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Playing on my new tele gear today

Snowy trees and skiing at Smugglers' Notch this afternoon.

New tele boots.

New tele skis and bindings.

Add 'em up and you get real tele turns! Wa-hoo!

Skiing under the snowmaking guns.

Zooming down a trail off the Madonna II chair.

New tele boots and new tele skis make for a happy skier.

We arranged our work schedule today to be able to take a few runs on a lovely afternoon. We enjoyed blue skies today -- a bit cloudy in the mountains -- and warmer temperatures. It snowed early this week, so it was a good time to try out some new gear. We zipped over to Smugglers' Notch.

I had high hopes for the equipment that I had picked up at a ski swap this fall: essentially new, three-buckle tele boots (they were demos) and brand new, fat tele skis and bindings. I was praying that having skis with actual sidecut to them would help me master telemark turns and have fun in the backcountry.

After just two dozen turns I could tell things were looking very good. Compared to my very straight Pavo backcountry skis, these fat, short slalom skis were begging to turn. It was an amazing difference. I was doing real tele turns at last!

I enjoyed soft snow on the sides of the trails off of the Madonna II chair.  I wanted to stay on the lower part of the mountain where it was less travelled. I needed some elbow room.

After a few runs we skied Ruthie's Run to Northwest Passage -- an expert trail. By that time I realized that I could parallel ski very well on these skis, so I felt comfortable doing short-radius or hop turns down just about anything. This came in handy as this natural-snow trail was wearing thin. I had to really stick to the edges of the trail. Smuggs continued to make snow today to add to the base of its trails.

It was a great afternoon to be on the snow trying out my new gear. I'm hopeful for some more new snow this Friday and this weekend. Wouldn't that be a nice way to greet the New Year?

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