Mitch burst onto the ski scene in 1998 with Telemarktips, a website where he posted in-depth reviews, opinions and telemark lessons. TelemarkTalk, Telemarktips's sister site, also became the most important telemark community on the planet.
The World Wide Web was still in its infancy, but it was already past the budding shoots stage and was ready to leaf. Mitch picked up the remains of a tele-centric forum, Telemarque.com, while the Terminator, the first plastic telemark boot, whipped the imaginations of American backcountry skiers into a telemark fever. Mitch came along and added just the right twist to the telemark potion, and in short order the ski industry was in a lather over all things telemark.
He knew how to stir the pot of passionate opinions like an artist adds color to a canvas. He knew when to interject with a moderator’s voice, and when to encourage others to speak out and offer their point of view. He did something many have tried since but few have succeeded in achieving—he built a community. Even though there are much bigger places for people to congregate and share their opinions on the web these days, I, like so many others, still long to hang out at the digital lounge I dubbed Mitch’s Bar.
As the web grew older and alternative forums spread and took root in our daily lives, it seemed as though interest in telemark began to wane, and perhaps coincidentally, it appeared Mitch’s energy did too. Understandably, some thought Mitch had burnt out and moved on to other passions, but sadly now, we know the truth. Mitch was sick, real sick. He had cancer, and it was bad. He courageously pursued all of the treatments modern medicine offered. He was willing to do anything, go through anything, in order to be here on earth as long as he could for his beloved family. He passed away March 26th of 2016 at only 59.
Weber dropping a knee. [Photo] Tim Connolly