Issue 35

Telemark and Backcountry Festivals—No Sliding Fad

Telemark and Backcountry Festivals—No Sliding Fad

Mobs Raising Heel By Pete Gauvin /Photo by Martin Sundberg Everything that’s old is new again. The telemark turn, the first technique relied on to change course while careening down a hill on a pair of wooden planks, has come a long way since Norwegian Sondre Nordheim popularized the method at a ski jumping competition in 1868. In the early 1900s, the telemark turn began to die out as newer techniques based on the stem christie gained favor for use in steeper terrain. By the ‘30s, the advent of ski lifts accelerated the acceptance of fixed-heel alpine gear, and the telemark turn was relegated to the back corner of the thrift shop. It rested in these dusty recesses for decades. Then, in the 1970s and ‘80s, isolated pockets of backcountry bohemians in the U.S. – the guys who shopped for their wool ski clothes in these thrift shops – discovered...
New Backcountry Skis Restyle Ancient Nordic Discipline

New Backcountry Skis Restyle Ancient Nordic Discipline

By Seth Lightcap / Photo by Chris Cox Light & Fast in the Great Ungroomed Cross-Country (kros’ kun’tre) Abbr. XC or X-C, adj. Moving or directed across open country rather than following tracks, roads, or runs. Somewhere in the last 50 years of ski history the term “cross-country skiing” has become a bit of a misnomer. Originally defined as an efficient means of moving across untracked expanses of snowy wilderness, a vast majority of today’s cross-country ski enthusiasts now rarely leave the confines of a groomed trail. This redefinition of cross-country (XC) skiing is the result of a popularity shift from using skis as a means of transportation and exploration to a means of exercise and competitive sport. Ever since the first track machines debuted at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, trail grooming has become a vital facet of good skiing for many cross-country skiers. The manicured trails allow for...
Mountain biking Mexico’s Grand Canyon promises memorable adventures

Mountain biking Mexico’s Grand Canyon promises memorable adventures

Conquering Copper Canyon Story and photos by Karen Kefauver The rooster’s crow jolted me awake at 4:30 a.m. The unwelcome wake-up call was the start of what would be the hardest day yet of mountain biking in Mexico’s Copper Canyon. I rolled out of the inn’s warm bed and groped for the lantern. Where were those matches? In the dark, I pulled on my muddy bike shorts, zippered up three layers of bike jerseys and added a florescent, yellow jacket to the bulky ensemble. I realized I would have to carry most of the clothing later, as it grew warmer, and that it would be unwelcome weight during my epic ascent. But I was insulated from the dawn chill and I would also be prepared for snow when and if I reached the top of the canyon. I filled my hydration pack with water and stuffed the other compartments with...
Five Great Winter Hikes in Big Sur

Five Great Winter Hikes in Big Sur

By Meade Fischer • Photos by Bob Burd Most people have put away their hiking boots by this time of year and will forget about them until fair weather returns. But for those willing to put slick sole to muddy trail year-round, the area around the Ventana Wilderness in Big Sur offers spectacular winter hiking. Free from the fog apron and camera-toting hordes that descend every summer, the famous coastline in the winter offers 400 miles of trail, boundless solitude and equally unimpeded views. Many of the day hikes along the northern Big Sur coast are always enjoyable, but the hikes below are especially compelling during the winter months. East Molera Trail to Post Summit (strenuous), Andrew Molera State Park For the sure-footed, the East Molera Trail to Post Summit makes for an excellent day’s journey. The trail is an approximately eight-mile round trip to the 3400-foot Post Summit with...
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