President’s Message – Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

November 24, 2021

The Cowbell of Office – HPSC Information Night and Social, Liberty Common, Liberty Village, November 17, 2021 Photo by Amy Lam

HPSC Friends,

This week it is really finally feeling like winter is about to arrive.   And with it a new HPSC season. 

Over the last week, we held a very successful Club Information and Social Event in Liberty Village (thank you Amy), the last SkiFit of the season (thank you to John, George and Cynthia), and a successful on-line event, Cross-Country Skiing 101: Sliding on Skinny Skis (thank you Heather).  The cross-fit series continues until the end of the month (registration is open for the remaining session)(thank you to Michaela). 

We also found out this week that the federal government, as of November 30th is lifting the testing requirement for vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada from trips of less than 72 hours.  For the club this means that there will be no testing requirement for our weekend trip to Holiday Valley at the end of January. And on a higher level, the approval of vaccinations for children means that we are one step closer to the end of this pandemic and getting back to a much more normal season.  

Thank you as well to the almost 70% of current members who have provided their vaccination proof to the club.  A reminder that as of November 6th, members cannot register for any in-person events including socials, daytrips, or long trips if they have not had their vaccination status verified.  Please do so as soon as possible instead of waiting until you want to register for an event. 

As well, a reminder for those who did not join last season due to COVID, last year still counts towards you club seniority, but to retain it you need to rejoin this year.

I have said in the past, people may come to the club for a specific sport, but they return year after year because of the friends they make and the community that is HPSC.  This past year has challenged our ability to make those connections.  We sincerely hope that this coming season we are able to get back to providing opportunities for members to meet their new lifelong friends!

Cheers!

Justin Graham, President, HPSC

So you are vaccinated . . . now what?

As announced earlier in the summer, the HPSC Board made the decision that to protect the health of other club members and volunteers, in order to participate in most in-person club events this season you will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID.  

The first step will be to attest to your vaccination status on your member profile page, at the same time you acknowledge the Code of Conduct, Waiver, and Rowan’s law declaration after September 1st when membership renewal occurs.  Any falsification of vaccination status will be considered as a breach of the HPSC Code of Conduct and will be subject to disciplinary review

However, without confirmation of vaccination status the Long Trips Committee will not be able to arrange roommates or run close to full buses, that allow us to control the costs of trips. Or allow other portfolios to ensure only those fully vaccinated are participating in events. 

Therefore, as a second step at some point during the fall, we are asking that members provide our membership team with proof of your vaccination status (i.e. 2nd shot vaccination certificate or federal vaccination passport announced last week) by emailing it to vac@hpsc.ca.  Only those on the membership team will have access to these emails and once they confirm your status by reviewing your document, all of your documents and emails will be deletedThe club will not be storing your private vaccination record.

PLEASE HOLD OFF SENDING YOUR DOCUMENTATION UNTIL AFTER SEPTEMBER 1 WHEN RENEWALS OPEN. 

For those concerned about privacy, on the vaccination certificate, we only need to see the following information: Name; Date of 2nd vaccination; Agent (COVID-19); Dose – 2 of 2.  All of the rest of the information can be blacked out. 

If you feel uncomfortable in emailing your documentation, we will also be arranging for numerous in-person events (i.e. after each week’s SkiFit; other nights during the week at locations around the city) when you can show the membership team your proof, and they will note your status.  If you cannot meet in person and are concerned about emailing your documents, we can arrange for a personal Zoom call where you can show your document.  We will NOT be recording or taking screen shots.

Please note that to register for charter or long trips at our signup nights in September and October you will need to have at least attested on your member profile that you are fully vaccinated. As with all members you will also need to provide your vaccination document at some point prior during the fall. If you are not fully vaccinated by trip signup night, you will not be able to register for trips until you are (if spots are still available).  If you have not had your second shot yet and want to sign up for charter or long trips, please arrange for your second shot so as soon as possible. At that point you can update your member profile page and send in/arrange to show us your vaccination proof document.

As mentioned earlier, you do not have to send in your vaccination proof right away.  If you feel more comfortable doing so when the Federal vaccination passport becomes available that is fine.  We just need to review your document prior to your first in-person event (please allow at least 5 days for our team to review and confirm your status – we are all volunteers so it might take time to get to).  If you are signing up for a long or charter trip it should be before full payment.

For charter trips, you will likely be required to provide the newly announced federal vaccination passport to our tour company partners. As well, last week the Federal government also announced that proof of vaccination will be required for travel, including domestically, by plane, train, etc. And it makes sense to assume that long distance bus trips should also be included. 

If you CANNOT be vaccinated due to a medical condition, and can provide a doctors note to our membership team simply stating this (without any medical diagnosis information) you will be able to have limited participation in club events this year, (i.e. drive up for a day trip and participate in lessons).  However, as announced earlier you will not be able to register for any long or charter trips, or to go on the bus for daytrips.

We acknowledge that members have the free choice to not be vaccinated; however, we as the directors of the club have the duty to protect the health and safety of our club members and volunteers to the best of our ability.  Until the pandemic is declared over in Canada, the best option for protection and moving to a more ‘normal’ environment is vaccination.  If you are dissatisfied with this policy, we are truly sorry.  We can, upon request, if you choose, to defer your membership for another year or refund your membership fee (however, your club seniority would be maintained), and we will welcome you back once pandemic measure are lifted.     

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Wednesdays to private hills are back!

We are returning to Alpine, Osler, Craigleith, Devil’s Glen and Mansfield this year. Bus and drive-up options will be available to members.

Wednesdays to Alpine, Osler, Craigleith and Devil’s Glen will include lessons for members in ski steps 4-9. Friday to Mansfield will be a beginner/back to basics trip with ski steps 1-6 offered. Snowboarders are welcome on all Wednesday downhill day trips but lessons are not available.

All bus members must be registered online for the bus and lift ticket options.

Anyone driving up and taking a lesson with HPSC must register online before the trip.Online trip registration will open approximately 2 weeks before the trip. Once the bus or drive-up spots or sold out, there will be no additional spots added.

We will have full outdoor and indoor access to get ready, store baggage, eat lunch and relax at the end of the day. All private hills have mandated anyone on property (inside or outside) must be fully vaccinated.

Lift tickets per trip are ranging between $50-$70 depending on the hill. Bus prices will remain at $30 for members. We are unfortunately not returning to Georgian Peaks this year as they are not open on Wednesdays.

An update on Mount St.Louis Moonstone and Blue Mountain will be posted in the next weeks, as we’re finalizing a few details about their operations.

Harassment and bullying is not tolerated in HPSC

The High Park Ski Club has a long history of, and is dedicated to, bringing people together to enjoy the winter. It is important that the Club provides an environment that allows everyone to enjoy the activities we offer. As such, we want to remind everyone that the Club absolutely does not tolerate any sort of bullying or harassment.

It is important to understand that according to the Ontario Human Rights Code:

  • Sexual harassment is conduct that is generally considered or might reasonably be known to be unwelcome. Some examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome comments on people’s appearance or unnecessary physical contact.
  • Sexual harassment is not necessarily focused on the intention of the person committing the action, but rather on the impact of their behaviour on the other party.

Each year we require that all members read and acknowledge our Code of Conduct which includes the following in the very first paragraph:

“Club members are responsible for respecting the integrity and dignity of each and every club member, as well as our suppliers including tour operators, resort personnel, and bus drivers. Members maintain a companionable environment that is free of profane, sexist or sexually explicit language, threats, violence, or hurtful actions.”   

HPSC encourages any member with complaints regarding Code of Conduct issues to contact the Club Ombudsperson, Kerry Kupecz, at ombudsperson@hpsc.ca. The Club takes all complaints seriously and fully investigates them.

We’re looking forward to having a wonderful ski season this year.

Ask not what your ski club can do for you . . . but what you can do for your ski club

High Park Ski Club is fully run by dedicated volunteers. Everything you enjoy about the club is based on the volunteering by your fellow members. The current term for all directors and the president ends in April 2022. All directors and the president can stand for re-election. 

However, our current Director of Membership and Volunteers, Ruth Schefter, has let us know that after two terms, she will be stepping down and will not be running for a third term. 

As such we are looking for someone who would be interested in shadowing Ruth for the reminder of the year and then standing for Director of Membership and Volunteering.  The person should be organized, tech savvy, a good communicator, and accountable. 

Time commitment: ~6 hours per week, mostly in the fall. Attending monthly board meetings.

Team:  Work along with the Membership and Volunteer Assistant, the Volunteer Coordinator, and the Ambassador Program Coordinator.

Duties:  Monitoring membership registration and membership statistics. Communicating with members.  Answering member and non-member questions regarding the club. Maintaining the list of Bus Vouchers distributed, and the list of club volunteers.  Coordinating the Annual Membership Awards and planning, along with the Social Director and the Volunteer Coordinator, the annual Volunteer Appreciation event.  Attend New Member and Information events, the Club Strategy Session in the summer, and the Annual General Meeting in September.

Compensation:  Directors build an understanding of the inter workings of the club, get to know a lot of the club members, work with a fantastic team, and have a say in the direction of the club.  All directors receive an annual honorarium, as well as two bus vouchers.  For younger members it is also a great experience to have on your resume. 

If you are interested or would like to learn more about the opportunity, please contact Ruth at  membership@hpsc.ca . 

The day we never thought would ever happen!

At the end of October, Bill Bates, our long-time Director of Long Trips announced his desire to step down as Director. 

Bill has been on the Long Trips Committee (LTC) for over 25 years, and as Director for many of those years.   Long trips is one of the core parts of what makes HPSC such a great club, and without Bill’s guiding hand the club would be much different. The stability of the LTC over the last 10 years says a lot about Bill’s approach and his leadership style. 

Do not worry, Bill is not disappearing from the club or from Long Trips.  He has offered to remain on the LTC to support the new Director and be a member of the LTC. 

Bill has recommended to the Board that long-time member of the LTC and of the club, Kim Wiebe, be appointed as the new Director of Long Trips to finish out the remaining 6 months of his current term. Kim also has the support of the other members of the Long Trips Committee.  At the November Board meeting held this week, Kim was approved as the new Director.  Welcome to the board Kim, and I look forward to working with you!

On a personal note, Bill’s calm presence on the Board over the last year and a half has been a tremendous help as we worked through the aftermath of the COVID trip cancellations, as well as planning for trips in this new environment.  His institutional knowledge of the club has also been a valuable resource. 

Thank you so much Bill for all that you have done for the club!  And I hope you enjoy all of your new free time!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

President’s Message – A nip in the air!

November 10, 2021

Dear HPSC friends!

One of the great things about being a member of the club is that we are all lovers of winter.  You are not viewed as strange for actually looking forward to colder weather and the winter.  This was brought home to me when I was on a zoom call last week with a number of other ski clubs and ski schools from across the country (regarding insurance) when someone out west mentioned that it was getting colder, and we all agree that was fantastic news. 

With the nip in the air and the return to Standard Time, we are coming closer to an actual ski season.  Over the past weekend, the downhill daytrips schedule was posted.  Our charter and long trips are available for registration if there are still spots available, but only for those who have provided their vaccination proof. 

At SkiFit this past weekend we had the largest turnout all fall. It is interesting that the cooler it gets, and the closer we get to the season, the more people start to come out for SkiFit.  As a reminder there are just two more weeks left for SkiFit.   Registration opens each Tuesday.  I would personally like to thank Karen Evans, who is now out west for the season, and John McHutchion, for their excellent help in leading the program this season.

I would also like to thank the two-thirds of our current members who have provided their vaccination proof. For the rest, please do so as soon as possible.  As a further reminder, only those who have provided their proof for verification will be able to register for any in-person event (including drive-up for daytrips) or charter/long trips with the club this season. 

SnoBiz is a one of the key ways to keep up with what is going on in the club, so I encourage all members to read all of the articles in the current edition.  There are some important announcements.

Looking forward to the coming season and meeting up with as many members as possible!

Cheers!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Charter and Long Trip Update

Mont Tremblant, February 2021 Photo by JK Graham

It has been a very busy time for your Long Trips Committee and trip leaders! 

Although the first charter trip, to Club Med in France, does not depart until the end of January, the deadline for new registrants has passed and the trip is now closed.  If you are still interested in a charter this season, there are still spots available on our last trip of the season, to Taos, New Mexico in March.  But the rest of the charter trips are full.

If you are interested in one of the full trips, spots do open due to various reasons, so be sure to put your name on the wait list. Please check the website and our social media posts for updates.

In late October we started signups for our long bus trips.  The mid-week trip to Tremblant in February sold out! But don’t despair, there are still spots available on all of the other long trips.

New this year is a mid-week Mont Ste Anne trip.  Also available is the traditional HPSC end of season weekend at Tremblant, and the popular Family Day Eastern Townships Orford trip, which includes two dinners.  If you have never dined in the Eastern Townships you are in for a treat! For our cross-country and snowshoe members we are also offering a Family Day weekend to Huntsville including trips to Algonquin Park, Arrowhead, and the Frost Centre.

Unfortunately, we had to postpone the trips to Killington and Jay Peak to a future year.  Although it may seem early to postpone, as these trips are months away, there are tight deadlines to avoid penalties with our suppliers for cancelling space, and the initial registration was small.  Early sign up by members is important when we have to make these types of decisions.

We are still in uncertain times, but are very optimistic about the 2022 ski season.  If you really want to go on a trip this season, we encourage you to sign up now to guarantee your spot.

Membership

Since the summer, we have made it clear that members need to provide their vaccination proof for visual confirmation in order to participate in any in-person event with the club during the coming season. 

Since the new Ontario QR code version of vaccination certificates are now available that include only the critical information we require, as of November 7, only members who have provided their proof will be able register for any in-person event, charter or long trip. 

There are currently three ways to arrange for verification:

1)            Sending in your certificate via email to vac@hpsc.ca.  This is a special email address that is only accessed by our Director of Membership, Ruth Schefter.  Documents and emails will be delated after verification.

2)            Showing up at an in-person event.  These will be after SkiFit on Saturday mornings in High Park between approximately 10:45am and 11:15am by the Maple Leaf garden near Grenadier Pond. 

3)            Arranging for a video call by sending a message to vac@hpsc.ca.  The call will not be recorded. 

We greatly appreciated your cooperation in this process. 

Downhill Day Trips Schedule is Now Available!

The 2021/2022 downhill day trips schedule is now posted! Head over to https://www.hpsc.ca/Downhill-Day-Trips-Schedule to view the schedule.

We have a full season of skiing and snowboarding planned for our members to get back on the hill in a fun and safe way. We are still working through some details on bus pick-up/drop-off locations and times, lift ticket costs and other details. Remember to submit your vaccination proof well before January, as non-vaccinated members will not be permitted on downhill day trips (bus or drive-up). Stay tuned for full season details! 

Cross-Country 101 Virtual Session

Have you joined the club and are interested in cross-country skiing? Never skied before? It’s been a long time? This is the session for you!

We are offering a virtual session for new (and returning) members to get you primed for the ski season. Heather Steel, Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Director, will cover all the basics of skiing (types of skiing, gear, wax, clothing etc.), how the club works (registration for trips, bus procedures etc.) and answer all your questions.

Date: Nov. 22

Time: 7pm

Register: HPSC – Cross-Country Skiing 101: Sliding on Skinny Skis

Session will be limited to 100 people. Must be registered members of HPSC. We will send a zoom link the day before the session.