Last spring, I got he chance to to to the 40th telemark festival organized by the great Dickie hall, founder of the North AMerican Telemark Organizasion (NATO).
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know just how much I respect Dickie’s implication for the sport. I mean, 40 years, that’s just insane.
This year is supposed to be the last so I would not miss it for anything.
With a great group of friends we drove to MRG, thanks to Marie-Claude and Phil for organizing everything. The combo of a great telemark community, this great mountain and your best ski buddies is hard to beat.
Here’s a video of the week end
I’d really like to thank Dickie Hall and all his crew for another great festival. I don’t know if someone will take over Dickie’s festival, but regardless, I promised myself I would go back again this next year. I have met so many great person, and the skiing is just incredible.
In the end, the quality of this festival is the proof that the telemark community is not a fad. Telemark is timeless, and I’ll bet that it’ll still be around in 40 years.
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.
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
Groomers are killers!
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.
They Love our Lessons
Excellent video! Thank you for putting this together.
enjoy the run,
Very good video!! Helps a lot to improve even if you're an advanced tele-skier!!
Thanks so much for the videos. My telemarking has already improved significantly.
I still get tired legs after a few runs - I assume this is most likely because I am just starting out again and "old" muscle groups are being used again after 5 years.
This video is like one of the fun lectures in college. It makes me actually want to take notes.
I did my first telemarkskiing "test" 4 weeks ago and it took me in right away! This is an exellent tutorial and helps me a great deal.
I just practised this and it made a big difference to my skiing plus my legs weren't nearly as tired.
Coming back after a season ending injury last January (fractured distal tibia) even walking down stairs hasn't felt natural. So getting my rythm back has been difficult, but watching these videos has helped re-set my brain. Thanks Rene!
Thank you! I'm falling in love with telemark for the 3rd time (at least): I'm sure that's the key for a fun, everlasting relation :) I really enjoy the opportunity to work on my tecnique, explore new sensations and why not improve the esthetics of the gesture. In the end, that's why we all ski tele, don't we?
Hi, I'm Rene-Martin
René-Martin Trudel is a telemark instructor, a ski patroller and a mountain enthusiast. His life has been driven by mountain and snow, professionally for the past 15 years. continue reading.