It was a brisk morning and I had bundled up knowing it was likely to be even colder on the ski slopes – although I wasn’t fully aware of what was in store for me when I arrived at the hill.
It was Troll’s annual Telefest and I was ready to try the infamous Telemark skiing, but years of not being on skis would make for a challenging afternoon.
Having only attempted alpine skiing the idea of lifting my heel from the safety and comfort of my skis was a difficult concept to digest.
After donning a pair the G3 demo gear available at the Telefest I took to the slopes, well the bunny hill anyway, for my first beginner lesson in Telemark skiing.
My instructor Mark Forsythe was ever present providing helpful instructions on the traditional Telemark stance.
The first runs were taken with the traditional alpine stance and slowly but surely, run after run, the Telemark stance and turns were worked into the lesson.
My instructor revealed a tip to keep balance, “nose, knees, toes.”
As the front leg goes forward into a squat position your nose should be in line with you knees and toes to help keep stability as you go into the turn, while you lift the heel of your back leg.
Easy in theory and hard in practice.
I quickly learned the importance of this as my skis crossed again and again, unable to evenly distribute my weight.
However, as many times as I failed I would not give up because nothing compares to the feeling of accomplishment when executing a Telemark turn.
As tiring as the lessons were I discovered that eventually the outcome could be well worth the effort as I watched the more experienced Telemark skiers glided down the slopes, beautiful, fluid movements that come with days, weeks, months and even years of practice… so a few more lessons may be in order.
The day concluded with a party at the Lodge with Joey Onley performing and the Telemark skiers resting their weary legs after a day on the slopes.