Friday, 18 March 2011

The Scottish skiing at the mo' is superb! Much as I love biking in all its forms, when there's snow as good as this on the local hill, it's drop everything and get up there asap. "Back in the day" when we were all young, free and single - well some were young, some were free and some weren't single, there used to be a gathering of Telemarkers every Wednesday afternoon. All sorts of work excuses were used and even those already up the hill teaching used to finish "very promptly", throw off the tight and rigid Alpine kit and slip into something a little more comfortable!
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!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Staring at a screen

Two things here; 1) a test of blogging from my iPhone and 2) this picture is what I spend a lot of time doing at the moment.
I don't know why, but at the moment work is lots of planning, designing, recommending, pricing and generally talking about trail builds. Fair-y-nuff, I enjoy acting as a "salesman" for manmade trail!
But, I'll need to push on and clear the "to-do" pile as it's back to building in a few weeks - just you watch, bet it blinking snows!
Test over.

Location:Craig Na Gower Ave,Aviemore,United Kingdom