What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

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lilcliffy
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What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by lilcliffy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:47 pm

Here is my reply to @bgregoire post in the "E99 makeover"- I did not want to highjack that thread-
bgregoire wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:35 pm
lilcliffy wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:16 pm
VERY interested.
Once Asnes has perfected a waxless-scaled verson of the Gamme 54 I will have one.
I don't know if I would call it the "Telemark ski" though...
I think that the Nansen is Asnes' old-school Telemark ski.
The Gamme- as is the E99 (oops does this ski still exist :cry: :twisted: )- is more XC-oriented from my perspective.
The E99 is a fantastic BC-XCd ski in hilly terrain, but I still consider it a XC ski.
I was under the impression the Asnes Nansen AND Amundsen (Rago) were both downhill oriented telemark skis in their earlier days. At least that's what Pinnah said:

http://web.archive.org/web/201510021509 ... -skis.html

Or what I thought he said.
Ha! This could take this thread on a number of tangents as well as some rabbit holes...

Although I appreciate- very much- Pinnah's overview of Nordic BC skis- I have never really understood his classifications/categories...Why group skis together purely because of their tip width and sidecut geometry- ignnoring their camber-flex profile and associated performance?

For my part, I view "Telemark" skiing and "Telemark" skis/boots/bindings etc. as a downhill skiing discipline- therefore, I would choose not to classify a ski that has been tuned for efficient XC travel as a "Telemark" ski. Yes, one can make a telemark turn with a XC ski (with any ski), but making a telemark turn with a XC ski does not necesarily make a XC-tuned ski a "Telemark" ski from my perspective.

So, for example- I don't really understand why Pinnah groups all of those skis under the classification of "Old School Teles" (i.e. old-school Telemark skis) other than their sidecut profiles...Many of the skis he has listed in that category are clearly XC-tuned skis...

On the subject of the Nansen and Amundsen/Rago-
- Pinnah lists the Nansen under "Old School Tele"- different geometry than current model- but there is no description of the camber and flex pattern of this ski.
- Pinnah also lists the Nansen under "Cirque Class Skis" with the same sidecut profile as the current Nansen, but again no descriptin of its camber and flex.
- the Rago (which I had assumed was the Amundsen) is listed under "Old School Tele", and has the same sidecut geometry as the current Amundsen- but he comments that they have a soft tip/tail...Does the current Amundsen match this camber-flex pattern? I think not. And is the Rago that Pinnah describes a XC-oriented "Old School Tele" ski or a downhill-oriented "Old School Tele" ski?
..........
Regardless-
One might make telemark turns with an E99/Gamme 54/Amundsen/Glittertind etc.- but I don't think that makes the ski a "Telemark" ski from my perspective...

Back to Pinnah's ski categories- what is the point of calling a XC-tuned ski a "Telemark" ski?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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bgregoire
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by bgregoire » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:07 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:47 pm
Back to Pinnah's ski categories- what is the point of calling a XC-tuned ski a "Telemark" ski?
I understand your perspective. To understand his, you might have to bring yourself back 30 years and imagine how all this was conceived of then. Just a thought!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM





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fgd135
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by fgd135 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:19 pm

I've never really looked at that old website before, but his classifications are generally good, I think.
It may be a matter of perspective, i.e., what was considered a "telemark" ski, during what time frame.
For some reason there is no mention of the 1980's skis, although many listed already existed in the early-mid 1980s.
The E99 was never considered, even then, to be anything other than a backcountry touring ski with metal edges, but that didn't prevent folks riding lifts with them, wearing their Vasque Telemarks, (NOT a telemark boot) and trying out some technique. At the time, however, it was common to refer to any metal edged XC ski as a "telemark ski"--E 99's, Skiloms, Epoke, and so on and on. Trak even had a so called telemark ski.
The first really well designed telemark skis for lifts and steeper backcountry terrain were made by Trucker, out of Aspen, beginning about 1981 or 82. Good skis, good sidecut and flex for the time period, but were made with soft foam cores and broke often.
Karhu made two different versions of the the same metal edge ski, the XCD, one had a double camber, one a single camber, and both were very popular. Kazama did so, too, building both a double and single camber version of one metal edged ski--one for trails, one for lifts.
All this worked at the time...with leather double and single boots--Asolo Snowfields and Summits, Kastinger and Fabiano double boots, etc. Merrell Telemark and Asolo Extreme, then a few years later the Merrel Supercomp Asolo Extreme Pro, and finally the BD plastic boots changed everything.
Those early Nansens (1986-88 ish) had a soft wax pocket, and imho a wierd flex. As I remember, they were difficult to initiate and washed out in the turn, I skied from Aspen over to Crested Butte on a pair, out for a three nights in various huts, and while they were fine trail skis, they did not turn well with stiff leather boots and a medium wt pack.
Boy, it's been along time since I've seen any Kazama skis, but they were incredibly popular for a few years, like that other Japanese telemark ski made by Swallow.





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bgregoire
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by bgregoire » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:42 pm

fgd135 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:19 pm
At the time, however, it was common to refer to any metal edged XC ski as a "telemark ski"--E 99's, Skiloms, Epoke, and so on and on. Trak even had a so called telemark ski.
:shock: :D

Well FDG, I honor your presence among us and thank you for sharing your wisdom!
Last edited by bgregoire on Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM





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Nick BC
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by Nick BC » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:13 pm

My three candidates are Atomic Telemark (early eighties), Tua Cirque (a little later) and the venerable “day glo” yellow Kazama Outback. I originally bought the Atomics for my son in the hopes of making him a telemarker, while I carried on manfully trying to make the double cambered Kazama Mountain Highs turn!.. However snowboards came on the scene and he was gone. So I inherited his Atomics and was blown away by how easy it was to turn a single cambered ski. I would definitely NOT include the Kazama Mountain High in the old school telemark category. It’s an indestructible backcountry xc ski.





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lowangle al
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by lowangle al » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:36 pm

Nick BC wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:13 pm
My three candidates are Atomic Telemark (early eighties), Tua Cirque (a little later) and the venerable “day glo” yellow Kazama Outback. I originally bought the Atomics for my son in the hopes of making him a telemarker, while I carried on manfully trying to make the double cambered Kazama Mountain Highs turn!.. However snowboards came on the scene and he was gone. So I inherited his Atomics and was blown away by how easy it was to turn a single cambered ski. I would definitely NOT include the Kazama Mountain High in the old school telemark category. It’s an indestructible backcountry xc ski.
Similar story here Nick. I skied my Karhu XCD-GTs from 85' until about the late nineties. One day, on a whim I tried my wife's Atomic Tourcap Lights mounted with a Riva binding. It was an epiphany, a ski that turns by itself. All I had to do was roll it on edge and it turned. No heavy weighting needed, it was the first time I did a smooth turn which ironically are the easiest turns to make.

I had demoed the tour cap with a plastic boot and liked what it did for my skiing but wasn't in the market for one. The ones I got for my wife were a steel of a deal but I thought they were too short for me at 185. They became one of my all time favorite skis, ironically they were an AT ski and not telemark. They were the FT 62 of the day, except 10mm wider in the waist and 10mm more narrow in the tips and tails and no rocker.





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Nick BC
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by Nick BC » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:40 pm

Yes Al. I had a Atomic Tourcap Light in the mid to late 90’s and loved it to death. If I recall correctly, I think I had Rivas on it too. I think I’m going to enjoy this thread. Nothing us old geezers love more than a chance to reminisce and have all the young folks rolling their eyes. 😀





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Krummholz
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by Krummholz » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:01 pm

From David Mann’s web page...

There is a section on Old School Teles and MORE
NORDIC BACKCOUNTRY SKIS.pdf
(798.73 KiB) Downloaded 267 times
Here is the link to the original page - http://web.archive.org/web/201510021509 ... rtbag.html





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Roelant
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by Roelant » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:37 am

If I see this the right way, the tele turn was a means to an end, not the goal for these "old school teles". AT bindings did not exist until the early-mid 80s I believe and then they were not very good.

I think the description of use he gives of "old school teles" is telling:
(quote)
The Terrain: In terms of terrain and intended use, the extra width of these skis makes them ideal camping skis when you covering flat terrain. Of course, this can be said for any of the even wider skis as well (see below). The place where these skis outshine their fatter cousins in on trips where you're touring over easy terrain with a pack. The narrow profile and touring ski roots make them noticeably faster touring skis, even when burdened with an overnight pack. They work well kick and gliding on narrow hiking trails thanks to their increased turnability.
The Skier: I think these skis are ideally suited for experienced backcountry travelers who are interested in pushing deep into the winter woods with a reasonably equipped day pack or overnight pack. In my opinion, these skis are camping skis first and foremost so I think they're best matched with skiers who have a camping or long distance hiking mindset. These skis are well suited for people who want more stability for carrying an overnight pack on rolling terrain but who still want reasonable striding performance. Theys cover more ground more quickly compared to wider turnier skis but offer more stability and maneuverability than skinnier (albeit faster) skis
(end quote)
That is kind of what I think the E99 is perfect for (while acknowledging that an E99 is quite versatile).

Interesting also that he prefers Excursions with "Cirque Class Tele" skis (2005 Nansen).

And there is a nice discussion on flex in the "classic slalom" category.





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greatgt
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Re: What is an "old school telemark ski"- a thread for the real nerds...

Post by greatgt » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:28 am

Skinny.....double camber.....low weight.....Right from the get go people went to skis that required far less of a learning curve...Big alpine skis....no camber.....heavy was the direction.....And....that became the norm....Even the turn changed into a more compatible downhill, ski area ski...As did bindings and plastic boots another way to make all things compatible with Alpine areas....Free the Heel Free the Mind was a term to throw all the Alpine stuff of the cliff and move into equipment that could be used in the gonz....That meant NORDIC....Up here we didn't even see aTelemark turn until around 1980....Up to that point we got the longest fastest skis to "bomb" down hills and similar to ski races out west a century before....Turns???????..Teleking and I ...heh....instantly started to learn the turn....So did a bunch of others and it became a blast as we laughed and crashed and had a great time....Bout that time the 99 came into our world as Telewheels in order to beat us on the down got a set....Good Gawd!....Those suckers went and Telewheels went to the front no matter how hard we tried....He dusted us....We all got those or similar...Atomics....Kahru....Fischer.....The FEEL was so good......we never left...TM





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