He is a world class telemark skier that have competed in the Big Mountain Telemark tour, created a movie production company, and has helped TelemarkSkier.com become the reference it is today. By the way this episode was only suposed to air in 10 days but, since Telemark Skier is Launching There New Website, might as well share this with you today.
With Telemark, you have to do it your way…
From his awesome Sick Bird awards through out his pro days to the ways he has created his own mark in the history of telemark in the last decade in the US, JT always seems to be around the big scene and creating his own destiny. This is one fascinating telemark skier. And so inspiring too
Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve probably seen Weston in a ski magazine, movie, or just ripping by you in the Wasatch. He brings his infectious energy to the hill every day, whether it’s for a shoot or working with the kids of the Park City Tele Tribe.
After seeing some videos of Weston, I have to say that he is one of the best Telemark Skier of his era.
Welcome to the second season of the Absolute Telemark Tips Podcast.
This episode we meet with Stephane Riendeau, someone I highly respect for is work in telemark scene.
Stephane Riendeau has been creating, producing and editing films for over 10 years.
More than that, Stephane’s film compagny, Tough Guy Production’s have organized and produce anything from telemark movies to big mountain telemark events all the way to Alaska!
Stephane’s passion for adventure has lead him to travel the world, while earning a living from his camera. Stephane has shot and worked for Warren Miller, MTV, HBO, OUTSIDE Television, RSN and many more.
Let’s find out how this Telemark bum has created a career out of desire to ski powder EVERYDAY.
Here is Stephane’s last movie, it rips. If you want to get stoke for the season, this is it, Tough Guy’s way
This is my first impression of the Meidjo Binding.
I wanted to do a review for this equipment but warning. I’m not a pro at doing reviews. I’d like to point to my friend Craig Dostie from EarnYourTurns.com for a true review on this binding or actually any review on telemark gear.
He did a complete review of the binding with clear views of all aspect which this review is not. This is more about giving my impressions
I want to mention that I was also trying a new ski, the Corbon Convert and some new boots, the Scarpa TX Pro.
I had a lot of anticipation for this set up. It’s like whenever you go see a movie that you heard was the best of the year. You will be disapointed if it’s just great.
So first the technology of the Meidjo.
This is binding as all the ingredient to become the next big thing in Telemark.
It’s Step In, releasable, It’s light and it’s suppose to ski great.
Plus it’s got low tech touring capacities. When I first wrote about the preproduction model last spring, I was already in awe.
Like I said, It’s got to be a great movie or I’m going to be disapointed.
I think that every body in the telemark tribe looking at this binding for the first time are like, wo, it looks complicated, How do you go from walk mode to telemark mode, it’s such a different design that I didn’t understand it before I actually tried it.
So behold, let check this beatifull design and put it to test.
So I went in the Chic Chocs backcountry for 3 days with some friends and tested the thing.
I’m no used to low tech and getting in and out, I expected it to be hard. Craig Dostie mentionned to me that it was the best fitting low tech he had seen on the market and he was right, It’s fairly easy to get it on.
I like to have the binding in the touing mode to put it on, so their is nothing in the way to get the insert lined up.
To do so, you have to do these steps, harm the binding up, push down and clip the touring hook.
Then, put it on by aligning the the pins witht the boots inserts and press donw, you can wigle a bit if needed to get it on.
Then, to get in telemark mode, release the touring hook and clip on.
This is not the way Pierre, the inventor explains how to put the binding on, because, by doing it this way, I have to bend down, so it’s not a true step in. So maybe with more experience witht the low tech, I will simply arm the binding and step in. In the end I’m so used to bendind down to put on my skis that I really did preffer to do it like this.
On the down side, I had some icing problem once and it prevented me to properly in the second heel. I simply had to manually snap the binding a few times and it was ok. It only happened once. I have to mention that I don’t know one binding on the market that never ice up.
Telemark is a downhill technique
Everybody so far liked the skiing so I was not so worried. Usually, everybody can’t go wrong. I want to point out that there is two dials to adjust tension and that you have the choice to add a second spring on each side for more tension. My good friend Max form Xalibu skis, mounted the binding and had already added the second set of spring knowing my style. It created a really active feeling very close to HamerHead #4. It did not feel like a NTN binding but it’s neither anything like the mellow 75mm binding Black diamond O1 or Voile.
I will play with the springs tension to see all the possibilities
Note on the skis and Boots:
I had never tried the Carbon Convert and this is a solid charger. It’s not at all a mellow soft playful ski that you can push around. It’s a driver and it contributed to my feeling of having a strong set up.
The only odd were the boots. I actually love the Scarpa TX pro, there so comfy, light and warm but I had to adapt to it’s softness.
Conditions were windpack and I had to tighten the boot like mad to get the power I needed.
After a few days, I got used to the boots and it was ok, but I really missed a more powerful boot.
So I would give the Meidjo a strong 10/10 for skiing.
It really delivered in terms of power vs feeling it’s unmatched in my mind except for the HamerHead/Axl and definitely better than the NTN freeride
There is no clear indications on how to set the release tension.
I love the idea that the tension of the release is independent of the tension of the binding activeness. But I would like to know how to adjust the release tension. My tech set it up half way as he didn’t have any more cues.
I had no pre release problem while skiing either on the toe piece or on the second heel, I did not fall either, so really, I did not test this part of the binding.
For me, this was by far the part that interested me the most.
All the TTS family binding alike like the original TTS, the light moon and the Meidjo uses the low tech advantages of what ATers have had the pleasure of having for years. I have never tried the TTS or the Moonlight so I will consider the Meidjo as my first binding that integrates all the benefits of low tech in telemark gear.
What a pleasure.
The touring hook was changed and this is one aspect I was worried about not being user friendly. It never iced, I was easy to operate and I actually love how easy it is to go from walk mode to telemark mode. To go the other way around you have to remove the binding, which is not my favorite thing, but I can live with that
I had tried Plum, which is a light low tech AT binding many years ago and I don’t remember the low tech to be sooooo efficient.
But with the Meidjo: WOW.
In this, I have to consider the whole package. Boots offered great comfort, movement, skis are very light compared to my Amperage and the Meidjo really delivered. Wow again.
Untill I had a lot of release of the pins, with medium side force. This is wrong. I was missing something. All the people can’t be in Awe if this binding is always releasing in walk mode. But where is the walk mode!
This is a great exemple of a telemark skier not used to a completely new design and being confuse. And Although I feel dumb about not finding how to look the front low tech on the binding at first, I’m sure I’m not the only one that will make this mistake.
I kept trying lifting the red tab from ski to walk like on a Dynafit, or any low tech binding I know, this is not how it is…
In the end, I had to read the instructions (I can hear Craig Dostie laughing at me right now) to find that you have to press a big black bar that simply locks the red tab.
Told you, I’m no expert at all the gear
What I’m good at thought is being out in the mountains and telemark skiing. I do more than a lot and this binding delivered in every aspect except one. the Climbing raisers. The red one sometimes fell without any cause. The second wire one was ok. Maybe I still need to read instructions…
In the end, I did not use and of the two climb riser simply because the efficiency of the low tech is that much more. I could easily climd very steep tracks all the way to the skin holding limit so I never fell the need for the risers.
In the end
I have to say that I’m very impressed. The binding hold to the reputation it already have.
Skiing is very good, a strong 10/10 and that’s number one for me,
Touring is exceptional, and it makes the game radically different in the mountains
By far my biggest surprised is that the overall binding is very user friendly. It all makes sense and I got the hang of it very naturally (Okay! except on how to lock the front pins
Time will now tell if it holds up and until then, for me there’s just no point in going back to another system.
On that note, The Meidjo have already made a few adjustments, adding some screws to better hold up, changing the touring hook, which like I said I found very convenient.
Telemark skiing is an art form that peacefully integrates you with your surroundings. You eat granola, drink herbal tea and good craft beer, and bearded men and strong women are the norm. If your backpack has a name and you can’t go skiing without your dog, you’re a telemark skier.
True but there is another side of telemark: Newschool telemark.
These youngsters are all about jumping and grinding in the park. They look the same as the rest of the park rats and spend hours perfecting their spins. At first it looks like a completely different sport. They don’t appear to be turning, but seem to be simply jumping around. Don’t be fooled. These young skiers are just as passionate about our sport, and are as dedicated as most of the traditional crowd. Best of all they call themselves telemark skiers.
Check out this link to see what I mean.
Progression has no limits. Be open minded
Mike Douglas, known to many as the godfather of Freesking has raised the bar for skiers. He and other free-spirited skiers have changed the look of skiing by taking what the snowboarders were proving was possible and adapted their styles to skiing. Telemark skiing is already seeing a similar make over.
Its always fun when there is a bunch of telemarkers in one place
2) Meet a bunch of rad telemarkers
You’ll never be without a couch to crash in any ski town again.
3) Challenge yourself as a skier
Competitions require all the fundamentals that make for good freeskiing. Technique, line choice and focus. In the end it’s a learning environment and a great place to put your skills to the test or bounce ideas around with fellow freeheelers. Venues are looking good! Should be an awesome contest. I look forward to seeing all y’all freeheelers out there. Contact: email@example.com with lodging questions
Some serious telemark skiers are gonna be there but the venue is more than that. Weather you are trying to prove the world your abilities or your just trying to have fun with a good crowd, don’t miss your chance.
Here’s a video of Klara Wholers who finished 2nd last year
Absolute Telemark is in the process of making a tutorial on telemark skiing.
HD quality, well conceive by more than 15 years of teaching experience, each lesson will be 12-20 minutes long and available for pc/mac, Ipod/Ipad, Android tablets and phones
These tutorials will cover subject like:
Basic telemark; a series of 3 tutorials will cover everything a beginner needs to know to get started. It even include a fast forward method for alpine skiers or snowboarders, eager to get rippin’ fast.
Telemark freestyle; a series of 2 tutorials will cover the new style telemark: switch telemark, snowpark jumps and modules.
Mogul telemark, a series of 2 tutorials will cover all the know how from the fundamental to all the advance stuff.
Powder telemark, a series of 3 tutorials will cover how to travel the backcountry, tree skiing, and of course powder turns
These tutorials will be release for the 2013-14 season.
Just register to our free email updates below. And make sure to visit our telemark tutorial page
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.