Telemark skiing, more commonly referred to as the ugly stepchild of traditional alpine, is on the rise. With more people than ever dropping a knee on the hill, you might be wondering, WHAT THE HECK? The stone age has passed, there are electric cars that make fart noises and calculators that play Mario Cart. Why would anyone choose to use a Model T instead of an F-150? Tele skiers are constantly ridiculed by those of us who ask why anyone would do something that is objectively harder, slower and less fun.
But ask a tele skier that question and they will say “The answer lies within. When you free the heel, you get to free the mind.” They will say that the first turn on a pow day is the “most liberating experience” that they “feel total freedom,” and that getting face shots of 4 inches of snow is well worth it. Tele skiers LOVE that their chosen lifestyle is harder and requires more strength than normal skiing. They are proud to stick it to “the man” and drop knees on all types of terrain.
At one point in my life, I looked down on tele skiers. I thought they were smug pretentious jerks who were afraid to go fast, and who always introduced themselves with sayings such as “Hey, I’m Brutus, did you know your girlfriend cares that I tele?” Although that might be the case at times, I have learned that most tele skiers have chosen their lifestyle for the love of the sport. They don’t care that they may look stupid. They don’t blink an eye at the MANY people ridiculing them for being different.
Over the years I have gained a whole lot of respect for those knee dropping fools (though my heel will always be locked in).
I have taken it upon myself to look through the annals of history and speculate on some liberating, free spirited people who were not afraid to battle criticism in name of what they BELIEVED WAS RIGHT. Oh, and they also tele-d.
Abraham Lincoln– Honest Abe, The Liberator, The Great Emancipator. Old Abe was definitely a Tele Skier. The only thing he believed more than freeing the heal was freedom itself.
Marie Curie– The first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in science. A pioneer in science and women’s rights. Marie Curie + a tele setup = THE PERFECT EQUATION. She also refused to use poles.
Colin Kaepernick- Former pro QB, current civil rights activist and probably a telemark skier. Off-piste or on, Colin Kaepernick is versatile knee dropper and not afraid to stand (or kneel) for what he believes in.
Nelson Mandela– Pioneer for civil rights, the first black president of South Africa and an overall hero. I think he probably tele’d.
Blue “Heel”er- Known for its ability to “heel”, this good boy/girl loves dropping knees and taking names. Also enjoys peanut butter and a good tummy rub.
Dr. Anthony Fauci– The ultimate “heeler” of our time. He recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from him while skiing unless you want to be blinded by massive FACESHOTS.
Jesus – The dude turned water into wine. Was not afraid to “heel” the blind and have them watch as he made some sick turns. He loved freeing things so why not the heel.
Amelia Earhart– Free spirit and was no stranger to a challenge. Inspirational aviator, leader for women’s rights and lover of adventure. She was allegedly the first person to drop a knee on every continent in the world. Refused to switch from cable bindings.
Achilles– Rumor has it that his heal was weak from a stress fracture because the dude SHREDDED (and because he hated his new NTN boots). Always found with a PBR in hand and proud to have dropped knees for 10,000 days straight.
Oliver Twist– Dude loved free refills on a 4-inch day. Put him on a pair of the outlaw bindings dropping some knees. Free Refills all day.
Iaso– The Greek Goddess of Heeling. Backcountry pack included: First Aid Kit capable of repairing an ACL on the spot, 10 different pairs of sunglasses and a two-gallon bota of wine.
After reading this article you might say, “Wow! I had no idea all these people tele-d or even skied.” You might think, “Maybe if I tele I will be just as cool as these people” or “This is fake news planted to try to convince me that telemark skiing is actually cool”. Yes, the photoshop is quite convincing but in truth these are merely egregiously far reaching and punnily drawn conclusions of fierce people who were not afraid to go against the norm. And a dog. If you tele, don’t let it get to your head. Don’t compare getting teased by your friends to the real courage that Nelson Mandela or Marie Curie had in the face of adversity. Nonetheless the conclusion here is: if you tele you aren’t necessarily smelly. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
Commons Images from: My personal photos, Telemark Skiing Facebook Page, Mono Ski Facebook Page, Oliver Twist Wiki, Jesus Wiki, Jesus Wiki 2, Amelia Earhart Wiki , Abraham Lincoln Wiki, Iaso Wiki, Blue Heeler Wiki, Marie Curie Wiki, Achilles Wiki and Dr. Fauci Wiki Colin Kaepernick Flickr (Mike Morbek- Uploaded to commons via Moe Epsilon) Flickr KingKongPhoto