I was one of those. I'd always free-heel toured and had a very "ropey" tele turn - thanks to the military's approach to descending off-piste mountains by using a series of traverses linked by crashes...
But, I had always envied the grace and style of the true telemark skiers, so I used to join in on the telemark Wednesdays and aided by some of the best telemarkers in the biz (Dave K, June, Greg, Mike, Nick, Dom) the great winter of 1999 - 2000 and a lot of spare time (it was the foot and mouth winter and the bike trade was very quiet) I slowly crashed my way to a rudimentary tele turn.
As the Wednesdays passed, and sometimes all the days in between, I kept at it, determined to master this trickiest of skiing styles, also I kinda fancied my personal coach and I had to get good enough just to be able to ski and tour with her! June had been tele-ing for years, skiing and teaching all over the world and had learnt on the old-school kit (leather boots and skinny skis) so she knew a thing or two and was patient enough to let me flail around behind her, throwing the odd wee gem of tele wisdom my way!
Eventually, through stubbornness and modern technology (plastic boots, carvy tele skis) I sort of got it together enough to completely ditch my Alpine kit (I'd never been that good an Alpine skier anyway) and really start to enjoy the off-piste powder - where the tele turn is the most fun (snowboarders may have an argument here)
So, fast forward to 2011, none of us are young, free and single anymore, but the snow is back to "back in the day levels" the sun is shining, there's a tele possé gathered on a Wednesday afternoon at the top of some gorgeous off-piste "pow", Junes shredding on teles again and at last I can keep up and enjoy bouncing through the fluffy stuff. See ya next Wednesday!
Oh and cheers Bob for taking the pics!