2021 Stories of the Year: Cross Country and Telemark

Snow is finally falling across much of North America, instructors are gathering to train at pre-holiday events, and before the busy season begins in earnest, thesnowpros.org is pressing rewind on some of the biggest stories in teaching.

Here is a look at some of the biggest stories in cross country and telemark instruction.

Select New Cross Country and Telemark Teams

Although they’re united by the possibilities of free-heel travel, the PSIA Cross Country Team and PSIA Telemark Team are two independent teams that focus on the respective skill sets of human-powered and gravity-powered travel. Last spring in Breckenridge, Colorado, the two subsets of the national team selected new members to help lead free-heel instruction into the future.

Cross Country Academy Proves Low Snow is No Barrier to Fun

The PSIA Cross Country Team held a successful academy in West Yellowstone, Montana, over Thanksgiving, proving that learning, fun, and professional development can all effectively take place in less-than-optimal snow conditions.

“’Adapt and find the opportunity’ was our motto PSIA Cross Country Academy,” said Cross Country Team Coach Emily Lovett. “The result was a boat load of sharing, learning, and fun with each other to kick off the season!”

Team member Zeke Fashingbauer said teaching and people skills can be effectively applied in any type of terrain or snow condition.

“As Cross Country Academy approached, we were confident we could deliver an engaging experience to participants even if it meant dryland activities,” said Zeke. “We were able to ski all three days drawing on the teaching and people skills we developed through our training.”

Zeke said by focusing on great teaching and communication throughout the three-day event, he witnessed participants building relationships and learning together.

Take the New FREE Uphill Travel E-Learning Course

PSIA-AASI’s new and FREE e-learning course on inbounds uphill travel, featuring PSIA Telemark Team Coach Gregory Dixon, includes content for alpine skiers, snowboarders, and telemark skiers. Take the Uphill Travel E-Learning Course to learn about:

  1. The growing popularity of touring and why more and more people are getting involved.
  2. Resort access, policies, and safety awareness.
  3. Equipment, what is necessary, and how to use it.
  4. Skinning techniques and best practices for getting started.

“Regardless of what equipment you use, when you take the inbounds uphill travel course, you’re going to learn something,” Gregory said. “The content is for everyone. For instructors, it will open the door for them to try something new.”

How the Telemark Team Will Benefit Members

PSIA Telemark Team Coach Gregory Dixon discusses his first term as team coach, the ONEteam concept, and how he expects the new team to benefit PSIA members.

“This is the first-time telemark and cross country disciplines have separate teams,” Gregory said. “It is a unique situation, because the disciplines are separate, but bound by the ONEteam concept.”

He said, “Personally, I’m excited for my first year as head coach to a new team. I believe this will allow me the opportunity to influence the new team towards specific goals that will benefit our discipline and organization.”

How the Cross Country Team Will Benefit Members

PSIA Cross Country Team Coach Emily Lovett talks about her high expectations for the Cross Country Team and how she expects them to help lead PSIA-AASI into the future.

These are very talented, skilled, and dynamic skiers,” Emily said. “They will take the Learning Connection and fundamentals the 2016-21 team created to our divisions and membership to support our community and help enhance snowsports learning experiences. I’m looking forward to the collaboration this team will continue to have with each other, divisional leadership, and ultimately our membership.”

She said, “Zeke (Fashingbauer) and Tulie (Budiselich) understand the power of a connected team and know this is a huge part of being on the PSIA-AASI National Team. Each has their own unique traits, are multi-discipline skiers and riders, amazing clinicians, creative thinkers, communicators, and unifiers.”