Broken River Telemark Week 2011

Broken River really turned on the good snow for the first-ever Telemark Week. From Saturday through to Friday we enjoyed smooth packed powder skiing across the field, along with some pockets of fresh in secret locations. On Wednesday Manager Doug and the crew treated us to night skiing, where things were just as good, but darker and quicker. I was amazed that the snow could be so consistent at all times of the day and night over a whole week. Even better, the sky was blue, the mountains looked fantastic, and the socialising at Palmer lodge and in the evenings was mellow.

Being Telemark Week there were heels to be freed and lessons to be had. In a coup for Broken River we had two examiners from the Telemark Division of the New Zealand Ski Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) for the week. Greg McIntyre and Marti Smith held clinics for the free heelers on the hill as well as running a Level One Telemark Instructors’ Course for the three willing victims who signed up. What a fantastic opportunity it was to have two instructors of this calibre with us and to enjoy such ideal snow conditions for teaching and learning.

 

Marti Smith discussing the finer points of a telemark turn. Photo Claire Newell.

With the Instructors' Course running as well as clinics there was lots of activity across the mountain. This was followed each night in the lodges with many in-depth discussions on the ways, means, wherefores and the philosophy of freeheel skiing. All of this was carried along nicely by great meals from Ray and Emily and the odd home brew from two members who will not be named here.

Friday was the final day of the Instructors' Course. It brought with it an unusual sight, as a motley and bewildered looking assortment of Broken River staff and members traded the security of their alpine gear for telemark skis and boots. These willing souls then allowed themselves to be subjected to a series of quite torturous exercises from the three trainee instructors. The guinea pigs bore it all with impeccably good humour. By the end of the two hour lesson all had arced perfect telemark turns down Margot’s Gulch. (....This report is only slightly exaggerated.) There was much celebration in the lodge that night when all three trainees learned they had passed the course and that so far no one who had taken the lesson had decided to sue.  

 

Trainee instructor Claire takes the tele lesson. Photo Jim Henderson.

Congratulations to John, Tom and Claire for passing their Level One Telemark Instructors Course. Photo Greg McIntyre.

A great week was had by all. Thanks to Claire Newell for all the work she put in to setting up the first Telemark Week, and to Greg and Marti for the excellent tuition. Book now for next year!

 

8 August 2011 - "Father Tom"