Note: No Telemarkers were injured while making this post. 😉
A once prolific species, the Teton Telemarker used to roam the high country in high numbers, leaving their genuflecting tracks all across the range. However, since the introduction of the European Alpine Tourer, the Teton Telemarker’s sustainable future is now in question.
Over the weekend, I got a close up look of an individual from the dying breed with a sighting while skiing in the northern range. It’s heavy and awkward looking boots seemed to slow it down, but it followed my tracks for some time, my guess is for ease of travel. Seemingly not afraid of its predatory species, it lumbered up my bootpack to a peak at the head of a canyon.
Its movement going downhill was quite interesting, as it seemed to kneel down and attempt to hide behind a wall of snow as it descended. With what my guess is a survival tactic, it also did a forward roll to get through some tricky snow, before continuing onward with a more traditional upright stance. At one point, the individual passed me and attempted to run away, but its slow speed kept it from getting too far ahead, and as fatigue set in, it was forced to rest before attempting to put more ground between us.
Wanting to learn more about this prehistoric member of the skier species, I approached it with caution, and after luring it closer with some granola and Odwalla drink I had stashed in my pack for such an occasion, it became more relaxed. I documented the sighting by taking a GPS coordinate and a few photos that I emailed to the Teton Telemark Project when I got home, and they said it was the first sighting they had received this year.
Please keep an eye out for more Telemarker sightings, as I’m sure there are more breeding members of the Teton population out there. Identifying characteristics of their tracks are wide traverses across the fall-line, combined with the occasional bomb hole…usually in crusty snow. Remember to keep your distance until you are sure they are friendly, as their poles and skis tend to fly around around wildly…especially when descending a slope.
Our species is not only alive and well — we have more women folk and are more successful at breeding. Maybe if the European Alpine Tourer spent more time exploring and not following our tracks on the terrain we pioneered years ago you might have more sightings. Even learn a few things.
Catch me if you can.
Best Post of the year. Classic Line “and after luring it closer with some granola and Odwalla drink” Love it.
This was great! You should see if you can cross post or get a link on Telemark Tips! I can see them foaming at the mouth now! I can talk as I used tele gear for 20 years till I switched to Dynafits. Never looking back.
Here is Tahoe California, we have noticed an alarming decrease in Telemark skiers as well. Unlike the Tetons we don’t have a Telemark project out here so those poor suckers are on their own. Great post.
Loved the post and the pics. We are a breed that in MT is making a comeback and we are even getting our granola eating kids into it as well although they prefer twin tip teleskis and jumping off backcountry cliffs and rockbands, nonetheless I think we are here to stay. I think of it as the soul of skiing similar to longboard surfing if you will! Keep up the great work!
it’s true, there are a lot more women tele skiers than women dynafit skiers for some reason, they must think it’s cute
may be your best post ever, steve.
Forrest’s reply could easily be verbatim from circa 93-94 when we were all raging around on first generation Terminators and the leather-set was whining.
i spent a decade fighting shitty freeheel equipment before I got on Dynafit full time and will never go back.
nice pics by the way.
I will take the bait of this attempt to increase blog hits. Good post. You should not talk so bad about your roots my friend. I just set up a reminder in my outlook calander to make sure I remove this link from my favorites. Good luck out there.
"Identifying characteristics of their tracks are wide traverses across the fall-line, combined with the occasional bomb hole…usually in crusty snow."
"This was great! You should see if you can cross post or get a link on Telemark Tips! I can see them foaming at the mouth now!"
Oh Boy! What a great idea!
Global Warming pushed us to the Chugach two decades ago and we have never looked back. We should have left you a note about leaving the Tetons.
Cheers and fun,,,Matt
what is tomorrow’s post, dissing split boarders?
toms a cry baby.
Steve Are You Insane ?!? Their Bite Is Known To Be Fatal And Some Say That They May Paralyze An AT Skiier By Looking Them In The Eyes !!
My tracks are NOT "wide traverses across the fall line."
I thought the greater Teton area was solely inhabited by the hybrid species known as the tele-piner anyway. Are you confident you didn’t run into one of those instead?
Good one Steve. A classic for sure.
AT’ers are alot like roadies: often more into gear than real abililty. And such whiners when the approach takes hours rather than minutes. That said, I finally gave in to the taunting of my AT partners and converted. I’m gonna miss those days when THEY kept score and the lone T’er always came out on top!
Based on current observations there must be much more suitable habitat in the southern Teton/northern Snake River Range area. The teleskier populations there are far from endangered. They have been sighted soulfully sharing their habitat with the ever increasing population of splitboarders.
@Michelle Smith, Dissing splitters is a full time event for Steve. He doesn’t need a special post for that. In fact he even disses us in the summer. Well at least me.
Oh, that is AWESOME! I love how defensive they get, those kooky telemarkers. Gringo is funny. As a recovering pinner myself I know the drill. I think Forrest is still on the boots he mentioned. Not quite the “soul” of full leather Galibiers but still magnificently retro. 20 comments and rising! Better put on yer asbestos boxers, Steve, ’cause more heat is bound to come.
Repost the cartoon video.
fun post, nice pix!
Apparently, whereas natural selection boil down to somewhat tedious engineering,
sexual selection is often a bizarre, and species specific art….
The telemarker’s strange “dance” has confusing effects on skiers/riders, especially the ripper of the species. Being the root stock, telemark is indeed a living fossil, and an indicator species for ecotone health and diversity. Indeed, extirpation from their winter habitat leads them to find solace in rather small groups deep in the BC. Occasionally they find genetic-kinetic flow in mixed skier/rider herds, thus providing acceptance and protection for all. Their habitat and resources have been heavily encroached upon, not only by the snarky internet-connected, but also by ugly, even ignorant commercial and economic drivers. Many have succumbed to the cosmopolitan rondonee virus of the Euro alpine skiers (the Alps are crawling with these touristas), although many of the stronger telebeasties have proven immune.
Remember, there is always one bull (or badass chickah) that can out climb and out ski you, no matter what you’re skiing/riding on.
I’m glad most of you can enjoy a little humor and good natured fun…except you i guess tom. sheesh!
you wanna race forest???? 🙂
Steve, In The Last Photo Of The Post, Which Track Belongs To You & Which Track Belongs To The Tele Skiier ? I’m Guessing Yours Are Skiiers Left.
JT…i think you are correct. actually…this was the best snow we found on this tour.
Thanks Steve, Just Trying To Keep My Tracking Skills Up To Par, In Case I Get The Chance In A Real Life Situation To Track One For Myself, I Thought They Usually Used A Pine Bough To Cover Their Tracks !
Funny stuff. And amazing how easily some get bent on it.
Personally, I think inter-breeding of all snow inhabiting species is vital to the enrichment of the environment.
Ha BigD…me too! Hopefully the AT gene has some priority in the DNA mapping sequence of their off-spring though. 🙂
ya’ll just wait until the split monoskiers take over as extra-terrestrial interbreeding increases with the coming ice age.
Being a flat-lander from KY, I don’t understand the pick against telemarkers. Just returned from skiing for a week in Utah and saw a few telemarkers. I must admit, telemarking looks beautiful to me–elegant and graceful. Could someone please explain why ATers look down on telemarkers?
tri…this might explain it:
So, let me see if I have this right…ATers diss telemarkers because telemarking is harder than ATing? 🙂
tri…i wish it were that simple.
granted, there are some amazing and very skilled telemark skiers out there that can make anything look easy while free-heeling, but in general, I think tele gear can be somewhat limiting when it comes to certain snow conditions and terrain…and like any activity, it’s important to have the right tool for the job.
Tri, I think it is safe to say that skiers (tele or alpine) and snowboarders as a species love to rip on our fellow snow enthusiasts, because its funny! Many of us started pinning on leather with 210cm double cambered skinny boards evolved into plastic, maybe even snowboarded and eventually transitioned backed to locked heels as the set up is light and efficient. All forms are fun. What ever floats your boat, unless you snowblade. Heckling is part of every sport and important. Good post steve
For a progressive lot when it comes to binding selection we’re as narrow as Glen Beck.
Thanks for the clarification. I’m all for a little good-natured ribbing from time-to-time.
I’ve seen that film before, I think, but, shit, I was nearly blowing coffee through my nose this morning laughing watching it in light of this on going post.
Steve, if you are as guilty as “Tom” says you are of trolling for site hits then you, my friend, have succeeded mightily as I will continue to forward the link to all my friends with each juicy iteration. That little 11 minute gem gets another volley going out!
I want to see the Forrest vs. Rando Steve race – if on groomed slopes in lycra onesies my money is on Rando; if in AK over multi days involving ski-raft-aneering Forrest will crush.
AT vs. Tele is like technology vs. art – great post, hilarious.
I commend Steve for being brave enough to mess with Sasquatch, careful, though….
It is working! Hits are at an all time high. I would love to race, but do not have any lycra spandex! I will race you down on teles. Of course you will have to ski them to. Then we can switch to AT and take the difference add em up and see who can schralp the best. Those tight little AT turns will not do you much good. To take and old tele line and modernize it “Nobody cares that you AT”. By the way I love you site. Top notch beta, and a good break from the day. Keep it up.
watch out! starting your post with ‘i am a flatlander from Pennsyl-Tucky’ is also grounds for abuse. You might have better luck just saying, ‘hey i am not from around here, but…’ it doesn’t out you as bad!
penn = one of those guys that can make telemarking in any type of terrain look easy
Tom…sounds like a fun challenge…even though I’ve only been on tele skis a couple times. I think on firm or groomed terrain….I could hold my own…but most likely not on more technical terrain or deep snow.
Steve, Thanks For That 11 Minute Trailer, I Have Not Laughed That Hard Since I Saw Richard Pryor Live.
for the record…
I DID NOT MAKE THE DARKSIDE VIDEO!!!
…like may have been thought when i first posted it in 2007. i still laugh at the comments in that post.
Just Visited The Link Supplied Above And Feel A Bit Beat Up, Can’t Imagine How You Must Have Felt Steve. As A Multi-Glisser I Feel Very Confused As To My Feelings On This Topic, I Love The Alpine Skiing For It’s Speed And Control, AT Skiing For It’s Covenience And Access, Snowboarding For It’s Ease And Feeling Of Floating, But Nothing Beats A Rippin Tele Chick.
Share The Powder,
Oh boy. This post is like crack! I keep coming back just to read the latest comment. Pathetic life I have, I know. Even went back to old post just to re-read those comments. Not much has changed. Love the one from the reformed tele chick. Maybe my favorite comment!
Funny that the challenges are now being thrown down. Acute testosterone toxicity warning! My only question is why the hell would any of us AT types race anyone while we are on telemark gear? It’s a pain in the ass in all the ways that have been beaten to death here. That’s why we don’t do it! Duh!
Funny all the ongoing rigamarole due to peoples binding fixations. AT, Tele, Alpine, Mono and yes even snowboard (you just stand sideways on a single fat ski)…. it’s all just skiing. When Neil Young was heckled about all his songs sounding the same, he replied,”They’re all the same song!!!”
Someone tell me, where do those TMs hide out in the summer?
ha…good one pops! like father…like son. 🙂
my guess is that they all hole up in their VW vans and travel around looking for the next grateful dead…or whatever wanna-be jam band took their place.
Nick Devore lives in a teepee. Kind of cold, but I’d trade mortgages in a blink. And if you want to see T’ers that can rip, check out Powder Whore.
nick devore = another ripping teleskier and also a black diamond athlete
met him once in slc…nice kid!
Met Nick in the Tram line this year over Pres. Day with a few of the BCA owners all of them were super nice, and yes he rips harder then anyone else I have ever seen Tele. He also embodies the Tele lifestyle for example Tepee Yoga and interest in horticulture during the summer. 😉 He is a badass no two ways about it. Powder Whore=sick ripping Braaa.
you guys are all a little kooky. Just stick to your local spot and stay out of mine. K? 😉
note: yes…i changed your log in name. i thought it was disrespectful. -steve
Wow, Censorship, Steve. What Happened To The First Amendment ? Now You’ve Sparked My Curiosity As To That Log In Name. It Might Take Me 10 Minutes To Hack Into Your System And Receive Not Only The IP Address But The Deleted Log In Name. Why, You Ask ?
Because I’m Bored !! And Curious !! And Bored !!
just don’t freaking crash my website…eh?
first amendment went out the window years ago…just like telemarking. 😉
Your Website Is Safe And Sound, Thankfully You Posted The Trip Report For Drizzlepuss And I’m Not Bored Anymore. I Stick By My Earlier Statement, Tele Betties Never Go Out Of Style.
New race. Each of you put a tele-rig on one foot and an AT rig on the other, tear that shizzle up, have someone video it from multiple angles, and post for some hilarious times to be had by all! That would be friggin’ awesome. And everyone remember….I thought of this new style first.
Yea, i did it, bought AT gear this winter, ahhhh, went pretty much right back to tele, I like the ergonomics, but like if i go skiing with you guys would mind waiting up some from time to time?
I’m afraid that the entire harem of Goddesses that everyone refers to as being "great in number" in unspecified areas of the west are just about anywhere other than the Tetons. Problem is, boys, the snow here is great for about 2 months–and then we need to move north, south, west, and just about anywhere that conditions are skiable. It’s not just about Luna Bars, sloppy boots, Ani DiFranco, giant pubic hair and one-uping our potential husbands and boyfriends. No, it’s about sensitivity. TM’ers are just way more sensitive. In this age of agro, bro-brah, Phat ski, AT-centric, insensitive, angry white male skiers, women who tele are way more in tune with skiing the way God meant it to be. When your posts start including groups of women–naked at times–skiing low angle powder slopes while openly discussing relationships, the future of the world, and why Palin is such an affront to us all, then you might actually see your threads approaching the length of CNN, MSNBC, Oprah and other well-established sites. In the meantime, the same 40 guys who always comment here will go to bed lonely wishing they knew where the women are.
Vedder and Garcia would have crushed it…
Hot (how do we know she’s hot?) Tele Goddess hurt my feelings with her harsh stereotypical ranting and religious overtones. Now my wife is pissed off!!! Ha, ha. If Steve ever pumps out the established MSM garbage of CNN, MSNBC and Oprah, oh my goddess we’re in trouble!
Bwah! Good one.
LOL ugly for sure
Steve, What you saw was a mutant evolution of the original telmarker; just a product of the steroid age as are all of us AT skiers. The original telemarker had leather feet and three pin toes, and while maybe not extinct, they may as well be because they are all well past breeding age.
OK – But I pick the course:
Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic
Steve – awesome creativity!
Know when you used to cringe if your parents or grandparents laughed at a borscht belt comedian making jokes about ‘eye-talians’ and ‘blonde co-eds’? this thread is like that. the granola / tele meme is so far out of date it’s absurd. Factually speaking, the typical tele skier these days drives an Audi and has a second home, while the reggae/granola dude with the dreads is almost always a snowboarder. NTTAWWT.
Hard to know what is more lame…making a granola / tele joke, or laughing at it. Either way, you look out of touch. NTTAWWT.
Having seen tele skiers flail through manky or crusty snow over the years, and then more recently observing that fat rockered skis have made both AT and tele skiers capable of ripping up most any condition, I wonder if viewers of AT Anonymous’ video realize the extent to which it no longer applies?
50 degree ice — I’ll take my AT gear for sure. Anything else, I’ll take tele or AT setups depending on my mood. Either way I’ll the first up and the first down in the group. Unless I’m deeply hungover.
I don’t mind skiing with AT skiers……
I just hate waiting for them….
Hey “hot” tele chick,
In response to your verbose affront that visions of Kasha Rigby keep me up at night….they dont.
My Arlberg (look it up)raised lady lets me sleep soundly after “sport” of all kinds. Her modern grooming techniques, fat-ski capable ass, her genuinely Euro aversion to unneccesary clothing and allergic reaction to all things CNN, Oprah, Palin and all the other all to visible American follies only add to the fact that she thinks freeheel equipment is “pointless” and instead dances down the fall line with Skadi, Ullr and Co. on lockdowns.
Thanks for bringing it up though!
pretty hardcore goes-both-ways.
and forrest…your race doesn’t scare me…but your gear does. 😉
NTTAWWT is so cool
i had to Google it.
NTTAWWT = National
Tele skiiers catch up
Or Something Like That
Don’t forget saucerboy! He ripped! I think he could have taken all ya’ll! Long live Shane!
Rolling on a diffrent ip. Leavesaucer boy out of this. Sometimes you end up defining your sport. Great response! I am going skiing with hot tele goddess! Have fun boys!
I am reading this conversation and laughing inside. This is certainly a interesting conversion….. At the end of the day we need to ask ourselves does it really matter if you AT/tele/dh/board etc. My opinion… Its a pretty mute point. Does it really matter if the hot chick sitting across from you in the bar have AT/tele boots on??? To me, its doesnt make a hill of beans… Does it matter, whether she had a out of body experience while tele. We all experience this high’s and lows while in the mountains. Its not always about how fast, or how you get down the mountain… I believe everybody has their own gig and we all have fun doing it…..
You guys are missing the most important point. How fast one skis or whether you like their style doesn’t matter. In the old days, telemarkers were the shit. But now, most are skiing with heavy plastic boots and non-releasable bindings that are basically still 1940s beartrap cable binding technology. In the old days, your leather boots would twist right out in an avalanche or a bad fall. But since the plastic boot came out in 1994, boot top fractures have exploded among telemarkers. I urge all to see the movie: A Dozen More Turns. (3 parts)
which is about a telemarker who suffered a horrible boot top compound fracture and almost died up in Big Sky country. He wasn’t buried and would have been okay if he had releasable bindings. And what’s crazy is that releasable tele binding options have been available for a long time, yet they are rarely used. There is even the new NTN system that releases. If you use releasable bindings, you are smart and nobody should deride you for your chosen way of sliding down the mountain. But if you don’t, you are the one being agro, stubborn, macho, and extremely foolish.
FACE SHOTS, you want more em, start teleing. BUBBLER, when its only been snowing a few hours and not yet so scary you gotta go home, start teleing. EXHAUSTED, at the bottom of a 1000′ shot, start teleing.
Nobody likes crust or upside down snow or extra deep sugar, and yeah telers hate it worse than most. But when it is just right outside and everyone is grinning, the free heelers are usually doing the biggest pole twirl of all.
“EXHAUSTED, at the bottom of a 1000? shot” !! Nice one, 3rivs. What a great reason to take up tele. Awesome.
Just like the telemarker too exhausted to get out of the way of his snowmobile after 15 turns in the other vid steve posted. Or, maybe you (not forrest) have miles and a race against dark and hypothermia just after the 1000 foot shot that left you exhausted. Yeah, good for you.
Thing is, when it’s just right outside and everyone is grinning, I’m grinning because it’s just right outside. The free heelers are grinning and twirling their poles because they’re congratulating themselves for being free heelers.
interesting take tony…
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