Spots still open for Team Summit tele program |

Spots still open for Team Summit tele program

BOB BERWYNsummit daily news

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

SUMMIT COUNTY – When Loveland opened its ridgetop Chair 9 lift last week, telemark skiers outnumbered alpine skiers by a two-to-one margin. And in Steamboat Springs, the youth ski racing program features 40 free-heeling youngsters. And now, tele-mania has swept into the Summit County youth ski scene, as Team Summit last weekend introduced its first-ever telemark component, with four local kids tearing up the slopes at Copper for the inaugural session.

As far as coach Tory Hauser is concerned, it’s about time. After all, Summit County was one of the early hotbeds of the 1970s telemark revival, and Hauser himself was one of the mainstays and frequent winners on the Summit Series of tele races.Hauser said he budgeted for eight tele skiers as part of the Team Summit program this year, so there are still a few spots left. He’s already garnered some strong local interest and even a preliminary commitment of material support from Silverthorne-based Bomber Industries, producer of top-end free-heel bindings.

“They (Bomber) have said they’d like to participate,” Hauser said, indicating that company might come through with some pro deals for Team Summit members. “Im pretty optimistic that when kids see other kids out there, tele skiing as a group, they’ll want to participate.”Hauser said the tele program will cover all the bases, from hard snow and gate training to bumps, powder, hike-to skiing and even park and pipe riding.

The tele program is open to anyone with a solid skiing background, but participants don’t need to have previous tele experience, Hauser said. Two of the four presently signed up have done some free-heel skiing, while the other two have a solid alpine skiing background, he added.In addition to its stand-alone appeal as one of the fastest-growing segments of snow sports, Hauser said tele skiing is a great cross-training component for alpine skiers, helping to develop important skills, including fore and aft balance. The Norwegian national alpine team, for example, uses tele skiing as a cross-training facet.For more information, visit Team Summit on the Web at