The zeroth issue of the Telemark Journal is a collection of musings by free heeled friends put together by Luca Gasparini. Not just any ol’ group of friends. You’ve seen their names in print if you knew anything about La Skieda, an international telemark festival held annually for over twenty years in Livigno, Italy. As with many small social circles of late, La Skieda was deemed too contagious to continue. Perhaps it was the religious zeal of the renegade telemark tribe that had authorities on edge.
You may know Luca as a common character in the ongoing saga of a ski life by Bob Mazarei who has been posting his adventures on the web since the first days of Telemark Tips at the turn of the century. Mazarei had a cameo appearance in the early days of Couloir, when it was le Chronicle du Couloir, a spirited yet amateur presentation about earning your turns!
Well, no one can snuff out the telemark spirit that easily. The inaugural issue of the Telemark Journal reminds me of those days. This is a much cleaner presentation with color photos, but the publisher in me still notices the font, the leading, and other typography minutia. I notice it in all publications, but when the photos have a dull matte finish you know this isn’t the work of a seasoned pro or a well funded egomaniac. In some ways, that lack of polish lends the stories within a raw authenticity.
The photos are good images for historic value or aesthetics; there is more text than photo, but the images are enough to keep you browsing. In the middle there’s a cool image-based story about getting kids hooked on tele.
Full Disclosure: I have an article in there. You may have read a similar version at earnyourturns.com. To give it a bit of a facelift I rewrote the intro but not the point. There are articles in there by the itinerant ski bum Bob Mazarei, Aussie John Faulknier and Sarah Ferguson. A good half or more of the journal is in Italian, Pierre Mouyade’s article is in French, Peter Kollar’s in Deutsch. I’m sure there’s some app to translate these articles from a photo, but it’s not that important to me. Besides a piece by the publisher, Luca, there are stories by names I’ve heard before with a reputation that precedes them, like Georgio Daidola, Arno Klein, and Richard Schurf.
If you’re into keeping records of the history of the tele tribe worldwide, this is a collector’s item. And even if you aren’t that fanatical about keeping paper records, it’s a great conversation piece for your next party in the mountains, or at the very least, a piece of tangible stoke. It’s semi-virtual in that it is only words on a page, but those words won’t die when the lights go out cause they’ve been inked and thus immune to anything but fire.
Get your copy here.