Back Country Skiing

Thought I'd poke this thread back to life...

I ride and telemark. I've worn downhills before, but...I dunno...it wasn't for me, despite over a decade of racing skinny skis...I guess that's why I went tele first, then got a board after riding a longboard to class in college every day for a year.

I can't count how many out of control skiiers I've been hit by...doesn't matter what people wear, boards are hardly The Problem so many skiiers seem to think they are, and now I see sooooo many skiiers with the same clothing and attitude that used to be exclusive to snowboarders that there isn't much difference anymore other than number of edges and the occasional throwback attitude...you guys have been around long enough to know the stereotypes and sources the bad attitudes came from on both sides, and the vast gulf between having an attitude vs possessing skill! It's just like Jeeps vs Toyotas vs Hummers vs people who know it's all in the driver.

On a more positive note, I've occasionally gotten a momentum dump from a friendly skiier when I'm stuck on a slow section...keep that in mind next time you see a bunch of kids all stuck on a traverse, they appreciate the help, it's great for a laugh, they'll remember it, and it goes a long way to ditch the rift and stereotypes that boarders and skiers still level at each other.

Ya really gotta push yourself to learn and grow, and going with someone who's more experienced (and patient) really helps. I started on my own, watched other people, then started riding with a buddy who's been snowboarding for about two decades now, and my tech improved dramatically in the first week alone. That was last season, now I'm learning to ride bumps and land solid. It also helps to try and teach someone else from square one--you can help them avoid all the problems you had, and explaining the technique greatly helps your own. Personally, I think every day is a technique day...or it should be. Right now, helping someone learn to transition and carve regular is helping me learn to do the same switch, which I hadn't really worked until now. There's definately still an awful lot for me to learn.

I used to go up with one or two people on boards, one guy on dh skis and me on the teles...it was a lot of fun, and really highlighted the specialties of everyone's chosen equipment. Downhill skis definately seemed the most capable in any terrain, particularly when it got technical, while snowboards seem to float and carve like nothing else, and nothing seems as graceful as a tele skiier floating the bumps (I am not one of those, but I can aspire).

I have a pair of old Garmont Firepower boots and Hot Chiles on a pair of cheapo downhill boards...one of these days I do plan on getting a pair of real tele boards, cheap and used...I've just been learning the board the last couple seasons and really enjoy it.

The board is a Burton BMG or something--slightly asymmetrical tip to tail all-mountain board--it's been a "white label" with a sticker over the topside mark since the day I bought it so I don't remember if it's BMG or BMC, with Nidecker 960s and Northwave boots. It's a very, very responsive setup, and I dig the bindings over anything else I've tried...they're an upgrade from a set of 800s I got when I bought the board (which were an upgrade from a set of Salomons).

-Sean
 
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texas taco

Adventurer
Try living in south east texas, and being a free heeler. Noting like working out the turns!!! trying to move to B.V. Colorado as we speak. people around here start talking aboukt skiing,and you tell them you tellemark and they think our are a call solicitor.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
I could never have suggested a better area; the area in fact where I used to be on the ski team ;)
 

bigreen505

Expedition Leader
pskhaat said:
I think this winter should require an ExPo Freeheel Rally in CO.
Let me know when you want to do it and I'll see if I can get Amanda and Natalie Angell to join. I probably should try it one of these days, but it looks like too much work to be fun.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
bigreen505 said:
Let me know when you want to do it and I'll see if I can get Amanda and Natalie Angell to join. I probably should try it one of these days, but it looks like too much work to be fun.
It's too much fun to be work. Next time you're up, see if you can find a freeheel skier who doesn't have a big ol' smile on. Well, except for the bondage gear converts who are trying too hard or the people who got lost on their way to Vail.
 

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Jacket

2008 Expedition Trophy Champion
Anybody ever done the winter hut thing to one of the 10th mountain division huts? My wife and I are into touring and backcountry, and we do a hut trip every year (kids limit our mobility these days). We did Uncle Buds a few years ago, Harry Gates, and then Betty Bear last March. Nothing quite like a winter sunset at 11000 feet in the comfort of your own rustic cabin!

For downhill stuff, I usually snowboard, but I've taken up telemark to better compliment the backcountry stuff.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
pskhaat said:
I could never have suggested a better area; the area in fact where I used to be on the ski team ;)
I get a Loveland pass most years, so this is very very good IMO... But I can help with the area guiding and post-ski activities, no problem. How about early December as a target?
 

spressomon

Expedition Leader
Tele for the past 5-seasons; from alpine and XC. I am stuck in the intermediate rut...probably has something to do with not getting out more than a few times the past couple years!

Inspite of what it looks like...for those that haven't 'crossed over'...since you are using, basically, your whole body it is easier on my knees in general compared to alpine. And it is way more zen like when you finally get that t-turn down!

I have always wanted to do a few of the "huts" on the 10th Mountain Division in CO.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Jacket said:
We did Uncle Buds a few years ago, Harry Gates, and then Betty Bear last March.
Of the 10th Mt. Div, we've done Janet's, Polar Star, Harry Gates, Francie's. Not sure which one we got in the lottery for this winter. Also have done the New York Mt. yurt and a couple of other small huts.
 

erod

Adventurer
not sure how i missed this one...we spend a ton of time in the backcountry, last year a lot in the tetons and big holes but also the snake river range, bridgers, gallatins, beartooths, la sals and others. i use alpine touring gear and my girlfriend at's, splitboards and tele's. anyway, sounds like you guys have it dialed by now and the colorado crew seems to be well represented and full of knowledge...hafe fun, be safe, and if you ever need info of some areas further north let us know! here are a few pics from last winter!
 
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TeleScooby

Adventurer
Now we're talkin!

my screenname should give away my skiing preferences, but I actually had to give up freeheelin last year due to back and knee injuries. I know, it's not harder on knees in general, but I've got some severe cartilage damage that is directly impacted by the deep knee bends...that and my knee brace kept pinching :)

Anyway, I went back to alpine and got myself a pair of Head Monster 88s and am loving 'em! I'm thinking about putting some AT bindings on there and heading back to the Alpental backcountry this year...any local takers? I need new ski buddies, everyone's moved away:(
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
DaveInDenver said:
How about early December as a target?
That's about the time the new wee one comes into our lives so I'd have to do it in 2008...not that you exactly need my company to do it :)
 
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