Join cross-country skiers on long trips

There are a couple options for fun overnight ski trips for cross-country participants.

Our cross-country only February long weekend trip is headed to Ottawa and there are still spots left! Ski in beautiful Gatineau Park, participate in the loppett if you want to torture yourself, and skate on the canal! Still spots left.

There are cross-country skiers going on the Quebec City trip on March break. There aren’t many of us, so you may not have groups to ski with (just to manage expectations), but you won’t be getting dropped off and picked up alone! We are skiing at three beautiful trail systems, and you get to hang out in Quebec City in the evening. Best of both worlds! Still spots available.

Cross-country Schedule is Posted

The provisional schedule for cross-country is now posted online! It may change a bit (as it always does), but this will give you a good sense of where we are headed for the season. We begin December 30 and will end whenever the snow decides to leave us.

We have guided snowshoeing on almost every trip (thanks to our volunteer guides) and we are happy to bring back some of our special ski school programs this year. All this is indicated on the schedule.

Our awesome volunteers are starting to work on creating the registration modules. They will appear on the website as they are created (please be patient…it’s a lot of work). Registration does not open usually until a just a couple weeks before the trip (sometimes less) to give us flexibility in dealing with the weather. The first few trips will open for registration on December 18 at 9pm (if it looks like the weather is cooperating…if not, we may delay registration).

Heather Steel, Director of Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Downhill Day Trips Schedule Posted

This season we have scheduled 52 downhill day trips and a special Family Day trip to an Ontario ski hill. Please see the full schedule on our club website:

Please note:

  • December trips registration will open on a weekly basis prior to the trip. Each weekend trip will be dependent on weather conditions and if the ski hill is open to the public.
  • January day trips registration will be posted mid-December.
  • February and March day trips registration will be posted mid-January.
  • For Wednesday trips to private clubs, locations may change due to ski resort operations. The registration information on the Downhill Registration Page will be most up to date.

Amy Lam, Director of Day Trips

Long Trips – What’s Available?

I was able to meet with many new and prospective members at the club’s Information Night this past Friday. There was lots of interest in our long trips so please don’t hesitate to sign up now! New members are snapping up the open spots. For some of our other trips, the due date is coming when we must release unfilled spots back to the tour operator.

Check out the trips on the HPSC website and contact the trip leader for specific questions on the trip. There is still limited space on Red Mountain, SilverStar (XC or downhill), Ottawa XC, Quebec City ski around (March break Downhill or XC), Killington Vermont, and Club Med Charlevoix /Le Massif. Join the waitlist (at no cost) if your desired trip is full. Spots can open up closer to the deadline. Kindly remove your name from any waitlists that you are no longer interested in so that those looking for a spot can get a realistic sense of how many others are ahead of them on the waitlist. When specific roommates (male or female) are needed, this will be posted on Facebook.

For those who have already paid their $100 deposit and have snagged a spot on a trip, be sure to watch for emails from your trip leader with instructions on how to pay the next deposit and final balances which may be to a tour operator or directly on the HPSC website, depending on the trip. Don’t lose your spot on a trip by missing these important notices and taking the required payment actions.

Kim Wiebe, Director of Long Trips

Cross-country ski school special programming is back

New to cross-country skiing? Our classic beginners series might be for you. Join instructor Vera (or Liora, depending on demand) for three consecutive weeks of beginner classes designed for new skiers. You will have the same instructor and classmates and learn to get moving on your skis. You must be available all three dates (January 7, 14, 21) and email to register. If you can’t join the series, you can participate in our regular beginner lessons.

We are also offering special hill clinics that will give you more practice time than in a regular lesson. Our beginner hill clinic on January 20 will teach you to get up and down hills safely. For more advanced skiers who want to play around going faster (step turns anyone?), we are offering an intermediate/advanced hill clinic on February 4 (TBD as to whether it’s classic or skate). Sign up online during trip registration.

Also for more intermediate/advanced skiers, we are offering a classic trail handling clinic on February 24. Learn how to transition between techniques on the trail to ski smarter and faster. You will need some facility with all the main techniques – diagonal stride, double poling, one step double pole in particular. Sign up online during trip registration.

And for those who just want to get tips for a specific technique, we are offering two dates of skate and classic tips and tricks (February 10 & 24). Book 15-20 minutes with an instructor to work something specific – whatever you want! Sign up online during trip registration.Please note that on the days we offer intermediate + clinics, we will not be offering any other intermediate/advanced lessons. We may schedule more clinics for later in the season as we assess how its going. If there is something in particular you would like a clinic on, let us know at

President’s Message – Get Ready, Get Set…

The start of the season is just around the corner!

Pre-season is almost over, with our fall SkiFit and Brunch ending for the season last Saturday (thank you to Karen and John and the other volunteers who led the sessions this year) and the Cross-Fit sessions finishing up this weekend (thank you to Michaela and David for organizing this program). 

This past Friday we held a very successful New Member and Information night at the Duke of York pub. Over 100 members and potential members registered to attend! Thank you to our Director of Social Activities, Jen Beatty, for all her work in arranging for such a successful event. 

The full downhill day trip schedule is now posted.  The first scheduled trip is December 9 to Mount St Louis, with a trip to Blue Mountain the next day!  Our inaugural overnight trip is the weekend of December 16-17 to Tremblant, with the drive-up portion just before. The initial cross-country trip is Saturday December 30 to celebrate New Years at Scenic Caves.  So things are coming up quickly!

As our membership climbs, the best way to attract new members is by word of mouth, so over the next few weeks as we head into the holiday season please tell your family, friends and colleagues about HPSC.  As a thank you, when a new member includes who referred them, that members receives a bus voucher.  We are looking to hold another Info night for new and potential members in early January.

Coming up quickly as well, is our next social event, the First Tracks holiday dinner, on Friday December 8 at the National Yacht Club. Spots are still available. 

This year looks to be one of the best for the club in recent memory, so thank you for being a part of the club and I look forward to meeting many of you this season!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Ski School News – More New Instructors!

As announced in the October 11 issue of SnoBiz, Ski School welcomed seven new instructors for this season. Today, we introduce you to Lina DiFelice and Izabella Wilczynska.
Lina DiFelice
I’ve been a member of HPSC for 12 years and started skiing when I was 11. Dad would sit in the chalet for hours, while my 2 sisters and I took ski lessons at Mount St. Louis/Moonstone, and Blue Mountain. We loved it and were hooked. My younger sister Donna went on to become a Ski Patrol, and was an active participant with HPSC in the 70’s.

Fast forward… after a long hiatus, I followed in my sister’s footsteps, and joined HPSC and renewed my passion for skiing. I’ve enjoyed many extraordinary ski trips around the world, received phenomenal instruction from attentive coaches and teachers, and have made many friendships on and off the hill.

With the support and guidance of the HPSC instructors, private lessons, and time on the hill, I grew as a skier. After retiring from a great career in teaching, moving to Collingwood, and growing my confidence, I decided it would be fun to give back the knowledge and gifts I’ve received.  I’m excited to share my love of nature and the joy one feels gliding down the mountain. 
Izabella Wilczynska
I fell in love with skiing as a little 4-year-old kid watching Olympics, and promptly used my plastic cross-country skis on the tiny hills in my hometown (Torun, Poland) for my first attempts of hockey stops. I didn’t get a chance to really try skiing on proper skis and hills until much later- my high school got a donation of downhill racing skis from an Austrian ski club and took us on a trip to Slovakia.  It was a great trip where I learned to fall well, and often (on my unsharpened 190s) but my passion for skiing remained.

Finally, many years after moving to Canada and discovering the traveling ski clubs, I was able to take proper lessons. I joined as a step 3 and worked hard to overcome my newly found (grown up) fear of speed. Fast forward 7 years and I am proud to be joining the HPSC ski school as a new instructor. I want to share my joy of skiing with others who may not have had a chance to learn earlier just like me. As a cautious skier, I will be there to encourage you to overcome your fears, and discover the reason we have winters.

In the off season, I am an avid stand-up paddle boarder (SUP), also certified as an instructor. I love the outdoors so if not on the water, I am camping, hiking, or exploring. 

Cross-Country 101

Our season (hopefully) launches on Deccember 30! If you are a new member and have a bunch of questions about how the XC trips work, Heather Steel, Director, Cross-Country Skiing, will go over all the essential information and answer your questions virtually on November 23.

Registration is required and limited to 100 participants (as that’s all my Zoom can handle.). All registrants will receive the Zoom link the day before the event. 

Returning club members are also welcome to join if you want a refresher, but you may not get much out of it.

Overnight Bus Trips

Our overnight bus trip sign-up night was a big success with virtually all members getting a spot on the trips of their choice. Don’t hesitate to sign up now for any open spots as time is running out for some trips before the space must be released.  We still have limited space left on the following trips: Red Mountain, SilverStar (XC or downhill), Ottawa XC, Quebec City ski around (March break Downhill or XC), Killington Vermont, Club Med Charlevoix /Le Massif, and our last Tremblant trip in March.  Remember to join the waitlist if your desired trip is full as spots can open up closer to the deadline.  Any open spots to match roommates will be posted on Facebook.

For those who have already paid their $100 and have snagged a spot on a trip, be sure to watch for emails  from your trip leader with instructions for tour operator deposits now due and balances. Don’t lose your spot on a trip by missing these important notices and taking the required payment actions

President’s Message – Gearing up for the season!

Dear HPSC Friends,

While others complain when we return to Standard Time, I look forward to it. I actually get a bit excited because it means that our season is another step closer! In fact, some of our trip destinations have already opened for the season. 

I want to thank all of the volunteers who helped to staff our booth at the Toronto Ski + Snowboard Show – it was a great success. We were able to talk with a wide variety of current and potential members, and with suppliers (and other clubs.)  

At the show we were handing out this year’s day trip schedule postcard – which will be uploaded to the website shortly.  Just some of the highlights on the downhill side: the first planned trips, conditions permitting of course, are Saturday, December 9 to Mount St Louis, and Sunday, December 10 to Blue Mountain.  The first Monday trip is January 8.  For midweek skiers, the first Wednesday trip is January 10 to Blue, followed by Alpine the following week. In late February, in place of Wednesday, we will be doing a couple of Thursday trips to Georgian Peaks and Beaver Valley (because these resorts will not be regularly be open on Wednesdays). On the cross-country side, the first scheduled trip is the traditional New Year’s celebration to Scenic Caves on Saturday, December 30.  

If you have not been out to SkiFit yet this year, there are just two more Saturdays left. I want to personally thank Karen Evans and John McHutchion for their ongoing leadership in helping members get ready of the season.  Karen is now out west at Silver Star, leaving John to lead the next two weeks on his own. One thing that I have been very happy about is the return of our post-exercise brunch in The Grenadier Café. It has been great to catch up with members and share stories and photos of recent travels and discussions regarding the upcoming season.

Due to the high response rate to the upcoming Information night on November 17, we have moved it to a location where we can accommodate more people.  The new location is the Duke of York (39 Prince Arthur Street, just off of Bedford Rd. just north of the St. George Subway station). Just as a reminder, for those attending the event we will have some of our fantastic logo wear long sleeve shirts to try on and of course purchase!  Hope to see many of you at the event.

On a personal note, as many of you know I am a huge fan of the most successful Toronto pro sports team – the Toronto Argonauts. The Argos have won more championships than all of the other Toronto teams combined! This weekend is the Eastern Final versus Montreal, and hopefully they will be playing in the Grey Cup game in Hamilton on November 19.  So I conclude this week’s message with the time honoured cheer – AAARRRGGOOOSSSS!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club