Whew. This weekend warrior thing can start to wear on you, but it does feel gooooood. I’m 1.5 weeks deep into second semester now, and somehow, things are balancing out. I’ve managed to do most of my work, start/submit my research grant applications, get in several days of skiing, one of climbing, a day of brewing beer, and I’ve still managed to get some good sleep on top of it all. I can only hope that this kind of craziness is sustainable, and I’ve got to say that it’s not really wearing on me at all. All of the shannanigans outside of school keep me stoked on life, which makes all of my obligations all the more bearable.

It’s time that I admitted it though.  I’ve fallen in love again.

With telemark skiing.  For a slim $180 I acquired all of the necessary gear, and I’ve gotten in a couple of days on the mountain already.  I’ve reached a life total of 5 tele days, and it’s all starting to make sense.  I can make good turns and haul ass around the groomers, but the conditions have been so bad that the off-piste is yet to be tested.  I’m optimistic.  It’s all come so easily this far that I can’t help but think that it will continue to go this well.

Telemarking is just so much more beautiful, in every way, than alpine.  The turns are graceful, smooth, fluid, you’re low to the ground, so the sensation of speed is much greater, and oh does it burn in the legs.  But it also seems so worthwhile just for the fact that it’s more difficult, that it’s unnecessary.  Sometime when I ride alpine I feel like I have to keep pushing myself to ride sicker, scarier, steeper things, which certainly has its own rewards, but at the same time, I have a hard time enjoying myself just cruising the groom; I need something, speed, exposure, something to keep me engaged.  With telemarking, you’re putting in all of the work and all of the effort required to do squats all day because the turns are fun to make, because the aesthetic is gorgeous, because, quite frankly, it’s more fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be abandoning my big fat alpine skis anytime soon.  They have a place in my life, and soon enough I hope that that place also includes the backcountry.  But it’s great to know that I don’t need to get complicated to have a blast:  I can just drop a knee along the cordurouy and enjoy life.

And for those who might not know what exactly it is that I’m talking about…

I must point out that only gods and robots telemark switch.