Scarpa North America Blog

Summer Skiing South of the Border

Apr. 19th 2013

SCARPA telemark athlete, Jake Sakson, recently received the offer of a lifetime – a trip to Portillo, Chile to coach a telemark camp. Instead of hanging up his skis until next season, Jake’s giving them a good tune, is ready to keep his tele skills sharp and share his techniques with other tele-addicts.

I always thought winter was long enough. Of course there is no such thing as too many powder days but six months in ski boots leave my feet with bone spurs, black toes, and weary legs from too few rest days. When spring rolls in I’m usually a little scared and my body is worked. For this reason, I’ve always saved my snow frolicking for Northern hemisphere destinations like British Columbia, Alaska, Utah and Wyoming. It’s a relief when the snow finally melts and I can feel content about hanging up the skis and putting my boots in the attic.

Every year the reintroduction to winter is harsh but I think it’s impossible to prevent the deep burn of an early season powder frenzy. No matter how much time I spend on a bike or running trails, my tele pistons always wither. After years of experimentation, I’m almost positive there aren’t any dryland activities I can do to prepare me for telemarking. I’ve tried everything from box jumps to weird stuff like one-legged squats on a slackline, and it’s the same thing every winter: legs border on cramping but the snow begs for another lap and at the end of the day I limp to the car, drink as much water and eat as much protein as possible in a desperate attempt to recover for tomorrow. I’ve always dreamed of being ready for that snow and this year may be the one!

For the first time, I have the opportunity to break the cycle and explore the jagged winter wonderland of Portillo, Chile. I almost went to Portillo last summer with friend and professional telemarker, Nick Devore, to help coach at the telemark camp he founded with our high school tele coach, Kayo Ogilby. Unfortunately there weren’t quite enough skiers for an extra coach, so the boots lied dormant in the attic.

For those who don’t know, Nick had a terrible ski crash and broke both of his shins earlier this season meaning he won’t be able to coach in Chile this season. Nick’s been a huge inspiration to me since I started telemarking and I while I wish it was a trio of us going down, I’m honored to coach in his absence. Having the opportunity to travel to Portillo is a long-time dream come true. Kayo lit the telemarking fire in me and the opportunity to coach with him in such an amazing destination is beyond exciting. I’ve heard that skiing in the summer does wonders to prevent the gear from rusting and perhaps I won’t need as many bacon-cheeseburgers to get me through that first storm cycle next season. If you’re an intermediate/advanced telemarker, you should consider coming along!

For more information about the camp visit

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