Telemarkers bring their style to Mad River Glen
FAYSTON, Vt. - The 34th annual North American Telemark Festival is the oldest and largest gathering of telemark skiers and it's been taking place at Vermont's Mad River Glen resort for more than three decades.
The event draws hundreds of practitioners of the Norwegian free-heel skiing technique and is sponsored by the North American Telemark Organization and Mad River Glen.
Among the main attractions are the World Championship Berserkebeiner Race (the NATO website describes it as "a real all-mountain ski race; climbing skins required") and the World Championship Bump Buffet ("a radical terrain, free-heel, free fall contest").
Besides the competitions, there will be clinics for various skill levels from beginners to veterans. Equipment makers will be there to give skiers a chance to try all the latest equipment and ask questions.
"Mad River Glen is synonymous with telemark skiing in New England. When we host the tele-fest, people venture north to Vermont like pilgrims to a holy shrine." said Eric Friedman, Mad River Glen's marketing director.
While it might sound as if the event is all telemark and no play that would be wrong. On Saturday night, Magic Hat Brewery will host an après-ski Tele-Dance Party, and the weekend wraps up Sunday with the annual world record attempt for group telemark skiing.
34th annual North American Telemark Festival, Mad River Glen, Fayston, Vt. March 7-8. $54 one day, $104 weekend pass. Price includes lift ticket, demo equipment use, clinics, contests, and Telemark Dance Party. For more information call Mad River Glen at 802-496-3551, North American Telemark Festival Organization at 800-835-3404, or online at www.telemarknato.com.