Telemark History
Telemark skiing (also known as free heel skiing) is a form of skiing using the Telemark turn. Unlike alpine skiing equipment, the skis used for telemarking either have a binding that only connects the boot to the ski at the toes, just as in cross-country skiing, or may be released to only connect there.
Telemark turns are led with the heel flat on the outside ski (the downhill ski at the end of the turn), while the inside (uphill) ski is pulled beneath the skier's body with a flexed knee and raised heel. The skis are staggered but not quite parallel, and 50% to 60% of the body weight is distributed on the outside ski, depending on snow conditions.
The Telemark turn came to the attention of the Norwegian public in 1868, when Sondre Norheim took part in a ski jumping competition. Norheim's technique of fluid turns soon dominated skiing, and in Norway it continued to do well into the next century. Starting in the 1910s, newer techniques based on the stem gradually replaced Telemark in the Alpine countries. Newer techniques were easier to master and enabled shorter turns better suited for steeper alpine terrain and skiing downhill.  The Telemark turn became the technique of ski touring in rolling terrain.
The technique is named after the Telemark region of Norway, just as the stem Christie turn was named after Christiania (now Oslo), Norway. As well as inventing the Telemark turn, Sondre Norheim and his fellow skiers used and refined parallel skiing techniques. Thus, while the Telemark is part of early skiing's foundation, parallel techniques are of equal importance.
The revival in the Telemark technique, after its decline from popularity in the mid-1940s, started in the United States in the 1970s. Telemark skiing was a back-to-basics reaction to the high-tech equipment developments of alpine skiing, and the increasing reliance on crowded groomed pistes served by ever larger and faster mechanical ski lifts. The use of traditional clothing is associated with the Telemark skiing revival.
The Telemark revival started almost simultaneously in Crested Butte, Colorado, and the northern part of the Green Mountains in Vermont. The Vermont revival was led by Telemark enthusiast Dickie Hall. At the same time, in southern Vermont, Filippo Pagano (aka Telemarkfil) was leading the revival with the opening of the first Telemark Ski School in the Eastern USA at Bromley Mountain. The Telemark racing series was also started. It came to the attention of a larger public with a demonstration by a team from the Professional Ski Instructors of America  at Interski, Italy in 1983. It grew to prominence during the 1990s; however, although organizations such as NATO (North American Telemark Organization) an NET (New England Telemark) sponsor telemark festivals and Instruction as the sport continues to grow, it is still considered a minority sport.