This site was created as a journal about adventure in the mountains, on the bike, in the ocean and enjoying the great outdoors. From time to time I will post these experiences so others may learn more about them and hopefully enjoy them as well.

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How To Telemark On Ice....

Ok so the snow at Kirkwood was rather bad this weekend for west coast conditions. But this was a great opportunity to work on basic technique and skills in getting the tele turn to carve, and snap from one turn to the next.

Riding the chair lift, one of the things I notice more than anything is the difference between a smooth flowing skier, and one who is forcing their turns down the mountain. The tell tail sign is often in the amount of snow that is kicked up at the end of the turn.

Most skiers sit on the outside ski almost all the way through the turn, then make a sudden motion to the up-hill ski, causing the turn to slip out, the speed to break, and snow to fly. If however you watch a racer, you will note even balance between both outside and inside ski, and very smooth transitions from the down hill to uphill ski that cause the skis to accelerate down the hill, and no washing out.

The difference? I think the clue is in an old drill I used to do as a ski instructor which was to practice projecting DOWNHILL from the uphill ski at the start of a turn. This forces the body to project down the fall line, and lead the skis through the turn, it allows the skis to carve through the turn in an even arc. These exercises start with triing to work on skiing in reverse, say by always putting preasure on the inside ski, or skiing through several turns on one ski. They force the body to transition from one edge to the next and down the fall line.

So how does this tranfer into telemark turns? Well the principal is almost the same. I stumbled across an instructional video on telemarktips.com that reminded me of the importance of practicing and drills. This tutorial works with the idea on "monomarking" or tunring both left and right in the same tele pose knees bent, then switching. Then moving to a reverse telemark ski, or always having the outside knee bent. What these excersises do is force you to learn how to preasure and carve both the outside and inside edge of your bent leg.

So I spent the weekend, on the crappy ice at Kirkwood practicing these techniques, and I feel like there is a slight improvement in my turns.

Lets see if they hold up for the rest of the season.....

Oh, and check out telemarktips!

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