The new and improved, TeleSteve.
With all the epic powder and ski days I have had since the beginning of October, I’m honestly starting to get a little over winter and snow. However, there’s still a 140″ base in the mountains right now, so the snow will be here for a while. Therefore, I’ve been looking for something to stoke the fire inside and keep me motivated for the rest of the season. Luckily, I think I’ve found the answer with a new telemark setup I’ve been playing with.
It’s fun to try out another type of skiing again and it’s probably been about 18 years since the last time I clipped into a cable binding. I remember the first day I tried it quite vividly however, and I was working as a lift operator on the Casper chair at JHMR. I remember that I found it quite easy to link tele-turns on the groomers, but had a harder time with it in the crud and bumps on the off-piste terrain. That was back in the early 90’s though and the telemark gear of today has improved greatly from the leather boots and Riva II bindings that I used back then. The plastic telemark boots, “active” cartridge and free-pivot bindings of today really add to the amount of power and control a skier has when they are free-heal skiing, so I figured I’d give it a try again.
Please tell me if I’m poodling!!!.
It hasn’t taken long for me to get hooked on the freedom and soulful feeling that the tele-turn provides. I’m wondering how far I will go with it and I now find myself gaping at pictures of Nick Devore and other tele-rippers as they surf the powder, with their one knee bent and powder billowing up in their faces. I’m sure my technique isn’t the best right now, but I know if I stick with it, I will no doubt get better as the days pass.
It’s strange, I know, to go from such a staunch and committed AT skier, to now a new lover of telemark skiing. But times change and I figure I might as well give it a real go before the whole world goes up in flames from a nuclear meltdown and global jihad. It’s a little ironic though, because I now have the sudden urge to grow out my hair. At least I can save some bucks with a few less trips to the barber and put it towards some extra granola and Odwalla at the local organic grocery store.