What’s telemark skiing?
It has been called “the world’s oldest new sport,” and I suppose that’s true. Telemark skiing (or “tele”) has also been called “the most rhythmic and flowing way to descend a snow covered mountain,” and I’m pretty sure that’s true as well. One thing I do know with absolute certainty: tele skiing is all about the stoke, the sensation, that feeling of excited exhilaration that comes from getting into the groove of the tele turn. Today there are many aspects to this sport. For some, part of the stoke comes in the form of an endorphin high, that special feeling one gets after a hard workout. Other tele skiers seek out the kind of senses-sharpening adrenaline rush one gets from skiing really challenging terrain. For still others, telemark skiing gives access (paraphrasing John Muir) to places to play, places where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul, to interact with wildlife, to feel the forces of gravity, the energy of a gathering storm. A lot of tele skiers find a big part of the stoke to be in the friendships they develop with other members of the tribe, and for some a big attraction is the challenge of learning a new approach to skiing their local resort or terrain park. And then there are the philosophical, almost zen-like aspects to the sport…
While all of these things add to the fun of tele skiing, the true stoke is hard to describe. It can be an almost ethereal experience in those moments when everything comes together: form, function, time and space. Yet it is almost uncanny how something as intangible as this stoke can come to dominate a big part of so many of our lives.Yet that is, in fact, exactly why we do what we do.
~ by Mitch Weber – www.TelemarkTips.com