Telemark lessons

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Peagreenboat, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    I'm seeking some feedback on suggestions for moving my feeble telemark attempts along and would really appreciate some input.
    I've spent ALOT of time attempting to practice getting started based on videos, books, and having purchased Absolute Telemarks beginner lessons (which I must say I love), but I am still really cautious with my fragile body and rediculously crap and scared of slopes.
    I am planning on getting a private lesson (hopefully this week) to try and move things along and to get feedback on some things I am unsure about.
    Does anyone have feedback on this. I rang Falls today and they said they don't have tele instructors but there are 2.5 at Hotham. We could venture as far as NSW, thought I'm trying to get myself better prepared for the Koski/Ramshead trip next month. Is there anyone who is patient with complete scaredy cats, and who can problem solve bodies that are kinda twisted and understands the gear that I am on (leather with waxless xcd skis not resort telegear?)
    With thanks.
     
  2. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    I suggest wilderness sports, Perisher shop, ask for Katherine.
     
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  3. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    I think you make a fair point when talking about the need to understand Xc gear.

    I'll caveat these comments with "I may be wrong", i get the impression that resort telemark gear has changed the "style" slightly. This is coupled with the fact that many "tele" instructors at resorts are alpine skiers first but have their tele tickets, my point here is that I'm not sure they have ever been on touring kit.

    For this reason I'd chat with guys like wilderness sports or k7 in Jindy. I think either can do resort lessons or even lessons in the back country which it sounds like this is what you want.

    I'd also say that spending time on resort gear has improved my touring tenfold. Just gaining confidence on skis is awesome and the intensity of resort tele gives you this as you get run after run to work on your turns.
     
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  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    Sounds to me that you'd benefit more from a few XC lessons first.
     
  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    If you're scared of slopes but still want to turn down them, are you able to snow plough turn, stem christie, step or parallel turn?
     
  6. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    Yep, I can control my speed on snowplough, and step turn. I get around (including having learnt on skinny skis on ice!), and have come down BawBaw's main slope, but I was very hesitant coming down the run at Thredbo having come in from the Ramsheads and would rather not repeat that. I can go faster, it's just that I can't afford to fall hard and fast due to the effects of cancer drugs on my bones, so need to have good control. Tele feels much better for my wonky spine. Maybe I'm being too rigid ? :)))))
     
  7. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I will try that out before the next Ramshead trip.
     
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  8. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    Thanks for the thoughtful comment, that is how I had read it too (although I also might be wrong).

    I appreciate hearing your feedback having understood my question. It's also a useful finding that you found resort tele built confidence and suspect that will apply to myself. There are variations in styles across the online instruction I've found, (eg front foot forward, front and back slide or back slide), so I guess as long as one understands the differences it's probably useful to try the different styles and modify it to suit the conditions, skills, snow type etc. Cheers
     
  9. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    Tele isn't easy on steep ice or hardpack. Parallels are better IMO as part of survival skiing skill set.
     
  10. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    My 2 cents is that if confidence is your problem and wanting to have everything in your favour to avoid falling, maybe consider a change in equipment to put things in your favour. Maybe hiring a plastic lightweight boot (eg Scarpa T3 or T4), compatabile binding and stable modern wider touring ski could really help.
    I am a reasonable tele skier but jumping back on leather and skinny skis would not help my confidence.
     
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    PGB, I'm surprised to hear that Falls said they haven't a tele instructor. Thomas (sp?) has been giving lessons at noon. At Hotham, Natalie instructs in tele.
     
  12. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    This, ^^^

    After reading further posts I think the above is great advice as plastic boots and wider skis will give you a great platform. Yes you will trade weight and persieved efficiency which after treatment might be a concern I.e lighter gear gives you the feeling you won't get tied as quickly.

    However the support this equipment will give you should take the pressure; meaning that whilst it is heavier to lift and slide forward whilst on the flats it won't be as draining on the downhill as muscles won't be working as hard.

    The old slide the foot back / forward debate; to be honest I couldn't tell you what I do; but my understanding (again may be wrong) is that both are correct and effectively there are multiple tele turns / styles depending on conditions and steepness.

    If I'm on a very steep hill and trying to turn very quickly without speed, I pull the leg back, when linking turns I slide the foot forward (I think).
     
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    Bottom line, it's hard to learn tele if you fear falling.

    If you've been trying to learn on your own, there's stuff you have to unlearn. You have to embrace the unravelling.
     
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  14. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    While it is possible to tele on skate skis, its not easy. But most skaters want to cover ground quickly, not do runs. If you want to do runs, hire some heavier gear. This makes it easier to learn, and you can transfer the skills back if you want.

    Get good at monomarking, it is the key. Well, one key, a good key, an essential key IMO, the path to linked turns. I was chuffed to discover during the L2 instructor course, that I no longer have a favourite lead for monomarking, its the same either way.
     
  15. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    By the way I know you are not a skater, just an extreme example. I know a guy that teles on them pretty well.
     
  16. dossa5

    dossa5 Dedicated Member
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    A tele turn is a tele turn no matter the gear. One just highlights problems more so.
     
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  17. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Had a guy telling me you can tele on AT gear! I said, it might look like it, but it is not it. But hey, enjoy!
     
  18. dossa5

    dossa5 Dedicated Member
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    You know I mean freeheel proper
    I remember once shadowing a clinic with Paul Parker and a couple of guys in alpine boots loosened the buckles. Was the funniest thing watching one guys foot come out and seeing the ski/boot bouncing off trees hurtling through the woods. It covered some vert too.ROFL
     
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  19. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Chouinard had a Tele adapter for plastic mountaineering boots.
    Here's a pic from the 1988 cattle dog

    And another from the next page where Paul Parker gives some advances Tele tips
     
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  20. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    Tw im not sure what's more amazing that you remembered an article from 1988 or that you still had the mag / cat it was in.

    Must be all those late lonely nights in the van.....
     
  21. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    It's a classic

    And I tinkered with the Tele adapter
     
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  22. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    ...I was trying not to develop bad habits!! :))))
     
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  23. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    Thanks very much for this info. I called Falls again and they said yes, they do have a Thomas teaching Tele group and private, group needing others to book, and as I will be up there again in early August will try to do this then.
     
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  24. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    ...and I have booked in with Natalie next week, which will be great to have some instruction on slope before we head off backcountry up past Falls. Hopefully then I can spend more time falling in the powder rather than being cautious on falling on hardpack (which is my real concern). I'm actually pretty excited...yay!
     
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  25. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    ..I suspect this is the key thing for me next. I was looking back over videos my partner had taken of me as I progressed through the beginner exercises of the tutorial I bought, being j turns, then traverses and then snowplow telemark, and linking. I have managed to learn to effect a very slow delayed lead change, but it took hours and hours to try and get myself to get from right foot lead into the parrallel position on the fall line, its easy to bring the ski around to complete the turn (assuming facing down, turnging to the right). I suspect that the monomarking will really help consolidate this because I think I have the theory but my body just really struggles doing anything it's asked to do.
     
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  26. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    ...I think it's actually a good suggestion and I've been a bit too resistant as I didn't want to confuse up styles. I would not suffer from gaining some other techniques. My partner is a very competent and experienced xcd - mostly alpine skier, but I have found that Tip 122 in Allen and Mikes Telemark Tips is worth considering (Don't teach your significant other!!).
     
  27. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Yep, Monomarking helps in the new edge intitiation, so you can edge the whole way round the turn, rather than going into stance before turning, and effectively only using one lot of muscle for all the turn. Sounds like you are heading down the right path, some lessons will show you exercises that will make it all work eventually. Enjoy!

    Oh, and what I get told, more steering! Dont go down so low! Stop sceaming!
     
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  28. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    I hear that you're determined (which is great) but it's not a religion ;)
     
  29. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    Thanks also for this comment. I did actually nearly buy plastics, trying on the Excursions and the T4's but they cause me a lot of pain in my achilles. I do get serious foot fatigue trying to handle my leathers (I have 2 relatively rigid not sloppy pairs). I'll aim to hire a pair next month and see how they go.

    Thanks everyone for your comments and careful input and thoughts, I've found it very valuable and will try out your suggesions.

    If anyone ends up past Falls after Wednesday this week, say hi if you see me out on the plains!
     
  30. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    Oh yes it is....
     
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  31. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    That's not what I said on the census form!
     
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  32. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    It's a very diverting thing to learn and good luck with it.

    You sound like you'll be going BC and a telemark will just be another tool in the kit. In some conditions out there parallels are a safer way to go down esp with a pack and so are worth adding to the kit too.
     
  33. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    Funnily I tend to use parallel turns more when it is flat and easy....mainly to save the effort and old knees. When the terrain is steeper or the conditions more challenging I always prefer the telemark turn. I find that when I am on free heel skis it is far more stable to telemark than parallel.
     
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  34. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Me too, I parallel on cat tracks mostly. Though in really challenging terrain/conditions, I may resort to side sliding in a parallel'y manner. Has to be pretty crap though.
     
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  35. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    Make that a trifecta, especially with ntn I save parrel to save the legs.

    Peagreenboat, in you above post you mention a sore Achilles and foot fatigue; I'm not sure how they work with leather boots but if you go down the plastic line foot beds are heaven for your feet. They support the feet properly so reduce muscle fatigue.
     
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  36. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    Yeah, if it is deadly survival stuff I might do a parallel side slip as well....not really a parallel turn. If it can be turned I'm dropping knees. :)
     
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  37. Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

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    Heretic! Stone him! Stone him!

    [​IMG]
     
  38. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Yeah man, get him stoned, then he will be enlightened :D
     
  39. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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    With a 20kg pack?
     
  40. weerab

    weerab Dedicated Member
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    I've got Karrimor and Bergan catalogues from late 1970's, I just can't bring myself to chuck them tho the info is outdated.
     
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  41. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Survival definition changes somewhat, but still tele. Not so much on leathers though.
     
  42. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    ..yep, fit is definitely part of the problem and no doubt a footbed would help. I recently got a new pair of Meindls and they are much narrower and I suspect a female specific fit (and are fur lined :) Getting women's specific boots is really difficult here. Garmont used to make afemale Excursions and I tried to track down a pair when I was overseas but they stopped making them. Not sure if it was just the liner or the boot itself. Saying that my Garmont hiking boots are unisex and I luuurve them. Will be interested to hire and see how they go. Maybe I should grab a footbed to stick in the hire ones so good suggestion.
     
  43. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Active Member

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    OOOH, geek heaven...
     
  44. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    I'll admit to owning wild and outdoor oz mags from the 90's and early 2000's plus most of the cattle dogs from that era.

    But I could tell you what articles are I them.

    I did however look through one of my old mont catalogues what I was looking at a second hand bivi and found a the make and model in it.
     
  45. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    2nd paragraph, what?
     
  46. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    @Peagreenboat all the resorts have someone who can teach telemark lessons, but sadly telemark lessons are small fry and the resort ski schools don't put much effort into them. It is always best to book ahead, none of the resorts have dedicated Telemark Instructors and generally the instructors who have telemark qualifications are fairly highly qualified in other disciplines and are often booked out ahead of time.

    If your goal is to be able to ski back down Thredbo at the end of a day after a tour on leathers and light touring skis you should put some effort into learning an effective stem christie first. This turn will let you get down most slopes and conditions on your equipment. Then learn your telemark and/or parallel turn to enjoy on less difficult slopes or when the snow is better.

    A solid telemark can be achieved on light gear and I think it is more easily achieved with modern technique.
    [​IMG]
    But remember you can't change your technique when you're being challenged by either the terrain or the snow. Heavier equipment makes it easier to learn how to telemark because you will be able to practice your turn on a greater variety of terrain.

    Good luck!
     
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  47. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry phone auto correct. I couldn't tell you what articles are in them, I.e I haven't re read them in 10 years.
     
  48. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    I have experienced the same problem.
     
  49. Ziggy

    Ziggy Addicted Member
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  50. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Shout out to @Telemark Phat, free skiing last week was awesome. I was with ex pro patrollers, and some other really strong skiers, and I kept up for 3 days in a row! Jumped off cornices, rode through slide debris, steeps, all kinds of shit. Felt really strong, although my legs did hurt! Even spent some time sking demo. Really noticed an upgrade to my skiing and style, thank you so much.