Tuesday’s Theme For The Day Was ‘Introductory Freeheel Teaching’ And Began On Snow With John Eames Going Through BASI’s Telemark Progressions. The Session Gave The Opportunity For Everyone In The Group To Try The 4 Progressions. By Working In Pairs And Swopping Roles As ‘Performer’ And ‘Observer’ Everyone In The Group Was Able To Try The Progressions And, Perhaps More Importantly, Observe Their Partner Doing Likewise. This Gave Some Very Strong Feedback And Enhanced Everyone’s Understanding And Appreciation Of What The Concepts Were.

In The Afternoon It Was Italy’s Turn To Shine J. Julian Giacomelli Ran Through The Ideas For Introducing Telemark That Are Commonly Used In Italy. Again The Assumption Was That Any Person New To Telemark Would Already Be A Competent Alpine Skier And There Was Also The Need To Refine Some Of Our Skiing Skills Whilst Skiing On Freeheel Equipment, Before Moving On To Telemark Skills. From This Start Point There Were 3 Levels Of Development: Bronze, Silver And Gold.

BRONZE This Comprised 3 Activities:

‘Security Turn’ Which Was A Snowplough Turn Which Changed To A Telemark Once Through The Fall-Line.

‘Square Turn’ Which Started With A Telemark Traverse, Then An ‘Alpine Plough’ Into The Fall-Line Followed By Matching The Skis Into A Telemark Finish And Traverse.

Finally The Student Is Encouraged To Link ‘Square Turns’ On Appropriate Terrain And Allow These Turns To ‘Morph’ Into Full Telemark Turns As Confidence And Skill Level Improves.

SILVER Also Has 3 Progressive Activities:

Linking Turns And Developing A Hip And Body Rotation To Initiate The Turn.

Adding In The Pole Plant.

Develop Short, Medium And Long Radius Telemark Turns.

The GOLD Level Is Where The Skills For More Advanced Telemark Skiing Are Developed. There Is No Structure As For The Previous Levels And The Specific Focus For The Student Would Be Planned And Agreed With The Instructor.

As A Group We Skied This Progression And We Were All Suitably Inspired And Motivated By Julian’s Panache And Flow As An Extraordinary Telemark Skier! Wow, We Had Fun!

We Had Also Hoped To Have Had The Option Of Joining Jakob Hertz Who Was Due To Run A Session On ‘How Do We Approach Off-Piste Teaching?’ Unfortunately The Still Present, Though Now Much Reduced, Coronavirus Pandemic Had Caught Up With Jakob And He Very Wisely Cancelled. Hopefully Jakob Will Be To Lead His Off-Piste Workshop At The Next Freeheeler Campus!?

Tuesday Evening We Were Back In The Perfect Off-Snow Meeting Place Provided By The Tourist Office From Tux.At At The Tux Centre. First Off Was August Poltera (More Commonly Known As Guschti) And His ‘Flow Concept: Barometer Of Joy’ Presentation.

An Overview Of A Motivational Psychological Concept Of The Balance Of Challenges And Learning New Movements And The Abilities And Skills To Achieve It. Guschti Gave Excellent Insight Into How The Concept Of ‘Flow’, Which Is Well Understood In All Physical Activities That Involve The Acquisition Of Skills, Can Be Applied To And Recognised In Telemark Skiing. As Such It Can Also Be Used As ‘Point Of Reference’ In Looking At Skiers Who We Might Be Working With To Advance Their Skills As Only Well-Established And Well-Practiced Skilful Skiing Will Exhibit ‘Flow’.Following Guschti We Had An Impromptu Presentation From Luca Gasparini, The Telemark Legend From Livigno. Luca Was To Give A Brief Few Words, 2 Or 3 Minutes, About His Session Planned For The Following Day … 40 Minutes Later He Finished A Fascinating, Humorous And Totally Engaging Talk Covering His Thoughts On Telemark Skiing, Style, Life, Philosophy, How We Stand On Skis And What We Should Be Doing When On Skis. Although Unplanned, It Gave A Brilliant End To The Day – And A Perfect Introduction To The Next. One Of The Highlights Was When Richard Schuerf Was Introducing Luca To The Audience, Extolling His Virtues, His Skilful And Beautiful Skiing, Philosophy And The Great Accomplishment Of Luca’s Telemark Journal Series Of Publications … Richard Stopped Speaking And Luca Turned To Him And Said
“Do You Want To Sleep With Me?” The Audience Dissolved In Laughter!!!

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