President’s Message – Winter has definitely arrived!!

Dear Friends:

The season is now in full swing, and with the storms over the weekend, we shouldn’t be worried about a lack of snow for the near future. The storms also clearly illustrates how impactful lake effect snowfall can be. Until Georgian Bay freezes over, lake effect storms can drop huge amounts of snow. This also shows how different the conditions can be in Toronto compared to the resorts. Given the great current conditions and the extended period of colder weather, this is a great time register to for upcoming day trips!

After having to cancel the first two weekend trips, our cross-country and snowshoe season was kicked off on Sunday, and it was a trip they won’t soon forget. While they were able to get up to Scenic Caves, it was more difficult getting down the escarpment. The decision was made by the bus driver and agreed to by the leaders on the bus, that it was too dangerous to drive down from Scenic Caves. Members instead headed down the Blue Mountain snowshoe trail across the road to the replacement bus at the bottom.  Congratulations to our cross-country leadership, our bus driver and all the members for getting everyone down safely. 

The Holiday Valley trip was also a bit of an adventure, but also illustrates that we take our members’ safety seriously. On Saturday night, while many were enjoying dinner and après in Ellicottville, the New York State Governor declared a total travel ban for all of Erie Country starting at 9 pm that night (Holiday Valley is not in Erie country but our hotel was). We were able make sure that everyone in town was on the early return bus to our hotel. On Sunday morning, the travel ban was still in effect for most of Erie County, including all of Buffalo, and there was no estimated time for lifting the ban. Buffalo was experiencing near blizzard conditions with extremely high winds and whiteout conditions. The decision was made that we could not base our return trip on a hope that the ban would be lifted in time for our scheduled return. It was also decided that we would have to skip skiing for the day and head west and return via Windsor. Although this meant a 10 hour detour, the trip home was uneventful with clear roads the entire way. I personally want to thank all of the members on the trip for rolling with the punches.

Our first charter trip is currently in Japan and I am looking forward to hearing about it from those on the trip. 

Personally It has been a great experience being back on the buses this season and meeting and talking with many old friends and new members.  I am looking forward to the rest of the season and hearing from many of you!


Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club