New Telemark Norm (NTN) by Jim Shaw

I hope today finds you sliding and enjoying some of the best early season snow we’ve had in years. The snow is even softer and deeper when you telemark!

If you haven’t telemarked before or even if you have hopefully you’re on board with the latest gear. Telemark has undergone a significant change with the introduction and acceptance of NTN (New Telemark Norm). The format has taken some time to gain acceptance and it has significantly changed the sport. While I doubt you would easily notice the difference if someone ski by the benefits and advantages are very real.

First, and I believe foremost, step in bindings with brakes! At least on the 22 designs Outlaw. The NTN uses a different attachment system that holds the toe of the boot and again under the midpoint of the sole of the boot rather than a bale around the heel. This is a little different and it’s much easier to understand when you try it. Add ski brakes and the inconveniences of bending over to put the skis on goes away with no compromise to the telemark skiing!

In addition to enjoying the step in bindings there will also be a significant improvement in performance. The attachment under the midfoot greatly increases lateral stability and ski performance.

For those of you that call this cheating, I will remind you that leather boots changed to plastic (Alpine and Tele), straight skis to shape skis, long thongs and cable bindings to step-ins and 3-pins (remember pin heads?) to cables and now step-ins! It’s all about having more fun more of the time. If the NTN is about step in convenience and more performance without losing the grace and beauty of telemark, count me in!!

It’s a great season to Telemark with great clinic opportunities. Along with a Certification Festival at A Basin at the end of the season (we had 27 participants last time!) There are steeps and bumps, all mountain, a spring symposium at Sun Valley, learn to NTN J at Spring Fling and the National Tele Academy at Big Sky!

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