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Telemarking...talk to me!!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I want to try Telemarking this season!... time to free my heels!
For those that don't know me.... I'm a kind of no-nonsense, non-faff chappy.
I kind of jump in at the deep end a bit and would be anxious to get 'all-mountain' or ooof-piste as soon as possible (day 1 afternoon sounds perfect!!).

Only problem is... where to start??
I have a few skis scattered about the place that I could use.
I know nothing about boot or binding set ups.
Are there telemark / alpine systems... I dunno... and I can't be arsed searching on google (before you ask)... I need you lot of snowHead 's to do the hard work for me!!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I am no major expert, but there are a few different systems of gear, and they're NOT compatible with each other!

General consensus is that the NTN binding system is better than 75mm bindings. Easier (relatively) to get in and out of, more robust and rugged. You are therefore much more likely to see 75mm gear in sales or second hand! So watch out for that. There are some fancy new types on the market too (medijo?) but I don't know anything about them.

There are only a couple of manufacturers of tele boots so there's not much 'boot fitting' to do; you just have to find the one that's better for you. You don't need a performance fit so it's not as critical as with alpine boots.

As for skis, you'll ideally want something not too long, not too stiff, not twin-tipped, without integrated bindings. Other than that I don't expect it matters too much what ski you choose to get started with.

You'll be able to 'figure it out' yourself i.e. you will be able to get moving around the hill based on what you already know from alpine, but some specific tele lessons would be very worthwhile to learn to do it 'right', with more efficiency and elegance.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I know very little about telemarking but the very first decision is what colour your skin tight tele-pants should be. (for men, multiple choice, 7 colours as in the rainbow). wink

Could only be marginally arsed and found this -
http://www.telemarkskier.com/picking-a-telemark-ski-binding/
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Buy a database of phone numbers, and start calling them ? ...........................Oh, no, wait......................that's not the same is it Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Based on my observations of the learning curve of someone who sometimes tours with us I suggest you go straight to plastic boots and a decent loop binding. Sadly, I've not seen you ski but if you're half decent and can already push the outside ski forwards and use the inside ski as an outrigger then the transition shouldn't be difficult. (He said as one who's never tried it Wink )
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As @Maireadoconnor says your choice is basically NTN or 75mm duckbill. NTN is a burlier system and I think gives more pop than the older cable style bindings. NTN has probably been around long enough now to find boots n bindings secondhand but a duckbill setup would undoubtedly be cheaper if you just want to test the water.

And can vouch for the twin tip thing have crossed my tails quite a lot and it is a pain with a twin.
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flangesax wrote:
.......I kind of jump in at the deep end a bit and would be anxious to get 'all-mountain' or ooof-piste as soon as possible......

In that there's only one set-up: Meidjo 2.1 bindings and NTN boots.


http://youtube.com/v/jkzCkSKf4tI
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@flangesax, hi

brilliant idea, it will change your skiing life.

Suggestions.

1. Get this book- it is essential:http://falcon.com/book/9780762745869
2. Read it- once will probably do
3. Get some kit- there are two or three ways to do this.
Rent- difficult as most resorts do not have tele gear to rent. And those that do usually have a limited selection. Mind you some places that do rent tele gear are super friendly. The last time we rented tele skis (for my wife) the rental fee was- nothing, not a euro cent, for one week "c'est mieux que les skis de télémark soient utilisés que assis sur le rack"
But the down side of rental is lack of commitment on your part. If you are now a good / very good alpine skier then you are in for a shock. Learning to telemarking will result in a big shock to start with. Your legs and back bottom will be in agony, you won't be able to go up or down stairs, sit on or get off the loo, or even sleep without big big pain. On piste it is worse. You will be almost continuously out of breath, in pain, falling over, struggling on blue runs and perhaps (depending on th ebionding) struggling just o put the things on. So, if you rent, then the temptation to stop is great.

So the best options are either-
eBay- quite a bit of stuff comes up- all my bindings and my current boots are from eBay, all bar one of my skis for telemarking also. All bought or a very small fraction of the retail price (if I could have found a shop to sell me them) and exactly what I was looking for.
Buy- difficult to find a shop you can walk into- several very good online shops; Telemark Pyrenees for example, Ski Bartlett, Conrad Sports. Be very care ful with boot sizing and the difference between a Scarpa and Crispi / Scott boot size split.

What skis? You could just use a pair of skis you have at the moment that are light and forgiving. Most people use a softer ski than for alpine (for example many male World Cup racers use a women's skis).

Telemark systems

75mm- Duck bill- I use this with Hammerhead bindings- I like the feel better than the NTN I've used. Varois boots, bindings, spares avaliable cheaply on eBay if you look regularly. Also if you post here under wanted I'm sure you will get a response.
Various binding avaliable- second hand ones likely to be very cheap: Cobra, Targas, Hammerheads, Axel etc

NTN-
Rottefella freedom or freeride (freeride used by most people freedom a little less robust), have release, step in, brakes
22 Designs- Outlaw, step in, brakes, release of sorts, strong,

Meijio- light, very good, expensive, pin toe allows no resistance touring.

Other telemark / touring poin toe hybrid type bindings.

How to learn?

Tuition- very hard to find.
Allen and Mikes book- ideal
Friends- if you tele you will make friends with people who tele.
Telemark camps- a good idea

If you are a GB civilian or in teh GB Foreces- go to the AWSA telemark championships- 10 days skiing, lift pass and world class tuition for every level from alpine skier- never telemarked but kean to learn through to World Cup racing. £900 for full borad, lift pass, tuition. The best bargain I have ever had ever.

Go for it.
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@flangesax, As others hace said, go with newer (NTN) system.

The key to NTN is that the binding attaches to a lug (2nd heel) on the sole of you boot just under the arch of your foot, which provides much better leverage that a cable running around your heel.

There is a choice of bindings with several manufacturers and options. For bindings you can have the Meidjo --- as used by Jaz and the British Telemark team. It has a Tech toe so allows efficient skinning. There is also the Outlaw from 22 Designs, no tech toe, but does had a step in and ski andf tour really well. Rottefella made the original NTN bindinfgs -- Freeride (resort oriented, but still a tour mode) and Freedom -- lighter -- better Tour mode. The Outlaw, Freeride and Freedom's tour mode work in a similar way to an alpine frame binding (Fritischi Diamer, Mark F10 etc).

Boots come from Scarpa, Scott and Crispi. Note that not all boots have tech fittings (if you want the Meidjo). Scarpa's stiffist boot (the TX-Comp) is a case in point.

Pretty much any flat ski will do. I find that skis mounted tele feel less stiff than when mounted alpine, so I would avoid superlight touring type skis to start with. My best tele skis (Dynastar Intutiv Big, Volkl Mantra) have all been on the stiffer side.
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flangesax wrote:
I want to try Telemarking this season!... time to free my heels!
For those that don't know me.... I'm a kind of no-nonsense, non-faff chappy.
I kind of jump in at the deep end


I'll hold your beer and the camera, the Gamsleiten buckelpiste would be a great place to start.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
....oh... Is that a mogul piste?... Can't say I've ever noticed!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@flangesax, My ski mate has just gone Medijo (whatever that is) after 2-3 years of getting himself into it. I personally havent got a clue about TM and also tbph no interest, looks like hard work for little gain to me but each to their own.

Suggest a conversation with @spyderjon, he knows stuff, and is my mates supplier I think!
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
flangesax wrote:
....oh... Is that a mogul piste?... Can't say I've ever noticed!


Your're right we need something more challenging ….


http://youtube.com/v/xEwDiaTwxmY


http://youtube.com/v/W0Uf-4MSKGc
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for the heads up peeps!... especially Timberwolf your advice was so good i might have to give you a call!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
flangesax wrote:
Thanks for the heads up peeps!... especially Timberwolf your advice was so good i might have to give you a call!


I'm not in Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sadly, Telemarktalk is no more but there's loads of up-to-date views and info from Craig Dostie here:

http://www.earnyourturns.com/

Not exclusively telemark but at least a heavy bias towards.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@flangesax, I'm up for some Telemark skiing with you over Xmas (tweed is not compulsory by the way Wink ) Madeye-Smiley
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
...well it should be wink
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There is a telemark centre in Zell am See, with rental and instruction. There is also a good shop in Saalfelden that also have good rental equipment.

I wouldn't worry too much about the set up at this stage, as long as you have plastic boots and a all mountain ski. A lot of telemarkers don't like the NTN binding, especially if your old school.

I am based in Mittersill nr Zell and Kitz and always happy to meet and ski Tele.
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https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-telemark-versus-alpine-touring-skis
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I dropped in on one of the main Telemark groups on Facebook last night.
All I have really learnt is that there are a load of jumped up Them' Vs Us' about binding types; with hardly anyone carrying any kind of decent reasoning (apart from the odd post).
I could say 'just like round here really...' but it really ain't! Snowheads seems a much better environment for these kind of questions and a carries a much friendly atmosphere with (dare I say it) a sense of community!
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@flangesax, There are still a big group of folk (mostly in the US?) who claim NTN isn't tele, whilst at the same time using plastic boots and beefy bindings. In order to be really pure I suppose you would need leather and three-pins. There's also quite a pile of folk claim one or other binding (22-D, Meidjo, Rottefella, BMF....) is the only one you'll need. I'm a bit in that camp as I've had Rainey and 22 Designs (22-D bought the rights to the Hammerhead when Rainey retired) for over 20 years and really like them. So its a bit like the "Peoples Front of Judea" and the "Judean People's Front".

There is a lot of passion about, and (probably carried over from when all the stuff broke) when you have something that (finally !) works it's nice to shout about it. Having said that I can't be doing with the NTN ain't tele argument, or indeed the "skiing with your boots in walk mode is tele" for that matter.

On the other hand --- every single telemarker you see on the hill are nothing but curteous --- whatever equipment in use. And -- tele in powder, and (indeed) bumps is better than..... Very Happy Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If you are not doing it on cross country skis and boots, it ain't tele.
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At what stage of a telemarkers development / age does the compulsory transition from skin tight lycra to tweed come into force? Asking for a friend.
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@DB, Tell your friend that binding types are the least of his worries.

Between those two development stages you mention is the little known Muesli Knitting Certificate, the passing of which is 100 per cent compulsory and has to be combined with the simultaneous growing of a wispy, herbal-smelling goatee before the Tweed stage can be attained. As Tele is a totally equal opportunity sport, no exemptions from both these requirements are made for either gender or any gender blend.

A mate who "went Tele" in the 80s, described his Tele skis at the time as "misery sticks" such was the pain in the learning curve. In his 60s now, he is still firmly "Tele" and his grace in a turn is a wonder to behold and leaves the rest of us kicking ourselves for not being so committed back in the day.

Go for it Flangesax but it takes years to master, I believe.
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Quote:


A mate who "went Tele" in the 80s, described his Tele skis at the time as "


The learning curve went like this...Do it wrong -- one or other (or both) skis will smack you in the head to remind you Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy And then your thighs would start to hurt. And then a binding would break. And all the time your leather boots are slowly soaking your feet.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

Go for it Flangesax but it takes years to master, I believe.


Just like alpine (but more so) NTN makes mastery a probabilty in a defined time scale, for a competant alpine skier.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

looks like hard work for little gain to me

isn't that the whole point?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@flangesax, Where to begin? 75mm duckbill . . . tried, tested and pretty much indestructible in some cases though nearly all of them are non-release (we'll come back to that soon) However, as the movement has grown and NTN has become the weapon of choice fer us kit obsessives there is a LOT of good cheap and relatively new 75mm kit out there on eBay. I'll see if I still have my first generation 'Bishop Bombers' in the basement and if so, if you wish, you can have them as a present to introduce yersen to the joys of groin cramps (we'll come back to that later too Twisted Evil ) One trick of the 'Bishops' is that they will fit both a standard 75mm boot and an NTN boot.

NTN; there are now more than two developers. I have experience with both the Rottfella and Meidjo bindings. The first thing that comes to the fore is the adjustable response/resistance within the spring system. Both can be wound up to the point where you can ski quite aggressively in 'Alpine' mode and that can make the learning experience a bit strange and can foster some very bad technique habits.

From personal experience the Rotties don't have a reliable release, particularly in a forward fall, whereas the Meidjo tech toe does . . . but with a caveat, it is a fixed tension and like older AT toes, will go AWAL if harshly tested.

So, essentially, it's quite a good idea to avoid falling at speed . . . and that requires that you learn to control your skis . . . and you won't, no matter how good you think you are, do that in a day.

How can I describe this? Do you play a piano?

As well as both legs working as in Alpine mode, in unison; Predominantly and primarily varying the pressures into the skis with a solid whole foot connection that allows fast, almost instinctive changes to your position over your skis. Here’s an easy comparison. You know what a ‘Bosu ball’ is (look it up). Stand on one with both feet. When you release pressure with one foot you can sense that and adjust with the other to try to stay in balance. You’re a little wobbly but still in control . . .

NOW

. . . You’re standing on two Bosu balls, one per foot and you’re in an ice ring. You put pressure into one ball and the other goes “Huh, WTF! you doing dude?”. . . and THAT’S just the beginning.

We should all be familiar with the term of being “stacked” over our skis . . . well, that still applies to us when telemarking. The difference is that our points of interaction are wider and we have an additional joint in the mechanical system. One that is rarely exercised to control lateral forces. Essentially we have introduced a giant “wobble” into our skiing that we have neither the bio-mechanical feedback nor the muscle strength to combat at first contact.

All of this can be overcome; It takes a bit of self-analysis, but more, it takes some time to develop both the musculature and the mental feedback to control that. Telemarking is a dance of two separate systems in co-ordination. When it works it's 'Fred and Ginger' with smooth elegance as opposite to you “divorced dad dancing alone drunk at your daughter's wedding”. Keeping your forefoot on its toes to engage the leading edge pointing to where you want to go. Controlling the pressure in the trailing leg to follow the same path and at the same time adjusting the longitudinal spread of your feet to keep “stacked” over your skis.

If you think this will be easy, grab yourself a couple of 5 kilo hand weights, point yourself down a road and every third step drop to a deep lunge with your weight on your foretoes under your knee and your trailing shin bone parallel to the road surface . . . keep that up for an hour or three.

Oh, and if you date a lady telemarker, be aware that her inner thigh muscles could cut you in half . . . you’ll understand after a couple of miles of practice lunges. Twisted Evil
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Wow @Masque, that sounds really complicated ! Are we talking about the same thing ? wink wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Let's make it simple

If you really want to commit buy an NTN set up.

If you'd like to try it out and dabble - 75mm is fine if you get one of the 21st century bindings and ideally 4 buckle boots



& buy Allen & Mike's book - It's the best tele lesson you can get your hands on

Then do as much mileage as you can without "cheating" with alpine turns. Even the days when you feel like a tranquilized giraffe.
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.flaxseed. What size feet do you have?
Allen and Mike's book is fun but rather out of date, good back in the day of leather boots and narrow skis.

Could you get to Kitzsteinhorn glacier?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Teletart, there is a new Allena nd Moke book- revised and improved and everything.

Also knitting pubes into a thermal one piece is obligatory, as well as organic fairtrade Llama hats.
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if you are a no nonsense type who wants to get on with it ..
buy ntn ... you can ski all day on them alpine if and when needed.
ignore the purist its only really tele on 75s dribble . just get on with it ...every one has their own view on boots .. . people with high insteps swear by what is a low volume boot, hobbits swear by a boot with a narrow last and on and on ...yes telemarkers love a chat about gear and with so many opinions you ll never get a straight answer to guide ..... so try before you buy
NTN does not have to be expensive there is always something popping up.
im competent but no expert and i ski on twin tips with ntn. i changed bindings from my regular skis ... (regular ski you ski on and like is the best ski for you to tele on)
i dont care if i do some alpine turns mixed in with tele turns .... skiing is all about the turns and ntn gives you more options.
telemarkers will watch you, offer tips etc .... and are always friendly/social. facial hair is to stop your face freezing off as you faceplant ... you will !! .. the "green" is to take the pain away ..
once you can tele ..your alpine skiing will improve no end ..... if you go back that is, .... but why would you ?

"ONE SMALL STEP" Telemark skiing -Alberto Spreafico from alberto spreafico
https://vimeo.com/202964869?fbclid=IwAR1t30TH1RX6JpA9wsCD4oRNXIJmgTSEu5E48TuAIJClWeaM7bG5zYVBMag
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ohh --- and one more thing. The Rottefella Freeride mounts on a plate that makes it really really easy to swap between skis.
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I'm just going to emphasise one more time . . . YOU CAN'T HAVE SKILLS WITHOUT THE MUSCLES TO USE THEM . . . If you want to telemark, you're going to sweat to get there . . .



. . . . But it's Soooooooo worth it Toofy Grin


Addendum, the ultimate ego trip fer a telemarker is to run a series of tele-carves past an ESF class . . . Though perhaps doing it switch whilst drinking a Red Bull, may be thought of being a tad more egg than pudding wink
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Was once in a group class with offpisteskiing parked at the side of the piste. He usually pays 100% attention to the group (with half an eye on what’s approaching from above) but suddenly interrupted himself saying watch this telemarker - who duly swooped round us and performed a series of 360’s down the edge of the piste.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

YOU CAN'T HAVE SKILLS WITHOUT THE MUSCLES TO USE THEM . . . If you want to telemark, you're going to sweat to get there . . .


I'm not so sure about that (sorry @Masque, ). With NTN and a suitably tall stance (which I don't have rolling eyes ) I wouldn't say it's hugely more effortfull than alpine. You do burn more calories but you don't need the sort of thighs you did with leather boots. There will be some sweat unlearning all that alpine stuff tho Toofy Grin
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@limegreen1, nice video- he's on 75mm though!
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Time for a mahoosive bump!

A few weeks have gone by since I started this thread.
I've decided to go for the 75mm option as there are far more items available to pick up on the cheap!
I've also decided to keep a vlog about this whole thing.... it'll also include my first time out.... so should be pretty fun in the long run!
You can have a look on you tube for the vids and subscribe for any new ones!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKuLdsKtc5JPuiw41ijresg
Plus there is loads of junk of me and my mates in the snow wink
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