Time to transition to Teleskiing?

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Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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Time to transition to Teleskiing?

I have been XC skiing since I was 5. I loved it. I started Alpine skiing when I was 12, and loved it a whole lot more. As I continue to ski 25-30 days a season plus many more on my own hill, I am finding a higher need to chase more mountains, new terrain, more vertical, and technique. I hate to say it but its beginning to get a little monotonous. Just slightly. Maybe I just ski too fast. There's always room to improve technique, but this whole tele skiing thing is really started to interest me.

 I've heard teleskiiers say things along the lines of "Alpine is boring" and "once you tele you will never go back to Alpine. Weather I agree with those statements or not, I find it interesting. Bottom line is I want to try Telemark. It's just time for something new. (or maybe old)

A couple questions:

Where can I buy telemark equipment? I don't know of any ski shops I've been to before that carry telemark equipment. Maybe the internet is a good option? If so, what should I be looking for?

Can I use a pair of 184 Fischer Watea All-Mountain skis I already have, and put tele bindings on them?

How much should I expect to spend getting set up?

Can you put tele skis on edge, or are you always forced to side slip down the mountain?

This should be interesting. I'm in a strong mood to challenge myself to something new.


I'll take boilerplate ice over wet snow any day
Sick Bird Rider Sick Bird Rider
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

Ethan Snow wrote
A couple questions:

Where can I buy telemark equipment? I don't know of any ski shops I've been to before that carry telemark equipment. Maybe the internet is a good option? If so, what should I be looking for?

Can I use a pair of 184 Fischer Watea All-Mountain skis I already have, and put tele bindings on them?

How much should I expect to spend getting set up?

Can you put tele skis on edge, or are you always forced to side slip down the mountain?
Welcome to the dark side, Ethan. Many tele skiers (in the east especially) come from a similar background as you describe. Bored with alpine, looking for a new challenge. The fun thing about telemark is that there seems to be always something new to learn, or piece of gear to nitpick on and fiddle with.

Pro-tip # 1: take some lessons from a good instructor. I'd suggest MC2 or whoever he recommends.

Here are some basic answers to your questions, I am sure some the more locally based teleskiers on the forum will have more input:

Where to buy: not sure about local shops but Telemarkdown is in New Hampshire with both online and a storefront. They are coming to Gore Mtn in the near future for a demo day: www.telemarkdown.com/

Wateas: sure, why not. Most "all mountain" skis make good tele skis.

Spend: depends. Now is a good time to buy used 75mm set ups because a lot of folks are switching to AT and/or NTN. I just bought a very serviceable pair of 12 year old 75mm plastic boots for $30. New gear will be spendy, close to $1000 for boots and bindings alone at full retail. No need for different poles!

Skis on edge: yes, but it won't happen right away. See pro-tip # 1.

Above all, have fun.

Love Jay Peak? Hate Jay Peak? You might enjoy this: The Real Jay Peak Snow Report
Cunningstunts Cunningstunts
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

In reply to this post by Ethan Snow
First things first, you have the right idea in your first statements.  Telemark can be as close to XC or Alpine as you want, given the current gear selection.  You may come to find standard XC and Alpine boring and abandon each altogether and just live somewhere in the middle - this is what I do.  I love it.  I also started at similar ages to you - think I might have been a touch older for XC, but for Alpine, the same.

Here's the great thing - everything you know about Alpine and XC still works.  Telemark gear does not force you to Telemark.  With modern boots you can make really good Alpine turns.  That's the beauty of it for many - you can ski whatever style you want.  Carving at high speed may be difficult or impossible - but that's about it.  Plenty of people can carve Tele turns - I cannot, so I can't tell you how or how not, but generally more modern binding with good edge control should help.  Beyond that I think it's just strength and contorting your body.  Get your body in a Tele position and you should feel you're more stable fore/aft, but less stable laterally.  This is why Alpine is a "stronger" turn.

Any ski works for Tele.  You might find a ski that is easier to skid might be easier at first.

While you could start with the latest, greatest Tele gear, it's gonna be expensive, and you might dislike it.  That would be what is called NTN.  I would recommend going with 75mm (NN) i.e. the old standard and get yourself sorted out.  It works, it's easy to find, and generally it will cost a little less (mostly the bindings).

There's plenty of good 75mm bindings out there.  Among the cheapest, most reliable are what are called Volie Hardwires.  The are robust, have decent stiffness and cost about $200.  They are also tourable.  If that's not a requirement, the 22D Vice is really robust (6 screw mount vs 4) and very stiff, active and adjustable.  There's some other stuff from Rottefella and G3 that might work, but not as robust as the two I mentioned.

As far as boots.  Try them first.  There's a big difference and not as many options.  Obviously, just like plastic Alpine boots, fit is important.  There are shops in NY that stock Tele boots, but not many.  The other option is use a place like Telemarkdown who are an internet (and brick and mortar) Tele focused shop who distribute a few different brands of boots.  They will ship and take returns until you are satisfied, and they are pretty reasonable about the shipping costs.  I would recommend looking into the Scarpa T1 and T2eco, as they'll be good all-around resort boots.  T2s are more touring focused, but you may find them more comfortable.

I would not buy used boots - I've never had any luck with that.  Used bindings and skis might be fine, depending on the price.

Good luck - I bet you'll really love it.
Don't grow up, it's a trap.
Brownski Brownski
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

In reply to this post by Ethan Snow
You don’t need to tele. You need a snowmobile
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

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Hope you enjoy it. My method to expand my skiing has been to go AT which I did many years ago. I can tell you tele is more versatile than even AT if you are touring as AT can be a PITA when switching modes. I hope you enjoy it.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

In reply to this post by Ethan Snow
What is your boot size? How long are your skis?
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
timbly timbly
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

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Hey Ethan, I'm a long-time tele skier in Oneonta--we met at Platty last year--let me know if I can help out.
campgottagopee campgottagopee
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

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Brownski wrote
You don’t need to tele. You need a snowmobile
This
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

Don't listen to the haters Ethan!
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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Re: Time to transition to Teleskiing?

Thanks for all the info, cunningstunts. If I'm gonna do this, I would definitely go with new boots as recommended. Plattekill rents tele equipment, and I may give that a shot at some point before investing in equipment.

campgottagopee wrote
Brownski wrote
You don’t need to tele. You need a snowmobile
This

Harvey wrote
Don't listen to the haters Ethan!
Haha, I've ridden sleds before, and yes, they're a blast, but not at a stage of my life where I want to get into that hobby. I like nice things, and the sled, trailer, and new truck to pull it would set me back 50K Not to mention you are chasing snow that is harder and harder to come by these days.  I could easily see myself taking up snowmobiling when I am older assuming natural snow is still a thing. I highly doubt it will ever totally replace skiing for me.

Harvey, I am a size 44, and I am currently on 184s

Timbly, thanks for reaching out, We will have to connect again sometime. Maybe come to Woodstream when we get a snowstorm sometime? I'm sure I'll see you at Plattekill as well
I'll take boilerplate ice over wet snow any day
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