Paul Kimbrough got a leg up early in life. Growing up between Utah and Wyoming he learned how to ski and climb at a young age. The SCARPA athlete just returned from Whistler, but is back to Pemberton, BC this coming week. We had him for a moment to get a snapshot of his upbringing, and his taste for all things Telemark.
How long have you been skiing? How did you first get into it?
I’ve been skiing for as long as I’ve been walking, about 23 years. My parents put me on skis and lowered me down the neighborhood sledding slope in Salt Lake City when I was two.
You got started in the mountains early. How did having a father who was a Utah Avalanche Forecaster and Grand Teton Climbing Ranger influence your upbringing as a skier and climber?
My parents raised me with a great deal of respect for the mountains, and I learned early on from avalanche classes and watching mountain rescues in the Tetons that the alpine environment is dangerous. At the same time my parents bequeathed me with immense appreciation for playing in the mountains, whether it be skiing, climbing, backpacking, fishing, or whatever. In the end, I guess my parents showed me how to safely have fun in the mountains.
Do you think it’s given you a leg up on your peers as far as a mountaineering background and backcountry traveler?
Yes, without a doubt.
Have you always been a Telemarker? What about it is alluring for you?
I started free- heeling my freshmen year in college when I was 19, and haven’t looked back since. Free your heel, free your mind, right? Just kidding. Tele-skiing is alluring because it’s ever challenging, fluid, and down right fun. It’s hard not to have fun when you’re sliding around on snow.
What boots are you keen on these days? What do you like about them?
I love my T-Races. They just feel right. The Vibram® soles rock, the bellows hold up better than any other boots I’ve used, and the new liners are plush.
Where do you see the discipline of telemark going in the coming years?
Why? I see the status quo getting raised as more people get out on early-rise skis. Rockered skis help tele skiers even more than alpine skiers because they help eliminate our worst nemesis, the dreaded tip dive. Also, I think Tele bindings are going to get lighter, which may bring a resurgence to the sport, as it seems a lot of folks have moved to Dynafit and tech bindings for weight saving purposes.
What are you plans for the coming winter?
Right now, I’m packing for a 3-4 day hut trip north of Pemberton, BC. Then, I’m planning on a couple weeks in Revelstoke in January for a hut trip. I’m volunteering for the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom in February, then headed to Grand Targhee for a Tele comp and some skiing with friends in Jackson. From there my plans are pretty open, but I’m hoping to make some cool things happen in March and April.