Last year, at a certain point, I was wondering about the impact of this blog and how I could do better.
I set myself three goals with one of them having more people to start Telemark…
In it’s second year, the Elle Telemark is about the go live.
This year again, it’s Maryse Paquette, a good friend of mine and a true telemark passionate reached out to organized the event. She also happens to be an ambassador for Oakley Active. Great stuff!
Just to give you an example, last week she organized a White Lips event where she got 60 gals introduced to the Backcountry on alpine, telemark and split board.
So this year again, she organizes every details of Elle Telemark (literally She Telemark) . Once again, it should be a blast.
Great Partners Makes The Difference
With incredible partners like Black Diamond Equipment, LeYéti.com who helps a lot with the rental equipment, Mont Sainte-Anne who is the perfect place for this event and who came back this year really wanting this event to grow… WOW. and it has. We have doubled the number of subscriptions to 40.
It’s a small drop in an ocean of skiers and boarders and it’s nothing like the impact of Dickie Hall with NATO but the goal here is just to have a statement. Telemark has a great image and a lot of people are just waiting for an opportunity to try.
The Next Step
Here and now, I will make a statement. My next goal is going to organise a Kids Telemark event. I’m not sure when, I have no idea how, but it will be my next goal. (maybe I can get Maryse to help me!)
Telemark is the best feeling. There is no reason not to believe it’s going to KEEP growing in the future years
A self proclaimed “Professional Ski Bum,” Paul has been skiing since he was two and freeheeling since 2005.
He has competed in big mountain telemark competitions from Crested Butte Colorado to Alyeska Alaska and won a couple of them.
A mainstay in Powderwhore films, Paul is feartured in “Flakes,” “Breaking Trail,” “Television”, “Elevation,” and their newest film, “Some Thing Else.”
He is excited about coaching and skiing with the youth of telemark as much as possible and fostering a future for the sport.
Talked in this Episode:
Partnering with Jake Sakson, Paul started the Beartooth Basin Telemark Camp that offers two sessions of freeride telemark instruction in June.
Check out telemarkfreeridecamps.com
for more info and register before January 15th for a $200 discount.
Shaun Raksin is a rad telemark skier.
She is considered one of the best Big Mountain telemark skier on the planet. Let’s dive in her life as a pro telemark skier. Let’s see exactly how she became one of the top telemark female athlete on the planet. Listen up to the story of Shaun Raskin
Hey Telemark Tribe
This is it.
The moment a lot of you have been waiting for.
I’m so so excited.
Here are a few example of people emailing me about it
This years Telemark Foundation is going to be out of this league
I’ve been working VERY HARD and I know you’ll LOVE IT.
But more on that in a little bit.
A little bit about me:
When I started telemark skiing, I got hook instantly.
But it took me a couple of years to become comfortable on my telemark. I was not instantly at the same level that I was alpine skiing but I was out there doing it full time. At that point I had left the ski instructor position and moved out west in the Canadian Rockies. That first year, I had a hard a time on my tele.
Yes I enjoyed every moment, but I also struggle to ski the things I wanted to ski.
I can’t count how many times I cart wheeled down the slope or how many times I fell head first for memorable face plants.
Looking back, this was the most dangerous time in my progression.
I wanted to improve but I didn’t know how.
And I now realize I could have seriously injured a knee, my back or a shoulder.
I had a few people around to show me but it was always the “just do like me” technique.
Today people usually do not believe that I have no real talent for telemark.
But it’s true. If you look at my progression, I was not different than the average skier.
But I skied a lot. That’s really all I did.
More than 100 days a year for 15 years.
I’ve built a shack, camped, lived in trailers to work as little as possible and to ski as much as possible.
The best season was 1999-2000 in Whistler. I got a job at the ski school. In those days, if you told them you had a place to stay, they would hire you.
But on the first day when I told them I did not have a pair of alpine skis, they were dumb founded. They put me with the 3-4 years old and told me I could keep my winter boots. Perfect.
I worked 2 days a week, lived in a shack I built literally between two runs, and I skied every day I could. That year, I met a lot of really good telemark skiers, and skied with them. They showed me around but also, I got to watch them and try to execute.
If I’m not the fastest learner, my real talent is to analyse others.
How they do it, what they do that’s different, and I started to analyse every part of their skiing.
I remember one guy name Simon, a local that could do anything from jumping of 90 foot cliff to ski 65 degree slope to carve on ice. He was and still is today, the best telemark skier I’ve meet. And he was dedicated to being out there, in the mountains, day in and day out. I immediately hit it off with Simon.
I also skied with a lot of other telemark skiers.
From looking at Simon and other great telemark skiers. I realize something.
That something became the basic element of how I teach telemark, how I analyse people’s main problem or flaw as I like to call it.
This is so powerful yet so simple.
There’s only ONE THING that separates very good telemark skiers and the average telemark skier I was.
Only one thing.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s not talent
(When someone tells me they can’t progress it has nothing to do with pure talent. Even at high competitive levels, talent comes second).
It’s not equipment.
(The average telemark skier can spend 1000 to 3000$ a year on equipment, some way more. Good equipment is fun to have and it has improved greatly in the past decade but there were awesome telemark skiers before that).
It’s not where you ski or who you ski with
(Too many telemark skier focus on looking around to see who’s doing it and not)
So what is it?
It’s knowing what is killing your telemark right NOW
It’s having the ability to understand the steps to get where you want to be.
Not just being good,
Because, like Henry Ford said: Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re RIGHT
Telemark is unique. The flow is unique.
Remember when you first got to link a few turns and just got that Haha moment.
And as you progress, it only gets better. The feeling of a great flowy powder run, or carving so much that your uphill leg touhs the snow is hard to beat.
And that’s often leading to not knowing what to focus on, what to do next in order to get that feeling
And we all know the reward: the feeling of the FREE HEEL, the energy created from those turns…
The best part?
Imagine you could know for sure what is killing your telemark skiing.
Know exactly the steps you need to do to improve like never before.
Once you start on this path, it become addictive.
But the truth is, the path to becoming a great telemark skier is not that complicated.
You only need to focus on the keys that will get you to the next step.
If you’ve have been telemark skiing for a couple of years, it becomes harder and harder to improve.
That’s a big problem.
Because when the good times comes, you want to enjoy every turn.
Whether is that trip that you have been planing or when the conditions are heaven like:
… I want to feel like I’m surfing down the hill.
… I want to carve that groomer,
… I want to float through powder and get those face shoots
… In the spring, I want to enjoy that perfect corn snow just soft enough that I can rail those turns, just hard enough that I can blast at high speed.
When the good times come (and there’s only a few a year) I certainly don’t want to feel insecure
(Am I going to break my leg and miss three weeks of work?)
I want to be on my A game and enjoy that flow so unique to the telemark turn.
The BIG question is:
How can you make this season the best in your life.
… without loosing the fun of the free heel turn
… without waisting days being burnt by noon
… without being frustrated spending time on tips that won’t work for you.
That’s where my project comes in.
I’m dubbing December “Biggest Change in your Telemark Month.”
And beginning on December 7th, I’ll share my recipe on how to create dedication, improve dramatically and find that light bulb moment you had that day. There will be HD videos, all-new webinars, and more.
More specifically, here’s what to expect:
This tutorials are based on the 7 flaws of telemark.
Through out my 17 years of teaching … I’ve discovered theses flaws kept coming back.
The 7 flaws are so powerful because they focus on what is not working NOW
Telemark is a complexe synchronization of movement.
Your main flaw is looking you down, whatever you try to improve, it’s not going to be easy.
Sometimes, focusing on the wrong problem can even get you in the wrong direction and do even more arm than good.
I’ve developed this method to rapidly and efficiently solve people’s main flaw.
Yeah that’s right.
We all have a main flaw that is really killing our telemark technique, and by simply eliminating that flaw, you will improve dramatically.
In this three video series, I will show you all the flaws.
I’ll also take you behind the scenes of two people that have followed this method.
Plus, you will get access to the exact sequence I use to improve year after year and how to effectively apply it to you.
This all means that I’m going to send you a lot of email over the next few weeks. And there will be work for you to do.
You see, we’re starting the 2014-15 season, and if you’d like to CRUSH it on telemark from day 1, you’re going to LOVE the material I prepared for you.
But if you feel like you’re already skiing great, and you don’t need to know how really fast forward your path to improvement, feel free to click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this email. No hard feelings.
As I said, I will begin sending this material to you starting on December the 7th. In the mean time, I want you to do two things:
If you are not on my Newsletter, you need to subscribe to get all the content.
If you already receive my emails, great you’re all set
Are you going to join me (and the rest of the Telemark Tribe) on this journey towards passion and dedication ?
Leave a comment BELOW
In that comment, I want you to do one simple thing: tell us what is your greatest challenge on telemark. That’s it!
I’m still putting the finishing touches on this material, and this will be your chance to get your question answered by me personally.
Go leave a comment now.
P.S. Look, if you are interested in improving massively this winter, don’t miss this. Over the next few days, I’m going to send you a TON of FREE training on how to telemark
Today we meet with Josh Madsen.
He’s been exclusively a telemark skier since 1992. Loving it. He’s been a sponsored athlete since 2002. In 2004, he started a webzine called FreeheelLife.com that ran until 2008. He’s appeared in several movie productions including Warren Miller’s Higher Ground (2005) as well as many independent telemark movies. He’s produced, filmed, edited and toured internationally 5 of my own telemark movies. He was the Editor of Telemark Skier Magazine 2009-12. He then purchased Telemark Skier Magazine in 2012. He’s just opened Freeheel Life Telemark Ski Shop in 2014.
Nobody is really doing this, we can really make it OUR OWN
Link to this episode
Unparalleled II (Links to amazon to buy the movie, I have not found a youtube preview. One left for sale!
and Big Cottonwood
Josh on the web
A few of Josh edits that we talked in the interview.
Do you use leash on not releasable telemark binding in the resorts.
On all skis or boards, you need to have a system to hold or stop the device from going down if it were to leave your feet. Image a ski or board going down a slope at great speed hitting someone on the head and killing him. It’s happened, I’m sure.
As a ski patrol, I have seen a lot of dangerous situations and a few close calls.
On Alpine skis, the fact that the binding is releasable, brakes have been the norm for quite a while.
On snowboards, a leash should be attached to one of the legs. This practice is not followed by any snowboarders I know. The reason is quite simple, the binding system is very reliable. 20 years back or so, I remember seeing bindings rip from boards after a hard landing and going down like crazy. I’ve seen this happen with alpine skis and telemark as well.
Telemark skiers are mostly responsible people and most of them use leashs to link the boots to the binding. If after a great fall, if the binding was to release, the skis would go nowhere.
Now there is a few telemark bindings that comes with release and brakes so we’ll leave these out of the conversation.
I don’t use a leash and have been doing so for 10 years.
I know, I know, that’s not very wise. Quite stupid frankly.
And you are right. If my binding was to release for no reason, my ski would go down like a missile.
But it’s never happened.
That’s another stupid thinking I know.
Then comes risk management.
Risk zero does not exist.
Any living is doom to end. The goal is to rationally choose the most acceptable path to the end.
Water is dangerous so we learn to swim.
Telemark binding are not safely held to the boot so we put a leash.
My years of experiences have thought me that binding tension will always loosen, so I’ve made a rule to always check that the tension is all good. And that’s always been enough to keep my binding to my feet, unless a great fall. Like a really good bail. And then, I’m kind of happy that the ski releases.
This has happened to me a few times. Manly in tight woods, where the skis got stuck and got riped from my feet.
See what I mean at 2:50
That one time, I was skiing with a demo ski and it had a leash. I injured my leg on the scene. When my leg when under the snow, I felt the binding go with out to much tension, then I felt the leash hard wire create a large amount of tension. It broke. At the time, I was sure I had blown my knee, but luckily, after a week, I was good to go…
So, did the leash do it’s job?
It did not prevent the ski from becoming a missile.
And it injured my knee in the process
Managing the Risk
As I said, it’s all about reducing the risk to an acceptable minimum.
This is what I see as a ski patrol, 99% of the time:
- For telemark skiers. If they have to remove their skis in a steep slope, they will have a lot of difficulty to put it back on. and sometimes, one of the skis will escape…. Missile of dead
- For snowboarders, beginners will remove their snowboard to walk down a harder section. The board will slip out of their hands for what ever reason, and the missile is launched.
Now there is still that 1%
That’s where risk management comes in place. Is that 1% were the missile launch could have been avoided by a leash.
Leashes are not a no fail system as seen in the video. And they don’t even avoid the main danger’s I’ve seen.
It’s now accepted in the snowboard scene that leashes are non sense and, around me at least, you never see a snowboarder wear one.
For the telemark scene, I don’t think it’s that much different.
Make sure your binding tension is right every time you put the ski on. That will save you and the surrounding skiers 99.9% of the time.
Then if you feel more secure wearing a leash please do. Especially if you’re a beginner and you are not aware of what is the right tension in your bindings… Or if you are using older bindings that did not create as much tension.
Dave Bombard is the owner of Bishop binding Company. More than just a business man, he’s really just a passionate telemark skier, doubled with a engineer and MBA background. When I meet with Dave, I only saw the telemark skier. His passion is at the core of his life and you will discover a true ambassador for the sport.
Discover your inner ski bum with this inspiring story. Nanou went from literally a top cancer researcher in a laboratory to full time pro patrol in a year. After nearly a decade of her inner voice talking, she took a leap of fate and fulfilled her dream, drove out west and telemarked day in and day out.
A lot of these GREAT pictures are from William Eaton. A big thanks for letting me post them here. You can see his work on Instagram @Williameatonphoto
I went to the 39th NATO telemark Festival.
That’s more than a few.
Located in the State of Vermont, Mad River Glen is an Iconic mountain resort of Eastern North America. It’s got a Single Chair lift, and it’s barely got man made snow.
Needless to say it have been many years on my hit list.
So here I was, ready for my first ride up the Single, as the local call it, waiting in line when the guy behind ask me about my skis:”what kind are those”
And that was it. That’s all it took to embark on one of the easy going, best vibe and fun week end of my life. No wonder it’s been around for so long…
That’s how I meet Steve, Wendy and Ben and about two dozen other enthousiast. They have been part of MRG and NATO for all these years. They simply welcomed me in there universe: Do you like to ski in the trees? Wendy asked.
I did not know much about NATO (North American Telemark Organisation) but I knew they helped created telemark like it is today. Their movies the Joy of Telemark and Sweet Joy helped define and have shown a lot of people how to telemark over the years.
But I discovered the real influence NATO have over the sport. You cannot organize a festival for 39 year with such success if you are not dedicated to the sport like Dickie Hall, president, is. And it’s not only him, it’s a full crowd of passionate people including Wendy, Steve and Ben.
I was sucked in the telemark community. I ended up skiing with Steve or his friends, or his friends-friends for the week-end. I got shown the best glades, the worst glades, the steep, the fun boardercross like classic narrow runs. Just a blast. By the time the party came in the evening I felt like part of the Mad River community like if I had been part of it for years. Wendy took my under her wing, presented me to everybody. Drank the BEST beer ever, thanks to Lawson’s Finest Liquid, awesome band playing all the classic rock so that everyone is dancing, a super nice firework… You just can’t reproduce such a welcoming ambiance like that. You have it or you don’t. And the Mad locals definitely have it.
I got invited to a supper, to sleep over, to try the best blue berry pancakes ever…
See what kind of spirit I mean
The next day, back to square one, skiing steep, engaging runs with a large bunch of really fun people. All levels or age, just so dedicated. In the evening was the Bump Buffet race, a short mogul race with a small jump right at the bottom of the mountain for the best ambiance possible. The run was perfect for all levels from kids to expert skiers, everybody having fun and cheering for each other. I completely miss my first run and ended up putting a decent second run to win the event. What a blast.
Another round of Lawson’s perfect liquid, with a cool band…
I’ll definitely be there this year for the 40th anniversary. You need to be there too.
In Podcast #5 with Dickie Hall, I give you the chalenge to find a telemark event, festival near you. If you can’t decided, you should definitely check NATF 40th edition on March 7-8 2015. You can see all NATO schedule here
I found a lot of good video on youtube about Mad River Glen like this one
But none reflect the reality of this unique resort. You have to ski it. It’s steeper, more rugged, than any other ski area I’ve ever been in the East. Almost every run has cliffs, ice, bumps and rock mixed in such an unpredictable manner that it’s all in on every turn. The concentration, the commitment needs to be 100% on every turn.
I just love it.
The moto: Ski it if you can… Mad River Glen, is more than deserved.
Yet, everybody can ski it. It’s ski like it used to be, it’s ski like it should be. The very few groomed runs are narrow any turny, the glades are anywhere from tight to really tight and one third of the ski runs are not on the map. Yet, everybody could ski it…
Meeting with the ski patrollers, the number of injuries is very low compared to the national statistics. I was not so surprised. After many years pro patrolling on one of the hardest ski resort in Eastern Canada, I have only ever evacuate 4 or 5 injured people on a mogul run or in the glades. On the other side, I can’t count the number of days I have had more than 5 injured skiers in one day, on wide, groomed blue runs
The average skill level of the local Mad River Glenner is higher than average but even beginners were on the mountain and doing fine. Everyone’s pace is different, but every one could ski it.
If you want a chalenge, the best ambiance a mountain can give and meet the best people in Vermont, head over to the Mad River Glen 40th telemark festival with Dickie and his friends. You definitely won’t regret it.