Descender: What do you think of the current tele vibe?
Dan Gilchrist: Shape skis have brought some attention back to skiing, but the number of alpine skiers is not increasing. The curent tele vibe is so strong because telemark equipment is way better then ever, and there are groups of rippin telemarkers on almost every mountain. Telemarkers are going as fast as alpiners, skiing the steepest lines, and busting big airs like never before. There is also a young breed of telemarkers that will continue to feed life to the telemark vibe.
D: There's no question that gear evolution has moved many folks onto the piste. This is a change from the past. Is this a good thing?
DG: The equipment has made resort skiing more enjoyable. Plastic boots are more comfortable than alpine boots, and give better edge hold on harder snow than older tele boots, better cable bindings, and skis that carve, have all boosted mountain performance. The number of people enjoying telemark skiing is increasing ever year.
DG: Gear evolution has boosted off-piste performance in the same ways. Fat, and mid-fat skis, make skiing deep powder, steeps, and variable backcountry conditions less trying. This equipment revolution is, no doubt, a good thing. One thing I could suggest is don't be limited to telemark specific skis. No matter how hard telemark specific manufactures try or argue, alpine skis usually offer the latest and greatest technology. Some telemark specific skis are catching up, but I prefer alpine skis since the advent of the shaped ski.
Photo: Chase Jarvis
D: Where is your favorite place to ski?
DG: I've had a number of great days in the Whistler area, and experienced unbelievable skiing at Jackson Hole, and I even had thigh deep powder in Chamonix last spring. It's too hard to pick just one area. I think the excitement of being somewhere new, and hitting it on a good day, is what skiing is all about.
DG:I have my favorite places in the Steamboat backcountry. Skiing them on a waist deep day, and knowing just where each turn will lead you, that's hard to beat. I am still in search of my favorite area. I'm planning a ski safari through interior B.C. this winter. I'll let you know if it's the best ever.
D: Can't wait to hear the report! Besides travel and adventure, how has skiing been good to you?
DG: There is no doubt skiing has had a positive effect on my life. I grew up ski racing. It instilled a sense of discipline, and a desire to do the best I could. Skiing has been a big part of my life for the last 25 years. Skiing brought me to Steamboat Springs, it led to my wonderful wife, and it has driven me to pursue goals and enjoy life whenever possible, everyday.
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