Sunday, December 16, 2007


Many moons ago, when I lived in the Happy Valley, everyone telemark skied. "Telemark" was thought to be a Norwegian word for "Can't afford alpine skis". Everyone had leather boots they'd picked up second-hand for $30 and long, skinny, light skis. A few people hauled discarded alpine skis out of dumpsters and screwed nordic bindings to them, often with disastrous results (because the flimsy boots could not begin to handle the power of the skis). Everyone wore wool, was a misfit, a renegade, and/or a crusader for "freeing the heel and freeing the mind".

One year, I saw these new-fangled all-plastic tele boots. I thought they would be great for combining tele with the above-treeline winter mountain climbing I was doing. I bought a pair. But all my friends made fun of me. "Ha ha!", they said, "Look at Turbo's silly shiny boots! He's going to look like an astronaut! I'm not going to be seen in the woods with him wearing those!"

The abuse was so severe that I mailed the boots back before I'd even tried them, deciding that plastic was not the future of tele. Oh, so wrong. Within a few years, I was the only one still in leather. And eventually, those long skinny skis went away, too. I bought a new pair of short, shaped tele skis, like all the cool kids had, but the leather boots were no match-- flat on my face, all over the hill. I reverted to alpine skis. Why not-- I'm a yuppy now, anyway. I didn't tele for six years.

But the other day I rented a pair of those plastic boots, strapped them to the shorty skis, and did a half-day over in the mountains. Oh, that free-heel feeling! I've missed it!


Anonymous girltues said...

good form, doctor.

12/16/07, 1:13 PM  

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