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The Relevance of Telemark Forums - Then and Now

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  • The Relevance of Telemark Forums - Then and Now

    During my early morning skin this morning I had some random thoughts about telemark forums. This was mostly instigated by my searching for something on TGR last night and coming across some older threads and crossposts from the TTips days. There was quite the thread about a moderator named Gwen banning someone on TTips. It's the kind of hijinks that just doesn't happen around here.

    Anyways - TTips gets a lot of love from those who were there, and I'm sure for good reason. But I'm curious how much people feel that forum impacted the world of telemark skiing outside of the users. Or how much it reflected the telemark culture at large. Someone on a different TGR thread about the old forum's demise said "Telemark is bigger than TTips," which seems like a very reasonable sentiment, but it also made me realize a forum like Backcountry Talk (and same with TTips) has an outsized importance when it's so hard to find decent info on telemark outside of here. And that TTips probably represented telemark well in its heyday vs. the end, but circa 2005, if you asked 10 random telemark skiers at any mountain what TTips was, how many would be able to tell you? Same with now and this forum? Does that not matter because these forums are maybe influential by osmosis?

    Similarly, while this forum is incredibly useful and is absolutely the best place to go for cutting edge telemark knowledge, I wonder how much the discussions here permeate into the wider telemark world. I have a few tele buddies who know what Earn Your Turns is, but they aren't familiar with this forum. I'm curious how a telemark skier goes from being the typical sort who just does their own thing to ending up somewhere like here. Obviously that isn't the same for everyone. And not to say this forum isn't relevant or influential, I just wonder how much discussions in places like this - and places that came before - impact the rest of the telemark subculture which often seems very out on its own limb.

    To put it more succinctly: these places are hugely important to us, how does that translate to their relevance to the wider telemark world, if at all? And how has that evolved with telemark's changing popularity?
    Last edited by JackO; 16 January 2023, 10:26 AM.

  • #2
    The forums do not reflect the breadth of telemark or backcountry skiing. They do reflect a group of people that enjoy discussing the many wormholes that skiing, gear, and the cast of characters bring to the forum. What is great is the geographic diversity and the varied ski histories of the forum's inhabitants. There seems to be a shared understanding of the frivolous nature of our sport!

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    • #3
      I frequent these forums because I have a long history with all kinds of skiing( except pure Alpine). I like to know what's going on in all the ski worlds even if I am not focused on any 1 type of skiing in particular. and when I have an arcane question about skin glue, avi transceiver, TXPro ROM( or lack there of...) etc...I know I can get answers to just about any oddball question very quickly(unless it involves wearing lycra). I think its fair to say that trying to typecast tele skiers is impossible...or maybe possible...but likely to be wrong.

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      • #4
        There isn't currently a telemark forum anywhere on the English speaking internet.

        This is as close as we've got. It's good, but only because there are ~12 regulars that keep it going. Remove 3 or 4 of them and this place becomes a ghost town pronto.

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        • #5
          Backside Bar & Grill isn't necessarily just a forum for Telemark skiers. Dostie even had a poll on AT gear; what are people using?
          Many of us have also gone to the Dark Side, ie we also have AT setups, for touring long days, or travel to different countries. Lately I have just taken an AT setup to ski resorts in Europe, whereas before I skied exclusively on teles, even in Austria and France..AT gear is lighter, boots have more ROM for walking around Alpine villages, climbing up and down stairs for the Galzigbahn, easier to travel with lighter ski gear. An AT setup makes it easier for me to keep up with younger skiers too. 🙄
          This knowledge base , about AT gear also allows a transfer of info on various toe pieces for homebrew TTS setups.

          But I really enjoyed the original TTips, especially as an introduction to the new Tele standard, NTN for info on boots and bindings. I have owned and skied on all the NTN iterations, Tele Bulldogs, Freerides, Freedoms and now Outlaws. Early TX boots, Garmont Prophets, TX Pro, now TX Comps.
          Last edited by chamonix; 16 January 2023, 11:52 AM.

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          • #6
            I was here from the getgo and actually was at the beginning of the old TTips forum too. So, I have seen the transitions of both and do have some opinions. First, it was always my opinion that this forum EYT or BC Talk was going to be about the tour, about the skier and about the gear. So, it was kinda irrelevant wither it was Tele skiing, AT skiing or maybe even Splitboarding. It would be inclusive for everybody without bias. Now, early on and even now the Tele sector has always been dominate here. First because of Craig and second it was a place for the old TTips crowd to go as that forum tanked.

            This was before the start of the new TTips. I think in hind sight, BC Talk was always a place where it was for big mountain experienced Tele skiers as that was who came over from the collapse of TTips. So, the low angle old schoolers didn't really fit in and they went to the new TTips. That forum seems to be in a growth pattern so their gain our loss. As far as AT skiers here, we have a few and no splitters. The good thing here is that everyone is genuine and everyone gets along as well, all fit in together. I also think we have a lot of lurkers who enjoy the read and info but don't really have a lot to add.

            Anyway, I was encouraged about how many that are contributing to the overhead. Craig is a professional and dedicated, I wish there was a way to make the forum profitable for his work...........
            Last edited by Quadzilla; 16 January 2023, 01:31 PM.
            "Just say no to groomed snow"

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            • #7
              Speaking as someone who joined relatively recently (3 years ago), I think the main impact this forum has on people outside of its community is in the knowledge base, development, and advocacy for lightweight telemark generally, and TTS specifically. There are many other topics, mostly related to the backcountry, but I would say there are other good sources of information for those (TGR, youtube, etc.). I hope/wish that 2 things would happen to increase the relevance of this forum outside of its members:
              • broader recognition of the information and development here about light telemark (more incoming links, higher search rankings)
              • more members representing the low-angle, fishscale, XCD aspect of light telemark
              I found and joined this forum when searching for light touring options after it became clear that 75mm was being (very slowly) phased out. I suspect for each member, there are dozens of non-members that found this content the same way and for the same reason. I wish we could have more representation from the low angle perspective because I think some people may dismiss our content as being for gram counters, objective chasers, homebrew hackers, or other extremists.

              In fact, buried and spread across many threads is the simplest, easiest, most reliable, lightest, and price-competitive option for telemark touring, but it takes so much effort to synthesize that information that most only arrive there through their own trial and error. I know I did. I think if a few people documented their TTS rig built with cheap Dynafit toes, long-travel springs, NOS F3 boots, and compared them to other options (Switchback, Xplore), others would see that it's not only viable but a superior option. I fear that if this doesn't happen, we'll continue to see fragmentation across NTN, 75mm, and heavy nordic options, which will be bad for telemark in the long run.

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              • #8
                Demographics and technology are factors.

                Do I have to point out that younger people are crazy obsessively active with their social media, sharing virtually every moment, thought, reaction, opinion, intimate insights etc. across hyper niche interest groups, broader communities and the Universe, alike.

                Probably, to many of us, tiktok, twitter, snapchat and instagram seem amorphous and superficial, but they are likely more representative of how the masses communicate, than what we do here.

                My 15 year old (free skiing) son glanced over my shoulder the other day and kind of laughed/sneered at how lacking in prominence the thumbs up "like" button is on this forum.​

                You can effortlessly see more ski videos, gifs, clips, reels and content of backcountry skiing in half a day of watching insta than you probably have watched in the last 10 years otherwise.

                That said, I'm still partial to the esoteric and pedantic long-form prose we engage in here!
                Last edited by Pank Ache; 16 January 2023, 04:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  It is the most decorous forum I know. In that sense, it represents bc skiing as well as anything could.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mikesee View Post
                    There isn't currently a telemark forum anywhere on the English speaking internet.
                    https://www.telemarktalk.com/ forum has several hundreds of users with at least few posts a day and 50k+ posts total, so...

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                    • #11
                      I've been a member of an English speaking telemark forum for years...thats not TTips. Backcountrytalk.com is not the only place were tele is discussed....sometimes you just have to pretend not to see the " Declaring my undying love for Asnes" posts...lol

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gorkypl View Post
                        https://www.telemarktalk.com/ forum has several hundreds of users with at least few posts a day and 50k+ posts total, so...

                        Sure.

                        And if you spend more than 10 minutes there you quickly deduce that it is a forum devoted to XC/nordic nerdery in all of its' beautiful manifestations.

                        Nordic skiing is great -- I do it a few times a week. But it is not telemark, nor is that forum.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bauerb View Post
                          I've been a member of an English speaking telemark forum for years...thats not TTips. Backcountrytalk.com is not the only place were tele is discussed....sometimes you just have to pretend not to see the " Declaring my undying love for Asnes" posts...lol

                          If you remove the Asnes and leathers posts you're left with <1% of the content there.

                          There are a few tele skiers that actively post there, but their posts are drowned out/shouted down by the Asnes/leathers crowd.

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                          • #14
                            I too like the decorum. (And old-familiars, and gear knowledge, and inspiration of brilliant makers). But hijinks here have there been too. Bastard children are here of oft-banned EYT ancestors. And, I may be all wrong, but isn't "Jonny", the owner of Telemarktalk.com, a banished refugee from here who fled, double-poling, from Eastern Washington to NE Canada to be in the embrace of the...Maester of the Convenant of The Arc. "Get you own website" was taken to heart. And I think he's done a good job and gotten good activity, even if he hasn't kept the religion pure. "Jonny" may not be "Ron" at all, but it's been my assumption. Willie was always better at spotting reincarnations.
                            Last edited by Charley White; 16 January 2023, 06:26 PM.
                            nee, Whiteout

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                            • #15
                              I tried to order a wool Skimo race suit...but seems they don't make them

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