I’m going on 16 years as a Telemark skier and as I’ve becomed involved in the sport in various capacities over the last decade or so, I’ve had the opportunity to observe quite a few Freeheel personalities. The last few years have especially made me think more and more about “why” anyone ever decides to start Telemark skiing. I remember countless times when my good friend Cody Smith and I would sit around and laugh at the fact that the most common question that we heard was “why do you telemark ski?”. It seemed to be on every interview or bio we would have to fill out for our sponsors so they could post it on their websites as if that was going to inspire other people to become a Freeheel skier themselves. Don’t get me wrong…I would love for someone to read about my passion for Telemark and decided that they want to do it themselves, but I just don’t think that is realistic. Most Freeheel skiers that I’ve met over the years start Telemark skiing because the challenge intrigues them and most of them tend to be individuals that are looking for something alternative or on the outskirts. In simple terms I think we are just people that want to be different.
This brings me to the point I’ve been pondering for quite some time; Telemark skiing is a personality choice.
One can try to decipher all of the benefits of having Telemark equipment like: 1. It’s easy to hike in the backcountry 2. It weighs less 3. I like the mobility
or one might take the Zen route and spray things like: 1. It’s freedom man. Free your heel and the mind will follow. (note that I love everyone, but this is just over the top.) 2. Or might recite old Telemark phrases like “Telemark: French for can’t Tele”.
In any case…all of these things may or may not be true, but it really doesn’t matter. Logically there is no explanation of why anyone chooses to be a Telemark skier other than their personality draws them to do so. End of story.
So to all the pinners out there that are constantly trying to justify your turn…please just let it be. Don’t get all spiritual and say crazy stuff about your free mind and free heels. If you say anything, when people ask you why you telemark, just simply let them know that you’re just weird and didn’t want to look like them on the hill.