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License to Suck??? (telemark)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Teleskiing has always looked quite interesting, I enjoy watching tele skiers ski (good ones anyway), but sometimes seeing teleskiers just slowly traverse across blue runs makes it seem, well, look at the name of the topic.

So, to all you teleskiers out there, do you feel like you can do just as much on telegear as on alpine gear? Is it just for touring or can you ski extremeish terrain with tele gear? Which is the real tele, Frode Gronveld rippin it up in AK, or the mellow 5 mph kind?

(BTW, I know this belongs in the other forum but not many people seem to post in there, and I know many of the people in this forum ski tele)
post #2 of 21
Tele takes more strength and coordination, but you can ski any terrain an alpiner can. The biggest difference is that there is a smaller range of recovery for mistakes, so if you stay in position you are fine (in some conditions, you have an advantage over alpiners because of greater fore-aft stability), but if you start loosing it you are more likely to go down. In other words, a smaller margin for error. Therefore, you don't see teliers hitting the super high speeds of aggressive/expert alpiners. But I ski with some very good 100-day-a-year boarders and alpine skiers and have no trouble keeping up (speed-wise or terrain-wise). I just don't do the big airs (however some teliers do).

But the tele turn is soooooo fun. I used to have to look all over to find interesting terrain to maximize the enjoyment on alpine skis, but with telemark I find every turn to be a very cool experience.
post #3 of 21
i can keep up with just about anyone and will ski most anywhere on my teles. The major reason for this isnt so much my skill as the big advances in gear. If i were back on skinny skiis, double leathers and 3 pin bindings I wouldnt try half the stuff at half the speed i do on my G41's, cable bindings and plastic boots. In fact, i find i can paralell pretty damn well on my current tele set up and hope that improves even more when my linkens get here!
post #4 of 21
I ski almost the same stuff with tele gear as with alpine gear. The difference is, as AC already said, margin of error which rules out hairiest terrain.

The reason to tele for me is variety and on powder snow the better feeling I get as the feeling of skis floating is far more intense.

Real tele is something that involves free heels with a mix of skiing down the hill and skiing on flat terrain or uphill with skins.
post #5 of 21
I can ski with anyone I know on my tele's and keep up. Like Ridgehiker said, the gear is finally up to par with alpine gear, so there is no longer that disadvantage. The aggresiveness of the individual skier now has a lot to do with the terrain you will see them on. Most of the slower tele'ers you see are probably just learning, or like some alpiner's out there, just out for a leisurely cruise.

Ridge... you won't believe how easy a p-turn is with those Linken's...
post #6 of 21
I have a lot of respect for some telemarkers.
That telemarkers can ski any terrain, I have not doubt.
But you guys have to admit at a certain level, a very high level, the handicap of the free heel in very hard or very fast conditions will be too much for even the best
telemarker to overcome. In a recent thread they made a big deal about a telemarker that got 12th in an IFSA event, and it is a big deal. But its 12th and it is a subjectly judged event. If you put a telemarker in a race course against any decent racer, he's
TOAST! I don't want to get into a pissing contest, but I have never seen one that can hang with the big dogs for very long!

OK, flame away.
post #7 of 21
Shredhead, make it a classic terrain race and you're on!

Snowboards have a hard time traversing and getting around on flats, alpine gear can't hike without adding trekkers, AT gear has low DIN settings and not as durable for hard resort skiing. All gear has its strength and weaknesses. As for speed, if i'm going much faster than about 40 or so i really dont tele turn much When i'm paralell turning, you'd have a hard time telling i'm on tele skiis. I like the flexibility of the various turns and love the feeling of a well carved tele turn. And also can only really afford one setup.

THere are NO advantages to tele skiing, AT gear is lighter, climbs steeper stuff faster and easier, and is not much more expensive than tele. Alpine gear is easier to turn, smoother at speed, and easier on the legs. THat said, I REALLY LIKE TELE TURNS!! Its not about competition, its about having fun. I can keep up with anyone i ski with, and am usually in the front of the pack. Though once my buddy gets some binders on his 201 asteroids that may well change!

Plus Shred, if you ever make it to Bozeman, i got a 6 pack that says you cant keep up with me!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Pictures like this make me wonder why tele skiers don't get more coverage:

taken from www.linken.no

Maybe I'll try teleing this weekend or maybe the next... Then again, if I like it that would be a major prob (need to buy more gear).
post #9 of 21
Shred, all of what you pointed out is directly related to the smaller recovery range on tele gear I mentioned. When you are skiing on the edge (as in FreeSkiing comps), recovery range is key and alpine gear is better in that regard. A centered (balance-wise) tele skier can ski anything an alpiner can, it is just that when he comes out of center/balance it is harder for him to get back there without crashing than it is for an alpine skier. And sure parallel turns are better on ice than tele turns, but I can make parallel turns very easily on my freeheel gear.

RidgeHiker, I can hike up steep stuff so much faster and easier with my tele gear than I ever could with my randonee stuff. The ball of foot pressure gives more control hiking in difficult terrain; and when scrambling without skins, AT guys get left in the dust.

It's all good though, it comes down to what is most fun.

This will soon be moved over to the Tele forum
post #10 of 21
Shred, it's all a matter of who you've seen and who you've skiied with. One of my best ski friends skis and races tele at Copper Mtn. He is a phenomenal tele skier and is (or perhaps was, I don't know how much he is racing these days) one of the top tele racers in the country, having served on the US National team, and has the room full of trophys and medals to prove it. I've seen some very, very good skiers who are also members of this forum. There isn't anywhere on the mountain that we alpiners could go where he wouldn't follow and blow right past us. Copper is actually home to quite a few good tele skiers, BTW.
post #11 of 21
I Have not seen any terrain limitations since I have switched to Tele, I may be a bit slower in the bumps, but I have not felt a dropoff in ablilty in the past 2 years on my tele set up. It is to the point where I feel limited in my bondage gear. Plus, I can lay out carved P-turns on the groomers if needed to get to the lift at the same time as my bonded ski partners.
post #12 of 21
I am sure some of you are very good. But I have skied with some of the best. Some years ago one of my buds, Art Burrows won nationals, and he can't hang. Maybe someday I'll find one that can.

Ridge: I would love to join you in Bozeman,
I don't think it will happen this year. How
about Snowbird next weekend or the one after?
But you better bring that six pack with ya!
post #13 of 21
I can hang for much longer in, more difficult stuff on my alpine gear than I can do on my tele gear. The difference is not due to equipment or technique but instead to physical conditioning and strength. I simply do not have the physical strength to hold my fat ars upright and do the right moves to conquer the same terrain on tele. My tele technique is equal too or better than my alpine technique. Its just a fact of life for me.
The reason that I tele is because, tele turns are fun, I did not know about AT when I started tele 22 years ago and there is a sub culture associated with tele that I like to belong to in spirit. I say in spirit because my strong political establishment views, do not bond well with the culture.
post #14 of 21
Snowbird?? nah, how about white pine?

Unfortunately, i cant make it down to Utah, but if you ever make it to the zone, let me know!

BTW, 32" new at Bridger today.
post #15 of 21
Have fun in all that new! I'll probobly stick with Alta or Snowbird next or Superbowl weekend. Unfortunetly, BZN is a connection thru either SLC or DEN for me from ORD, and I lose a day of skiing. One of my best college buds was on his sabatical
last year at MSU and I still couldn't get in to ski Bridger or Big Sky with him.
I do have a solo trip to Whistler on Feb. 20 for three days. I have business in Seattle until 5:00pm on the 20th, then drive to Whistler for three full days, out of SEA on the red eye late on the 23rd. I have an SUV and a room in the village with two beds already rented. You can join me gratis. That's the best trade for a six pack that I can think of! If not we will ski someday.
post #16 of 21
i don't tele, but i totally think a good tele skier can do almost anything a good alpine skier can do. last year, i saw a few free heelers tear things up on 'Red Line' at Magic Mountain, VT

: : : : : : : :

my goodness, they were good AND enjoying the hell out of it! respect!

and what's up with the maximum images per post being 8??? my awe of a tele-skier tearing up red line deserved at least four more eek's.
post #17 of 21
Mike B said: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>So, to all you teleskiers out there, do you feel like you can do just as much on telegear as on alpine gear? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes And I'd like to add that free heel gear is more versatile than alpine gear when it come to man powered ascension and locomotion on flat terrain.

Plus I can bend down on one or both knees to kiss my sweet Suzy's hand. [img]redface.gif[/img] [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #18 of 21
Shred, that is a great offer, but again have to decline. Graduate school isnt very understanding about skipping school to go skiing. I am headed to Fernie in March for spring break though.
post #19 of 21
Well, I ski with six people who quit a life of alpine for tele about 15 years ago. They went through the skinny skis / leather boots / three-pins scene and just kept improving along with the gear and are incredible to watch. I find it entirely more graceful than alpine in most conditions - extreme steeps being one of the exceptions because a quick T-turn is awkward on pitches over 40 degrees even for the best of 'em, and their P-turns just don't have the power of alpine.

When they started skiing with me 6 years ago, I spent a lot of time waiting at the bottom of bump runs, icy pitches, etc., and easily outlasted them in the days duration. 3 of them have switched back over mainly to alpine because... well... I like to think because they saw how easy of a time I seemed to be having while still having plenty of fun. The other two just bought alpine gear last season are still in that state of cross-over confusion at the moment. (they'll see the light... eventually)

When these guys and girls are on alpine, I'm no longer the one doing the waiting.
post #20 of 21
Hey Mike, that photo is awesome! Where was it taken? I started tele ing about 6 yrs ago after 30 years of Alpine. I still only tele part time. I love the light gear, the feel of the turn and the challenge. I tele when I'm at a Mt where I might normally be bored, or if I want to spend a day with skiers of less ability than me. I've also been able to conquer powder. and fairly steep terrain. I'm currently working on small moguls. Next year I hope to take a tele week at a western resort. Any suggestions from the group? Bottom line for me its all about fun, challenge and variety. Hey some guys like blonds some like redheads!
post #21 of 21
It was taken in Narvik Norway, and it came off the Linken site. They have a good gallery on the site, you should check it out......
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