While the Alpine guys and gals were living it up in Kaprun in the Austrian Alps, the Telamark contingent of the Irish Interski Demo Team we’re living it large in a huge fridge somewhere in deepest darkest Hemel Hempstead at the fantastic venue that is The Snow Centre. Not quite as long as the open slopes of the Austrian Alps but, as it is for us too the start of the season, a short slope for telemark turns after 6 months off skis was more than welcome to be quite honest.
In the period leading up to Interski, the team have been working hard to secure sponsors/partners for us to make it to Interski, and as the alpine team were out there for the first time on their shiny new Rossignol skis and boots, us telemarkers we testing out our shiny new and very very green Windshear skis kindly provided to us by Blossom Ski and skibitz.co.uk, and not forgetting the equally green NTN telemark bindings from Rottefella. Along with our green jacket we, which of course none of this was planned, we looked, well...... very green indeed.
We did a few runs to test out the new gear and then got into it. Morgan and I discussed a few options with the training in mind that I did with the alpine guys in Cervinia at our first demo team meeting in April last season, but decided in the end that in the spirit of telemark, we would be a bit freer and just give it a go. The first turns were a bit shaky on the new equipment (the new skis were lively). We received jeers of plenty from the lifts and the top of The Snow Centre slope with crashes and a few small rear end collisions as the new equipment, routines and timings we’re tried out. A few longer turns and shorter turns. Morgan leading and me leading, but after a short time we were back in the groove, dropping the knee and knocking out tele turns like it was last season.
After a while, we had the timing nailed and things were falling into place. Starts became tighter and timing became became better. We were then joined by 2 of the technical delivery team from the Irish Interski Team, Ali Smith and Pete Silver Gillespie who stepped out of their safe haven of skiing bondage and donned tele skis for some team tele skiing fun.
All in all a great time was had, a lot was learned and we are looking forward to the next time we get on tele ski together to dial it down even more.