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By Kara Herlihy
Mad River Glen is kicking off their 33rd annual Nato Telemark Festival this Friday, March 7, with a movie event to benefit the Stark Mountain Foundation and the Mad River Glen Naturalist Program.
Nato presents Nils Larsen showing his new movie, Skiing in the Shadow of Genghis Khan -- Timeless Skiers of the Altai.
In 2005, Larsen, Dave Waag, and Naheed Henderson journeyed to the Altai Mountains of northwest China to document the indigenous use of skis. Larsen followed the first trip with two additional trips into the remote region and found "a rich culture that still builds and uses skis in ways that date back thousands of years."
Skiing in the Shadow of Genghis Khan takes people on a tour of both place and people, showing how they building and use this ancient style of skis as well as live in this harsh but beautiful park of world," according to Stark Mountain Foundation and Naturalist program spokesperson Sean Lawson.
The festival weekend will host over 1,000 telemark skiers for a weekend of free-heel skiing, championship races, skills clinics, surprises and more.
On Saturday, MRG will host the World Championship Berserkebeiner Race, an all-mountain ski race with climbing skins required. The movie event begins at 6 p.m. in the MRG base lodge. Door donations benefit the Stark Mountain Foundation for the Mad River Naturalist Program.