‘Telemark Ski Training’ Category

Summer & Autumn Update

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Summer seems to have passed so quickly! Once the 2016-17 racing season finished, I took some time working towards my BASI qualifications. I need to collect ‘tours’ high in the off-piste mountainous areas. Who better to recruit for the job than coach, Sebastien Mansart and former national French team telemark racer, Laura Grenier-Soliget!

At the start! Laura Grenier-Soliget and Jasmin Taylor

At the start of the ‘Col du Tour Noir, Laura Grenier-Soliget and Jasmin Taylor

Jasmin Taylor and Laura Grenier-Soliget

At the summit of ‘Col du Tour Noir’, Jasmin Taylor and Laura Grenier-Soliget

At the top, having a much needed lunch!

At the top, having a much needed lunch!

GB Telemark Ski Team coach, Sebastien Mansart and Jasmin Taylor

The ‘Col du Tour Noir’, GB Telemark Ski Team coach, Sebastien Mansart and Jasmin Taylor

Chamonix Mont-Blanc 'Col du Tour Noir'

The ‘Col du Tour Noir’ decent, Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Once home in the UK, I completed my end of year exams for university, at the University of Suffolk. Following that, I went to visit Anežka Přibylová, telemark racer from the Czech Republic in Prague and went to Greece ‘island hopping’ on holiday with my boyfriend.

The views in Prague

The views in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Anežka Přibylová and Jasmin Taylor

Prague, Czech Republic, Anežka Přibylová and Jasmin Taylor

Mykonos, one (of very few photos) with Will

Mykonos Island, Greece, one (of very few photos) with Will

Mykonos

The famous windmills in Mykonos, Greece

'Stadio' Athens, Greece

‘Stadio’ Athens, Greece

During summer, I was featured on ‘ITV Anglia’, a regional news channel in the UK where I spoke about telemark and the season just passed.

This year, the British Telemark Indoor series reverted to a festival where I had the opportunity to coach. The festivals were held in Manchester and Glasgow, both a great success and a lot of fun!

In physical training, I used my local gyms; The Gym Ipswich and CrossFit ISC as both facilities provide a unique environment. My physiotherapist, Alasdair Jones, from Colchester Physiotherapy has also been a fantastic asset as always.

Jasmin Taylor, Alasdair Jones from Colchester Physiotherapy

Jasmin Taylor, Alasdair Jones from Colchester Physiotherapy

Trying to stay upright on my slackline with Alasdair Jones

Trying to stay upright on my slackline with some help from Alasdair Jones

Since September, life got crazy-busy again with university work pilling up and training on the glacier in Hintertux. We have a wonderful place to stay; the Tux Diamant chalet. The spacious, modern chalet is owned by a very warm, accommodating British family who also run a top quality craft brewery from the basement. Not everyone can say they prepare their skis in a brewery! Their beer is colour coded like the pistes of Hintertux and has an awesome story. They are sponsoring the festival surrounding the opening telemark World Cup in Hintertux, which kicks off on 1st December. Keep your eyes peeled for TUX 1280 beer!

Having breakfast in the Tux Diamant chalet, Sebastien Mansart and Louis Hatchwell

Having breakfast in the Tux Diamant chalet, Sebastien Mansart and Louis Hatchwell

The 'TUX 1280' beer, "BEER WITH ATTITUDE BREWED AT ALTITUDE"

The ‘TUX 1280’ beer, “BEER WITH ATTITUDE BREWED AT ALTITUDE”

The training this camp was particularly awesome because we got to share a training lane with both the French and Norwegian national teams.

Norwegian, French and British National team coaches, all working alongside one another

Norwegian, French and British National team coaches; all working alongside one another!

Fantastic conditions in Hintertux, Austria

Fantastic conditions in Hintertux, Austria

Heading up for training with telemark family!

Heading up for training with telemark family!

An international mix of telemark skiers at start!

An international mix of telemark skiers at start in Hintertux, Austria

I can speak with confidence on behalf of the British when I say, we all had an awesome week and cannot wait to get back on snow! Thank you as always, to the individual sponsors and team sponsors, without whom none of this would be possible.

The GB Telemark van provided by Aquatronic Group Management (AGM)

The GB Telemark van provided by team sponsor, ‘AGM’ Aquatronic Group Management

The GB Telemark boys, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Ben Emsley

The GB Telemark boys, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Ben Emsley

Free skiing in Hintertux, Austria

Free skiing in Hintertux, Austria

The views in Hintertux, Austria

The views in Hintertux, Austria

Now back home to catch up on studies! Until next time…

Pre-season Continued…

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Pre-season preparations have continued with further camps in Hintertux, Austria and Tignes, France with many French and British team athletes. Conditions were brilliant during our stay in Hintertux for the French committee training camp, to which the British athletes were kindly invited to join. We spent time training in giant slalom and skating, which often proves challenging at the high altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux

Great conditions in Hintertux

Great conditions

Skate training with the French

Skate training with the French team

GB Telemark have now received their brand new clothing for the season; we are proud to be wearing Dare 2b and absolutely loving it! The kit is very warm and looks great – it’s so nice to finally have a matching team uniform. The team is now more united than ever, the clothing helps to promote team cohesion and professionalism, and as a result we have a stronger bond. A few people have questioned why we have chosen a green and grey colour scheme – we wanted to stand out as there are many nations in red, white and blue on the telemark circuit.  We think these outfits are bold and smart. On behalf of GB Telemark, I would like to say a huge thank you to Dare 2b for providing our clothing, it’s another great step forward for the team.

Enjoying ourselves in our new Dare 2b clothing!

Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Tara Parks wearing Dare 2b ‘Welcome to our Mountain’

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in the new Dare 2b clothing

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in Dare 2b

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Following Hintertux, the team travelled on to Tignes (after a few days rest) for another training camp. This time, we weren’t quite so lucky with the conditions – there has been more snow fall than I have ever seen before. In total, a meter of snow fell in 5 days on the van in the car park and on the glacier there was approximately 1.5 meters which looks very hopeful for a solid winter base. Unfortunately, it didn’t make for the best training conditions as we lost a few days when the glacier was shut. However, when we were able to do giant slalom, the blizzard which was -17 degrees at its worst, certainly added to the challenge.

There's a lot of snow in Tignes

There’s a lot of snow in Tignes

Snow up to my knees!

Snow up to my knees!

Next time we head out to the mountains, we will be racing in the opening World Cup in Hintertux – not long now!

September Training in Hintertux

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This year, we decided to start our pre-season training earlier than usual to give the team a better chance of being successful this coming season.

We undertook our journey to Hintertux, Austria in our brand new, Volkswagen team van – kitted out ready to roll and freshly printed up with our team sponsor’s logos. The contribution made by these companies is essential in allowing GB Telemark to develop and compete at the highest levels. So far, we have Aquatronic Group Management ‘AGM Plc’ to thank for this team vehicle, AGM Plc manufacture, maintain and supply water pressurisation systems.

Sebastien Mansart, Colin Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Ben Emsley, Claire Houlton, Alex McCarroll, Tara Parks, Ian Johnston

Sebastien Mansart, Colin Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Ben Emsley, Claire Houlton, Alex McCarroll, Tara Parks, Ian Johnston (L to R)

Along with the support of AGM Plc, Dare2b are providing the new team uniforms and additionally we have VOLA supplying our ski servicing equipment and materials.

We chose Hintertux at this time of year for its snow sure, high altitude, glacier skiing and we took advantage of some new accommodation we hadn’t used before. The ‘Tux Diamant’ chalet, based in Lanersbach and is owned and run by British couple, Tim and Sally. It’s thanks to their generosity and hospitality that we had such an amazing stay, living in luxury and feeling very at home. We enjoyed the sauna, the great location and a well appointed self catered kitchen.

Ian Johnston, Ben Emsley, Tara Parks, Alex McCarroll, Claire Houlton, Jasmin Taylor, Pierre Martinet (Photo by Sebastien Mansart)

Ian Johnston, Ben Emsley, Tara Parks, Alex McCarroll, Claire Houlton, Jasmin Taylor, Pierre Martinet (Photo by Sebastien Mansart) (L to R)

Piste colour coded beers! (Photo by Tara Parks)

Piste colour coded beers (Photo by Tara Parks)

A surprising addition is that a craft brewery was positioned next to the ski waxing room. Their beers are brewed exclusively on location with a view to being sold in the Zillertal valley and further afield. We would like to wish Tim and Sally very success in their new venture.

We had a mixture of both rising and established telemark skiers attending the camp this week. The GB telemark team coach, Sebastien Mansart arrived with former French national team racer, Pierre Martinet and GB development team member, Colin Dixon. Those that travelled with me from the UK (in the awesome new van) were Exeter University OTC telemark team members; Claire Houlton and Alex McCarroll along with BASI ISIA qualified instructor; Ian Johnston, GB development team skier; Tara Parks and new recruit from the Hemel Hempstead indoor race; Ben Emsley.

Ben Emsley, Sebastein Mansart, Claire Houlton (Photo by Ian Johnston)

Ben Emsley, Sebastein Mansart, Claire Houlton (Photo by Ian Johnston) (L to R)

After bad weather at the start of our week which provided much needed snow, we’ve had excellent conditions allowing all participants to make significant progress in telemark racing. Once again, a massive thank you to all our sponsors and supporters that make this possible. We’ve had a great, fun fuelled trip with many laughs and new friendships made.

Awesome conditions (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Awesome conditions (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Pierre Martinet enjoying his time on skis (Photo by Ian Johnston)

Pierre Martinet enjoying his time on skis (Photo by Ian Johnston)

The Hintertux Glacier (Photo by Claire Houlton)

The Hintertux Glacier (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Gate Training

Gate Training (Photo by Ian Johnston) 

We now look forward to returning the Alps in a few weeks time where we will be joined by other members of GB Telemark.

Pre-season in Tignes

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I have now returned home to Ipswich from an intense week of training on the French glacier, Tignes. The conditions were excellent and it was great to ski with fellow GB telemarkers and coach, Sebastien Mansart. Our time was spent free-skiing, training giant slalom, hiking (on the one bad weather day), roller-blading and playing Frisbee.

Tignes Glacier, at it's highest is 3747m altitude

Tignes Glacier; 3747m altitude at it’s highest

Louis Hatchwell, Sebastien Mansart,

Louis Hatchwell, Sebastien Mansart, Robert Housoun, Sion Bingham, James French, Jasper Taylor, Alistair Cruz

Enjoying a hike on the bad weather today!

Enjoying a hike on the bad weather day!

The daily routine of skiing and sport was usually followed by dinner and cards which seemed to be our idea of team bonding.

Playing Skipbo

This got pretty competitive…

We were joined by the French Telemark Ski Team on the final two days and we made the most of our time by playing sport all together in the afternoon by the lake.

The 'Tignes Lake'

The ‘Tignes Lake’

It’s not long now until the opening World Cup in Hintertux, Austria. Let the count down begin!

Pre-Season Training in Tignes

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This year pre-season training, in preparation for the first round of the World Cup later this month, was in Tignes – a very high southern French glacier. Myself and development GB team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, arrived last weekend and spent the week with new telemark hopeful Jasper Taylor (yes, another Taylor!) and were also joined by French team skiers Camille Martinet and Clement Bergeretti. Tignes is 3500m above sea level so you can imagine that the air is a little thinner up here which makes training even tougher than usual, especially for us Brits who may as well live at zero-metres altitude.

Hiking in the mountains surrounding St. Foy (L-R) Camille, Jasper, Me, Louis

Hiking in the Mountains around St. Foy (L-R) Camille, Jasper, Me, Louis (Photo courtesy of coach, Seb Mansart)

This was the second of two weeks spent in Tignes and during our first “stage” we (myself and Louis) were joined by a young Scotsman – Sion Bingham, French team skier – Maelle Froissart and GB team skier – Alistair Cruz. Unfortunately, Alistair Cruz snapped his Achilles tendon whilst playing badminton and we are all wishing Alistair well with a speedy recovery.

Here are some more photos from our time in Tignes – enjoy!

Londoner's take the tube to work, well we take the funiculaire or the "Narnia Closet" as Louis calls it...

Londoner’s take the tube to work, well we take the funiculaire or the “The Wardrobe to Narnia” as Louis calls it…

It was a bad weather day so we played badminton - faces say it all...

It was a bad weather day so we played badminton – faces say it all… (L-R) Coach – Seb Manart, Alistair, Sion and Louis

In my mind, this is what paradise looks like. I do mean the mountain, not that bloke (sorry Hatchwell) ;)

In my mind, this is what paradise looks like – I do mean the mountain, not the bloke! (Sorry, no offence Hatchwell)

Next up – Hintertux World Cup!

New Chapter

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Time for an update I reckon! It’s been a busy but brilliant summer – knee is successfully rehabilitated (thanks to Colchester Physiotherapy), I’m a 21-year-old, a Suffolk Sports Personality of the Year Runner-Up and… now a University student.

Next week I begin a new chapter in my life, becoming a part-time (University Campus Suffolk) student in Sport & Exercise Science. This will hopefully work perfectly around my training and racing schedule as many of my lectures-to-be are part of my current fitness team. This means we can carry out more research in the field of telemark skiing and further progress the sport across future seasons.

As much as I love skiing, I feel that too much of one thing just isn’t healthy and I now realise that I need something else in my life. It’s as if a huge weight has been lifted and now life just feels clearer. When you grow up being known as “the skier”, it almost becomes your identity and if you don’t perform well in a race (or get injured), it feels like your whole world is imploding in on you. I never thought I would be one to say this, but there actually is more to life than skiing – although it is great fun and still my number 1 love!

University Campus Suffolk

University Campus Suffolk

 

I have no idea whether I remember how to study but I feel very enthused about this new challenge and I plan to keep you all updated on events and stories as I go. Along the way I will also be an ambassador for University Campus Suffolk “UCS” and do my best as the new “face of sport” working closely with the Student’s Union, check out their website here – UCSUnion

Next weekend is the last race of the British Indoor Telemark Series at Hemel Hempstead’s Snow Centre (27th September) and some of you have been asking whether I will be there. I haven’t actually skiied since my knee injury and I’m not so keen on my first time back on ski’s being a public one! I recently had afternoon tea with British skiing legends Chemmy Alcott (now Crawford) and Dougie Crawford (still Crawford!). They gave me some great advice; Chemmy said to open up more, so here I am trying to express that even athletes sometimes feel vulnerable.

Soon I will be heading out to the Alps with my new GB team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, for some pre-season training on snow. I am possibly the most excited I have ever been to get skiing (and trust me, that’s saying something) and to be back in the mountains.

Thank you so much to everyone that has made this summer a great one.

To-Be-Continued

Grade 3 MCL Ligament Tear

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Last Wednesday, I tore my MCL ligament in my right knee whilst ski jumping in Les Houches. The initial results were not so clear as there was a lot of swelling and pain making it a difficult case for the physiotherapists in Chamonix to diagnose.  Since then, I have been spending around 6 hours every day at La Clinique du Sport who have done a fantastic job to aid my immediate recovery. Yesterday I went to the hospital for an MRI and an X-Ray, followed by a consolation with a top specialist sport doctor whom has diagnosed me with a grade 3 tear and put me in a full leg cast to allow my ligament to repair.

This Friday, I return home to the UK for further treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. I am so lucky to have such a fantastic team of people around me and with their help I am sure I can return to great form with next winter being the goal.

I now have a long summer ahead of me to work hard and become strong again – thank you to Colchester Physiotherapy for their continued support, which is so valuable to any athlete.

I was supposed to fly to Sweden this Saturday for World Cup races, followed by my biggest race of the season in Norway; the World Junior Championships, in Geilo and the World Cup Finals, in Rjukan. It’s my last year as a junior competitor and my current World Junior Ranking states that I am number one, so not being able to race is quite devastating as I really feel I had a good chance of winning. I have been working with my coach, Sébastien Mansart, all season specially for this set of races, with the goal being World Junior Champion or a podium. I understand that this is all part of sport, all part of the process and I hope to become a better athlete because of it. Although right now, disappointment and grief are my main set of emotions.

Good luck to the rest of the GB Telemark Team and World Cup telemark racers!

Right leg, MCL Grade 3

Right leg, MCL Grade 3

 

USA Telemark World Cup

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I arrived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado well in advance for the USA World Cup races, on the 1st February. I began by training with the US National Telemark Team and their coach, Ty.  Demonstrating the friendly rivalry between competitors Madi McKinstry (US National Team member) kindly put me up at her house.

The World Cup opening ceremony saw some 5,000 people gathered at the bottom of the mountain to celebrate with fireworks, synchronized skiing displays and a flag parade in front of the crowd on the stage.

Incredible fireworks at the USA World Cup opening ceremony

Fireworks at the USA World Cup opening ceremony

Representing Great Britain (still waiting on team-mates, Andrew Clarke and Anna Morrissey to arrive)

Representing Great Britain

Day 1 The Classic.  This was probably the toughest Classic I have skied. The course was set at 2,670m altitude, covering a 440m vertical drop with 60 GS gates,  two looms, two uphill skating sections and one jump.  It tested all competitors fitness and stamina.  I felt pushed to the limit physically and mentally, and needed to employ different tactics to my usual European racing. I finished in 5th position which is my best result in World Cup Classic.

Day 2 Annoyingly I suffered an asthmatic reaction following the first race day.  I have suffered from asthma from a young age.  I haven’t mentioned it much before but it’s important to let others know that it doesn’t have to hold you back from sport. Although, on this occasion I put my health first and didn’t start the race to avoid prolonged symptoms.

The Classic, photo courtesy of NSF Telemark

The Classic (photo courtesy of NSF Telemark)

Day 3 The Sprint – I finished in 5th place after gathering too many penalties for silly mistakes. What makes it worse was that I posted the second fastest time before the addition of the penalties were added.

Day 4 Duel Sprint – I qualified in 4th place and met Laura Grenier-Soliget (FRA) in the first round. I won the first race by 1.85 seconds and Laura (who is a friend and training partner) won the second run by 1.55.  As with the Sprint I had made too many errors and clocked up too many penalties, which this time resulted in disqualification from that round.  As a result, again, I finished in 5th position.

Jasmin Taylor, mid-transition (GBR) VS Laura Grenier-Soliget (FRA)

Jasmin Taylor, mid-transition (GBR) VS Laura Grenier-Soliget (FRA)

My US racing experience has taught me what I need to focus on and I have already worked out revisions to my training plan with my coach, Seb Mansart.

I would like to thank the McKinstry family for their kindness and hospitality and also my sponsors, without whose generosity and commitment I wouldn’t have been able to race in the United States. I am truly grateful.

Stubaier Training

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I have just arrived home after 2 weeks training at Stubaier Gletscher! The first week was spent getting the legs back – they’re not so easy to find having spent a summer doing other activities and being 2 miles high…! The top of the Stubai Glacier is 3200m and considering my house in Ipswich is barely 10m above seas level, I was feeling the affects.

The second week I joined up with the German Telemark Team for some gate training – there were plenty of familiar faces from Hungry, Italy, Great Britain (team-mate Anna Morrissey) and others! Also, if you didn’t already see it, here’s my article with the BBC.

The Gang! Training with the German Telemark Ski Team

The Gang!
Training with the German Telemark Ski Team

The 2 British girls at the top of Stubai Glacier!

The 2 British girls at the top of Stubai Glacier!

Getting ready to destroy-it!

Getting ready to destroy-it!

The last week was spent playing in the jump park and skiing with the British Disabled Ski Team, which was awesome! I even saw Emily Sarsfield, Peter Whelan and Pam Thorburn from the British Ski Cross Team – so great to see so many Brits out there preparing for the coming season.

Jumping in the Park

Jumping in the Park

Just finish up by saying a massive thank you to Three and Me graphic design (based in Ipswich) who I have been working with this summer to update my website and branding. I think it’s really important to create a professional image and hopefully I have achieved this now with their help. Check them out and contact them if you ever need a graphic designer.

Next stop – the Ladies Ski Club AGM dinner on Thursday night where I’ll be giving a speech on telemark skiing.

German Team Training

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Day#1 Travel

Last Thursday I flew to Munich airport where I was greeted by Johanna Holzman (World Junior Champion and member of the German Telemark Ski Team) and we traveled back to her hometown oberstoft. When I arrived it was late and everything was dark – we went straight to sleep ready to rise bright and early the next morning.

Day#2 Munich

We got up at 4am and drove to Munich collecting various members of the team as we went. On Friday the German Telemark Team were kitted out with all their brand new clothes for the season and I got the chance to visit Munich!

Munich

Everything Orange!
Everything Orange!

Later that day we traveled to Stubai Glacier ready for some SKIING!! the next day. The new german team clothing is orange and then everything else after that seemed to also be orange!

Day#3 Stubai Glacier

We got up at 6am and headed up the glacier for some free skiing and gate training. I was so excited to ski again and at first my legs felt a bit shaky but after a run or so I felt all the same Telemark feelings I had from the season before.

Stubai Glacier

Stubai Glacier

Group Photo

Group Photo

Day#4 Stubai and Oberstoft

The second (and final) day of skiing and after a long day we went back to Oberstoft and had a very traditional German meal which was very different for me! It was very tasty though.

German Food!

German Food!

White Sausages

White Sausages

Day#5 Scooter!

Johanna showed me around her hometown (the first time I had seen it in the light of day) on her scooter! I have had such a nice time, too short but still it reminds me that the season is nearly here!

Enjoy the pictures!

Scooter

Scooter

Oberstoft

Oberstoft

Stanstead Airport

Stanstead Airport

and I’m home again..

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