The wild and wooly folks up there in [R11R, Alyeska] resort are rounding up the best free-heelers around to participate in Telepalooza, the world telemark free-skiing championships and festival.

The annual shindig, which commemorates the late Telepalooza organizer, backcountry enthusiast and raconteur Jeff Nissman, will be held April 1-5, and everyone is invited.

Though the festival centers around the free-skiing event for hard-core racers, there are loads of other events to divert the less skilled free-heelers. There will be telemark demos daily at the top of the tram, dance parties nightly at the Sitzmark, a dual slalom race on Friday, kids' face and hair painting Saturday and Sunday, a kids' scavenger hunt Saturday, a costumed telemark classic race Saturday, group telemark lessons Saturday and Sunday, an uphill/downhill telemark and rondi race Sunday, and a kids' relay race Sunday.

The cost of participating varies, depending on one's involvement. You get five days of lift tickets, four passes to the Sitzmark parties, unlimited demos, and raffle tickets for $300. You get three days of lift tickets and the other aforementioned goodies for $250. You get all the goodies less lift tickets for $150. Other fees include $30 for the uphill/down hill race, $20 for the dual slalom race, $10 for the classic race, $15 for hair painting, and $5 each for the kids' relay race and face painting.