Telemarking is the oldest form of skiing, beautifully combining elements of nordic and alpine skiing. “Free heel” skiing, originally made popular as a mode of backcountry transportation, now enjoys widespread popularity at ski areas worldwide. CRMS welcomes every student interested in telemarking. Whether in the instructional program or on the Telemark Team, there is a place for anyone interested in this unique sport.
Each student’s ability level will determine the time commitment required. Students in the beginner, intermediate, and advanced instructional groups will tele on Tuesday and Thursday mornings during the 3rd quarter, with a CRMS faculty coach. Students on the Telemark Team will train four days a week, two days on the mountain and two days of dryland condition training. Races and competitions typically take place on Fridays or over the weekend. Some competitions require extensive travel but happen only once or twice a season. CRMS faculty provide transportation to the mountains every weekend during the season so students have the option to ski with friends and take advantage of the skiing opportunities in their own back yard.
Before the season begins, students engage in dryland training. Dryland training involves a variety of workouts aimed at building strength and stamina to make the most of the ski season ahead. Once the ski areas open after Thanksgiving, competitive teams will have access to on-mountain training, while students in the instructional programs will wait until January to begin going to the mountain regularly. Certainly all students are able to take the ski buses up to the ski resorts on the weekend whenever the mountains are open.
Beginning telemarkers learn the basics of the sport and the difference between downhill skiing and telemarking. The primary goal of the CRMS telemark program is to produce well-rounded, confident telemark skiers who can not only shred on the groomed hills but also throw a wide variety of tricks in the park. The program is set up for students to make an easy transition into this distinctive sport, and also provides a wide range of stepping stones in order to reach advanced levels of telemarking.
CRMS is minutes away from world-class terrain for both telemarking and training. Snowmass Mountain
, a 3,362-acre ski area with 94 trails ranging from easy to expert levels, is the main destination for instructional and early season skiing. Snowmass also boasts three terrain parks with approximately 100 features. Later in the season, the team heads to Aspen Highlands
for training on steeper and more challenging slopes, such as Highlands Bowl. These mountains provide ample terrain variety and all levels of difficulty for skiers to perfect and control their tricks. CRMS has a tuning center for all ski equipment. Athletes can learn to tune their own gear or drop off their gear to be tuned by a student service crew.
Telemark Team athletes are primarily focused on big-mountain training. Training also involves instruction on making the correct choices and preparing mentally for competition. Athletes are encouraged to be creative about how they advance with their tricks in the park and with choosing the right line to ski on the slopes. Students attend freestyle competitions locally and as far away as Jackson Hole, WY. Although competition areas change from year to year, CRMS tele skiers participate in national and regional competitions.