Title photo courtesy: Beth Lockhar:t www.bethlockhart.com
Descender sent me
to find out what our crew thinks about the State of Telemark. We
were up in Bella Coola, BC, filming with Bones and UP productions
for UP 3. The usual suspects are: Sarah Clemensen, Bj Brewer, Norwegian
skiers Frode Gronvold and Henrik Halland and me, Ben Dolenc.
Descender: What is
each of your skiing/snowboarding backgrounds?
Sarah: My ski background
consists of learning at the age of 3 1/2 at Beaver Mountain Ski
area. My dad was on volunteer ski patrol, so we skied for cheap
every weekend. I lived close to the mountains, so at a young age
I cross-country skied out my back door into the hills. Once I knew
that college wasnt on my priority list during the wintertime,
I began skiing daily. I have been Telemark skiing for 5 years.
Bj: Ive been
skiing for eighteen years and Tele-skiing for 8.
Frode: Skiing as
much as possible. Going to great distances to get freshies, our
limit was 4 inches of fresh for us to skip school. If it snowed
more in Lillehammer, I wouldn't have graduated... I camped out in
the summer ski area of Stryn during my teens. Worked in a snowboard
shop, but sucked at snowboarding. I should probably mention that
I did some alpine racing as well, and even did some bumps for a
been, like all Norwegians with a little respect for themselves,
skiing since I was a kid. Started cross-country skiing when I was
two and alpine when I was four. Left skiing for a few years and
then got back on it through snowboard at the age of 13. I tried
it a couple of times. Since then, I´ve been skiing as much
as school allowed me to and Frode and I hooked up and skied Hafjell
in the winter and Stryn in the summer. I was just waiting to get
through school so I could ski full-time. Thats where I am
today, done with school and skiing full time.
Ben: I started cross
country skiing when I was three and did that until snowboarding
came along. Snowboarded for seven year, then picked up Teleskiing.
Blue skies, helicopters and rubber chickens.
Photo: Ben Dolenc
Descender: Do you
still ski alpine or snowboard? Does it help/hurt your teleski vibe?
Sarah: I do all kinds
of crazy stuff on the snow, but as far as Alpine, Snowboard, and
Telemark skiing.... I strictly Telemark!
Bj: Mixing it up
in every aspect of life helps round out the squares.
Frode: I alpine ski
just as much as I telemark, I don't like telemarking in crusty bad
conditions. It helps for sure,
but if I alpine for a long while without telemarking, it's easy
to loose the feel of your skis when you're pinning.
Henrik: I picked
up Alpine when the twin tip came. I had always wanted to do the
same on skis as the snowboarders were doing and this got me closer.
Today I jib on alpine and freeski on Teles. That is what I
think teleing is about. Big turns in good conditions. I think the
jibbing has done good for my Teleing. My goal is to combine jibbing
on big mountain stuff. After riding in parks your eyes get wider
and you see kickers in the lines youre picking!
Ben: I only Tele
just because it is what I do best. I cant see going out on
a pow day with clamps because I would not be as comfortable with
them. In the park I could see skiing alpine but to change your skis
just to go in the park doesnt make sense to me.
Down days. Break dancers. Beer drinkers. Photos:
Descender: What would
you be doing if you werent spending your time skiing?
Sarah: You name it.
I would probably be doing it. But on a serious note, I would most
likely be at the beach playing in the ocean waters and playing pro
beach volleyball hopefully winning and earning the big bucks. But
the mountains keep calling me back.
Bj: I would be go
go dancing in Vegas.
Frode: PLAYING! If
I'm on my tele's I pretend to be surfing. If I'm on alpine I pretend
to do motorcross.
getting into surfing. Ive been on several surf trips the last
couple of years in places like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Canary Islands,
France and Spain Love surfing
and the development you go through in a new sport. Surfing is also
great for the style and balance in skiing. I love the feeling of
not having to put on shit loads of stuff before doing your thing.
You can wake up in the morning, put the shorts on, wax your board
and walk down to the beach. Not even feeling cold!!!
Ben: Living somewhere
warm, probably in Baja, surfing, playing rock music and drinking
Descender: What other
athletes style do you like best? Any sport?
Sarah: I don't have
a particular athlete I could name right now, but in general, any
athlete with there own style, grace, and fluidity. I dig fearlessness,
and confidence in an athletes eyes.
BJ: Surfing and soccer.
Frode: Thor Heyerdahl
and Dalai Llama.
Henrik: Surfers have
a great style and also there are a lot of people with a good mentality.
Skating is the most impressive sport I know. Theyre stylish
and are doing some gnarly stuff!
Ben: Skaters blow
me away. In surfing Rob Muchado is rad and is so mellow. Skiing,
JP Auclair, Seth Morison, and Shane Szocs style kill it.
My swatz is bigger than yours. Photo: Ben
Descender: Is that
stylekill or style skill? Is that a Norgy word? Anyway, comps good
has the good and the bad. I receive such an adrenaline high from
competing and its how you become known in the sport you dig.
After experiencing Bella Coola, The adrenaline high I received is
the high I desire most. (insert soul slide here) I want to free
ride and enjoy the beauty and freedom of telemark skiing where I
want and with the people I want. Who wants specific lines and boundaries
with our cute little numbers?
BJ: Comps are good
for the development and publicity of any sport.
Frode: I don't like
the comps, but a lot of people do, so...hmm.
Henrik: I dont
like competitions, but people have different mindsets. I think for
telemark comps arent a good thing. It will only look good
if the conditions are good.
Ben: Comps can be
fun. What I like the best is hanging out with everyone. I would
rather put my energy into filming though because the mindset fits
Descender: What is
the biggest downfall of teleski?
Sarah: In my eyes
there is no down fall to telemark skiing, just lack of telemarkers.
BJ: The fucking low
budget industry $$$$
Frode: Bad conditions
skiing on hard conditions looks stupid because it is so hard skiing
on changing conditions, compared to alpine and snowboard.
Ben: The old telers
who dont want the sport to change, grow or evolve. People
who think its only for the backcountry. The old images sucks
too that Tele is for hippies and old people.
Descender: What will
be stoking you and Tele in 5 years?
Sarah: What will
be stoking me in telemark skiing in 5 years is... another 5 years!
BJ: The growth, the
groms, and the groupies.
Frode: Good conditions
and blue sky.
is falling bigtime in Norway, but I guess that is because people
seldom get good conditions and its easier to choose alpine.
Telemarkings future is hard to predict, but hopefully it will
continue growing and people will have as much fun doing it as I
have! I would be stoked seeing someone combine the big mountain
and jibbing. Reading the terrain and using it as it is. Style will
always stoke me and Telemark definitely has the potential!
Ben: Watching as more young rippers
come up and get to reap the benefit of how the sport has changed.
This last year will stoke me for years to come. Being on that beach
in Baja with surf and a Margarita.
Descender: Yeeah. Give it to get it. Believe. The future is now.
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