If you’re looking to improve your telemark turns, nothing beats a lesson. But the bible of telemark skiing, “Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Telemark Tips,” is a close second.
The new, revised edition was published in 2008. It includes 123 tips for both resort as well as off-piste skiers who want to refine their tele chops, whether they’re beginner, intermediate or advanced skiers. I’m somewhere in the middle, and most pages provided me a good reminder of something I’ve forgotten or never knew.
Although it’s not organized in a specific way, there is an index in the back (set up like a flow chart) that herds tips together by skill level, where you’re skiing (inbounds our backcountry) and even by what you’re looking to improve (squirrelly back ski, don’t trust the tele position, sick of reading parentheticals. . .). The Dewey Decimal System has nothing on these dudes.
Creative as it is kooky, the $15 book is illustration-heavy and even provides a stop-action tele turn, without the need for video: like flip books of yore, a tele skier is drawn on every right page. Flip the book slowly and watch a tele skier descend down the margin. Two words for that: Awe. Some.
Amazon web link: “Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Telemark Tips” book.
—Stephen Krcmar lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and usually telemark skis at June Mountain. Portions of this review originally appeared in Mammoth Mountain’s blog Live Vibe.