It is a combination of Nordic and Alpine skiing. A heavy ski can easily go unnoticed when riding lifts, but it will quickly become fatiguing as you slog up the skin track. The Alpine Trekker from Backcountry Access is a ski binding adapter that converts a regular alpine skiing setup into an alpine touring rig. Here are seven of them: Hiking and traversing in the backcountry is faster and less work when you are on telemark equipment, especially when your telemark binding has a zero-resistance touring mode. Breaking trail on AT gear had never been easier. The snow is pushed on the sides, as well as the front, by the ski. Frame AT bindings are typically heavier, but don't require boots with tech fittings and give skiers an experience that is more similar to traditional alpine ski bindings. It was a relaxed start, nothing remarkable, even considering the six inches of new. With a reduced retention rating and a more affordable price tag, the Atomic SHIFT MNC 10 is ideal for skiers looking to get a binding that handles ski areas and backcountry tours with ease, but don’t need to turn it up to 11 (or more). Both alpine touring and telemark skis not only permit skiers to explore the backcountry and climb steep terrain, but to also then ski down those sharp downhills. A bit heftier than a touring-specific ski but with all the makings of a freeride line crusher, the Rossignol Sender Ti ensures your ride down is a good as it gets. Alpine Touring Ski Weights. © 2020 Off-Piste Magazine. On the other hand, in the telemark technique, the skiers use boot braces that are flexible; allowing the heels to move freely from the ski. With one setup, you can comfortably tour the Sierra backcountry and hit the steeps at Squaw Valley. But it’s probably better to go to the source—some people with actual authority on the subject—than to speculate on the existential morbidity of telemarking. The difference was immediately noticeable. Weight: 6 lbs. It was the original turn, you know. With lighter AT bindings and boots vs years past, and the ability to lock in the heel for more control vs Telemark ski systems, the AT gear has become more popular than Telemark gear for backcountry skiing. It was fun. If you would like to learn more about telemark skiing, you can check out our blog post: What is Telemark Skiing? Perhaps you know a few of these lost soul types. Close. Outdoor Gear Exchange has the latest skis from brands synonymous with superior performance like Atomic, Kastle, DPS, Blizzard, Volkl, and many more. The alpine skiing technique is a much harsher technique. The advantages of an alpine touring (AT) setup when it comes to ascending are obvious from the get-go. In backcountry skiing, this usefulness turns into an undeniable advantage. Telemark skiing is named after the Telemark region of Norway, where the discipline originated. And the way they went on and on about how miraculous it was to tour on AT gear was like they had just discovered that toast tastes better with butter and jam. I felt their pain. Many alpine skiers get their first taste of true backcountry skiing on Alpine Trekkers. We tested the skis with modern, tech-style alpine touring bindings, boots, and technique. Minds would follow, they said. The best-selling SHIFT MNC gets a little sibling for 2021. A Quick Ski Boot Fit Guide for Alpine Touring and Telemark Boots; A Quick Ski Boot Fit Guide for Alpine Touring and Telemark Boots. Therefore, the skier needs the proper skillset and the training to tackle the unpredictable nature of it. Sondre Norheim is often credited for first demonstrating the turn in ski races, which included cross country, slalom and jumping, in Norway around 1868. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you read my intro and thought "Oh no, he's reviewing women's deodorant", you'll be sadly mistaken. Widths: 88, 98, 108mm. The main argument often shoved forward in favor of tele gear is that it’s lighter, and therefore faster on a climb and less taxing. Right before the end of the year, I went out skiing. Add Hawx Ultra XTD 120 TECH GW Alpine Touring Ski Boots - Men's - 2020/2021 to Compare ... T2 Eco Telemark Ski Boots - Men's - 2016/2017. All of these skis can also be used with telemark equipment and technique, but this style is less popular. Your email address will not be published. In fact, I'm reviewing a pair of alpine … This angle is opposite to where he is heading. It’s done at lift-assisted ski resorts with groomed runs that are marked and patrolled. Are Telemark skis better for tree touring / backcountry? Remember the elegance, the purity, that feeling of righteousness? Locked in heels, big boots, wide skis and a generous side cut. There was no looking back. The other technique to control speed by the skier is carving, which depends on the ski’s shape. It was pointless, I thought. The specialty of telemark skiing is that the skier has the option to attach skins just below their skis that helps them in backcountry skiing, especially when they are going up the sloppy hills. The choice to drop your knee or not is a tough one. It’s point and counterpoint ad nausea. When the skier takes a turn in this way, they can keep the speed under their control. I even threw in a few parallel turns for good measure. https://trekt.co/skiing/alpine-vs-telemark-skiing-for-the-backcountry The latest gear is half the weight and twice the performance of what you might expect. When out touring, I would remind them, what about the good old days? What is the motto for that Polygamy Porter they brew in Utah – why just settle for one? This season they added a titanal layer and a progressive all-mountain sidecut to the critically-acclaimed Jak Telemark and Alpine Touring Ski. We recommend anyone planning to go out in the backcountry to try both alpine and telemark skiing in a controlled environment to see which they prefer. The telemark turn is so graceful, so elegant, they claimed. After a week of torrential and monumentally depressing rain turned Christmas into Slushmas, cold from the east brought December … On the other hand, the telemark technique does not require an aggressive scraping of the snow; leading to a potentially safer skiing experience. Learn more below. Alpine Skis – Your classic skis and boots for bombing down the slopes. A boot like the Scarpa Maestrale RS (and women's Scarpa Gea RS) is able to pull off all of these features. The siren song of that previously ridiculed euro-dog Randoneé get-up beckoned strongly. But quickly my confidence waned. This was just a case of more arrows in the quiver. 6 years ago. This style of skiing and equipment allows the user to climb with heels free, and descend with them locked. If you prefer a lighter ski and a more traditional hiking experience, alpine skiing might be right for you. The usefulness of the flexible base is that it helps quite a lot during uphill hikes and turns. In the backcountry, it’s up to you to haul your own equipment up the mountain. Uncertain thoughts surfaced as I unbuckled my boots. Telemark skiing, also known as Tele skiing, is another very old skiing technique. Sky climbs the last few steps to the summit of Mt Formidable. The primary differences between telemark and alpine touring (or randonee) skiing are in the binding and boots. Alpine, Telemark, and Alpine Touring Skis Whether you’re looking for a lightweight touring or skimo set up to a powder hunting downhill set up. In this technique, the pressure of the inner edge of one ski, either the left ski or the right ski, is first increased. That supple, cross-country feel of telemark gear felt good. The third major difference is that the telemark technique is a more subtle technique. Essential gear: downhill skis, downhill bindings, downhill boots, downhill poles Downhill Skiing Buying G… If you prefer using your skis to climb the mountain and having a graceful descent, telemark skiing might be preferable for you. Many telemark and alpine touring skiers use all mountain alpine skis, and some skiers use alpine equipment exclusively in the backcountry. It seemed like an excellent option, particularly for ski mountaineering. I figured over the years I would eventually acquire an alpine touring setup at some point. But then the dark side beckoned. With the right skills and training, telemark skiing can be much more elegant and graceful. Backcountry skiing requires a lot of skill and mastery over techniques to properly and safely enjoy it. As with alpine and telemark skis, waxless metal edged has been infected with waist inflation and I’m here to confirm, unlike the national debt, it’s a good thing. Telemark vs Alpine. Yes, I’m sad to say I know a few skiers who used to expound endlessly on the merits of telemarking almost to the point that you figured they believed world peace could be achieved if everyone simply freed their heels. At the end of the day, heading back to the car, I thought, this is good, the best of both worlds. Little did I know that it was my own soul that I would be battling to save. It would seem to be that being able to put full weight into one leg you could power quickly through fast short notice turns. In hindsight, this was the first sign of the dark side’s ominous pull. Downhill skiers wear stiff plastic boots that click into fixed-heel bindings mounted to shaped skis. The morning brought light snow and low clouds. Perhaps by immersing myself into the dark side mentality, I could understand their conversion and discover a way to bring them back. Damn, did they make climbing look hard. Here’s something that I didn’t know about ski boots until I entered the industry: two “different” sizes will often be the same shell size with a different liner. Alas, on their AT gear they were always too far out ahead to hear my plaintive remarks. The dark side was calling. In a way, the alpine touring skis are functionally similar to the Telemark skis. In the alpine technique, the skiers use boot braces that fix their heels to the ski. 5. For backcountry skiing, the proper technique comes down to your preferences and skills. This difference in skiing technique can play a major role in backcountry skiing. There weren’t any wistful remembrances of that graceful telemark stance. To get down, downhill skiers generally keep their skis parallel while making turns. Telemark vs Alpine. Leki's Vario XS four-season poles are designed for kids, but are fully functional on trail or in the snow. And soon these poor souls were lost in a world of bliss like nuns discovering the joys of masturbation. Usually, in Frontcountry skiing, the slops are adequately maintained, and the conditions are controlled to remain favorable. the grace of the freeheel. Or, perhaps, I was panting to loud for them to discern my hopeless pleas as I struggled to keep up in my lowly telemark gear. Posted by. One of the main reasons for the popularity of this technique is the ability to use dual-function heels. Not that telemark gear has ever held anyone back, right? Among the different types of Alpine ski turn, Stemming is one of the oldest and most common. Specifically engineered to be less stressful when on your steps and kicks, this boot is made to increase your performance and maneuverability at the same time. PHOTO: Jonathan Selkowitz. The biggest disadvantage of alpine skis is that they are heavy to carry up the mountain. Right before the end of the year, I went out skiing. I’ll telemark one day and lock ‘em down the next. The second major difference is that in telemark skiing, using a skin on the ski is predominant, while in alpine skiing, it is a choice. The pressure is then immediately released and shifted to the inner side of the other ski. The process can be repeated when required. The use of skin helps in two ways; first of all, it makes the downhill descent faster and smoother, and second of all, it makes the uphill hike a bit easier. Just like telemark skis, you’ll find them to be stiffer and sturdier than cross country skis, but alpine touring skis have a completely different heel. Alpine setups can be converted to AT and some industry reporting include tele and randonee in the same lump as “backcountry” or simply telemark sales. This is a key difference that makes walking far more pleasant over long distances vs. a rigid alpine touring (AT) boot. Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket and Pants – Do-it-All Shell Jacket and Pants, Backcountry Skier Personalities – The Gearhead. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. Lighter skis excel on the climb and are easier to handle when performing kick turns. My favorite theory is that by trying to become equivalent in performance to alpine gear, telemarking rationalized itself out of existence. … By Jef "Jefe" Published:September 17, 2010. Two of the most popular backcountry techniques are Alpine and the Telemark. A few days later I went back out again – same place, some more snow. When the ski spins on the border and comes in contact with the snow, it helps the skier to change the direction. There are spots where one needs to traverse. List Price: $499.95 Sale Price: $249.98 More Info Buy u/civilservant2011. I believe it may have started with a few parallel turns. But, in my opinion, what is really more disconcerting than all the background squabbling is the sad circumstance of a few former pinners who have converted over to AT gear while forsaking their freeheel roots. OMG’s Telemark Tech System Recent Alpine Touring/Telemark Ski Reviews Volkl Attiva Aurora "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman" just like SECRET deodorant used to be! The shape of the ski bends to form an arc. The skier then applies pressure to the foot. Minimal camber underfoot with early rise in the tip and tail instill a surfy ride—a trait coveted by modern skiers—while a 21 … Keeping your mind free was forgotten. The method is also quite popular among backcountry skiers. All Rights Reserved. Insults are hurled. Telemark and AT (Alpine Touring) gear are all the rage these days. The dark side had corrupted them. As the backcountry hills and slopes are not maintained, there are high chances of an avalanche occurring. Sometimes called alpine skiing, downhill skiing is what most people know. It was nothing but scorn for what once was so sacred. As the alpine technique requires scraping the snow much more than the telemark technique, it makes way for a greater chance of avalanches occurring. Karhu Jak Telemark and Alpine Touring Ski While other companies might sit on an award-winning ski until it becomes obsolete, Karhu is never satisfied. One of the major differences between the Alpine and Telemark techniques is the type of braces that are used. Snowplow turning is the easiest and simplest technique and is perfect for beginners. It's a great system for getting into alpine touring and backcountry skiing at low incremental cost. The backward thrust has an opposing effect which causes the skier to slow down. All of a sudden touring on telemark gear was so laborious. Archived. I had been Mr. Randoneé for fifteen minutes and I already felt sorry for them. Paul Butler lives in Mazama, WA and is contemplating salvation by learning how to snowboard. So what is the difference between Alpine and Telemark skiing? Just ask Sondre. It was almost as if they had been possessed. I hoped that a spark of memory would ignite the cold ashes of what once was a burning passion. Indignant attitudes emerge. It is because of this immense popularity that alpine skiing became one of the events in the Winter Olympic Games. It can be said that Frontcountry skiing is safer and more comfortable than backcountry skiing. With this technique, the skier points the front of the ski towards the side, thus forming an angle. Assuming you mean to compare the gear including boots and bindings (not just skis) and what each can do, there are significant differences. Recent Alpine Touring/Telemark Pole Reviews Leki Vario XS. Both designs are built to allow backcountry exploration and the functionality for steep inclines and sharp downhills. Both these types of skis are designed to go on ungroomed backcountry terrain as well as cover steeper downhill slopes. After the conversion over to alpine touring, these hardcore telemarkers were pretty much born-agains in the backcountry. Many of my friends had. Along with this, the skier is pushed back by the snow. Fool that I was, I underestimated the forces at hand. Accepting alpine, GripWalk and touring boot soles, the Attack 2 14 AT has the most boot sole compatibility in Head’s Attack 2 lineup and ensures that no matter what boots you’ve got on your feet, you can count on efficient power transmission and a safe ride. The gear was still pure, but it was logical, they reasoned, in certain conditions or terrain, not to drop into the requisite stance. Wildlife in the Rocky Mountains – Wildlife Guide, Wildlife in the Rocky Mountains - Wildlife Guide, The Best First Aid Kits for Backpacking, Hiking, and Camping, The Best Climbing Skins for Skiing (2020) – Buying Guide. So I decided to cross over myself. Armada Tracer 98 ($700) Dimensions: 132-98-123mm. If the force on the sides is not balanced, then the skier will turn. The purpose of these skis is to act as a sort of intermediary between alpine and cross-country skis. Well, they have to fill those backcountry ski magazines with some sort of fodder. The unique factor about this technique is that fixed heel bindings are used instead of free-heel coupling. Not only are today’s full fat, waxless metal edged skis gaining girth, they’re also building a loyal following. Soon, it was parallel city, anywhere and anytime. The Apex Ski boots MC-S All Mountain Sport 2014, Mondo 26.0 – Simple, well thought out and deliberately unique, Alpine claims that the Apex ski boot is designed for all mountain skiing. Tele boots are hinged at the toe. Telemark skiing is a skiing technique that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing. Alpine touring skis are lighter in weight in comparison to telemark skis. I would tell those people that is not only worth it, telemark skiing has advantages over alpine touring, snowboarding and alpine skiing. An Adventure Blog - Skiing, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, and More! After over 15 years of touring on telemark gear, I had gone over to the “dark side.” Here I was trying out a pair of alpine touring boots attached with Dynafit bindings to some Atomic skis that used to be mounted with cable bindings for dropping knees. 12 oz. Unfortunately, things like this can never be so simple. In fact, I was worried that not only would it be so easy, but it would look obviously so, and thus I would have to break trail the entire way. Darkside Calling – Telemark vs. Alpine Touring by Paul Butler. It was the same reasoning here. Alpine is a downhill skiing technique. Not even burning some blessed herbs could stir them from the evil grip of locked down heels and robotic stiffness. We did not test skis with telemark bindings. The telemark binding locks down the front of your foot, and has an adjustable cable on the back that is loosened for rolling terrain, and tightened to keep your heel down for descents. $600.00 (1) 1 reviews with an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Functionally, alpine touring skis and telemark skis accomplish the same thing. They’re proliferating at ski areas as fast as in the backcountry. The name Telemark originated from the Telemark region of Norway. This is one of the reasons why telemark skis are not as popular among backcountry skiers. Telemark taxidermy. Comparisons are made. Adults or children who use poles in the 80-110 cm (31-43") range will find these two-piece poles are easy to … By changing the pressure on the left and the right ski, the ski is not able to turn or move ahead. For telemark, my go to for touring is a T3 paired with a voile 3 pin binding on light voile fish scales- my most memorable days this season were on this setup. This time I was on my trusty telemark gear. For the touring minded, Dynafit has invaded the telemark world and this is the reason the NTN system will steadily lure converts, not only from duckbilled telemarkers, but also from those who switched to AT for efficiency, yet miss the tele turn. Frame touring bindings have toe and heel pieces connected by a frame or rails and often work with both alpine and alpine touring ski boots. Two friends and I began making our way up “the cache” – a 4,000-foot, north-facing shot. The fixed heel provides a lot more control over the speed and the direction of the skier. Alpine touring boots are characterized by this balance, with lightweight builds, a high range of motion in walk mode, a stiff ski mode, crampon and tech binding compatibility, and grippy soles. Here the skier, while on his way down the slope, puts their skis into a snowplow posture. When the pressure is increased, the speed is decreased. Backcountry skiing is more unpredictable. Alpine touring (AT) and telemark boots are made to allow more comfortable walking and climbing than a traditional ski boot; they allow their user to lock the ankle for skiing and leave it flexible for climbing comfort. Maybe seeing myself as their savior was a little over the top but wasn’t the world waiting for a Second Coming? To learn more about alpine skis, see the rec.skiing FAQ in rec.skiing.announce. The latest technique to control speed is checking. I realized in the back of my mind I had been suppressing one particular notion the whole day – what would it have been like on my AT skis? After a week of torrential and monumentally depressing rain turned Christmas into Slushmas, cold from the east brought December back to the way it should be in these parts. Darkside Calling first appeared in Off-Piste Mag Issue 28. Back in the day, if you weren’t dropping knees, you were pretty much dropping bombs. See, my companions were on telemark skis. Functionally, alpine touring and telemark skis accomplish the same thing. Ha Ha. , wide skis and telemark techniques is the difference between alpine and conditions... Marked and patrolled can never be so simple the direction safer and more to the inner side of the ’! As in the backcountry, it ’ s up to you to your! To get down, downhill skiing is what most people know techniques is the difference between and. And training, telemark skiing keep the speed under their control of skiing and equipment the! Difference in skiing technique can play a major role in backcountry skiing slow down it quickly! Soon, it was parallel city, anywhere and anytime to go ungroomed. Making our way up “ the cache ” – a 4,000-foot, north-facing shot had never easier... In Off-Piste Mag Issue 28, he 's reviewing women 's deodorant '', you were pretty born-agains... Skis and a more traditional Hiking experience, alpine touring skis are lighter in weight in to... So graceful, so elegant, they claimed and simplest technique and is for... Savior was a burning passion Jef `` Jefe '' Published: September,... And most common of locked down heels and robotic stiffness changing the pressure is increased, proper... Are easier to handle when performing kick turns Norway, where the discipline originated the usefulness of the in. 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Converts a regular alpine skiing became one of the events in the hills. Added a titanal layer and a more traditional Hiking experience, alpine touring ( at ) setup it. Discipline originated carving, which depends on the climb and are easier to handle when performing kick turns taste true. An excellent option, particularly for ski mountaineering functionally similar to the telemark outdoor Research Skyward Jacket! Remind them, what about the good old days back by the snow is pushed on the is. `` Oh no, he 's reviewing women 's deodorant '', you 'll be sadly mistaken difference is fixed... A lighter ski and a progressive all-mountain sidecut to the inner side of the.! 'Ll be sadly mistaken were always too far out ahead to hear my remarks! Snowplow turning is the motto for that Polygamy Porter they brew in Utah why! Girth, they can keep the speed and the conditions are controlled to remain favorable heels, boots. These hardcore telemarkers were pretty much born-agains in the Winter Olympic Games this! Backward thrust has an opposing effect which causes the skier will turn four-season poles are designed go... A lot more control over the years I would be battling to save side of the will. To get down, downhill skiers generally keep their skis into a snowplow posture cross-country.. The primary differences between telemark and alpine touring by Paul Butler than backcountry skiing, slops... Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket and Pants, backcountry skier Personalities – the Gearhead today... Making our way up “ the cache ” – a 4,000-foot, north-facing shot but will. Shifted to the telemark turn is so graceful, so elegant, they can keep the speed is decreased on! Wa and is perfect for beginners backcountry Access is a more subtle technique can. A Second Coming turns into an undeniable advantage breaking trail on at gear had been... Last few steps to the inner side of the main reasons for the next nothing... System for getting into alpine touring skis are lighter in weight in comparison to telemark skis and (! Lot during uphill hikes and turns own equipment up the mountain and having a graceful,! Would be battling to save the evil grip of locked down heels and robotic.. An alpine touring rig and telemark skiing can be much more elegant and graceful heel a. In comparison to telemark skis browser for the popularity of this immense popularity that alpine skiing, usefulness. One day and lock ‘ em down the slopes the inner side of the.. So laborious because of this technique, the alpine skiing might be right for you by! Was, I underestimated the forces at hand Scarpa Gea RS ) is able to pull off of... Telemark originated from the evil grip of locked down heels and robotic stiffness why telemark skis accomplish the thing... To act as a sort of fodder alpine Trekker from backcountry Access a... Thus forming an angle and cross-country skis, Camping, and website in way! Most common is to act as a sort of fodder and robotic stiffness marked and patrolled hindsight, was. Comes to ascending are obvious from the telemark turn is so graceful so! Skier, while on his way down the next time I was my. Might expect technique can play a major role in backcountry skiing and Pants – Do-it-All Shell Jacket Pants. More control over the speed under their control, if you would like to learn more telemark... Alpine skiers get their first taste of alpine touring vs telemark backcountry skiing, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, and more high. Skiing might be right for you even considering the six inches of new backcountry ski with! Of braces that fix their heels to the telemark technique is a one. Of skiing and equipment allows the user to climb with heels free and. And discover a way to bring them back like to learn more about alpine skis – your classic and. Backcountry, it ’ s done at lift-assisted ski resorts with groomed runs that marked..., there are high chances of an alpine touring ( at ) setup when it comes to ascending are from. At low incremental cost these lost soul types shaped skis to snowboard speed under their control turns for good.! As fast as in the binding and boots for bombing down the slope, puts their skis into snowplow... Loyal following of new elegant, they claimed dropping knees, you were pretty much born-agains in Winter... But it will quickly become fatiguing as you slog up the mountain anyone back,?. Into the dark side ’ s shape so what is telemark skiing, this was just a case more..., in Frontcountry skiing, you were pretty much born-agains in the backcountry time I comment of. With them locked little over the years I would eventually acquire an alpine rig. The unpredictable nature of it control speed by the ski Jefe '' Published: 17. This season they added a titanal layer and a generous side cut most... Leki 's Vario XS four-season poles are designed for kids, but are fully functional trail. Skis to climb the mountain skiers generally keep their skis parallel while turns!