Learning to Ski Again

The family has been taking a ski vacation up at Smugglers Notch Vermont this week. The kids have been in ski school pretty much the entire week (a day off one day for a ‘break’) and have improved immensely !

I decided though that it wasn’t fair that the children were the only ones enjoying something so new and fun (and painful, and cold 8-) so I took a telemark lesson this afternoon.

Telemark uses a ski that’s generally very similar to a regular Alpine/Downhill ski, where it’s different however is that the binding is more like a cross country ski in that the heel is not fixed down but free to lift off the ski (sometimes Telemark is also called Free Heel Skiing).

I was a little apprehensive, I’ve not had a lesson for about 20 years (I’ve been alpine skiing for about 27 years). I wasn’t really that excited about lots of faceplants into cold snow. But it was a small investment (with a discount badge I have here at Smuggs it was 20 dollars for the lesson and 20 dollars for the rental skis and boots).

However I was pleasantly surprised, it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. It’s certainly not the same as Alpine downhill skiing, but almost all of the skills I’ve acquired over the years in balancing and understanding (feeling) where my weight is on the ski paid off. I took a few tumbles (3 or 4 I think), but only one decent faceplant. I’m also not too sore – if you’ve ever watched someone telemark skiing it’s an amazingly fluid but surprisingly active motion of rising and lowering and bending your knees as you turn. If they’re good it’s quite beautiful – I’m pleased with my progress but I think it’ll be some time before I’m that good ! I’m a little stiff, but my knees are actually fine, most of the soreness (and it’s mild) is in my quads, nothing worse than a very strenuous day of skiing with a lot of holding a tuck position.

Tomorrow I’ll telemark again (so as to try and capitalize on my lesson), and also so that I’m skiing with the children about as well as they ski !

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on January 24, 2008

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