/ Telemark Turns

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Trangia - on 22 Jan 2013
Can any UKCers do them? How difficult are they to learn?

I can ski on normal downhill fixed bindings, and touring skis with cables and heel clamps, and have often fancied trying to learn to telemark.
skarabrae - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: i had a go on sat at cairngorm pistes, on a pair of 195cm nordics, i set off at the ptarmigan & went all the way down to the carpark on my face!! i got a few rounds of applause from amused skiers going up on the t bars!!
Fiona Reid - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

I'm a reasonable downhill skier and did a 2 hour lesson on telemark kit a few years back.

By the end of that lesson I could link tele turns on easy (blue run) slopes. On steeper stuff I reverted back to skiing parallel. To me it seemed quite easy to pick up the basics but would require a lot of practice to get good at it. I spotted my instructor doing tricks in the park on tele kit later that day and have seen someone going backwards down Le Face (a black run) in Val d'Isere. Done well it looks damn good!

My legs were more trashed after a day on tele kit than they've ever been on downhill kit.
idiotproof (Buxton MC) - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Fiona Reid:
> (In reply to Trangia)
>
> I'm a reasonable downhill skier and did a 2 hour lesson on telemark kit a few years back.
>
> By the end of that lesson I could link tele turns on easy (blue run) slopes. On steeper stuff I reverted back to skiing parallel. To me it seemed quite easy to pick up the basics but would require a lot of practice to get good at it.
>
> My legs were more trashed after a day on tele kit than they've ever been on downhill kit.


same here, alot of the tele 'rules' go quite against the 'rules' of downhill so takes a while to tune in. After that it came to me ok? Considering I only did an afternoon (1 half hr lesson then a few hrs playing). Though never quite worked out what if any benefit it has other than looking cool when you can do it and looking an idiot when you are learning!

Funnily enough the 'boots are more comfy' benefit was shot to pieces as the tele boots I hired were the most painful things I have EVER worn

John Stainforth - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

I found it very hard, even though I am a goodish-intermediate skier (with 30+ years experience) on downhill skis. Telemark skis felt somewhat like cross-country skis with 1960's downhill bindings - i.e., very little control! I made the mistake of doing a two-day backcountry trip in the Canadian Rockies in the depths of winter, with a 20-lb sack on my back, without any practice beforehand on telemark skis. Of course, in really deep powder one can't tell what the skis are really doing, or what one is going wrong. I ended up falling on almost every bend going downhill, and it was a real pain to get up after each fall because the snow was very deep powder - so this required taking off the sack, plunging a ski pole down into the snow up to the shoulder, standing up, getting snow out of goggles, cleaning glasses...).

What I should have done, and would recommend to you, is to practice using telemark skis on groomed downhill pistes for several days until you have the basics down. Telemark skiing is pretty different from both ordinary downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. Trying it out in deep powder in the back-country is not the way to go.

Maybe others have more natural talent on telemark skis! Perhaps your experience with touring skis will stand you in good stead.
Mark Bull - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

It would most likely be easier to learn on piste tele gear rather than on Nordic touring gear. A common problem for Alpine skiers converting to tele is the "fakemark", where your skis are in tele position but all your weight is on the outside ski, instead of more-or-less evenly distributed.
idiotproof (Buxton MC) - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to Trangia)
>
> It would most likely be easier to learn on piste tele gear rather than on Nordic touring gear. A common problem for Alpine skiers converting to tele is the "fakemark", where your skis are in tele position but all your weight is on the outside ski, instead of more-or-less evenly distributed.

Thats the bit that got me for a while, then I solved it, then I got tired and it came back!

Fiona Reid - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to John Stainforth:

The kit I hired was modern tele kit (i.e. plastic boots with a bendy foot and 80cm waist twin tip skis). I think modern kit is a **lot** easier than skinny skis/leather boots etc as it's easier to balance.

I've tried leather boots/skinny skis too and never succeeded in linking tele turns, in fact I could only turn one direction and remain upright, attempting to turn the other way just resulted in comedy fall after fall.

Rollo - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Same as some above, easy to learn the basics, hard to master. I did a day, and wondered what the point is. I talked to a French ski guide who was well into Tele and he said that you tend to start learning because you're bored skiing the same sloped every day but went on to say that when to get good, the feeling of telemarking fresh powder is unrivalled freedom and exhileration.
HeMa on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Telemarkin' is stupid, just so you know.


And no, can't do it with alpine binders... or even alpine touring binders. You'll need telemark binders and boots... skis, well those can stay the same.

On nice even slopes fake-a-marking is easy, and for a competent alpine skier it takes less than few hours to achieve. Getting actual telemarking tuned might take a bit longer, it really depends.
Doug on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: With 'modern' telemark gear (plastic boots, wide alpine cambered skis) most good alpine skiers learn quite quickly (reasonable turns after an hour isn't unusual) but (IMHO) learning on old fashioned gear (eg leather boots, narrow skis) in the long run leads to better style including better weighting of the skis - but is more difficult ! I see many skiers with big, stiff plastic boots who rather than bending the rear foot are on their toes

But worth having a lesson (or at least skiing with a good telemarker for a while)
dale1968 - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: hard with 100lbs on yer back...
AG - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: Its taken me around 10 years to get pretty good off piste in most conditions. You can still paralell on tele skis when the need arises
GordyB on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to AG:

Best advise I got and was to think "Big toe Little Toe"

In a turn, you need the weight, or pressure, on your inside little toe, and outside big toe to pull you round. The weighting/un-weighting is the bit I struggle with.
This is a good reference book:
www.amazon.co.uk/Freeheel-Skiing-Telemark-Techniques-Conditions/dp/0930031180/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358869429&sr=8-3

G
James Edwards - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:
I have only done it on skinny old school kit with leather boots. It was very light kit, but it was desperate off piste.
I found by the end of the day i was re- writing the mantra from "Free the Heel and Free the Mind" to "Fix the Heel and Fix the Problem".

This experienceon lod kit was a world away from modern kit, but then with that weight is added and part of the benifit lost (other than looking cool of course).
James e
Mikkel - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Only ever been skiing once, for a week.
Took a couple of days to learn, but i did also have one of Norways best Telemarkers as a teacher.

Today i would probably fall right on my face before even getting up to a speed where i could turn.
Dave Kerr - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to HeMa:
> (In reply to Trangia)

> And no, can't do it with alpine binders... or even alpine touring binders.

I know a man who can. And switch too.
Mark Bull - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> I know a man who can. And switch too.

Good way of wrecking your bindings if you aren't competent, though!

A9 - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to James Edwards:
> (In reply to Trangia)
> I have only done it on skinny old school kit with leather boots. It was very light kit, but it was desperate off piste.

Me too, old 3 pin bindings and nordic skinny skis. Usually make the effort to try every winter but don't even come close.
Good at skiing big zig-zags across a bearing tho :)
Dave Kerr - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> [...]
>
> Good way of wrecking your bindings if you aren't competent, though!

I doubt you'd be able to do this without being competent.

ads.ukclimbing.com
dmhigg - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Rollo: I started teleing when my kids started skiing, to keep interest. I use the teles for good snow days and long rolling tours in the Cairngorms, AT kit for steeper stuff and icy snow days. There is something enormously satisfying about telemarking (reasonably) well, but it takes some talent (which I sorely lack) to reach guru status.
HeMa on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
>
> I know a man who can. And switch too.

To the road?
Fiona Reid - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to HeMa)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I know a man who can. And switch too.

Ah, but can he do this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23cZDK_sNEY
Dave Kerr - on 22 Jan 2013
James Gordon - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Fiona Reid:

I've tele-ed last 13yrs after alpine for 15 before.

Good quality modern kit makes learning easier than skinny old skool stuff.

Maybe a lesson or 2? I am self taught and although advanced now I'm sure i picked up some bad habits.

Always better on good quality snow (not icey hard pack) and untouchable in powder.

Quads and knees take a pounding until you get the rythmn and fine tune edge/foot control.

PS: "How many tele markers does it take to change a lightbulb?...10...1 to do it and 9 to say "Nice turns dude!"

French Erick - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:
if you fancy it than go for it.

Modern kit does make it easier, but then most modern stuff is targeting downhill and fast. Is it what you want?

Why not hire a set and get on pisted slopes to get a hang for it before then heading out with more nordic style?

It is physically more demanding, but technically not that much more, than normal downhill?

It will stretch you, you will curse them planks when the snow gets crusty... but deep down if that's what you fancy doing you'll never look back!

Do not believe a word that us ukc pseudo telemarkers say, get out there and enjoy! And we do ever cross paths I'll teach you how to fall efficiently (most important skill for a free-heeler!).
French Erick - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to French Erick:
What's your style?
http://www.vimeo.com/15905685

http://www.zapiks.fr/new-style-free-heel.html (my bro has doubtful musical taste)

http://www.vimeo.com/46049328 (music no good either)
French Erick - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to French Erick:
And there are the mutants:
http://www.vimeo.com/2145177

He can chuck himself off a cliff for sure, but in between, his turns are pretty tight with few technical flaws... I bet he started on skinnies with leather boots!
Cuthbert on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

The basic problem I have is my overall competence as a skier, not as a telemark skier. I am way too rigid and need to flex and press a lot more, true for both alpine turns and tele turns.

Many people, including me seem to suffer from the outside leg almost bracing and the inside leg basically trailing, like the guy in the split board video above. Back foot pressure! One day I will nail it!

I am actually skiing on alpine gear this weekend so it will be interesting to see if it's much easier for parallel.
paraffin on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> Can any UKCers do them? How difficult are they to learn?
>
> I have often fancied trying to learn to telemark.

Hi, in four words - "Paul Parker, Freeheel Skiing."



Trangia - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Thanks all. I can actually ski quite well off piste using parallel technique with a 40lb pack, and did the Haute Route using fexi cable bindings in the 1960's. Rigid heel for downhill, flexible heel for skinning up hill.

Then I didn't do it for about 25 years before getting back into occasional off piste on skinny GS skis, which are very hard work!!

I've only just converted from 2m plus skinny GS downhill skis on piste (they proved too long in moguls) and have only recently started skiing on carvers which although easier aren't as stable at speed on piste, but easier off piste than my old GS ones. I've yet to try modern off piste planks.

It's just that telemark turning, done well looks so graceful, but I'm worried if my old knees will cope?
macinboots - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:
If your knees are in good shape it wont hurt them but if there not in good shape it wont help them.

for more inspiation
http://www.vimeo.com/57995073
telemarker79 - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: telemark is nowhere near as hard to learn as its made out. if you have strong legs, sense of balance and want to learn you won't have any problems. people that lack these skills say are usually the ones to write it off. if you already alpine ski your sense of balance, weighting and edging will all help. stick with it.
Cuthbert on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to telemarker79:

The thing is there is no such thing as "telemark skiing". It's all skiing and the fundamentals are the same. Telemark is just a turn which requires different gear.
dale1968 - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to telemarker79)
>
> The thing is there is no such thing as "telemark skiing".

correct; but Nordic skiing, as apposed to alpine
paraffin on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to dale1968:

eeer - Freeheel Skiing?
dale1968 - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to parafinn: very recent way to describe it..
In reply to dale1968:

> correct; but Nordic skiing, as apposed to alpine

So what about if I'm doing telemark turns at a Nordic alpine ski resort? Indeed, most of my ski mountaineering, on tele gear, I do in the Lyngen Alps! OMG! - Am I nordic alpine telemark ski mountaineering? I'm SO confused!

You wouldn't want to see my new ski-thingies, they're sort of telemark snowshoes for going cross country on. HELP! My brain is going to explode!

Doug on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA: I used to go on trips with the section alpi-rando nordique of the French Alpine Club :-)
(basically ski mountaineering on freeheel gear)
dale1968 - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA: wikileaks to the rescue;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiing
ads.ukclimbing.com
biped - on 29 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Have a trawl through this website. Some good instructional vids on it too.

http://www.telemarktips.com/
freeheel47 on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Allen and Mike Really Cool Telemark Tips- rules...

Will be teaching my 11 year old to telemark next week- could be interesting- the worry is that he will soon be better / faster than me...dammmmmmm

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