Here are 10 reasons to give Telemark/Freeheel skiing a go this season in Les Gets:
Reason 1 - It's different! Take a look at the photos and note the skiers are only attached at the front binding. If you've been Alpine skiing for years, Telemark can be an awesome new challenge for you.
Reason 2 - It's also considerably similar! All the things you do; snowplough, parallel, slipping, scraping and carving are all the same, meaning you're not starting completely from scratch.
Reason 3 - It's physically harder and more complex (balance and movement wise) than regular Alpine skiing, which you'll enjoy learning or re-learning at the same time as improving your fitness.
Reason 4 - Staying with fitness, Telemark keeps you fitter than Alpine skiing. It'll strengthen your core and legs and give you a butt of steel! No need for the gym.
Reason 5 - Telemarkers have to develop amazing balancing and recovery skills, which helps to improve all aspects of the regular form of skiing. When back on Alpines you'll feel "bionic".
Reason 6 - It looks good, feels good, the other sex digs it and I can do it! (Sneaked 4 more in). It is the oldest form of modern skiing - until modern bindings were invented All skiing was freeheel!
Reason 7 - If your skiing partner is a bit slower than you, you learning to Telemark can help "level the playing field" while you build up your own skills alongside them on easy terrain.
Reason 8 - Powder is considered the pinnacle goal in Snowsports; mastering Telemark in powder is one of the greatest pleasures you can have on the mountain! You're IN it, how long can you go?
Reason 9 - You can Alpine ski on Telemark kit, probably the best way to start with but remember, there's no support from a rear binding. However, you can't Telemark on Alpine kit!
Reason 10 - IT'S FUN!
And when you master it, the sense of achievement is amazing and Alpine skiing becomes much easier by comparison!
There are a few local ski hire shops that rent out Telemark kit: Berthet Sports (Les Gets), Baud Sports (Morzine).
Joe Beer is a ski instructor in Les Gets where he runs Alpine Learning Curves. They offer Telemark days/sessions/clinics. #SpreadTelemark #ALCblogbook
Photos: Alpine Learning Curves, Mark Aplin.