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Find Nirvana – or not – at upcoming Beaver Creek telemark workshop series
Each tele turn is as unique as the person who makes it. This one comes courtesy of Brett Hooper, pouncing into the powder at Vail’s South Game Creek.
Photo by Dan Davis

Find Nirvana – or not – at upcoming Beaver Creek telemark workshop series

By Tom Boyd

December 18, 2008 —  It’s been a few years now that I’ve been born-again by telemarking. Alpine skiing had lost its luster. To be frank, I needed to suck again, to struggle down the mountain, and then to feel amazed at myself for having skied Riva Ridge and fallen only 4 or 5 times, or to have linked three turns in a row before crumpling under multiple leg cramps and then looking up with a snow-caked smile, proud of my accomplishment and wondering if my hamstrings had somehow been forced through a paper shredder.

I learned from family, was forced to wear leather boots to learn “the real way,” and enjoyed my suffering – but you don’t have to do it that way. Beaver Creek’s Telemark workshop series begins Dec. 20, where you can borrow/rent some good, modern gear, and discover the sport which I now find essential to my mental and physical well being.

Find Nirvana – or not – at upcoming Beaver Creek telemark workshop series
Chris Anthony busts a rock at the opening of Royal Elk Glade Dec. 18. I don't have anything against alpiners, and one day I'm sure I'll return to the locked-down heel. But for now, and for some time to come, it's the bent-knee that creams my Twinkie.
Photo by Dan Davis/Beaver Creek

The workshops are a way for aspiring telemarkers to mingle with accomplished telemarkers, get up on the hill, and delve into the art, mechanics, and beauty of the telemark turn. Hey, I’m highly biased, but to me the grace of a well-made tele turn (preferably at high speeds) is one of the great accomplishments of humankind. What more beautiful thing is there than the image of a living being carving across the inorganic landscape in the dead of winter? In what other pursuit are we quite as content as when we launch mind and body into the tele turn, unaware of all but the moment, each turn’s style as personal as the skier who makes it?

In winemaking and telemarking we are a wise and rational race – in all other things we are fools.

Fool or genius, telemarking wizard or first-timer, the Beaver Creek telemark series is an elevating experience. Co-ed workshops in Beaver Creek will be offered Dec. 20, Jan 10, Feb 21, and March 7. Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak will also host a coed workshop Feb. 24. These workshops are open to men and women of all abilities, ages 17 and up.

Participants will concentrate on technique and movement analysis. Beaver Creek workshops for kids ages 6-15 featuring instruction from “Tele Ned” will be held Jan. 11 and Feb. 22 and will give kids an introduction into the tele skiing world. A “Super Sunday” women’s workshop will be held in Beaver Creek on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1.

So there you have it – perhaps at Beaver Creek, riding with Tele Ned, you’ll find the same purity of life that I have in the simple, graceful, and highly elusive telemark turn.



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