NATO Telemark

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Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - Ski Touring Section
NATO Telemark Clinic XC Ski Trip: Canaan Valley, WV

January 17 - 20, 2003, Friday night to Monday afternoon

Lodging Location:
Canaan Valley State Park Lodge
HC70 Box 330
Davis, WV 26260

NATO clinic held at:
White Grass Ski Tour Center & Cafe
Rt. 1, Box 299
Davis, WV 26260

North American Telemark Organization
PO. Box 44
Waitsfield , VT 05673
800-835-3404 (phone)
802-496-5515 (fax)

800-CALL-WVA - general WV tourism number & snow reports

Trip cost:
$190.00 lodging (3 nights) for STS members, $195.00 for non STS members plus
$165.00 for the NATO clinic, possibly less if ten or more people sign up
$355.00 total cost for STS members, $360.00 total cost for non STS members
meals, ski rentals, area use fees - extra
Required deposit is 50% of total cost, also include signed PATC-STS waiver and trip application form plus the NATO application form (from their website)

Considering the cost of a one hour private telemark lesson at Timberline, this two day clinic is a bargain.

Trip Description:

As most of us know, the central highlands of West Virginia are an excellent place for all types of free heel skiing: XC, backcountry, and telemark. This is coupled with an excellent two day telemark workshop which is put on by NATO, the North American Telemark Organization. This two day course covers anything from beginning telemark skiing for XC and backcountry skiers who have never telemarked up to advanced telemark techniques for those who are ready for that. Participants will be broken up into several groups based on ability and the fun begins after that. Snow permitting, participants will have a choice of skiing at White Grass, the premier free heel skiing area in the Mid-Atlantic region and one of my favorite places to ski or one of the two downhill ski areas close by: Canaan Valley State Park or Timberline. The downhill resorts will be used by everyone if natural snow is scarce, and if natural snow is plentiful, they will be used for steeper and more advanced telemark instruction.

Backcountry and telemark skis, boots, bindings, and poles can be rented from White Grass. Backcountry or backcountry/telemark gear is probably most appropriate if you will be skiing at White Grass while heavier telemark gear is better suited to the downhill areas. 

This workshop runs on Saturday and Sunday of this three day weekend leaving Monday open for local XC touring at White Grass, Canaan Valley, or Blackwater Falls XC centers, backcountry skiing into Dolly Sods, or practicing tele turns at the two downhill resorts. I will probably be doing backcountry skiing into Dolly Sods unless there is a shortage of natural snow, then I will be doing downhill or telemark skiing probably at Timberline.

If some people sign up for lodging only and don't plan to take the telemark clinic, this is an excellent region for all types of skiing. White Grass is an excellent place to take XC lessons.  The central highlands of WV get an average of 150" of snow every winter, even if we don't get anything in Maryland. But we will go natural snow or not. Sometimes there will be snow around 4000' in Dolly Sods even if there isn't any at lower altitudes. Dolly Sods is another great place to do backcountry skiing or hiking. 

Each participant is required to provide their own gear. If necessary XC ski gear can be rented at White Grass Touring Center and possibly at Blackwater Falls or Canaan Valley State Parks. Skiing into Dolly Sods Wilderness is not for beginners, those doing so should be properly equipped - see list below, and let me know that you are going.

Some Potentially Necessary Items

  • XC, backcountry, or telemark skis, boots, bindings, & poles
  • glide wax
  • grip or kick wax if you have waxable skis
  • wind, snow, & rain shell
  • extra fleece or wool clothes (no cotton)
  • thermal underwear tops & bottoms
  • gloves or mittens, mitten shells
  • gaitors
  • wool sweater or fleece jacket
  • knit hat
  • sunscreen, sunglasses, hat with brim
  • flashlight, extra bulb and batteries
  • topographic map & compass
  • matches
  • daypack
  • food
  • water
  • first aid kit

Guidebook & Maps

Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide, Allen de Hart & Bruce Sundquist, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, 6th Edition

USFS maps are enhanced USGS maps, USFS 7.5' Topographic maps: Blackbird Knob, Hopeville, Blackwater Falls, Laneville

Or Canaan Valley Adventure Map which combines all four of the above plus other areas in a single, waterproof, but harder to read map

Potomac Ranger District, MNF, Rt. 3, Box 240, Petersburg, WV 26847, 304-257-4488

Health Problems

If anyone has a health problem that I should know about, please tell me before you pass out.


As we are staying in the Lodge we don't have cooking facilities but you might want to bring snack food or lunch items for day tours, etc.

Trip Leader:

Ted Fryberger
6259 Deep River Canyon
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: 443-917-2902

Driving Directions:
These are two possible routes, there are alternatives

Northern route:

From the Baltimore Beltway (695)
Take Interstate 70 West to Interstate 68 (not Maryland 68)
Continue west on 68 to Cumberland, MD
Just past Cumberland take 220 South to Keyser
Stay on 220 South, bear right onto 972 (a shortcut, otherwise just stay on 220)
Follow 972 to 220/50 and go West on 220/50 for a couple miles
Take 93 West to Davis, WV
In Davis turn left onto Rt. 32 South and follow to Canaan Valley State Park, follow signs to the Lodge

Southern route:

From the DC Beltway (495)
Rt. 66 West for 60 miles
Rt. 81 South for 4 miles
Rt. 55 West for 48 miles to Rt. 220
Rt. 55 & Rt. 220 South for 12 miles to Petersburg, WV (220/28/55 run coincident for a while)
From Petersburg follow 55/28 South or West to Seneca Rocks
From there stay on 55 West to Harmon
Take 32 North to Canaan Valley State Park, follow signs to the Lodge

Alternate Southern route:

Instead of taking 55 West from 81 South, continue on 81 South to 33 West
Follow it to Seneca Rocks and then take 55 West to Harmon
Take 32 North to Davis and Blackwater Falls State Park

Copyright 2000 - 2023 by Ted Fryberger & DeepSoft, LLC, All Rights Reserved