The Pachon or Lurk, old style telemark

chenal pachon

The pachon is the french name for the lurk,

In a trip last winter to Savoie, France, telemark legend Jean-Louis Chenal gave me a pachon.

I was honored and trilled to have this beautiful piece of art. The lurk is just a long wood stick used to balanced yourself and to propel the flats. It has been replaced in modern telemark skiing with two poles.The pachon was the Sheppard stick to gather the sheep. The fun part is that it was hollowed to be filled with genepy,the local alcohol. Mine is unfortunately not hollowed (yet).

The ski part is even more interesting. You can use a bamboo stick most ski resort have. If you ask a ski patroller, he will certainly lend you one.

Skiing with a long stick has lots of advantages and everybody should try it. First the balanced is truly easier. Second and most important, it allows the telemark skier to separate the upper and lower body. Having both hands on one stick will enhanced a lot of the good and the bad. At first, concentrate in having but hands facing downhill. Don’t worry if it’s not easy at first. As you turn, you can move the lurk as a kayak paddle, making the upper body move the opposite way you’re turning. That is if your moving your right leg forward for a left turn, you will be moving your kayak stroke right, bringing the left hand forward. Make sure you keep the stroke short or you will lose balanced after one or two turns. And make sure you bring the hand forward instead of pulling on the lurk, it helps keep your hands forward all the time.

This is a good exercise but it does not meet today’s performance of two poles. See it as a way to experienced upper body and lower body counter twist.

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