Highlights from InterTele and Spring Camp 2017 in Cervinia, Italy

Former PSIA Nordic Team Coach Scott McGee and current Team member Grant Bishop, along with several PSIA-AASI members, attended InterTele 2017 in Cervinia, Italy, April 26 - May 1. The event, which was paired with an annual tele event called Spring Camp, attracted 35 instructors and 100 participants from nine separate countries.

McGee shares some of his highlights from the event, and also from the presentations from the U.S., Germany, and Italy:

  • PSIA Presentation: The main focus of our presentation was the recently developed telemark fundamentals. We also presented on higher end terrain and tactical skiing, which we view as a strength of ours. When it comes to bumps, a lot of Europeans don’t have them. Steeps and trees are also a specialty, as what other countries often view as higher level skiing is often specific to carving.
  • Snapshot impressions: Many countries (Italy, Norway, among others) rely heavily on stepping forward to get into a telemark stance. This is something we haven’t endorsed for years, preferring a two-footed lead change to encourage simultaneous movements (like lead and edge change) for higher performance.
  • Norwegian Presentation - Telemark with Light Equipment: The Norwegians shared a progression for skiers who want to telemark on light equipment, including 50mm skis, NNBC or 3-pin bindings, NNBC or 75mm leather or synthetic boots. In contrast to the U.S. market, where most tele’ers come from an alpine background, in Norway, 80 percent of children and 50 percent of adults are nordic skiers. Their progression starts with stepping over poles by making telemark lunges, along with an emphasis on full extension of the legs as feet pass. First turns are done as garlands, then turns are practiced as J turns, and finally turns are linked. At this stage some edging and counter rotation are introduced.
  • Italian Indoor Presentation - The Bronze Level Progression: The Italian beginner progression begins with tailoring the beginner lesson for the history of the client. Whether the client is a skier, snowboarder, nordic skier, or someone who has never seen snow before, the Italians believe the first step is to make the client feel safe so they utilize terrain selection, physical assistance, and turning techniques to do that. Flexing the ankles is the centerpiece of the progression. Stepping ahead involves flexing the ankle, moving the body forward over the old ‘front foot,’ and landing on the new front foot, then flexing the ankle to achieve an ‘ideal’ tele stance. The task was then to step into this tele stance in successive iterations.
  • Germany and Experiential Learning: The German approach using a lurk (a single large pole) has to be one of the most fun and experiential topics I’ve seen presented at an international educational event. The presenting team of Flo Eggert and Helmut Schuerholz set a task with the lurks (they brought 1-inch-diameter hand-crafted lurks, some carved with patterns in the bark, or with bark removed on half or all of the stick) and asked questions afterwards. Partners were switched frequently, to build relationships within the group. For this clinic, the German Team’s tasks included: tandem turns with a partner, inside and outside stick-dragging, same-side stick dragging, stretcher and rifle position, all of which encouraged an exploration of movement inputs and skiing outcomes.

You can see photos and videos from the event on Facebook here. 

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  • Highlights from InterTele and Spring Camp 2017 in Cervinia, Italy

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