On Your Mark, Get Set—Tele!

May the Norse be with you—at this Saturday's High Country Nordic Association TeleFest at Beech Mountain. Photo courtesy HCNA.

The Boone area-based High Country Nordic Association is holding its 6th Annual TeleFest at Ski Beech on Saturday February 20, 2016.

The Tele (pronounced “telly”) is the telemark, that cool drop knee turn that Nordic skiers use skiing downhill on the slopes and trails. The waltz-like turn is popular in the backcountry on conventional cross country gear but on the slopes, tele enthusiasts use metal-edged skis and “almost-alpine” plastic boots with Nordic cable or Alpine Touring (AT) bindings that permit the heel to rise. Tele skiing is very popular and even seen among National Ski Patrollers in the Southeast.

The event starts at 9 am at Beech Mountain Resort. Participants should meet at the slopeside View Haus Lodge where tickets will be on sale for $60 and include an all day lift ticket, an HCNA 2016 TeleFest T-shirt, and HCNA bumper sticker.

TeleFest features telemark skiing and telemark clinics by local experts Mike Trew, Shanan Fitts, and Kristian Jackson. There are also plentiful prizes and the fellowship of fellow Nords—as in “telemark skiers meeting to share skiing, stories, gear, and beer.” Participants are encouraged to bring any extra gear for a swap, sale, and show.

High Country Nordic Association is a non-profit group of Southern Appalachian Telemark and cross-country skiers based in Boone who are dedicated to promoting telemark and back-country skiing in the northwest High Country of North Carolina. One goal remains establishing a rental inventory of tele gear in the area.

For more information contact Bill Moore at [email protected] or see the group’s Facebook page.

For you envious folks farther north, Camelback Resort in Pennsylvania’s Poconos will also host its 6th annual TeleFest, billed as “the biggest in the Mid-Atlantic,” on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 8 am – 2:30 pm.  

And speaking of ski events, do not miss the Ski Southeast Summit at Snowshoe Mountain! Kenny and Mike have been touting this must attend event in their posts and whether you tele or not, there’s camaraderie and fun at Snowshoe the first weekend in March. Hope you’re there. Think Snow.



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Randy Johnson
Johnson has been chronicling skiing in the South since the 1980s as a columnist for the Charlotte Observer and author of the 1987 “cult classic” "Southern Snow: The Winter Guide to Dixie" (soon to be republished). Johnson is a Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel writer whose articles have appeared in many national newspapers and magazines, including the Miami Herald, National Geographic Traveler, Ski, and Skiing. His new University of North Carolina Press book "Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon," debuts next April. Visit him at www.randyjohnsonbooks.com.