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new to telemark

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

 I am 50 years old, 5'10", 195 lbs and fit. I ski atomic metron b5 down the blacks at killington. Am I crazy to want to learn to telemark? What skis/bindings should I look at? I notice a lot of telemarkers have fat skis. mantras or legend 8000 are 2 i've seen a few times. Dunno the bindings. I looked on the web and found black diamond voodoo with seeker boots-but then there is the learning curve. Who teaches this well and has the patience for a newbie?

 

stefan

 

post #2 of 19

No you are not crazy. Telemark skiing is more fun than alpine.

 

I use Voilé CRB three pin w/ Hardwire which is an active binding with a calibrated safety release feature. I highly recommend these bindings.

 

For skis, I'm on K2 Superstinx (170cm, 70mm waist). I think they would be fine for any Telemark skier, beginner through expert.

 

Get Garmont Synergy boots if your feet are wide or Scarpa T2 which are said to fit a slightly narrower foot. Try the Crispi CXP if you have narrow feet. 

 

Have fun!

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

 Telemark skiing is more fun than alpine.

 

 

Why?

post #4 of 19

I just started telemark skiing this year and am enjoying it although it is sometimes frustrating to learn about all the new equipment.  I would recommend renting or doing demos before buying.  I've learned a lot and fear that I bought the wrong equipment.  I've taken lessons at Abasin, Taos, and Mad River.  Where do you like to ski?

post #5 of 19

I enjoy both, and mostly ski Alpine, but there something about the Tele turn that is more satisfying IMHO. I think it is that you have more artistic license, you can carve and slide Alpine style or you can drop the knee a little or alot if you like. Also an incredible workout..........when you get back on your alpine setup you'll be Superman! .........Free the heel from bondage and you will see the light!

 

I like Hammerhead bindings because they allow so many settings, Touring, Powder, Hardpack, Ice. I set them up initially for ice which holds the ski closer to your heel. This feels more like an Alpine setup and allows you to learn faster and stay on more interesting terrain, rather than having your ski flopping around which can be initially disconcerting at best especially in the woods. As you get better you release the heel more and more via the settings towards the powder setting, drop the knee, more and more and voila you're in Tele heaven. Practice for a day or three then go to a Tele clinic. They'll show you how to do the James Brown Popup.......after you learn that and that crazy Bowlegged technique you'll be rippin like a pro! Mostly have fun........only you dictate the ratio of Alpine to Tele turns you do with your setup.........don't let the "Purists" get you down.......they can sometimes be religious about doing ONLY Tele turns......throw that out the window and enjoy yourself......I usually strive for 3x3........three tele turns to three alpine turns..........but it's mostly terrain dependent and it's definitely all good

 

 

Last thing........soft skis until you get better.......I'm using Atomic Snoop Daddy's........I would not be caught dead on these things w/ an Alpine setup but they are AWESOME Tele skis.........it has something to do with the length of two skis carving the arc of your turn or something, you'll need to look that one up on a search for a better explanation but it works.......

 

Do research and read about it........lots of info online........

 

 

 

post #6 of 19

 you can carve and slide Alpine style or you can drop the knee...

 

I know people who can do this and it really seems like the ultimate way to go but I have one knee that's gettin' a little arthritic and it doesn't like to do a very deep knee bend - by itself anyway. But most real good tele skiers I have seen don't seem to drop the knee so much and they almost kinda "slink" like a coyote (and maybe less strenuous). I have a friend that I (on AT gear) tour with sometimes who uses 3pins with cables and plastic boots on metal edged, patterned based skis (Karhu 10th mtn.) and only makes alpine turns. A really lite and versatile (but not as bomber) way to go compared to my AT gear. Some of these front country hills around here have some pitch and then some bench before more slope. We skin up the steep to the top, ski down a ways then he can easily stride across the flat or even up some slope with the patterned base. I've been picking up some very cheap/free/basic 3pin gear/leather boots and skinny touring skis to play around with but I think I need to get some skis with a little more widht and shape to make very good parallel turns at all with a loose heel.

 

I like Hammerhead bindings because they allow so many settings...  which holds the ski closer to your heel... feels more like an Alpine setup...

 

I did not know this about tele bindings - very interesting. Are Hammerheads the only ones that do this?

 

I don't think the OP or any alpine skier is crazy to take up telemarking - a quiver of techniques as well as a quiver of skis only increases the options for makin' turns.  

 

 

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

wow. tnx for the encouragement. I'm in. I live in central MA. Yes unfortunately, the 'ice' coast. but I'll go anywhere for a good teacher with some kind of enthusiasm. Never asked about tele demos but i suppose a place like killington would have it. Although I do not like those crowded slopes. Also attractive is the ability to go off piste where there are no lifts. I heard of many old decommisioned ski slopes,see this:

 http://www.nelsap.org/

 

Teles seem to be a perfect way to escape the madding crowds. I also need to find some tele-buddies (not to be confused with tele-tubbies) for going off piste.

post #8 of 19

(This thread may be better in the Backcountry and Cross Country forum where you can also find other info.)

 

Saturday was the first area tele day this year and on 'reminiscent of east coast like' conditions at times where we did a fair amount of the time tele-pining on slick runs and steep bumps. With the edges skidding compared to carving ability with alpine gear, it reminded me that I definitely prefer tele skiing on softer snows. If I tried to telemark all day, I'd only have lasted an hour or two versus much longer hard skiing.

 

It sounds like you'd be better off looking at more touring oriented (lighter) skis for off piste touring for turns than heavier alpine skis. A more active binding like the Hammerhead (which is adjustable and popular around here) will tend your heel to the ski a little better and allow easier tele-pining and telemark control.

 

Alpine turns with tele boots in AT bindings left & tele-pining turns right.

 

 

 

It's all fun and an alpine turn may be the best turn for a given situation and there is 'purist' attitude that on tele gear you 'must drop the knee no matter what'.

 

The 'dropping the knee' should be a function of pressuring both skis, not 'assuming a position'. A lot of telemarkers are not truly telemarking in the traditional sense, but mostly pressuring the front ski and dangling the rear. You can gain more stability pressuring the rear, especially in variable conditions.

 

HTH

 

Terry

 


Edited by Alpinord - 2/11/2009 at 02:10 pm
post #9 of 19

If you are in Mass. then go to Mad River Glen.  It is the telemark capital of the east afterall.  The instructors are available for privates at $50 an hour or they have a two hour teleclinic on Firday for $50. fun place especially midweek.  Stay at the Barn at Mad River Glen and you'll have a fantastic time even if you are on your own.  I just did this last weekend. 

post #10 of 19

 

Get the cheapest thing in the ball park of what you think you need.

 Most inportant, IMHO, physical conditioning, that's where tele will be the most demanding. With all the modern equipment, just droppong the knee and making the turn is very easy.

 

Typically, as you're skills progress you'll get your own feeling for what equipment you want. .


Edited by Altaman - 2/11/2009 at 11:39 pm
post #11 of 19
Quote:

Alpine turns with tele boots in AT bindings ....

 

 

 

 

HUH?

 

Video telemark lessions. This guy makes it look pretty easy...

 

http://www.telemarktips.com/Lesson.htm

post #12 of 19

Rather than using my AT boots on this excursion, I used my teles (T2xs) in Silvretta 500s that can accept any boot. It was a more versatile set up at the time I bought the bindings when I didn't want to buy another pair of boots.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwana View Post

Who teaches this well and has the patience for a newbie?

 

 

 

Dickie Hall's "NATO" telemark clinic will get you from zero to 60 in 2 days, especially with your alpine background, and will also rent appropriate gear. 

 

Clinics all over New England, at MRG and elsewhere: http://www.telemarknato.com/schedule.html

 

TRY IT.

post #14 of 19

Also if you ski Killington, call the Mountain Travelers shop in Rutland: http://www.mtntravelers.com/

 

Big tele gear source, I'm sure they do rentals and probably could hook you up with lessons, or tell you who to ask for at Pico, which I understand has a big tele presence.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwana View Post

Who teaches this well and has the patience for a newbie?

 

 

 

Dickie Hall's "NATO" telemark clinic will get you from zero to 60 in 2 days, especially with your alpine background, and will also rent appropriate gear. 

 

Clinics all over New England, at MRG and elsewhere: http://www.telemarknato.com/schedule.html

 

TRY IT.

 

When I taught tele clinics, I usually taught alpine converts. It is more similar than you think and the biggest issue was getting used to lead changes and pressuring the trailing ski. Think big toe (front) little toe (rear). As mentioned, with the beefy gear these days it's much easier to learn and achieve a free mind via a free heel (albeit much less free than it used to be).

 

Terry


Edited by Alpinord - 2/11/2009 at 05:06 pm
post #16 of 19

I rented demo Telemark equipment at Wachusett in December. I'm sure they have certified instructors too. If Mario is still there ask for him. He is crazy, very fun to ski with.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

When I taught tele clinics, I usually taught alpine converts. It is more similar than you think and the biggest issue was getting used to lead changes and pressuring the trailing ski. Think big toe (front) little toe (rear).

Edited by Alpinord - 2/11/2009 at 05:06 pm

 

Interesting.  Pressure (or lack of pressure) on trailing ski is where I get into trouble.  Usually I think about just putting weight on the ski and dropping weight through my hip onto ball of rear foot.  Of course if I'm thinking, it's too late.  I'll try adding this into the mental mix. 

 

FWIW though I never could get the big toe/little toe thing going. What worked instead at least on alpine was big toe DOWN on the downhill/outside ski, big toe UP on the uphill/inside ski.  So for each big toe there/s an up/down movement as you cycle through turns, and pulling the big toe up on the uphill/inside ski has a lever effect pushing little toe down.  Hopefullly this'll work on tele's as well so big toe UP on the uphill/inside/trailing ski will help add some edge.  I just found there's a lot more motion, muscle, and control in big toes than in the little one.

post #18 of 19

The big toe/little toe thing doesn't work for everyone, but it does offer feedback relative to feeling pressure in those locations and relative to edges. Something to ponder while out snowblowing.

post #19 of 19

Yeah, I am having difficulty putting enough pressure on the back foot.  How do you put 50 50 pressure on front and back.  Part of the problem may be because I have had really uncomfortable boots that were too big.  Now I have comfy boots but I forgot to spent the whole first day skiing in them in the walk position and it hurt a bit everytime I tried to get low.  But maybe it was my own bad telemark skills.  Learning on ice is particularly hard and I can't wait to go to Taos and try to telemkark without ice. 

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