Ski and Snowboard Club Vail explores telemarking option
Kelli Anthony and Nat Ross want to bring the excitement of telemark freeskiing competition to Vail’s youth.
The local pair, who both used to compete in the U.S. Telemark Freeskiing Series, are holding an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5 at Ski Club Vail in hopes of garnering enough local interest for the club to consider starting a telemark program.
“It’s just a different way for kids to express themselves,” Anthony said. “Kids that are burned out on alpine, or kids that don’t want to snowboard, this just opens up a whole new type of skiing to them. It’s not a program for teaching kids to tele. It would be for kids who have already grasped teleing and want to get better and compete.”
The club instituted a successful freestyle skiing program in 2000, and most recently added snowboarding as a permanent program offering in 2002.
A Nordic skiing program started in 1995 failed to bring in enough athletes, though, and was discontinued after just one season.
Anthony said that the club would like to see at least 15 kids interested in the program before it would consider instituting the program. The meeting will consist of a Q&A session with both Ross and Anthony, followed by a showing of a video made by Ross to promote the sport of telemark freesking.
The first 25 kids to show up at the meeting will also receive a free copy of the video.
Anthony said that the proposed program would also include freestyle telemark skiing, but that the club would only need to add one coach – herself, most likely – for the freeskiing side of the program.
The other SSCV freestyle coaches would hypothetically handle the freestyle telemark duties, such as halfpipe, slopestyle and moguls training.
“Ski club has a lot to offer with freestyle,” Anthony said. “They already have a freestyle program as far as halfpipe and slopestyle. We would offer just a freesking coach. (Nat and I) were top-three in the country at one point, so the kids would have a lot to gain. We bring a lot to the table.”
The idea for the program first came to Anthony and Ross after watching the U.S. Telemark Freeskiing Series lose steam in recent years, despite the fact that telemarking as a sport has gained in popularity.
The success of other fledgling telemarking programs popping up around the country and in Colorado were another factor for the duo to push a local program.
“It’s becoming more and more popular,” Anthony said. “Crested Butte is trying to promote a tele program through their youth program. Colorado Rocky Mountain School has a tele program, and Summit County is trying to get one going. In Snowbird (Utah), they have sixty kids in their program. VMS actually started a tele club last year and they have had a great response. We went to Ski and Snowboard Club Vail because we would like to more or less see what the interest level is.”
Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext. 608 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org