The ski season has finally taken off!! Sign up early and often

After a bit of an up and down early January the HPSC season has taken off with full buses to both Mount St. Louis and Blue Mountain, as well as on the Wednesday trips.  Thank you to all of the members who have signed up for trips – and a big thank you to all the new members who have jumped into the club with both feet. 

With a growing membership, trips have been filling quickly.  While the deadline for registering for weekend day trips is Thursday 6pm (Monday 6pm for Wednesday trips), with a lot of passionate new members, trips have been selling out before that point. 

To ensure we are being fiscally responsible, we initially open enough spots for one bus and if all those spots are filled, a waitlist opens immediately.  If it is decided that there is sufficient time and interest, spots for a second bus will be added.  The waitlist helps to gauge if there is sufficient numbers for a second bus, and that the trip still breaks even. 

Opening a second bus also means that we add additional pick up locations (Queen’s Quay; Liberty Village; Davenport/Yonge).   All those on the waitlist will be added to the trip and be notified of their invoice.  They will then have between 12 and 24  hours to pay their invoice (depending on how close to the registration deadline is).  If they don’t pay, the spot will be cancelled.  The bottom line is to ensure you get on the trip, you need to sign up early and often.  And if the trip is full, add your name to the waitlist.   

If you are interested in going on daytrip – even if it is in few weeks or next month, please register as soon as you can.  This guarantees you don’t miss out on a day on the slopes you want to go on, it also lets us know that there may be enough interest for additional buses. 

All trips until the beginning of March are open for registration.   So sign up early and sign up often.

Justin Graham, Assistant Director of Downhill Daytrips

New Members 101 – Social

If you are a new member and you have questions, are curious how things work, need help to register for an upcoming trip and don’t know which trip is the best for you, join us for a New Members 101 Social on Feb 4th – Downtown.

This will be in time before DOUBLE DOUBLE (lessons in the morning and afternoon)  – DOWNHILL MEMBERS APPRECIATION DAY –  FEB 8

We’ll try to address all of your questions while sharing our passion for winter sports and socials.  Make sure you:

  • Learn about resources,  upcoming trips and events available to you on our website
  • Learn about our blog: Feel free to explore it at your convenience to learn how the Club’s members share the love for winter and enjoy life together
  • Get answers to your frequently asked questions. There’s a blog post with a lot of answers – make sure you check it out:
  • Find out about volunteer opportunities and how you can contribute to the club and learn new skills to advance your career 
  • Download the App: Wild Apricot for Members  for quick access to see upcoming events, trips and easy registration

Also feel free to bring your other questions to the table. 

See you on Feb 4th @ Pravda Bar after 5 PM – for happy hour ($7 Perestroika will keep us warm on a chilly Toronto winter night).

It’s time to try something new!

If you are doing the same things for a while – it’s time to try something new. Life is a constant change management. In any change – there are always new opportunities. Downhillers and boarders went to snowshoe and cross country skiing last weekend for our Annual traditional cross over day. Oh what fun! Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport. It’s a very peaceful and the least expensive winter sport activity.

We are at the peak of the season right now, our overnight trips are departing, we are glad to see our members happy pictures posted on Facebook group. Our day trips are busy. Life is good with High Park Ski Club! Keep calm and ski or ride or snow shoe on!

Stella HPSC Volunteer President

Long Trips

Cancelling a Long Trip

Cancelling from a trip is no fun. You miss out on a great time and have to stay at home to deal with your injury, illness or whatever. Our cancellation policies have not changed in many years but they might not be familiar to new members. The policies were set up to be fair to all members and respect the financial responsibilities of the club.

The first step in cancelling is to notify the Trip Leader in writing as soon as you decide. You must get a reply back from the TL acknowledging your cancellation. This sets the ball rolling to find a replacement for your seat and the amount of refund you’ll receive.

In all cases, the non-refundable $100 deposit is non-refundable. This is the deposit you initially make to register for a trip.

  1. Refund For Overnight Trips

The refund you’ll receive depends on the date you cancel. If you cancel any time before 45 days from departure, you’ll get a full refund of the Stage-2 payment. Between 45 and 8 days, the refund amount is the Stage-2 payment less $100… provided a replacement is found for your seat. Without a replacement there is no refund. But it is rare that a replacement is not found because the very next member to register becomes your replacement. So the earlier you cancel the greater the likelihood of a replacement. Within 7 days, there is no refund at all. Even if you are replaced in the last week there is no refund of any amount. The policy is on the website click here and applies to everybody without exception. Refunds will be returned to the card used for payment and could take 2-3 weeks depending on the speed of your own bank to credit it.

  • Refund For Charter Trips

Refund policies are set by the tour operators and not by HPSC. Generally here is how they work. The first deposit of around $500 when you registered is not refundable. Plus if you purchased cancellation insurance from the tour operator, that payment is also not refundable. A cancellation after the date for the balance payment, then the total amount of the trip is not refundable. Each trip will have a different cancellation policy as listed in the detailed description pages.


HPSC has always strongly recommended that you have trip insurance. Members are responsible for arranging their own trip cancellation and medical insurance as the club cannot do it for you. Some members purchase an annual policy, some purchase just for one trip and some rely on their credit card benefits. Some members don’t buy any insurance feeling that they can assume all the risk themselves.

Cancellation insurance allows you to be reimbursed if you get sick or injured before the trip. Medical insurance covers if you get injured during the trip. Keep in mind that the Ontario Government has stopped paying for out of Province medical. If you are on a US trip, it is foolhardy to go without insurance as a minor injury will be expensive, but a major injury will cost thousands.

If you have to make an insurance claim, you can retrieve your invoices from the website to attach to your claim form. Login, click on your name, click on ‘Invoices and Payments’ and scroll down. If your insurance company requires a letter from HPSC to justify the claim, just ask the TL and it will be provided. All insurance claims must be made by the participant to their own insurance company.

Bill Bates,Director.

New resort – Kawartha Nordic

We’re back!

HPSC used to visit Kawartha Nordic years ago, be we probably haven’t been in over 10 years. That changes this year!

We’re got two trips on the schedule, and our first one is Jan. 26. Forecast looks promising!

Kawartha is a lovely ski area. The terrain is rolling hills, so it’s a great place for beginners. There’s combo trails for both skate and classic and some nice narrower classic only trails. The trails are all two-way, which is different than most of the resorts we visit.

They have a big chalet with places to store bags and there are warming cabins with wood stoves through the trail network – perfect for grabbing a snack. Just be careful of the chickadees!

Check out the photos below to see what to expect!

Backcountry advenutures at Kolapore!

Every year we schedule one trip to the Kolapore Uplands (combined with a trip to Highlands Nordic). When conditions are good, it’s a magical place! This year’s trip is Feb. 8. There’s a wait list, and if there are enough people on it, we’ll add a second bus.

If you’ve never been to Kolapore, here is what you may expect:

  • No tracks! Backcountry skiing is on ungroomed, narrow trails. Thus, it can be more challenging than skiing at resorts with tracks. We do not recommend Kolapore for beginners.
  • No facilities! Be sure to use the washroom on the bus before you leave. And you’ll be eating on the trails.
  • No rentals! You need your own gear, or need to rent in the city and bring it with you. While backcountry skis are preferable, you can ski with your normal skis.
  • Guided skiing! Likely two guided groups will be heading out of varying difficulties. Choose your own adventure.
  • Fun! Check out the photos below.

XC wait list policy

With the growth in our membership, our trips are extremely popular and have been selling out early – even earlier than last year!

We are using wait lists this year. This accomplishes two things:

  1. There are often cancellations up to Wednesday 8pm before the trip. If someone cancels, the first first person on the waitlist will be moved onto the trip to fill the spot. There are often many cancellations and many members get on trips this way.
  2. This allows the Director to evaluate if there is enough interest to pay for a second bus. If yes, we’ll add it! Usually a decision on a second bus is made early in the week before the trip, or earlier if enough people are on the wait list.

How does the wait list work?

  1. Click “join wait list” on the registration page.
  2. Fill out all your information. You will not be charged for the trip at this time.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email that outlines what happens when you are offered a spot.
  4. When you are moved onto the trip, you will be sent a registration pending payment email stating that you have 24 hours to pay or you will be deleted. You do not have a seat until you pay! Given the popularity of our trips, we are strict about the 24 hour time frame.
  5. Log in to your account at and pay the invoice. Welcome to the trip!
  6. IMPORTANT: On Thursday morning before the trip, all payment pending registrations as well as the wait list will be deleted. Any open spots will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

If you are on the wait list, be sure to pay right away to avoid disappointment. We thank our members for their cooperation; this system we feel is both fair to members and minimizes the work of our wonderful volunteers.

See you on the trails!

Pay right away if you want to be on fun day trips!

XC bus captains needed!

Our members know how well our club is run. They see it on every day trip. That’s because we have awesome volunteers dedicated to making sure our trips go on without a hitch!

You’ll find bus captain Paul on duty on Sundays.

We’re seeing big growth in our cross-country community, and we have so many members keen to ski every weekend that we’re able to send two bus trips more often. This is amazing, but with two bus trips, we need two bus captains on a trip.

We have a dedicated group of bus captains, but we could use a few more to help spread out the work.

Bus captains act as the group leader of a trip. Responsibilities include:

  • Taking attendance on the bus and noting changes in people’s registrations
  • Making announcements on the bus
  • Ensuring that everyone who came up comes back
  • Buying and distributing the trail passes
  • Completing trip paperwork and submitting to the auditor
  • Being “on call” during the day – if members need help, do your best to provide it (within reason)

To be a bus captains requires only a few things from you:

Bus captain Andrew bought skate ski gear last year!
  • Access to a computer with internet and an ability to open Word and Excel documents
  • Time before the trip to organize the paperwork that is sent to you (you should be able to print off a number of documents)
  • Ideally a cell phone (although we can work around this)
  • A friendly attitude!
  • A willingness to pay for the trail passes on a credit card (which will be reimbursed to you after the trip)
Bus captain Anna is always a friendly face on the trails!

We value our volunteers and, as a thank you, bus captains receive complimentary bus and trail fees on the trip they are working.

If you are interested, please let us know at Don’t worry – we will provide you with training materials and have you shadow an experienced bus captain before you do a solo trip.

New Date for Double Double – February 8 2020

Double Double is our annual tradition with lessons in the morning and in the afternoon

After the extreme weather conditions, and day trips cancellations last weekend with safety of our members being the top priority for the club, we are announcing a new date for our Annual Tradition: Double Double with lessons in the morning and in the afternoon. New date is Saturday February 8 at MSLM. Register early, we will have double double buses and drive up spots available based on your interest.

Mindfulness & The Mountains

Ski trip is the closest emotionally to the trip back to careless childhood, when we could spend the whole day in the snow and show up just for dinner – soaking wet, with sleds or skis, mittens or scarf lost & fond… although we were so happy, with the eyes sparkling and the cheeks blushing & shining like McIntosh Red apples. And after the dinner (that tasted the most delicious) always followed equally delicious deep sleep until alarm for the next snow play day.

This is how we felt during Jasper trip. Riding to the Marmot mountain in the yellow school bus, via narrow snowy roads among the tall trees and big mountains, that made us feel very small, playing in the fresh fluffy snow – it was a true joy. We were blessed with mild temperature for Alberta, with sunshine, stunning views of the mountains, people around us, with our friendship, with being in the club, living in Canada.

While we had 6 days lift tickets to ski, we also gave ourselves licence to chill, to take mindfulness walks in the mountains, on the trails, to connect with nature, with wilderness of the National Park. At some point we’ve counted over 30 elks, patiently waiting for the CN trail to pass. Mindfulness walks on the last and first days of the year and the decade were spiritual experience – to take our time reconnect with ourselves. We are adventures ready, bring them on – 2020!

Stella, HPSC Volunteer Jasper Trip Leader & Iuliana, HPSC Volunteer Social Director