Essentially cross-country skis on steroids, telemark skis combine the best of both worlds: a free heel enables touring across flatlands, while stiffer boots and the more robust design of a downhill ski lets skiers kneel into and through their turns on terrain most XC skiers would fear to tread. Additionally, telemark skiers can slip on "skins" to become Spider-Man on skis and thwart their mortal enemy, the Very Steep Slope! Once a marginalized fringe of the winter-sports set, telemark skiing has seen a resurgence as of late, and with it, a number of events to celebrate the sport, including:
THE 36TH ANNUAL NORTH AMERICAN TELEMARK FESTIVAL The world's largest and longest-running gathering of telemark skiers, this weekend features demos, clinics, and contests, as well as the annual world-record-telemark-group-turn attempt.
March 12–13 | Mad River Glen | Fayston, VT | madriverglen.com | 802.496.3551
THE GUNSTOCK CLASSIC TELEMARK RACE Demos, lessons, and the races make this a day worth coming out for.
February 26 | Gunstock Mountain Resort | Gilford, NH | netelemark.com/gunstock.htm | 603.356.8177
THE REGGAE TELEMARK FESTIVAL Praise Jah! You heard dem right, mon . . . Reggae in da mountains! While you won't be seeing Sizzla on the slopes, you'll enjoy the camaraderie of fellow free-heelers throughout the day's activities, which are capped with a mountainside concert.
March 19 | Bretton Woods Nordic Center | Bretton Woods, NH | netelemark.com/reggae_fest.htm | 603.356.8177
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