12th Annual Bear Valley Telemark Festival

January 28, 2008 by  
Filed under features

The 12th Annual Bear Valley Telemark Festival is set to take place from 8 to 10 February 2008 in the small alpine ski town of Bear Valley in the Central Sierra Nevada, California. Skiers with all levels of ability are invited to join this popular three-day snow skiing event which has its focus on fun! The program includes technical clinics, demonstrations, backcountry snow skiing, banquets and live music.

The all-day telemark workshops begin on the Friday of the festival, with a few warm-up runs followed by splitting into groups with different instructors. After lunch the groups will switch instructors for the afternoon session. Friday evening is spent unwinding from a busy day, while socializing with other participants in front of a log fire. Dinner at the Burrito Bar is followed by a slide show.

Saturday is jam-packed with action including two 90-minute telemark ski clinics, costume contest and an all-terrain tele-race. Ski and boot demos include all the latest snow skiing gear from well respected suppliers. At 4:00 pm on Saturday, intermediate skiers and above can join the festival instructors at Bear Top for a guided ski run back down to the Bear Valley Village. Saturday’s evening banquet includes excellent food, free beer and wine, an awe-inspiring slide show, live music and dancing.

On Sunday the program for the 12th Annual Bear Valley Telemark Festival gives participants the option of spending the day in the beautiful backcountry areas with professional ski guides, or they can take the opportunity to sharpen their skiing skills in two-hour group telemark clinics.

The organizers of the Bear Valley Telemark Festival have made a commitment for the event to have minimum impact on the environment. This is something they take very seriously and therefore make sure that they stick to eco-friendly materials as far as possible. The t-shirt for the event is made from organic cotton, event name tags are re-used each year, disposable drinking cups are made from materials that can be composted, meals are served on washable plates with silver cutlery, napkins are cloth, beer and wine are sourced from sustainable oriented suppliers and food waste is composted.

The first Bear Valley Telemark Festival which took place in 1997 had fourteen participants. Working from a rented house in Bear Valley the three instructors took on the tasks of teaching, cooking, cleaning and entertaining. The event was such a success that the group decided to do the same the following year and the year after that and so on. Currently the Bear Valley Telemark Festival is enjoyed by nearly 300 skiers over the three days, during which time friendships are renewed and having fun is priority.