Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s not about presents, candy, or material things (unless you count tremendous quantities of amazing food). As a vast and diverse country we come together to focus on gratitude with those we love. Hence, my first thank you is to my wife and two daughters. Those girls help me laugh and play every day and are a constant source of support and encouragement. My wife, Andie, has been a steady supporter and also a great partner in this wild ride.
I am grateful for the education and we inherited. The Bishop telemark binding was born in 2001. It was the brainchild of engineer/owner Fin Doyle of Bomber Industries in Silverthorne, Colorado. He borrowed parts of the design from his legendary hard boot snowboard bindings creating the basis for the Bishop toe and heel boot connections.
then he invented a brilliant and unique sliding plate system to link them together to form the Bomber Bishop. But Fin stopped making the Bishop in 2006 and had moved away from telemark binding design until I met him in 2009. He is a top-notch designer and machinist and had a sweet machine shop that was able to prototype some tricky parts for a medical device design I was working on at the time. I was impressed with his work, we got to know each other, and we had fun strategizing together about the next generation of telemark bindings but both of us had to keep up with our day jobs. So, after a few years, I decided to commit to a dream of combining product design and my love of mountain sports and telemark skiing by taking the torch from him to work on Bishop full time. I collaborated with Fin to incorporate improvements from the Bishop 1.0, and released the Bishop 2.0 in fall of 2013. Thank you Fin, without your inspired bindings and faith in me I may not be living my dream. Instead, the Bishop lives on and lives big!
We have come a long way from working in the basement of our house and garage, to the new Bishop HQ. The BMF-R and BMF-3 telemark bindings are the outcome of intense product design - over 3,000 hours of design and development work went into these bindings! But, it’s not all engineering. For example, Matt Jones's dedication and sales and marketing advice, and Sean Hanagan’s infectious mountain spirit, connections and passion for the mountains and the tele tribe. Many friends did a lot to get Bishop off the ground, and continue to offer support. They are all part of team Bishop. thank you for working long hours and pouring your heart and soul into this mountain venture.
Designing a new telemark binding based on the Bishop core, but with all the new features we wanted is no small task; and we did it on a tight budget. It would not have happened without the dedication of engineers Peter Van Dyke and Erik Warmenhoven. I thank both for working long, hard hours and for all the intense thinking, testing and rethinking. For me, and for them I think, the sacrifices are worth it to build a business in a place that we love, on products that are our passion and that put smiles on people’s faces. There is no way the BMFs would have been born without them. Thank you, Peter and Eric.
Finally, I must thank the telemark tribe and our customers for believing in and supporting us.
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving! Pray for snow!
Here's how to tele in Whistler Blackcomb, plus where to eat, sleep, and après.
Between the recent Friends of CAIC Benefit Bash and this new snowfall finally kicking off the season, we are stoked to get back on our BMF/Rs and into the side- and backcountry. But... safety and education first!
Scott Schell first dabbled in backcountry skiing back in high school; now he's the program director of the Northwest Avalanche Center. He provided some insight into safe sidecountry skiing tactics.
Caffeinate thyself and check out our 5 best tips for getting a good start!