10 Reasons to try Telemark

You’ll have definitely seen telemarkers on the Portes du Soleil’s pistes this winter. They’re those folk on skis, lunging as they turn with just the front of their ski boot attached to their binding. It doesn’t just look a bit strange… it looks pretty difficult too!

Telemark skiing combines both Alpine and Nordic ski disciplines and is widely considered to be the original and oldest form of the sport. The nordic bindings used only fix the ski boot in at the toe so the heel of your boot is free to move in and out of the binding.

Telemarking is on the up and local ski school Alpine Learning Curves have been in touch to tell us why!

1 – It’s different! Take a look at the skiers stance in our photos below and note how he’s only attached at the front of his binding. If you’ve been skiing for years, Telemark can be a nice new challenge for you.


2 – It’s also considerably similar! All the outcomes – that’s what your skis do – including slipping, scraping and carving are all the same, meaning you’re not starting from scratch.

3 – It’s physically harder and more complex than regular Alpine skiing, and it requires a great set of challenging skills, which you’ll enjoy learning at the same time as improving your fitness.

4 – Staying with fitness, Telemark keeps you fitter than Alpine skiing. It’ll strengthen your core and legs and give you a butt of steel!

5 – Telemarkers have amazing balance, which helps considerably with the regular form of skiing.

6 – When done well, it looks very graceful and very impressive!

7 – If your skiing partner is a bit slower than you, learning to Telemark will level the playing field while you build up your own skills.

8 – Telemarking in powder is one of the greatest pleasures you can have on a mountain!

9 – You can Alpine ski on Telemark kit, but you can’t Telemark on Alpine kit!

10 – It’s fun! And when you master it, the sense of achievement is amazing and Alpine skiing becomes much easier by comparison!

For more information on learning to Telemark Ski with Alpine Learning Curves, send them an e-mail – bookings@alpinelearningcurves.co.uk

Written by Joe Beer, Alpine Learning Curves


  1. Alec Hardie says:

    10 great reasons to try telemarking. I was lucky enough to try telemarking at a BASI AGM a few years ago in Hemel. Joe gave us some tips to get up and running and I played all morning as there were so few people wanting to give it a go. I was immediately hooked.
    Neither Hemel nor Milton Keynes snow domes (my locals) have telemark kit for hire. I have looked for some second hand gear but there is very little around. There is also very little coverage of this discipline in the BASI News.
    I have bought the BASI Telemark Manual and used it to progress my skills. I am a mediocre snowboarder and Alpine level 2 skier. Trying new disciplines is a fantastic way to put yourself on the bottom of the learning curve and get some empathy for the people you are teaching.
    It would be great to get some more information on telemarking, maybe a ‘for sale’ section, a list of places you can try it in the UK and maybe some more snow domes stocking the kit so people can give it a go. I’m not sure where the skis came from that Joe brought to the AGM. I thought it was a great idea to encourage people to attend.
    That same AGM, I also had an hour taster on a snowboard and an hour on a sit ski. All great experience. I would urge anyone to give it a go.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Zanis Isajevs says:

    10 Reasons are really true, but don`t forget about main reason of Free Heel Skiing= Freedom 🙂
    Have nice tracks!
    Telemark Latvia

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