The chair does not lie, but then again the chair does not tell the whole story. This picture is from two days ago and not much has changed, other than the fiery orb appearing in the heavens and the normally grey sky turning a rare colour of blue. The snow has been rained on, refrozen, rained again and refrozen again. As a result it has the consistency of stale sponge toffee and is less than desirable for skiing. I mean, you could ski on it if you had to, but who really has to?
In light of that, on Saturday I teamed up with notable locals Karl Ullr and Jeff LeChef and attended the 35th annual Ski Telemark Warm-Up Day at Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort in central Hinterlandia. I even waxed my namesake skis for the occasion:
MSLM could be considered the Killington of Ontario, if snowmaking firepower is the main criteria for judgment. Let’s just leave vertical drop out of the discussion.
Ski Telemark is a mobile ski school created in the 80s by my friends Holly and Steve. After taking a tele clinic at MRG from NATO guru Dickie Hall, they decided to spread the gospel of telemark here in Hinterlandia. Amazingly, they continue to do so to this day. The Warm-Up Day is a fun event designed to get telemarkers fired up for the season ahead, combining clinics, tele-fellowship, dinner, entertainment and great door prizes all in one day. I can’t claim to have attended all of them but I do have a few under my belt. For this celebration, I wore the instructor jacket I am seen sporting in this 80s-vintage image, from the day we demonstrated telemark technique on an artificial snow ramp in downtown Toronto (that’s me on the left).
Of course, my 80s-level instructor skills have all but evaporated in the era of plastic and buckles, so I signed up for a clinic focused on “Finding your centre” with Rob and Garry. Rob and I go way back, in fact he failed me on my first attempt at becoming a certified telemark instructor 30+ years ago. Not holding any grudges, I signed up for his class because I know he is an exceptionally talented skier and technical instructor.
It was great day, with excellent early season snow conditions and well over 30 telemarkers in one place. Once skiing was finished, we relaxed, had refreshments, watched “A Telemark Tale,” ate a good dinner and everybody won some kind kind of swag.