Dumpster-diving for new (to me) telemark gear
In any sport, beginners need the best gear but they usually start out with the worst.
For me, taking up telemark skiing has been no different.
I’ve wanted to try telemark skiing for years, and at the end of last ski season I went out looking for gear I hoped would be my ticket to the backcountry in the spring.
I’m still recovering from the sticker shock over the prices of telemark gear hanging on the racks at local stores.
So, instead of going new, I decided to just cobble it together on my own.
Thus, I pulled my new telemark skis right out of a Dumpster.
The Rossignol Bandit X 170-centimeter skis are Swiss-cheesed with drill holes from multiple binding mounts, probably the reason the folks at Replay Sports in Aspen tossed them out.
But I reckon they’ll do just fine.
The folks at the same shop had a pair of leather Scarpa telemark boots for just $20. The boots have seen years of wear, but I’m hoping I can win some of the previous owner’s good karma. And the moment I slipped them on and laced them up I felt like Cinderella with the glass slipper.
A buddy gave me an old pair of 205-centimeter Kazama skis ” apparently a pretty hot set of boards back in the early 1990s. I almost just went with the long boards to cut a full old-school figure on the slopes, but I just pilfered the good Riva bindings off the skis.
A case of beer donation to a friend at a local ski shop later, and I’m geared up.
So, I’ll be hitting the slopes this year hobo-style. And I’ve already gotten a few sideways looks at my beat-up boots (not to mention my Bambi-on-ice telemark style), but it don’t mean a thing.
If I take to telemarking, I’ll just do as I always do: Slowly and surely, one piece of gear at a time, shop myself into debt.
If not, no big loss.
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