THEY say a photo is worth a thousand words. And the picture of Luis Casanove’s grandfather 100 years ago is certainly no exception.

Taking pride of place on the wall of his company Telemark’s office in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, the grainy black and white image shows him skiing in Spain, in 1912.

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In the hills of the Guadarrama range, north of Madrid, he actually appears to be snowboarding at first glance.

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PROUD: Luis shows a off a photo of his grandfather skiing near Madrid

“He is actually Telemark skiing, which was the original way, before Alpine skiing became more fashionable later in the century,” explains Luis, in faultless English.

“And here we still offer Telemark as well as many other types of skiing classes.”

Be it hiking, Telemarking, cross country, snowboarding or off-piste skiing, there are not many inches of the Sierra Nevada that Luis and his business partner Jesus Fernandez don’t know.

“We try to put an emphasis on ecology and nature and it is impressive to see the typically old farmhouses in the area and how little they have changed”

Going for three decades, they are well known for their famous off-piste mountain adventures that last from a morning to two days. But their school, set up in 1989, is now focusing very much on families and children.

“We have realised that our knowledge and know-how is perfect for families who want the perfect personal one to one break,” continues Luis, who spends half the year in the resort and the other half in Africa.

The company also runs amazing wilderness trips that literally end up in another world… the charming cobbled villages of the Genil valley, in the Alpujarras.

These one or two-day adventures take you through deep off-piste snow onto narrow mountain tracks.

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HELPING HAND: Luis Casanove (right) has skiing in his bones

“We try to put an emphasis on ecology and nature and it is impressive to see the typically old farmhouses in the area and how little they have changed,” adds Luis.

“It is a real, fun adventure, something you will not forget.

“Best of all, a team of mules ends up helping to bring your stuff back to Pradollano,” he adds. The day trip costs just €100 per person and includes transport and lunch. 

Another popular pastime for those who don’t fancy risking life and limb on the pistes, is to have a day of cross-country skiing on two or three well established paths around the resort.

“It is great fitness and you do get to enjoy the fabulous views and nature at the same time,” he adds.

The company can also help organise hard-core uphill climbing for mountaineers to a half day soft snow walking trip with snow rackets.

Contact the team on telemark@telemark.es or call 958 48 11 53.

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