Revelstoke 2.0

Hello Telemark Tribe,

Here is few shots of last year’s gathering at Revelstoke.

If you’ve been visiting this blog for a while you know how much I love to meet fellow telemark skiers.

(if the video is not playing, you can see it on youtube here)

 

Want in?

If you’d like to be part of this year’s (2019) super trip to Revelstoke simply email me at: info@absolutetelemark.com

Hurry!

There is only a few places left.

We had a blast last season at Revelstoke, BC Canada. We were 8 telemark skiers staying at the Sutton Place and the setup was REALLY good.

Ski in-ski out great food, awesome skiing.

We’re going BACK

Seeing the results from last year, I’m very confident that this is going to be a great week again.

We skied 6 days last year, and it was a bit too much.

You can always buy another ticket for an extra day if you want, or go heliskiing, which 3 persons did last year.

WHEN: Dates are January 18th to 25th 2019.

The price is 3500$ CAD +tx (around $2700 USD)

What’s in the package

  • 5 days skiing,
  • 7 nights hotel (4*) ski in-ski out, single occ studio
  • transfer from the airport
  • Absolute telemark fun tribe
  • max group size is 8

 

18th: We arrive, first night, no skiing
19th: first day  skiing
20th: ski
21st: ski
22nd: day off. You can go heliskiing or snowmobiling or buy a lift ticket and go on the mountain. Or just chill out in the hot tub. I will not be available on that day as I will do a shift with ski patrol
23rd: ski
24th: ski and last night at the hotel
25th: flight back home, no skiing
That’s 7 nights and 5 ski days with me.
I will teach and give tips as much as I can. The good combo I found last trip was about 20% teaching, 80% just skiing so that you don’t get too much of teaching, exercises, and me talking.
I will film you during the day and we will have two evening video sessions where I talk about your skiing and what you can improve.

 

Depending on the snow condition, these should be on the evening of the 20th and on the 23rd

 

The teaching is not so much separated and I will mix depending on the group’s energy, the snow conditions and so on. In the end, I want this to be a ski trip first, with the best time possible with telemark fellows.
No meals included. The rooms are fully equipped so you can cook if you want. We usually went to the restaurent for lunch but most people went to the grocery and planed some meals for breakfast and lunch.

 

Want more info?

 

email me and we can chat about this incredible week.
info@absolutetelemark.com

Tribute to one of the members of last year: Crazy

 

How to telemark in moguls

Moguls telemark picture + PLAY

Hey Telemark Tribe,

Here is a series on how to telemark in moguls. More videos will be added along the season.

I will try to explain my philosophy to understand the bumps like never before.

You will learn and get great tips along the way.

Skip the videos you don’t like but remember that this is more than pointers, it’s a concept that makes a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to full tutorial videos, I got a great deal for you, here:

Mogul Telemark

 

 

Telemark is Dead: Response to Powder Skier Magazine

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I’ve heard it hundreds of times.

Telemark is dead, or Is telemark dead?

Well, I would agree to some degree.
Yes, it’s on a low.

It was popular around 10-15 years ago. You have to say popular with a sense of proportion. It’s always been marginal. There are no benefits. There never was.
I can’t buy new equipment around here. I live in Quebec City, an 800 000 inhabitants Nordic City in the province that counts the most ski resorts in all North America.

We love skiing in Quebec for sure.
Not telemark.

First, you should go read the article by Hans Ludwig. His arguments are really a Telemark vs alpine skiing trend confrontation.

So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll give you my perspective on that confrontation.

Gear:

SKI:

This is an interesting area. I would agree that alpine gear as taken a strong turn around 2010, fat skis, light and powerful boots with incredible walk mode have really changed the game. The shift happened, the mass started to go out in the backcountry and most of them were not fit to carry the big alpine gear.

Dynafit already had the lowtech binding but it was not really popular with anybody but ski guides or people earning there turns more than riding a chair lift.

Yes technology killed the attraction for telemark as a BC tool.

TELEMARK:

What funny is that it’s exactly how telemark became popular in the 90s, gear. Plastic boots arrived on the scene and the sport changed forever. That’s faded away now.

As for the point that no major improvements have been made in recent years, I disagree. The bindings have seen major improvements with NTN and TTS alike bindings. The change is BIG. the passion is strong with a lot of small companies, but you have to agree that gear has evolved with the very limited money invested by the big companies. TTS, Bishop and 22 Design, Voile in the US have all released new bindings since 2010. The M Equipment and their Meidjo have been the most creative in my mind. All these companies are still doing business. They have very creative ideas that will become the telemark experience of tomorrow and just like the debate about leather vs plastic boot we had 20 years ago, there will always be a before and after NTN telemark scene.

The missing piece are the boots. We are still with the same design we had 15 years ago. And that’s the most expensive to R&D. It’s the only thing that could kill the sport. If the numbers would get too low, the companies stop making them. Never mind innovate.

Culture

SKI:

But BC was  so marginal, it was for the purist.

Now the masses do both, inbound and outbound. They want a new experience. The resorts are all the same, groomed, pack with lift lines, pricy…

It’s the whole ski industry that’s going down. The numbers are not disastrous but it’s not a booming industry like it was. A lot of people think that snowboarding and parabolic have saved the industry. Now, the lowtech binding is the new buzz. Look at all the big companies, jumping in that direction. We are seeing the small family owned resorts closing and the giant corporations making risky moves with huge investments. Will the industry survive the transformation as a whole? I think it’s fair to ask. Maybe Chinese will save the gear industry. It’s getting very popular over there I hear. But will they come ski in our resorts. Will it be enough to support the whole industry?

TELEMARK is different.

It’s a crow of passionate people. We ski about 3 times more days than any other snowsport. There is no mass. You don’t receive telemark gear for Christmas and try it for 3 days in the holidays. This is what alpine skiing numbers are. Loads of less than 5 days a season skiers. They are the moving force. Will they stay.

And we don’t do it because it’s cool, trendy or eccentric. If you telemark, you know it’s all about the turn. PERIOD. There are no other arguments in favour of the telemark turn. Alpine is just better in every way. And it was in the mid 2000 as well. Gear doesn’t matter. So it will never pass a 5-10% market share we had a decade ago.

Telemark skiers are the most passionate. This is a major plus. I can alpine any run I can telemark. For me it’s just playing the video game with a cheat code. The fun is altered. I would change to split boarding before going to alpine skiing for sure.

We will not make the industry survive or fail. But the skier will.

Future:

SKI:

Who knows? Will the prices keep rising? Will climate change make snowmaking financially viable? Will the new generations keep coming to the super resorts? After all snowboard have hit a plateau too. The Snowsport Industry is asking these same questions right now.

TELEMARK:

There is a lot more telemark skiers than a mere 10 000. This web site alone has 30 000 visitors a month. I have a YouTube video with 200 000 views. That doesn’t look dead to me.
Yes, Vermonters will keep it alive. Eastcoast terrain is perfect for telemark for sure. I hear that the alps have very dynamic festivals, race, communities especially in France, Italy and Austria.

In fact, telemark is really great at gathering people with a different mind set.
Small pockets everywhere.

  • Remember your HAHA moment, how you felt for the first time the telemark turn
  • Remember the gear you use to ski with. And it worked. It’s not about the gear
  • I have never tried to convince people around me to tele. But each year I see newcomers attracted by the smooth, flowy turns.

Conclusion

On the personal, small-scale side, it’s obvious. Telemark will never die. It’s the best feeling. It’s hard, it’s physically and technically harder. But the rewards are making me come for more.

On the global economic scale, it’s harder now. The wheel is turning slower. I don’t think Chris, Pierre or Dave will make the Fortune top 1 000 000 richest people by selling bindings. But if it’s sustainable, we have dedicated companies still pushing the technology.

For those two reasons, I declare that Telemark is alive :)

I should do an interview with 4 ex-skier that have changed to telemark and ask them what they think about the ski industry

Leave your comments below.

 

Telemark Gear 2018 – part 2

Telemark Gear 2018 part 2

Here Is The Accessoires I bring in the Backcountry

Notice: I’m sponsored and don’t pay much for the gear I use. BUT I can get pretty much all the gear I want so this is really the gear I wish to have, and I can still tell you my honest opinion. This is my gear choice, that fits my need. Take what you need from it, leave what you don’t.

For all of you telemark tribe gear freaks, here is all the little stuff that makes a big difference.

I’m not going to list everything I present but here is the majority

 

Emergency Sled – Stellar Equipment

https://www.facebook.com/stellar.equipement/

stellar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evac 7 Shovel – Black Diamond Equipment

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_CA/snow-safety-and-avalanche-gear-BD102187_cfg.html#start=1

102187_evac7_handle_cllpsd_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probe – Black Diamond Equipment

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_CA/snow-safety-and-avalanche-gear/quickdraw-probe-carbon-240-BD1091040000ALL1.html#start=1

109104_carbon240_blue_vert_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSP Pro – Pieps Beacon

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_CA/pieps-avalanche-beacons-PP1127710000ALL1.html#start=1

PP112771_PIEPS_DSP_Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jetforce Air Bag Saga 40 – Black Diamond Equipment

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_CA/jetforce-airbag/saga-40-jetforce-BD681303_cfg.html#start=1

681303_FRED_Saga40_JetForce_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telemark Ski Gear 2018 – Part 1

Telemark gear 2018

Here Is My Gear for This Season

Notice: I’m sponsored and don’t pay much for the gear I use. BUT I can get pretty much all the gear I want so this is really the gear I wish to have, and I can still tell you my honest opinion. This is my gear choice, that fits my need. Take what you need from it, leave what you don’t.

 

For all of you telemark tribe gear freaks, here is what I have chosen for this season

 

 

My ski gear (skis, boots, bindings, skins, poles)

 

Boots:

 

Crispy Evo WC

These boots as got it all. Powerful, that’s my #1 concern in all my boots. They have plenty of power

They’re obviously not the lightest but the touring mode is very impressive when all buckles are open and they are durable. They are not the easiest to boot fit but if they fit you well from the start, you should have no problem.

 

 

2017-crispy world-cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skis

Helios 117 and Helios 95

I use the Helios 117mm and 95mm from Black Diamond.

I’ve been using BD skis for over a decade now and this Helios series is in my top 2 most liked ever.

They’re light but they ski big. I didn’t think this could be.

The build quality is unparalleled and I’ve skied the 117mm for a season now with very little wear and tear, so durability is there too.

Simply put, they ski big, feel quick underfoot and are crazy light. Now that’s a triple combo hard to beat.

WARNING: BD does NOT recommend mounting telemark binding on their Helios series. Do it at your own risk.

115101_Helio_116_camber_web2

115103_Helio_95_camber_web2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bindings

The Meidjo

The Meidjo binding from The M Equipment has been my dream binding for 4 seasons now.

They are light, the touring mode is just phenomenal and they ski really great.

I’ve had a few problems here and there with different parts of the binding over the years but nothing more than my old Black Diamond  O1.

And I like the fact that they are always improving the design we are now on version 2.1

The addition of the alpine heelset makes it an absolute backcountry combo

0-Meidjo-2-1

 

 

 

 

 

The Outlaw X

The Outlaw X from Twenty Designs is a fantastic binding that is better than Rottefella NTN binding in every way.

The ski better, with less limitation, are as powerful, have an incredibly better touring mode that the NTT Freedom.

Plus, they are super solid.

This is a no brainer

outlawx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poles

I like to have a fix length aluminum for inbounds or side country. Just lighter and feels better. Choose any GOOD fix length aluminum and had a powder basket.

I also use an adjustable pole for touring and I adjust to different lengths to adapt to the terrain. This can really save energy during the day.

I use BD Boundary poles which will also fit my snow saw for cutting nice snow blocks for my avalanche assessment snow pits.

 

1313957_601_main1314080_408_main

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skins

Climbing skins is not the sexiest subject but it really makes a huge difference.

Trim them perfect, sell your old pair with the old skis and (bis) trim them perfectly.

I use the BD mix Mohair nowadays manly for the great durability of the glue, plus the placability of the Mix mohair.

The difference is HUGE for me.

 

mix mohair skins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you use?

Put your gear in the comments

 

THIS SEASON: SKI WITH RENE-MARTIN

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Hello telemark tribe.

For this season, I have set myself some goals.

I do this every season.

This season, I want to experience the community like never before.

You have been so awesome supporting this website and I now feel that it has grown into something bigger.

During the winter, I get 20 or 30 emails a week specifically thanking me on how my teaching has changed your telemark technique. Most often, people will talk about how one of the 7 flaws has solved a lot of little bad habits.

This is great but this season, I want to experience something new.

I want to invite you to ski with me in Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

This is a mountain in Western Canada, and I have never been. I’ve heard a lot of great things from Cristina Gareau and Stephane Riendeau, two past guests on the Telemark Tips Podcast.

And so here we are.

Ski with Rene-Martin in Revelstoke

This is made possible by Gendron Travel, Quebec’s biggest ski travel agency.

I’ve partnered with them to organize one week of Telemark skiing in Revelstoke.

 

WHO IS IT FOR:

  • Strong intermediate and above, you have to be comfortable going down in a strong telemark turn and have experience skiing in powder. This destination is not for beginners. Much of the territory is composed of glades and alpine terrain. Expect moguls, powder and long runs.
  • 19 years old and older

WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT:

  • This is not a private or group lesson.
  • This a guided trip with teaching so that you can improve your telemark technics significantly. I will film you, teach you, give you tips, exercises to do BUT, in the end, expect more skiing and less than two hours of teaching a day.
  • Expect resort inbound skiing. No backcountry with the group, but you can always choose to leave the group and ski by yourself.
  • I’m not a travel agency, that’s why I’ve partnered with Gendron Travel. In the end, they will be responsible for putting together your trip, booking your insurance, taking care of cancellation if the need arises… Make sure you address all questions to them regarding these topics. Gendron Travel can also book your flight and offer advice.
  • I will take up to 11 telemark skiers.
  • The price does not include flight, equipment, meals and alcohol. It will include lodging, transportation, ski tickets and my services.
  • The Sutton Place is a 4-star hotel. So, Tele-ski bums are welcomed but will have to shower.

Want to join?

Easy.

All is explained on this page.

Price, what’s include, visit http://ski.voyagesgendron.com/en/2017/09/28/13768/

If it’s meant to happen…

This is my goal

Have a great season.

Rene

 

Repost: Training for the season

photo training post-2

Hey Guys,

This is the time of the season where you need to think about what will make the difference.

 

Telemark Training For The Season

 

This  is a blog post from last season and it’s still extra valid

Make sure you get the training you need, meaning, don’t just copy, make it your own and DO IT.

Avoid injuries, make the most of your season from day one, get to the next level, WHATEVER your age or health.

If you train right, it will make a difference.

 

 

Review of the Meidjo 2.0 Telemark Binding

See the Meidjo 2.0  with brakes

This is my review of the second version of the Meidjo Telemark Binding, made by the French company The-M-Equipment.

Hey Guys, this is René-Martin for Absolute Telemark and here is my review of the Meidjo Binding.

 

First, I really like the first version but I found a couple of flaws.

This binding is just awesome for touring, giving you the same ease of ascension as any low tech alpine binding. This is what brought me to the Meidjo from the get-go.

This is probably true for all the TTS family binding as I like to call them .

So what is so different about the 2.0 version?

Is it durable?

Does it ski well?

What’s changed?

Check out the video above for all my thought on this binding and what will improve for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

 

For more info, check out my friend Craig Dostie’s review on Earn Your Turn

You can get the binding in the US at Telemark Down.

 

 

Chic-Chocs Series: Discover Vertigo-Aventures

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Discover the Chic-Chocs Mountain Range in Eastern Canada

Let’s discover one of the best-kept secrets, Vertigo-Aventures

You like fresh snow, remote mountain range, you are in for something different.

Eastern Canada is not the number one destination in the world for backcountry skiing. But if you are in the East, this has to be on your radar for its accessibility and the possibility to get very good turns for a fraction of the price to go to Japan.

Discover the Chic-Chocs with this special series on the different location and guiding services available.
We start this series with Vertigo Aventures. This is the destination for serious backcountry skiing. Located in the Western part of the Chic-Chocs, Vertigo Aventures is based at the foot of the Mont Blanc Massif and it get dumped with massive snowfall year after year.

This is the destination for serious backcountry skiing. Located in the Western part of the Chic-Chocs, Vertigo Aventures is based at the foot of the Mont Blanc Massif (Quebec, Canada) and it get dumped with massive snowfall year after year. This is my third season and I’ve seen snowpacks ranging from close to 2 m this year all the way to close to 3 meters in the valley. Ski Runs are very diverse and you can choose from 200m vertical 25 degree

Ski Runs are very diverse and you can choose from 200m vertical 25-degree angle slope all the way to close to 600m vertical and 40+ degree. The terrain is in majority below treeline but you also get some nice open fields above tree at or above treeline. Oh, and the tree runs are just out of this world.
The real benefit is the number of people on this huge territory. You are basically alone. With a capacity of 12 clients, it is actually rare to even see a skin track, and you certainly never have to ski in anyone’s tracks.

If you are in for adventure, if you like remote places, if you’re in for the snow, the terrain, and the quality of the crew, this is my number one place in Eastern Canada (so far! and by far!)

Showers not included