Telemark - rediscovering the origin of skiing. Wintersportsmen stop more and more on the swiss slopes to admire a Telemark skier who is skiing down the hillsides in elegant and dynamic turns. The origin of skiing, the turn of all the turns, has established as sport for the mass and the great skiers in Switzerland.
In 1860 approximately the Norwegian Sondre Norheim from Morgedal in the province Telemark paved the way with its developments for skiing: waisted skis, firm bindings and boots as well as the Telemark technique. Almost an entire century passes until the Telemark turn is superseded by the parallel turn. In the 80's the Telemark sport is reborn in the USA, finds the way back to Scandinavia and becomes the sport of the mass.
The Telemark techniques gets new supporters in the Alps as well. The Swiss Telemark Ski Association is founded in 1989, in order to promote and coordinate the development of this sport. In the last years the Telemark sport was established in Switzerland though it is far of becoming a mass sport. This movement with its continuous and healthy growth can not disposed as short term trend. The education of Telemark instructors, the active clubs and the successful running scene are adding to this success.
But it can't be denied that Telemark is not that easy to be learned. It requires strength, endurance, coordination abilities and balance to experience successfully this sport in nature. The Telemark skier is someone liking the nature, contrasting with the crowd and enjoying sliding over the snow in another manner.
The character of the Telemark turn is stamped by the "bending-down" which is enabled by the free heel and the mobile shoe: dropping the knee and lifting the heel. The outside ski is shifted forward and the inside ski to the rear.
The possibilities on Telemark skis are unlimited. The beginner prefers the well prepared slopes, but soon he will looking for new challenges: Moguls, steep slopes, deep snow, races, etc. Important component of Telemarking is the jump: the impact during the landing is weakend by the Telemark position. Telemark is very well suited for backcountry trips because of the free heel and the light material. With just one equipment all these aspects of the Telemark can be experienced.
A very strong development within the Telemark material took place in the last years. The equipment was similar to the material common in the cross-country skiing some years ago, but is developping more in the direction of downhill skiing material nowadays. The leather boots were superseded with plastic boots with several buckles. The tendency of the development of the skis is clearly heading for Tele-Carvers.
In addition, nostalgia and tradition were not lost with the Telemark. Telemark skiers with the classical wooden stick, in Norwegian dresses and the women with skirts are often to find amongst skiers and snowboarders. This is just the beautiful thing of the Telemark sport: one big family consisting of nostalgic people, racers, nature-friends, people coming of wide sections of the population enjoying the practicing of their sport and showing their fun.