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Soul Slide

Josh "Bones" Murphy

There have been many attempts recently to put a finger on the pulse of telemark skiing and measure the beat that drives the passion for the sport. But while it's the blood that feeds the heart, the desire comes from the soul. How can one generalize a sport that means so many different things to each individual pursuing it? For some it's a vehicle to move them through time and space, for others an attitude and means of self-expression. The natural movement allowed by a free heel enables each rider the freedom to mould their own style and add a personal flair.

Like most, I began tele skiing because it offered a new challenge, something different with room to grow and be creative. It fueled a desire that led me to competition, which in turn forced me to improve and strive harder to reach the nebulous goal of my own skiing nirvana. In the beginning it was about non-conformity and going against the grain, now I find myself seeking inspiration from other disciplines and integrating the strength of alpine skiing and jibs pioneered by snowboarders. Just as I was becoming critical of the old, a new fresh attitude arrived and sparked an interest that had temporarily dimmed.

The sport is at a turning point now, and the inspiration lies in watching it grow, change, and flex its prowess. New doors are being opened in the sport, and with better equipment and riders that push their limits, it's identity is changing. Snowboarding is no longer the new kid on the block and some say it's growth is plain flat. Although our sport is older than dirt, its recent rejuvenation is being watched by a large audience, and it's time to show them what we can do! Whether you are by yourself in the backcountry, or rippin' it up on "Ego Alley", remember that no matter what drives your zeal for the sport, keep it real and do it justice - for the best attribute of telemark skiing is the people involved. Teddy Roosevelt got it right when he proclaimed - speak softly and carry some BIG STICKS.

Josh "Bones" Murphy lives in Lake Tahoe, CA. Back in '93 he was the Eastern Telemark Mogul Champion. Email him at

Bones @ Whistler

Photo: Colin Meagher
Skier: Bones
Location: Whistler, B.C.