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Brilliant Telemark Event - 8 - 20 Jan 2022 France - Open to All inc Solos

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Now we are heading to winter in this remarkable heat, I guess many may be thinking about cooling snow and next winter. So I thought I'd let all telemarkers, and anyone thinking of giving it a go, know/remind about the GB Telemark Training and National Championships.

The event is formally known as Exercise Telemark Titan 2022 and is run by the Army Telemark Ski Association (ATSA) but is also open to civilians.

Briefly, the event consists of a weeks instruction for all levels from alpine skiers wishing to learn telemark, to training the GB World Cup Squad and those endeavouring to get into the squad. The instruction is first class and depending on numbers may be just French instructors or include well know English instructors, eg Telemark Tracks. The French are often local to the area, travelling from Champagny, Courchevel, Meribel, Bourg etc. For them it is a treat as they are ESF instructors- who love to telemark, but who almost never get to teach telemark or even better get paid to telemark. Instructors have included at least one of the Lau brothers (World Cup / French champion) as well as others who have competed and won a variety of races including the Derby de la Meije. The coaches themselves have training in how to teach Brits to telemark by Seb Mansart the GB telemark team coach. They do it very well indeed- and make it fun.

Then there are a few days of racing. For novices, a few development races and the better ones do get into the GB Telemark Championships. The GB Championships are for all and from that the GB World Cup team is selected. Finally, a Mountain Race. This involves skinning up a hill and skiing down, repeated for 3 laps. Either in 1 lap relay teams, or as a solo.
Some instruction continues during the racing days for novices. It is possible for anyone to win at the GB National Championships. Two middle aged/elderlyish chaps in the Team Classic event, with two teens, manged to pick up Gold. And civilians have done well when against the young military men and women. So if you fancy Ski Mo, this is it.

Daily instruction is 0900 - 1630 with around 1 - 11/2 hours for lunch. Group size is approx 6 although novice classes may be a little larger. For the non serious racer telemarkers, the emphasis is on being or becoming an all mountain telemarker. So conditions permitting, everything from on piste to deep powder to moguls is covered. Race instruction is not the main activity, but some will include round the gates, jumping and skating. Race training is surprisingly fun and race jumping can be heart stopping on the first jumps - and actually for ever!! Adjustable poles that extend to around 1m 50cm are a good idea for skating!

This will be again in PLV and up to 150 telemarkers are easily catered for. Numbers include Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and civilians (40 ish max). There is ample scope for us civilians to get involved and keep up numbers. For some reason the RAF Telemarkers do their own thing somewhere else. The company is a highlight, a mixture of keen telemarkers, aspiring telemarkers, ski fanatics, service men and women mostly from the Navy / Marines with a mix from the Army. They provide all the logistics and do an excellent job. I'm impressed by the meetings. Apres ski is relaxed. Bowling was fun, the hotel bar is very good value (a coffee is a couple of euros, a beer not much more), a happy hour is likely, the hotel provides 'French entertainments'.

The event is hosted in the delightful and picturesque resort of Pralognan la Vanoise nestling below the mountain tops and it has a reputation as a cold hole and very popular with touring. It is south east of Moutiers and next valley to the east of Courcheval.
Full board accomodation is in the Hotel Vacanciel, large unlimited buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, (and wine at dinner) which is hearty, lots of salad, a decent choice, raclette night etc, also a selection of cheeses - it is France after all.
And so convenient with only a short 5 min walk to the lifts. Single rooms, for civilians at least possible but it depends on total numbers in the hotel, so may be sharing.
There is a large free open car parking area - shovel and snow chains are a good idea.
ATSA sometimes lays on transfers for Geneva to PLV but there is a charge. Otherwise group up at Geneva or where ever and a shared van taxi is economic. There is a Civilian WhatsApp group to help with our admin and arrange group transport, answer queries etc etc. The Military of course have their own Unit admins, and we try to replicate that to appear slightly organised and not so far behind!!

Cost for civilians £900 - full board, 6+ days of instruction, lift pass and race fees. Remarkable value for 12 nights!!
University OTCs also pitch up. Exeter is particularly strong with everyone from the CO and his wife to first year students. So, Uni OTCs have a think and send a team. I understand that the students even get paid their military wages!!

Kit can be hired for the event in resort or usually from Telemark Tracks who normally take a van of stuff.

The initial details are usually published in August, with confirmed details in the autumn.

After Ex TT, the French are hosting a round of the 2022 Telemark World Cup in PLV, and one can stay on for that and perhaps be involved as gate judge/course slider/goffer etc etc.

Thanks to ed123 - I incorporated some of his previous words.

But, all those who wish to ski and develop a fabulous style and as an art form, telemark is the way to go.
Just take the plunge - you know you can do it and will enjoy it!!! A chum came last time, found it really difficult at first but after the event has bought all the gear. But the cameraderie on the slopes anywhere is great and we always have a chat and ski a run or so.

The Army Sports Board has given the go ahead, but we are at the mercy of that pesky virus.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The Defence Instruction Notice has now been published. It is not really like a holiday brochure but has all the relevant information.

& DIN on DropBox Link at front of application process!

Hope to see lots of Snowheads there!!
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