President’s Message –  A Time for Thanks…Part Two

Dear HPSC Friends,

As you read this, I will be on my way in Pittsburgh to celebrate American Thanksgiving with my close friend Tricia, her husband and their two girls.  Which is why I see this as another time to give thanks. 

It is not a stretch to say that the first two years of being President were not exactly what I had envisioned for the club. So a big thank you to all of you who have kept the faith in our club by renewing your membership and to all the new members who have joined this year. And of course, a thank you to those who have talked up our club to your friends and family.  Word of mouth is one of our most effective ways of gaining new members!

I also want to thank the returning members, new members, and potential members who came out this fall to our weekly SkiFit.  Our final session was this past Saturday.  On average we had about 35 to 40 participants each Saturday, which is about the same as pre-pandemic.  A thank you also goes out to John McHutchion and Karen Evans for once again leading the sessions, and to all the weekly volunteers for leading the various hiking groups.  

As we get closer to the start of the season, there will be a number of announcements from our Downhill and Cross-country teams on Facebook and in SnoBiz regarding their portfolios. Please pay attention and read all the information that is published.    

One area we are trying to re-establish as a club are social events, so I am happy to mention that we will be having our First Tracks Holiday Party on December 8th. Please see the article below for more details. I hope to meet as many of you as possible at the party.

On a personal note, as many of you may know I am a huge Toronto Argonaut fan, so I also want to give thanks for our big win in the Grey Cup game this past Sunday.  As a point of interest, the Argos now have more championships than all of the other major Toronto sports teams combined! 


Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Basic Information About Concussion

We love to ski! The twists and turns, the pivoting and edging, the thrill of the next hill and run, the fresh outdoors, the thrill of the ride!  While we take precautions to ski safely, unfortunately, accidents sometimes do happen.  It is good to have some basic information about concussion awareness.  We minimize the impact of the severity of any head injury by wearing helmets. 

Of note, loss of consciousness is not necessary for a person to have sustained a concussion.  While there has been controversy in the scientific community regarding criteria for traumatic brain injury and concussion, what is now commonly accepted is that among several criteria is some alteration in awareness associated with biomechanical forces to the head sufficient to cause neuropathological changes to the brain.

The good news is that for cases of mild concussion/mild traumatic brain injury, the physiological disruptions to the brain (and associated impairments in attention, memory, and information processing speed)  generally resolve for the majority of individuals within days or weeks.   

 Symptoms associated with concussion include (but are not limited to):  headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness.  As well, there may be impairments in orientation, short term memory, and information processing speed.

As first line responders, ski patrol may ask some basic questions about a person’s awareness and orientation.  For example, asking the person’s name, day of the week, birthdate, etc.  This information may be of subsequent benefit if further cognitive testing is conducted.  The following link shows some of the questions on a standardized assessment of concussion.

Given that loss of consciousness is not a requirement for a determination for sustaining a concussion, it is always good to speak to ski patrol if you have had a fall and hit your head with any sufficient force which you think might be of concern.  Remember:  in the vast majority of cases, the natural course of events is for the brain to fully heal when there have been minor physiological disruptions.

Jonathan Siegel

HPSC Instructor

Cross-Country Update – Nov. 20, 2022

There is snow on the ground! Some of the resorts up north have opened limited trails. There is no track set yet – and it is definitely rough rock skiing – but it is setting up for hopefully some nice December skiing, which we didn’t have at all last year. Hopefully all this bodes well for great conditions through our season! A few updates as we get closer:

Heather has been out skate skiing in High Park twice!

Schedule: We are close to posting the schedule. The resorts are confirmed and we are just scheduling the guided snowshoeing. Stay tuned! It will be posted here by the end of the month. Registration will not open until two weeks prior to the trips. The schedule will indicate when registration for each trip opens.

HPSC XC 101: If you are a new member, join us Dec. 14 for a virtual session to learn all about our policies, procedures, what to expect on trips etc. It will be led by HPSC’s XC director, Heather Steel. Register here. Registration is open until Dec. 13 and is limited to 100 people.

Equipment: A hold over from the pandemic, rentals at a few of the resorts (Hardwood, Horseshoe) are a bit more complicated than in the past (as they require you to pay in advance online, which is fine, but if you don’t show up, you may have difficulty getting your money back). If you are joining us for snowshoeing, we recommend getting a pair of your own snowshoes. They are not expensive and will pay for themselves fairly quickly (and you will avoid all the hassles of renting). MEC has affordable ones, or you can buy online as you don’t need to be fit for them in the same way as skis. Ski gear is more expensive, but if you love it and plan on doing it ~5 times/year, a beginner package will pay for itself over 2-3 seasons (depending on what you get). The more you ski, the more it’s worth it. Of course, if you are new to the sport, it does make sense to rent to see if you actually like it. In Toronto, the best place to visit for equipment is Velotique. You can also visit the pro shops at Hardwood and Highlands. While you can buy gear at other locations (MEC etc.). we feel these three places have the most knowledge about fitting people on skis (which is important to a good ski experience). We have more information on the blog on the types of ski gear and snowshoes .