Vic Bein

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Vic Bein

Post by Jurassien » Thu May 12, 2022 3:51 pm

I’ve just recently joined the forum, but I remember years ago (perhaps even decades ago!) browsing on a similar forum which at some point just vanished into thin air. I’m assuming that this forum is its successor, as it seems to deal with very similar topics.

On the old forum I came across a story which I found very interesting. The author was (I think) an American who was at the time whiling in Verbier. He set off one day on a telemark rig to skin up to the Grand-Saint-Bernard Pass and noticed a strange fellow-tourist heading in the same direction. The tourist was dressed in a monk’s robe and was shuffling along on a what appeared to be a DIY telemark setup. He had hammered a couple of nails through the bases of the skis and had made some holes in the front of his boots to engage with the protruding nails. The author joined up with this character and fell into conversation with him. After a short while he was shocked to discover that his new-found travelling partner was none other than Vic Bein, a Polish-American who had authored a book titled “Mountain Skiing”, published in 1982. I started skiing in 1983 and this same book was an inspiration to me, as I’m sure it was to many others, dealing, as it did, with both Nordic and Alpine touring and early attempts to merge the two disciplines. The author of the article had the book himself and had even brought it with him to Verbier. I still have it as well, sitting on the shelf just above my head as I type.

Vic Bein had turned his back on skiing and had devoted his life to the monastic way. He was on his way up to the monastery (hospice) on the Grand-St-Bernard Pass to spend some time with the monks there.

Assuming this forum is indeed related to the older forum referred to, I wonder if any forum members also recall this story (titled, appropriately, “Telemonker”)? Although I bookmarked it, the link was broken when the website disappeared and I’d love to find the story again. Anyone who has read Vic Bein’s book could hardly fail to be impressed by the techniques described and amply illustrated with photo sequences. An internet search for Vic Bein will show the book (now out of print), but there is no information about the man himself or what happened to him.

Can anyone give any pointers as to where the “Telemonker” article can be retrieved, or provide any information on what Mr. Bein (or, more correctly, Brother Bein) is doing nowadays?


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Re: Vic Bein

Post by Nick BC » Fri May 13, 2022 12:55 am

Sounds like this other forum is Telemarktips. No connection to Telemarktalk. Ttips was Mitch Weber’s site - RIP Mitch and Tim Holman Connolly was his side kick. Tim is active on the Telemarktips forum on Facebook. I would reach out to him to see if he has access to the archival material material you’re looking for. Good luck, I also remember Vic Bein’s book.

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Re: Vic Bein

Post by Robie » Sun May 15, 2022 12:31 am

Well for a time Vic Bein's "Mountain Skiing " was like a Bible for friends and myself. The best messsage we took from the bible
was to leave behind heavily cambered skinny nordic skis and gather ye some "compact skis " or also known as GLM. (Graduated Length method.
Compact skis were shorter and somewhat wider  Alpine skis used to make learning to ski easier.
Having seen their faddy day in the Alpine skiers world these skis were showing up in thrift stores.
Prime examples were Kniessel 'Magic Shorts",Kazama "Bugaboos" and best of all was the Blizzard "Wizzards"As my luck would have it , I was at that time still working as a maintenance electrician fixing things all over Seattle. In my travels I found it hard to pass by any thrift shop. Perhaps I cornered the market of thrift store skis and gleefully passed on the goods to my close friends. All of us were transcending from Xcd to more alpine type skis for more serious telemark skiing both backcountry and lifts.

Part 2  
Now to hear that Vic Bein has taken up the Monkhood. I'm a bit shaken to my core. More so that he's done and went there on a binding of nails!  Surely even a vow of poverty would allow a garage sale or craigs list 3 pin or front throw?
Now if it was a binding of nails, was there beta testing? What size nails? Does Dostie know about this apparatus? I'm writing this not being entirely sober so I'm starting to get a little suspicious. Perhaps to quench my curiosity I'll go down to my lab and recreate this Nailed Binding on some of those leftover GLM / Compact Skis in my ski locker.

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