BASI Telemark Level 3 by Ed Brown
At the end of last season Ed Brown took on the challenge of the BASI Telemark Level 3 (ISIA). Since then he has taken a bit of time to reflect on this experience and write this blog:
Shortly after completing my top level alpine ski teacher qualification in 2010 I realised that I was going to miss the process of training and learning that had been my life for the previous years. I set myself a vague challenge to continue the learning process by trying to get the ISIA (International standard qualification) in other cross over disciplines. It was in the 2013-14 season that I decided to book my Level 3 ISIA Telemark examination. Telemarking was skiing but potentially even more fun. As my passion is snowsports and teaching snowsports, gaining an extra qualification was challenging fun but also allowed me to expand my knowledge of snowsports. I spent the season balancing my teaching commitments with telemarking down fresh powder, on bumps runs, testing out new Telemark technology and generally having a lot of fun with colleagues and friends who also had the Telemark bug. In April 2014 I found myself travelling the 8 hour drive from Les gets to Hintertux for the 2 week ISIA Telemark course.
Our group of 6 Telemarkers were being led and trained by John Eames for the 2 weeks we were there. I had gone into the course feeling like I had some technical strengths and weaknesses. I was looking forward to working on my weaknesses and hopefully meeting the technical standard set. It is easy to forget how much you can improve when in a positive training environment with the correct guidance. John set our group up so we understood that with a Telemark stance there were essentially few ‘rules’. He allowed us to explore how to adapt that stance to work in different terrains. I learnt that my stance could be much higher so that I was more balanced over the centre of the skis and therefore could create more power on piste and be more balanced off piste. We were introduced to a great variety of drills that aided our development. Drills like the moonwalk, the front full shuffle, the switch pink panther and tele-worms were just as fun and as challenging as they sound. For me, one of the fun elements of telemarking was the physical challenge of it. However, with my technical improvement I found I was less physically challenged as I had been when I was training in the season. I felt so efficient with my new technique that I even had plenty of energy to tackle the huge bumps field that the alpine skiers were training on!
We will feature the concluding half of Ed’s blog next week……