A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Isaac’s first Telemark lesson

February 19, 2022
Emilie Phillips

Isaac took his first Telemark lesson this weekend. It was a holiday weekend, so getting reservations was a zoo. The only slot for Isaac’s lesson was towards the end of the day. Once at the Gunstock mountain, neither the lift lines nor slopes were crowded. The snow conditions were better than in the woods, but that’s not saying much. It poured rain just a couple days ago. Most of the trails had patches of solid ice and the rest of the snow was too firm for my dull edges to grip well. We free skied all morning and the early afternoon. On the chairlift rides up we would try to spot as many ski poles as we could. The number of poles on the ground, mostly rental poles, had doubled by the end of the day.

Isaac has been on free heel bindings for many years. That way he could hike up the mountains with us. For all those years though, we have never gotten him to Telemark down. This lesson will need to be the first of many lessons. After the lesson, when he stopped and thought, Isaac could get into the bent-knee Telemark pose and do a turn. Then he would switch legs and do another turn. Four turns was about his limit before he unconsciously reverted to a parallel stance with one heel picked up. Good progress, and we just need to find time (and snow) to practice more. The other thing Isaac learned was pinky toe pressure. That will help his turn initiation in both parallel and Telemark turns.

We finished the day with a few more laps in the terrain park. Isaac had wanted 10 more runs, but a day of skiing caught up with him and he called it quits at a more realistic time. I was happy with how much exercise I got.

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