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The Seattle Weekly
This newspaper is available on microfilm at UW.
The Weekly, Jan 25-31, 1978, p. 10 - Barnett, Steve, "Free at Last!""Far from the maddening liftlines, a new breed of skiers has rediscovered the art of wilderness skiing," says the lede to this article. In 1968, Steve Barnett saw two skiers with overnight packs disappear into the Aspen wilderness. Since then, he has been an avid ski tourer and has devoted several years to developing Nordic mountain touring techniques. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book, Cross-Country Downhill and Other Nordic Mountain Techniques, to be published in February 1978. Barnett writes: "The dream of the wilderness skier is to cover ground as rapidly as the Nordic racer and still have the capability of skiing downhill as powerfully as the Alpine skier. He wants to ski long river valleys and steep chutes, huge glaciers and powder-covered forest slopes, long access roads and wide-open bowls. That dream is closer to reality than in many years."
The author describes current Alpine touring gear as heavy, clumsy, and unreliable. "No one learns to love it." He notes that although cross-country skiing has grown exponentially, it has almost no downhill component as traditionally practiced. The mountains of Washington have relatively little of the rolling terrain most suitable for cross-country skiing. Instead there is a vast area of accessible mountainous terrain, much of it covered with virgin forest. "This free and ready wilderness, combined with a veritable army of expert Alpine skiers who have fallen under the spell of wilderness touring (while remaining reluctant to give up the rewards of downhill skiing), has resulted in the new cross-country downhill technique."
Barnett writes that there is a set of techniques capable of handling any snow condition on almost any slope. But unlike Alpine equipment, which has evolved in the direction of having enough power to blast through any snow condition, "Nordic gear, on the other hand, must be used with craft and a subtle awareness of the snow's condition." The author teaches small classes on cross-country downhill technique at Hyak on weekends. Don Portman at Winthrop's Sun Mountain Lodge also teaches classes in Nordic downhill.
The Weekly, Feb 1979, p. 8 - Cox, Gerry, "Return of the Telemark: Flatland skiers take to the hills"As recently as five years ago, skiing was divided into two worlds, Alpine and Nordic, that looked upon each other with condescension, if not suspicion. "During the last five years, however, a quiet revolution has been in the making. Put most simply, each group has been learning from the other, and an increasing number of skiers have been exploring the no-man's-land between the two: using cross-country gear to go anywhere, up and down, and so gain the freedom of the hills." The telemark turn has been rediscovered, but until now has spread almost entirely by personal example at areas like Crested Butte, Alta, and Sun Valley. With the publication of Steve Barnett's Cross-Country Downhill, a literature is emerging.
The writer notes that Wilderness Skiing by Tejada-Flores and Steck (1972), devotes only a paragraph to the telemark turn. One of the virtues of Barnett's book is its copious illustrations. But the writer notes that Barnett fails to take advantage of newer Alpine techniques stressing a quiet upper body anticipating a carved turn. A lack of anticipation is illustrated in several photos of the book where Barnett overturns and overbalances, according to the writer. The writer comments on equipment for Nordic downhill and suggests that the best place to learn is on the beginner chair of your local ski area.
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