Les Contamines, France: Val Montjoie Telemark.
Antione Bouvier, a well-decorated former member of the French Telemark Team took it upon himself this season to get more French youth involved in telemark skiing. The town of Les Contamines fosters Olympic and World Cup athletes and supports them with banners and flyers throughout the town. In his retirement from telemark racing, Bouvier has become a member of Val Montjoie Telemark (VMT), an organization devoted to the promotion, development, and accessibility of telemark gear in the Pays du Mont Blanc area.
The Tele Moose event took place on January 21 of this season and was the first telemark event specifically for kids ages 8 to 16 years old. The purpose of the event was to get kids involved with easy and fun activities on telemark skis and provide free rentals to kids who didn’t already have their own gear.
The VMT mascot is a moose named Moozy, who guided the kids from activity to activity throughout the day. The day started with a group warm-up, followed by a giant slalom course that was not timed, but rather the competitors were rewarded one point for every properly executed telemark turn. After that the kids had to jump as far as possible on a ski jump made specifically for the event and distance was measured and converted into points. To finish, the kids then skated in a very short cross-country course in groups of four (to make it more fun) and their times were converted into points. At the end all the points were collected and each participant received a wooden moose head as a trophy.
“We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of fresh snow for this first Tele Moose event and can’t wait for next year,” Bouvier said.
*All photos courtesy of Guillaume Borga*