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March 5, 2008

Graham Hammond’s Europe Telemark Winter

Filed under: Ski touring — MAC Team @ 12:20 am

One of our instructors, Graham Hammond, has spent this summer having a winter telemarking in Europe. His report makes the mouth water. Ciao from La Thuile in Italy!GroupGreat snow, mountains, sunshine and ridiculously bad ski suits and furs. Its weekend here and the Milan skiers are out in force. Fashion here is another world. Helmets with integrated goggle/visors which make them look like helicopter pilots.European ski fashionnNot pretty! Then there is the multitude of ski suits which are still alive and well. Not to forget the furs. Every extinct animal under the sun is being paraded about with matching small dog being clutched under one arm. Then by lunch time its out with the deck chairs to tan your face.Every day starts here with an espresso.La ThuileOnce the heart starts to race its off to ski the expansive terrain that is serviced by lifts. Great piste, steeps, trees, off piste, couloirs and not to forget the mountain restaurants.I am out here teaching week long telemark specific programs. The company I work for is The Telemark Ski Company. range from beginner to advanced off piste. La Thuile is only one of the many locations that is on offer. Previously I was in Les Crosets in Switzerland for two weeks for intermediate level skiers. Another huge area of pistes and never ending opportunities for off piste action. Then there is my favourite ski area, Andermatt in Switzerland. A low profile ski area with never ending opportunities for off piste. Andermatt is a great arena for developing off piste skills.MountainsThere is an avalanche beacon practise area sponsored by Mammut. The area comprises of an electronic station in which you choose the number of buried people you want to simulate and the time you want to beat. Armed with probe and avalanche transceiver you race around locating signals and probing to de-activate the signal to then find the next before the timer times out. Great fun and great practise!There are still some programs on offer here for the remainder of winter. Cervinia, La Thuile, Tignes, Chamonix, Obergurgal, Hintertux and the well known Haute Route.Winter is not over yet. Far from it. Learn to telemark, improve your off piste, do some stunning big mountain telemark touring or come and telemark ski the incredible mountains of Europe.Graham turnsI will put some turns in for you all!Ciao.Graham

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