We’ve rounded up a list of the 5 best places to ski Telemark in North America, namely in Colorado and Vermont. It was in these states that this Nordic-style of skiing, also known as “free heel skiing,” first saw its revival. While Telemark skiing is still considered a minority sport, it has gained increasing popularity through organizations like North American Telemark Organization (NATO) and New England Telemark (NET).
- Arapahoe Basin. Located in Summit County, Colorado, this popular ski lodge was voted in the top five for Best Telemark Mountain in the Rocky Mountains by Telemark Skier Magazine. You can register for a half-day or full day of lessons here, choosing between morning or afternoon lessons. Kids can also take monthly lessons from December through April. Telemark rentals are not available, so you’ll have to bring your own equipment. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, 28196 U.S. 6 Dillon, CO 80435; 970-468-0718.
- Eldora Mountain Resort. This Colorado ski resort, located just 21-miles west of Boulder and 47-miles from Denver, is ideal for both beginners and serious Telemark skiers alike. Eldora opened for skiing in 1962 and receives approximately 300-inches of snow every year. If it’s a challenge you’re looking for, try the double black diamond Corona Bowl, which is said to be the most difficult mountain to ski at Eldora. Classes are offered every weekend, including holidays. Eldora Mountain Resort, P.O. Box 1697 Nederland, CO 80466; 303-440-8700.
- Steamboat Ski. Experienced Telemark skiers will love Steamboat Springs, Colorado for its backcountry terrain. Aside from donning some serious snowshoes, Telemark skis are one of the only ways to get around this area. The Steamboat Mountain Resort itself sits seven thousand feet up in the Colorado Rockies and is nestled just beneath one of the largest ski mountains in North America. Several ski and snowboard classes are offered for all skill levels, and as a bonus the resort provides childcare for the little ones. Steamboat Ski Resort, 2305 Mount Werner Circle Steamboat Springs, CO 80487; 970-879-0740.
- Suicide Six. Nestled in Vermont’s infamous Green Mountains near the town of Woodstock, Suicide Six is a breath of fresh air for anyone looking to escape the chaos of upscale vacation resorts. The small, simple ski area got its name for its infamous vertical drop of 650-feet. Suicide Six also offers 23 trails, including one for experts only, and three service lifts. Suicide Six, 14 The Green Woodstock, VT 05091-1283; 802-457-6661.
Jay Peak. This Vermont ski resort takes its skiers seriously. With 76 trails, slopes and glades to explore, Jay Peak has more to offer than many other ski resorts, while still offering affordable rates. Beginners can check out the resort’s quieter area, known as “The Zone,” which includes two freestyle areas designed specifically for entry-level skiers. Jay Peak Resort, 4850 VT route 242 Jay, VT 05859-9404; 802-988-2611.