must have lifts, Timberline also offers excellent instruction, although I don't know if they offer tele rentals.
jimmy
March 21, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Last chance this season?

"3/26 Telemark Spring Skiing Workshop
Free heelers! Do you want to improve your on piste skiing, bumps, crud, or racing skills? Join us for a telemark workshop that is open to all levels and personalized to your needs. Registration is from 8:00-9:00 and we plan to be on the snow from 9:00-4:00 with about an hour for lunch. Registration is located in Timberline's Event Room adjacent to the cafeteria.
Need equipment? Check out our rental program. Last season we added Garmont boots and Fisher skis!
For more information email nordic@timberlineresort.com or call (800) SNOWING and ask for the ski school desk. To Register for the workshop click here."
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

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