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Telefest 2013 Recap!

February 14th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Telemark skiers from around the Midwest converged on Porcupine  Mountains State Park this past weekend to celebrate the telemark turn.  Beautiful temperatures and fresh snow greeted early birds who were lucky enough to get first turns in the backcountry!


Friday evening registration was set up with folks filtering in from all over the midwest.   Participants were scoping out all of the deals on telemark equipment at the Down Wind Sports satellite store including all of the new Telefest merchandise.  The fire was stoked in the A Frame and folks fired up the brat sticks for a little pre movie dinner.


We’re pretty excited to have Wisconsin native,  now hailing from the Wasatch Range area, J.T. Robinson joining us again this year representing Telemark Skier Magazine. J.T. is one of the knee dropping flyers that was a big part in the making of “Let’s Go.” He rolled out the big screen for us  at the Tele Social  to debut the film!


“Let’s Go! introduces you to living on the road and searching for the best powder and telemark turns on the planet” including the first ever double cork 1080 on tele skis!  It was great to see so many of our old friends and we enjoyed sharing a beer (or two) with everyone!


DAY TWO:  On Saturday we woke to fresh snow, blue bird skies and a stunning view of Lake Superior!  The hill was in the best shape that Telefest has seen in many years.   Folks that ventured out to the back side of the hill were treated to a fresh 5-8 inches of fresh snow on top of hard pack that made for outstanding backcountry skiing!

With the ski hill under new management, besides having heat in the A Frame, a new tow rope was added eliminating a long hike up to the tree skiing.  With a shorter approach, earning your turns was a wee bit easier this year!  Thanks Lake Gogebic Management Team!
In the morning many folks lined up to check out demos offered by Black Diamond, K2, Scarpa, Marquette Backcountry, Rossignol and Scott. Classes were full and many first time tele skiers hit the hill. 
First time Gold Sponsor FITS Socks hooked up skiers who were demoing boots with a brand new pair of ski socks to try out.  Many happy warm toes at this years demo for sure- Thanks Mike and FITS Socks!
The afternoon brought full classes for the Introduction To Telemark skiing, Women’s Introduction to Telemark skiing, to a conclusion as participants were then able to check out demo gear and head to the hill to get in some practice laps before the races started.

With the beautiful temperatures Tele Central was busy all afternoon with participants coming in to warm by the fire, shop for killer deals at Down Wind Sports, and check out new telemark  gear from the demo center.

The Marquette Backcountry Race saw many skiers trying out these unique and locally made skis. The course was designed to show exactly what these skis are made of.


This fun race was a part of the Dan Wissman Adventure Challenge honoring former employee Dan Wissman.  In September of 2011, Down Wind Sports and the Midwest Telefest lost a family member and dear friend. Dan ‘Danimal” Wissman was employed at Down wind Sports for eleven years where he was regarded as one of the best ski tech and bike mechanics in the Upper Peninsula. A fixture at our Houghton store Dan was an integral part of Telefest for many years.



It’s was a simple and the perfect way to honor Dan; a man who would go and try anything he had the opportunity to. If skiers participated in any of the 3 competitions at the Midwest TeleFest they were given a raffle tickets for a free pair of skis from Blizzard!


After a long day of skiing the day ended with the  grueling Uphill/Downhill Race,  The race started at Tele Central and raced uphill, around the radio tower, then back down to Tele Central.


Saturday evenings festivities started off with the perfect way to refuel, the annual Pastie Party. This Upper Peninsula’s delicacy was prepared by Syl’s Cafe in Ontanogan and was just the ticket after a hard day of skiing.  The easiest way to describe a pasty, is a pot pie without the pot.  The pasty came to the Upper Peninsula through Cornwall England, when mining started going bad in England during the 1800′s.   The Cornish miners immigrated to America hoping to earn there fortunes in newly developing mines and along with them came the pasty.


Following dinner the fun really got rolling with a HUGE raffle including Skis, Hammerhead Binders, Osprey Packs, a Flylow Jacket, tons of K2 swag and so much more!

We were so excited to have Dragon Wagon perform at the 2013 Midwest Telefest!  Dragon Wagon were the perfect way to spend Saturday night after an awesome day of tearing up the Porkies. These guys (and gal) have an awesome sound of Bluegrass with a wee bit of Irish poured in.  They came ready to party and boy did they deliver.


  So much fun catching up with old friends and enjoying a brew (or two)

Day Three

Sunday saw a storm approaching and the opportunity to catch some fresh turns in the backcountry before taking the long road home.  It was a perfect way to end telefest- with mild temperatures, fresh snow, excellent tree skiing and good friends!  A huge thank you goes out to all of our sponsors and friends that came up and made the Midwest Telefest a big success!


 See ya next year!


  1. Andi (Andrea) Pattee
    February 15th, 2013 at 00:50 | #1

    I had an amazing time!!..First time doing tele…and loved doing the backcountry race!!…
    Can’t wait for next year!!…Great skiing, great food, great music…and some of the most amazing people and vibe in the ski world!!!..THANK YOU!!

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