Telemark Skiing

Many of us reach a stage when Alpine skiing seems somehow, well… boring: another series of shuffling into the lift queue followed by a quick slide down a piste without it seeming like much effort. Lunch just doesn’t feel like you’ve earned it!

It’s time to give Telemark a go.

Telemark skis are basically the same as Alpine, but the bindings allow your heel to lift and the technique allows you to use a natural striding movement to move around the mountain either downhill, along the flat or uphill using ‘skins’ on the underside of the skis.

No more shuffling – free heels, so you can move easily and quickly.

Graceful, flowing movements – a lot less impact on your back, especially on bumps

Have skis, will travel – the bindings are light and you’re in close contact with the ski, giving a better feel for the terrain; ideal for off-piste touring

Want to stand out? – Telemark is a joy to watch and you’ll find folk stop to admire you and Alpine instructors point you out to their groups. You’ll even get the occasional round of applause.

Real physical engagement – it’s a great workout, so you can eat as many pizzas as you like!

I’m not sure I can go back to falling over! You will fall over a lot to begin with, but research indicates that there’s less chance of serious injury from a fall*. You’re free to move more naturally and your base of support is much larger than it is on Alpine skis, so ultimately you’ll be more stable in all conditions.

I’m not sure my legs are strong enough. If you can run up a set of stairs, you’re fit enough to ski Telemark – like most things, the secret is in the technique rather than brute force. Michelle can advise you on a suitable fitness programme to help you progress as fast as possible and can work with you both before and during your holiday to help address any concerns and movement issues that you may have.

I don’t want to spend the week on the bunny slope. An hour or so on the bunny slope is sometimes a good idea, but we believe in skiing the whole resort so you get maximum benefit from being there. It’s no problem to ski Alpine style on Tele skis, so you have a ‘get out of jail free’ card (and it causes even more of a stir if you suddenly switch to Tele from Alpine half way down the piste!). However, we teach Telemark, so that’s what we intend to get you to do, even if you fall over a lot to begin with!

I don’t want to be the only woman in a group full of men. We realise that many women feel intimidated at the prospect of what could be too much of a good thing, so Michelle is running an all-female group this season. It won’t be any less challenging, but it’s safe to say that there’ll probably be more cooperation and, dare I say it, a teeny bit less bravado on this occasion!

 

Instructor development and ski school experience.

If you’re thinking of becoming a Telemark instructor, our courses are a great way of making sure you’re as well prepared as possible for your training and assessment. We recognise that opportunities to shadow Telemark instructors and gain relevant ski school experience are somewhat limited and we view this as an essential part of contributing to the growth of Telemark skiing. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

*Made C et al 2001. Telemark skiing injuries: An 11-year study.