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A Look at the Forms of Free-Heel Skiing

Hampton Luzak

Hampton Luzak is a driven creative professional who applies her design expertise restoring historic homes. A former casting director for independent feature film projects, Hampton Luzak enjoys a number of outdoor pursuits, including Alpine and Nordic skiing.

Nordic skiing, which includes cross-country skiing, features a flexible ski boot and hinged binding that allows the heel to rise off of the ski. The sport differs from downhill skiing, which features a rigid boot that holds the foot and ankle firmly in place. Nordic skiing falls under the free-heel skiing category, which includes the following skiing disciplines, as well.
1. Skating cross-country skiing - A form of cross-country skiing that takes place on machine-groomed trails. Skiers move their skis in a skate-like motion and rely on maintaining a grip with the edge of the ski rather than the base. A competitive form of cross-country skiing, biathlon events combine skating with target shooting at specified intervals over the course.
2. Nordic mountain touring - Skiing that takes place in rolling mountains, with difficult climbs as well as downhill sections. Ski touring often takes place over a full day or multiple days.
3. Telemark skiing - Also known as Telemarking, this form of skiing combines the free-heel flexibility of Nordic skiing with downhill elements of alpine skiing.

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