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15th Annual Bear Valley Telemark Festival
February 11-13, 2011

Bear Valley Telemark Festival

Bear Valley Mountain Bear Valley Cross Country Center Adventure Sports Journal patagonia Clif Bar

Festival Updates

Dec. 23, 2010 - Online registration is now open



About the Bear Valley Telemark Festival top

The Bear Valley Telemark Festival is the largest and most celebrated freeheel event on the West Coast! Come experience the thrills of telemark skiing during 3 days of education, festivities and community. It doesn't matter if you are new or wise to the freeheel ways; all ages and abilities welcome.

Bear Valley is tucked high in the Central Sierra Nevada above 7000 feet and is the ideal location to host this unique and inspiring event. Bear Valley is a great ski area with a small alpine village where festival attendees get the feeling they are in the majority during the festival. alpine


The first BVTF was held in 1997 out of a rented house when 14 people attended and 3 MAS telemark instructors were on hand to teach, clinic, cook, clean and entertain. The group's camaraderie fueled an energy that made the days seem to pass seamlessly and effortlessly. At the end of the weekend we were exhausted but inspired, so we decided to host another festival the following year.

Well, the Bear Valley Telemark Festival hasn't slowed down since and is now one of the premier telemark ski events in the country. For many people the festival serves as a centerpiece of the winter season.  We view the festival as a time to gather, celebrate and learn in the spirit of freeheel skiing.

Today the Bear Valley Telemark Festival welcomes around 250 freeheel skiers over three days. This event is truly the highlight of the MAS winter season and we look forward to seeing many old and new friends each year.  We hope you can join us during the Bear Valley Telemark Festival.


As the Bear Valley Telemark Festival grows each year, so does its dedication to being a low impact event.

For example:

  • carpooling is encouraged with special website dedicated
  • event t-shirt is made from organic cotton
  • name tags are recycled each year
  • all meals are served on porcelain plates and real silverware with cloth napkins
  • only durable or compost-able cups
  • dinner menus are created from primarily organic and local food items (Outer Aisle Foods)
  • banquet beer and wine come from sustainable providers (New Belgium)
  • food waste from the festival banquet composted 
  • online registration reduces paper use

In addition:

Partnerships with eco friendly vendors have helped us expand this positive effect. In 2004 and 2005 we donated a percentage of profits from the festival to Snowlands Network, a winter wilderness conservation group. In 2005, Clif Bar introduced their Cool Tags program at the festival through which wind energy credits offset 100% of participants’ carbon emissions from air and vehicle travel.  We additionally give prizes for the biggest carpool and for alternative fuel users.  In 2006, Patagonia promoted their “Common Threads Garment Recycling” program, and invited skiers to give up their old long underwear to be remade into new clothing. Sustainability at its finest! In 2007, we donated 100% of banquet profits to the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, and in 2008 & 2009 we donated proceeds to the Sierra Avalalnche Center.

Cool tags

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

As always we rely on the feedback we get from participants, vendors and staff on our environmental efforts.  Your awareness inspires our action, and we are dedicated to improvement.  Please feel free to send ideas!  Thank You.

Cheers to The Freeheelers,




2011 Festival Event top

February 11-13, 2011 - Join MAS for the 15th Annual Bear Valley Telemark Festival for three days of technical clinics, free-skiing adventures, live music, banquets, demos, backcountry skiing, tons of prizes and of course, lots of fun.

Pre-registration is strongly recommended. This year we are teaming up with the Bear Valley Lodge and Bear Valley Vacation Rentals to offer super deals on lodging and event packages. We think this is the best way to experience the festival.


Festival Events & Packages


Discounted Lift Tickets - $50 (regularly $62)

Friday - All-Day Telemark Workshops - $85
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM (Beginning-Expert)
Spend the day learning from the best instructors in the business and raise your skiing skills to the next level! After a morning warm-up run groups are formed into similar abilities. Instructors will then focus on skills appropriate for the group and provide personal feedback. After lunch groups switch instructors and continue building and practicing new skills until 3:30 PM.

Apres Ski, Dinner, Movie & "Ceder's Open Mic" - $30 / $10 Youth

Doesn't matter if your are just pulling into town or have been on the slopes all day, all festival participants are welcome to join the evening entertainment at the Sky High Pizza & Pub in Bear Valley. Relax, refuel and unwind with other festival participants with New Belgium brews and local wines.

This year we are serving our classic "All-You-Can-Stuff Burrito Bar" supplied by Outer Aisle Foods. With a fully belly sit back and enjoy a selection of short films from the Backcountry Film Festival.

Then eyes and ears get ready for "Cedar's Open Mic" which builds upon last years entertaining success. So bring your talents, and a song or two, and get ready to groove into a traditional acoustic/lightly amplified 'open mic' format with other festival participants.

Proceeds from the evening are donated to the Winter Wildlands Alliance and the Bear Valley Parents Group.

Open Mic

New Belgium

Winter Wildlands Alliance


Saturday Events: Saturday is the big day with two 2-hour telemark clinics, ski and boot demos, free-skiing adventures, costume contest & prizes. To whet your curiosity, view clinic topics and schedule.

50/50 Festival Fun - $50
Participate in one 2-hour Telemark Clinic and one "Freeheel Adventure" with extra time for demos and the costume contest.

Instructional Intensive: - $60
An intense day with two 2-hour Telemark Clinics including demos and costume contest.

Instructional Clinic: - $30
Participate in one 2-hour Telemark Clinic including demos and costume parade.

Saturday Freeheel Adventures - $20
Join local skiers to explore the goods of Bear Valley Mountain and have fun with fellow festival participants. All ability levels welcome.

Demo Pass - $10
Take advantage of the numerous demo ski and boot opportunities.

Costumes - FREE + Prizes
Express your freeheel enthusiasm and have a little fun on your tele boards.
Throughout the day costumes will be rewarded!

Saturday "Home Run" 4 PM - FREE
Strong intermediate skiers and above are welcome to join festival instructors at the top of the mountain for a group / guided ski run back to the Bear Valley Village (conditions permitting).

Saturday Evening Banquet: $50 / $15 youth

When it's time to celebrate this is the biggest telemark ski party of the year and not to be missed. Appetizers, dinner, drinks, slide show, a monstrous gear give away and topped off with groovy live music and dancing. Have we missed anything?

As the sun sets and ski gear is tucked away its time to make your way to the Perry Walther Community Building in Valley. Please bring your favorite slippers or tennis shoes (non-scuffing, aka - no black soles) for dinner and dancing. Boots will be left at the entrance in a self service boot closet.

Grab an appetizer and fetch a frosty New Belgium or a delightful glass of wine from a local winery (non alchoholic beverages also present). At the community dinner table, accolades are always spoken for the good food, swift service and eye to sustainability (e.g. local food, durable plates and silverware, cloth napkins, recycling and composting). Last year's debut of banquet fare made from ingredients produced locally by Outer Aisle Foods raised the bar to an all new high. During dessert sit back and enjoy a customized short movie from Powderwhores. Afterwards, our historic gear-give-away salutes the ski industry's commitment to the Bear Valley Telemark Festival.

Just when you thought the evening couldn't get better, it does. Welcome back Downbeat fro Lake Tahoe, who rocked the house last year with their infectious funky beat.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC).

Live music

Local food

New Belgium


telemark festival


Sunday Telemark Clinics - $30 (2 hours) / $50 (4 hours)
2 hour group lessons start at 10 AM and 1 PM.  Groups will be divided into skiing abilities and limited to 8 students per 1 instructor.  Don't miss this golden opportunity to keep improving your telemark skills.

Sunday Backcountry Tour - $50
Spend a memorable day in the backcountry with professional guides in search of the best snow while learning valuable skills and enjoying the company of other telemark enthusiasts. All participants need to be at the festival site at the ski area by 8:45 AM. You can expect to return between 3:30 - 4 PM.

Sunday Freeheel Adventures - $20
Interested in simply skiing with fellow freeheelers and exploring the goods of Bear Valley Mountain? Well that's what this offering is all about. Join local skiers and hit the slopes in search of primo snow.



2 & 3 Day Festival Packages lift tickets not included*
Friday-Sunday Festival Package faceboook

Friday - All Day Tele Workshops + Apres Ski, Dinner, Movie and Cedar's Open Mic
Saturday - 2-hour Tele Clinic + 2 hour Freeheel Adventure + Banquet
Sunday - All Day Backcountry Tour or 2-hour Tele Clinic & 2-hour Freeheel Adventure

Register by Jan. 3, 2011 Jan 4 - Jan. 15, 2011 Jan. 16 - Feb. 11, 2011
$235 $250 $265
Friday-Saturday Festival Package faceboook

Friday - Full Day Telemark Workshop + Apres Ski, Dinner, Movie and Cedar's Open Mic
Saturday - 2-hour Tele Clinic + 2 hour Freeheel Adventure + Banquet

Register by Jan. 3, 2011 Jan 4 - Jan. 15, 2011 Jan. 16 - Feb. 11, 2011
$195 $205 $215
Saturday-Sunday Festival Package faceboook
Saturday - 2-hour Tele Clinic + 2 hour Freeheel Adventure + Banquet
Sunday - All Day Backcountry Tour or 2-hour Tele Clinic & 2-hour Freeheel Adventure
Register by Jan. 3, 2011 Jan 4 - Jan. 15, 2011 Jan. 16 - Feb. 11, 2011
$135 $145 $150
* - $50 festival lift tickets available (regularly $62)


2011 Schedule of Events top

Friday - February 11, 2011
  8 AM Registration opens at festival site (Bear Valley Mountain)
  9:30 AM - 12:30 PM All-Day Telemark Workshops
  1:30 - 3:30 PM All-Day Telemark Workshops
  5:30 - 9 PM Apres Ski, Dinner and a Movie with "Ceders Open Mic" at Sky High Pizza & Pub
Saturday - February 12, 2011
  8 AM Registration opens at festival site (Bear Valley Mountain)
  9:30 AM Instructional Clinics: Group #1
  9:45 AM Instructional Clinics: Group #2
  10 AM Freeheel Adventures
  1:15 PM Instructional Clinics: Group #3
  1:30 PM Instructional Clinics: Group #4
  1:45 PM Freeheel Adventures
  4 PM "Home Run"
  5:30 - 12 PM Perry Walter Buidling for Banquet
Sunday - February 13th, 2011
  8 AM Registration opens at festival site (Bear Valley Mountain)
  8:45 AM Backcountry Tour groups assemble & organize
  10 AM Instructional Clinics
  1 PM Instructional Clinics
  3:30 - 4 PM Backcountry Tour shuttle buses return to ski resort




Festival Carpooling top

Interested in sharing a ride with fellow festival goers? We have setup an account on a community bulletin board to assist folks in connecting for carpooling opportunities. It's easy to create an account and our group password is "telemark". carpool


Family Festival Packages top

Families are welcome. If both parents want to participate in festival events please contact us to customize a package. We can mix and match events so that you can alternating skiing. We can't provide childcare, but we can offer an easy way for both of you to get some turns and take advantage of the festival offerings. family



Festival Media Articles top

  • Video coverage of 2010 Telefest on Adventure Sports Journal's YouTube TV Channel
  • Adventure Sports Journal: A Slackcountry Attitude by Craig Dostie (2009)
  • Telemark Tips Article by Mitch Weber (2007) + video clips


2011 Festival Registration top

All registrations should go through either our Online Registration Form or mail/fax a PDF Registration Form (coming soon). We discourage taking reservations over the phone or else we would never get a chance to go skiing.



2010 Festival Sponsors top

These companies contribute generously to the festival. Please visit and support these folks.

Black Diamond
Bear Valley Mountain Resort
bear valley
Bear Valley Lodge
elemental herbs
Sky High Pizza New Belgium 7tm
ski school Chatom nau
Milliaire Twisted Oak Winery Hatcher Winery Ironstone
  Mammut voile  

2010 Festival PDF Downloads top