|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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our cross-country day trips this year. While winter got off to a very sluggish start, we ran 18 trips.
A huge thank you to all our volunteers who make it happen:
- Monica Sauer and Theo Kempe – who make sure that all the bus captains, DODs and guides have all the paperwork and info they need on every trip. Monica also volunteers on our long trips committee, organizing the long weekend bus trips.
- Paul Moser – who does all the trip financial reconciliations and audits.
- David Cloutier – who orders our buses every week.
- Jean-Emile Paraiso and Gayatri Bharadwaj – who create all of our trip modules on the website.
- Howard Gibson – who schedules all our bus captains.
- Linda Lavalee – who runs our new member ambassador program.
- All the bus captains – Monica Sauer, Marjanne Lyn, Carol Collinson, Howard Gibson, Jennifer Meyer, and Claire Patregion. Our thoughts are with Paul Dover, who we hope is well enough to rejoin the group next year.
- Jeff Stainsby – who sets the schedule and does all the post-season administrative work for ski school.
- All of our instructors who taught this season – Jean-Emile Paraiso, Regina Eiras, George Lorenz, Suzanne Denis, Owen Rogers, Nicole Pepper, Vera Polyakova, Adrian Butscher, Liora Freedman, Janine Jorgenson, Elaine Rennet, Andrew Mahoney, Ron Duffy, and Carine Wood.
- Our snowshoe guides – Melain Cheung, Cynthia Johnson, Cynthia Wheatley, and Queena Kwok (who stepped in late in the season and will be leading next year!).
- And the finance team, including Clark Seadon and Lisa Philpott, who ably and quickly dealt with our payment issues this season. Also, thanks to Hilary Childs, Richard Kinread, Steve Jonjev, Judy Chen, and Michele Williamson. There were a lot of refunds this year, due to the weather and the IT issues, and they did a great job.
After we wrap up the season, we will be taking a well-deserved break over the summer. We will ramp back up in late summer, but the schedule won’t be posted until November. You can expect the same pattern – the season will begin December 30 and then we will have trips every Saturday and Sunday thereafter until the snow disappears at some point in March. Registrations for the first few trips likely will open around December 18. Nothing for you to do before then except renew your membership and get in ski shape!
Have a wonderful summer!
Director of Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
|Unfortunately, COVID and other respiratory illnesses are clearly still with us. While this will not deter our plans for a more normal ski season, it still must be acknowledged.|
The bus is the one indoor area that the club has full control over. As such, we made the decision and communicated numerous times during the fall, that we are leaving the mask mandate on the bus in place for this year. This requirement is also stated on all trip descriptions.
Given the unpredictability of case counts, we did not want to have to reimpose masks if public health rules reverted back.
Many of you have received every COVID shot available to you; however, there are others who have not. While it was extremely important last season, requiring proof of vaccination was a huge undertaking for a volunteer club. Given that there is currently no recognized number of what is considered as the effective vaccination level and the proportion with booster shots is not as high as the initial shots, retaining masks on the bus is the most basic level of protection we could insist on.
We apologize for any inconvenience, but this is the club policy for the current season. Those who contravene the policy may face club disciplinary action.
President, High Park Ski Club
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:
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 .
Welcome! We’re happy to have you in the club and looking forward to skiing and/or snowshoeing with you this season. We’re planning a relatively normal season, pending procedures at the resorts (which will not be clear until later).
We know that being a new member comes with a lot of questions – and we’ve got you covered. Below find website and blog links where you should find all the information you need. The cross-country pages are kept updated; if the information isn’t yet there, we don’t yet know it! Information is updated as it becomes available. Given the ongoing COVID situation, it is taking time to confirm information with the resorts.
You should also be contacted by a HPSC ambassador – sometime this fall – who can answer your questions. We will also be holding a new member info virtual session in November.
We would appreciate it if you would take the time to see if your question is answered in the following resources before reaching out. We’re busy planning the season (and with our day jobs!). But if you can’t find the answer online, we are happy to help.
The most detailed information (on day trips and lessons) can be found on our FAQ page: https://hpsc.ca/Cross-Country-FAQ
Here is a XC ski/snowshoe 101 resource sheet I created last year, with ski tips (since we weren’t able to offer trips and lessons yet): https://blog.hpsc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Cross-Country-Skiing-101-Resource-Sheet.pdf
The schedule will be posted when ready (later November) here: https://hpsc.ca/Cross-Country-Day-Trips-Registration
Curious about what happens on a day trip? This was written in 2019, but should be largely applicable, with maybe a few tweaks, this year. But, it will give you an idea: https://blog.hpsc.ca/2019/11/what-to-expect-on-a-xc-day-trip/
While no one can give you a definitive answer, here is some advice how to choose between classic and skate skiing: https://blog.hpsc.ca/2020/10/classic-vs-skate-whats-the-difference-and-what-do-i-choose/
Looking for ski gear? This is my most comprehensive advice for what and where to buy: https://blog.hpsc.ca/2019/10/gear-talk-skis-poles-boots-edition/
Questions about waxing those new skis? Check out this: https://blog.hpsc.ca/2019/11/gear-talk-wait-what-i-need-to-wax-waxless-skis/
Looking for snowshoe gear? This is my most comprehensive advice for what and where to buy: https://blog.hpsc.ca/2019/10/gear-talk-snowshoe-edition/
Wondering what to wear when skiing and snowshoeing? Look no further than here: https://blog.hpsc.ca/2019/11/gear-talk-clothing-edition/
Want to ski in the city? It’s possible when we have enough snow! https://blog.hpsc.ca/2021/02/yes-you-can-ski-in-high-park-or-any-other-park/
|Looking for a way to get in shape for ski season or work on your technique in the off-season? Roller skiing is cross-country ski specific dryland training that will achieve both goals! It’s also a fun sport in its own right.In conjunction with Ski Fit, HPSC is offering members a chance to try it out in High Park. In small groups (we have four pairs of roller skis), we will cover safety, the basic manoeuvres, how to slow and stop, how to cross uneven pavement, and point out hazards and how to avoid them. We will also cover equipment and where to get it and good places in the city you could ski.|
October 1, 9:30 – 10:15 am
October 8, 9:30 – 10:15 am
October 22, 9:30 -10:15 am
Location: High Park. Meet at the Grenadier Cafe parking lot.
Bike helmet (mandatory)
Ski boots (mandatory – see below under booking)
Gloves (any kind, mandatory)
Optional, but highly recommended: knee and elbow pads. Spills on concrete can happen leading to scrapes. But we will be doing slow manoeuvres on flat pavement.
To book your spot: email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date you are interested and the type of ski boots you will bring (skate NNN, classic NNN or classic/skate SNS with the older Profil bindings that have one metal bar. If you have SNS bindings with two bars, we don’t have skis for you). If you have your own roller skis, you are welcome to attend. Heather will confirm your participation prior to the first session.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
On Wednesday April 27th we held a very successful hybrid election event, with members both in person at the National Yacht Club and on a live Zoom meeting.
All nomination forms were received as required by 7 pm EDT, while quorum was achieved by 7:15 pm (including those in the room, via Zoom, and a number of proxies received). At that time, Election Chair Chris Bell called the meeting to order.
All positions on the Board were up for election. All positions had just one candidate who were in turn voted in, as per our Bylaws, by a show of hands (those online use the raised hand icon). Incumbent directors could choose to run for a 1 or 2-year term.
A strong board is essential in the smooth running of the club, especially during the challenging times we find ourselves in. While we hope that next season will be closer to normal as we have learned there is no guarantee.
Thank you to the following members who have chosen to continue to serve our membership as Board members and to those who have stepped up and joined the Board for the coming year. Without these dedicated volunteers the club could not function.
|President||Justin Graham||2 years|
|Director of Administration||Karen Snow||1 year|
|Director of Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding||David Manning||1 year|
|Director of Communications||Suzanne de Grandpre||2 years|
|Director of Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing||Heather Steel||2 years|
|Director of Downhill Daytrips||Amy Lam||2 years|
|Director of Finance||Clark Seadon||1 year|
|Director of IT||Alex Radulescu||1 year|
|Director of Long Trips||Kim Wiebe||2 years|
|Director of Marketing||Rocco Romeo||2 years|
|Director of Membership and Volunteers||Jack Ran||2 years|
|Director of Social||Jennifer Beatty||2 years|
A big thank you to Ruth Schefter who has been Director of Membership and Volunteers for the last four years, and to Erika Clark, Director of Downhill Daytrips for the last two years, for all of their hard work and dedication to the club. Ruth and Erika both decided to step away from the board at the conclusion of their current terms but will be available to their successors to ensure a smooth transition.
A sincere thanks to long time HPSC member, Chris Bell, for being this year’s election Chair, and to our Director of IT, Alex Radulescu, for the fantastic set up allowing us to run a very smooth hybrid event with members both live at the National Yacht Club, as well as on Zoom. We would also like to thank all the members who attended the event, either live, on Zoom, or who sent in a proxy vote. All combined allowed us to reach the required quorum and therefore proceed with the election.
Candidate for President – Justin Graham
I have been very proud to be your President the last two years – years that have likely been the most challenging the club has ever faced. Leading our very strong Board of Directors I believe that we have made the tough but correct decisions for the club, and that we have been transparent and fair in our decisions.
I am very proud that despite the challenges we have faced we have been able to provide our members the opportunity to get out to enjoy the winter and to connect with fellow HPSC members, while following the public health guidelines.
Last December after very short notice by our previous bus company (Pacific Western) that they were shutting down their Ontario operations, as President I was able to quickly locate and negotiate an agreement with a new bus partner (Attridge Coach Lines) in time for our 2022 season.
Before becoming President in 2020 I participate in most of the activities of the club (most weekends on alpine daytrips; a couple of snowshoe trips per season; a couple of long trips per season; SkiFit in the fall; Climb the Mountain each year; and many social activities) which allowed me to develop a good sense of the various subgroups of members that make up our fantastic club.
We really are only as strong as a club as the connections we make with each other! My desire when first elected as President was to ensure that our members continued to develop these friendships and as a result strengthen our club. However, during my term it has not been as conducive to achieving this goal as I would have liked, which is one of the reasons I would like to continue to be your President.
HPSC Volunteer Experience
- President (2020-22)
- SkiFit group leader (Fall 2018-21)
- Alpine Bus Captain (2017-2022)
- Alpine Daytrips team lead as Assistant Director of Alpine Daytrips (2019/20 season)
- W6 Killington trip – Trip Leader (February 2020)
- HPSC Volunteer of the Year – Gold (2019/20); Silver (2018/19); Bronze (2017/18)
- Alpine Daytrips – Bus Captain co-oridnator (2018/19)
- Re-wrote Alpine Bus Captain Training Manual (2018/19; 2020/21)
- Assisted Communications and Marketing teams by creating and editing a lot of the website content (2018/19)
- Assisted Social Director in planning and organizing social events (Fall 2018)
- Continuous member since 2007; pervious member 1987-1993
Profession and Education
- Professional public opinion/market researcher for more than 25 years
- MA, Public Policy and Administration
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing major
Candidate for Director of Administration – Karen Snow
I grew up in Barrie and first learned to ski at Horseshoe. I used to go night skiing occasionally, but I didn’t really take up skiing until I moved to Toronto.
A friend of mine told me about High Park Ski Club in 2002 and I have been a member ever since. When I joined, I was still snowplowing my way down the hill. Participating in the lessons has greatly improved my skiing and my confidence. The HPSC instructors are well trained and really care about your progress. I still remember my first ski trip with the club to Quebec, what an experience! I look forward to many more trips. Not only does this club improve your skiing but it also enriches your social life.
Over the years I have volunteered on the Social Committee and as an Ambassador. In 2020, I decided to take on a larger role as Director of Administration to give back to a club that has given me so much.
Over the last two years, I guided the transition from a physical club house to our current virtual club house setup. As well, in my role of Director of Administration last fall I conducted the successful search for a new liability insurance policy after we (and all other ski industry clients) were dropped by our previous insurance broker.
[Incumbent Director of Administration 2020-22]
Candidate for Director of Communications – Suzanne de Grandpré
Having grown up in Alberta, I started skiing in Banff and Whistler during university. After a hiatus of a number of years, I moved to Toronto and wished to get back into skiing. I didn’t even know people skied in Ontario until I joined High Park Ski Club, of which I have been a continuous member since 1998.
My time in the club has consisted of everything from day trips, overnight bus trips and, of course, the charter trips which I eagerly anticipate every year! The club has given me the opportunity to ski in Europe and destinations in the U.S., both west and east. I have made many friends and gained many fond skiing memories over the years. The excellent instruction I received from our amazing instructors has taken my skiing to new levels.
As a volunteer, I have been Volunteer Coordinator, Social Director, co-trip leader and bus captain for many seasons.
When asked by the President to take over the position of Director of Communications, I was most honoured to join an extremely hardworking Board. My goal in continuing in this role is to provide members with clear and concise dissemination of information and to use our various platforms to enhance the club experience. I would like to thank my predecessor, Nemanja Davidovic, for his assistance as I transitioned into this role.
I look forward to continuing to serve the club as Director of Communications and working with this great team.
[Acting Director of Communication 2021-22]
Director of Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing – Heather Steel
I discovered the club in 2011 and haven’t looked back! I live outdoors in the summer and was looking for something to keep me active and having fun in the winter. I found the club online, and, having never cross country skied before, I took the plunge and joined.
The 2011 Scenic Caves New Year’s Eve trip was my first experience; I remember tons of snow and a very friendly welcome…and I was hooked! Since then, cross country skiing has become my primary winter activity, a sport I could not imagine living without, and the reason why winter is my favourite season.
In 2013, I became race director and in 2018, I passed my CANSI Level 1 and became an instructor. I also became the Director of Cross-Country in 2018. Joining the club has been an amazing experience in more ways than I could have imagined, with wonderful friendships formed and new skills developed (I can finally skate ski!). With everything the club has given me in the past 11 years, it’s important to me to give back and help us continue the amazing work we do.
I am particularly proud of the cross country side for developing a fun and supportive community of skiers. It’s my goal as Director to continue developing that community, working with the Board to introduce new people to cross country skiing and growing the volunteer ranks of our community. A project manager in my day job, I bring the leadership and organizational skills necessary for this type of role, combined with a tireless love (or, some might say, obsession) with cross country skiing. See you on the trails!
[Incumbent Director of Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing 2018-22]
Candidate for Director of Downhill Day Trips – Amy Lam
I love being active and being outdoors. In past winters, I casually went skiing with friends, but never took any lessons or joined a club. In 2018, I wanted to improve my skiing skills and meet other skiers. I googled “ski club” and found High Park Ski Club’s website.
Since being a member, I have been blown away with the quality of lessons and trips the club offers. My skiing has greatly improved since taking lessons with the awesome HPSC instructors. In my second year I started to volunteer as bus captain for Saturday alpine trips, which I also did this season. I have such a blast meeting members, and being part of such a positive, active and winter-loving community. In 2020 I decided to stand for the Director of Social Activities, since I love seeing the joy that social gatherings bring to members. While that has not been possible during the pandemic, I have learned a lot being part of the Board of Directors in how decisions are made and how the club runs.
When Erika Clark decided to not seek re-election as Director of Downhill Day Trips, I was very honoured to be asked by both the President and by Erika to consider running for Director of Day Trips.
I look forward to moving the club back to a more normal downhill season next year.
[Director of Social 2020-22]
Candidate for Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding Director (Snow School) – David Manning
When I joined HPSC in 2006 as a first-time skier, I thought I’d learn to ski and have a better winter. Little did I know that the club would change my life! High Park gave me the gift of skiing and snowboarding, training as an instructor, and an amazing circle of friends to share this gift with. My commitment to the club is to give an exceptional experience to the next generation of downhill skiers and riders. Backed by our talented snow school director and executive, I empower our snow school to successfully meet the needs of our learners. My qualifications include attaining CSIA level 3 partial (teaching), CSCF Entry Level, CASI-2 partial, ICP-2, and a master of education from Athabasca University.
[Incumbent Director of Snow School – 2020-22]
Candidate for Director of Finance – Clark Seadon
Skiing continues to be a huge source of adventure and excitement in my life. I started as a downhill skier, ski raced for my local club in Edmonton, then while living in Vancouver I threw in a little back-country skiing, and after that lots of family ski trips from Toronto. Now I get the most enjoyment and challenge out of XC skiing which is why I joined the Club three years ago. I have been absolutely delighted to find so many people who enjoy winter.
In terms of Finance, I am currently the Club’s Finance Director and am running for another year. Over the last two years we’ve implemented faster payment processes and I’m looking forward to refining and improving these. I find my career as a banker and being a CPA/CA has stood me in good stead. Overall, I continue to look forward to helping members enjoy skiing while ensuring the Club remains financially sound.
[Incumbent Director of Finance – 2020-22]
Candidate for Director of Information Technology – Alex Radulescu
My first time on the slopes was when I was around age 11, learning to ski at Glen Eden. By the time I was able to ski comfortably down blues, I decided to try snowboarding. Maybe I was overconfident, but I was going down greens on my first day! Although by the time I was in high school, I stopped all winter sports until after I finished my post secondary education. I now want to perfect both my snowboarding and skiing, so you’ll be seeing me switching every week.
I have been the Director of IT since 2018 and still excited to give back to the club. I’m volunteering to help maintain our platforms and try to provide easy to use solutions for both the volunteers and members to make it a more enjoyable experience! If you have any suggestions or want to help out please reach out.
[Incumbent Director of IT – 2018-2022]
Candidate for Director of Long Trips – Kim Wiebe
Long trips are my passion and after working as your acting Long Trips Director since last fall, I’m delighted to confirm my dedication to this position in an election. Being nominated by the prior Long Trips Director to take on his role, is a great show of confidence.
It’s a big portfolio but I have a solid record of achievement planning bus and charter trips for the past 15 years and have been the leader of the small team who plan and execute charters within the Long Trips Committee (LTC).
I have the support of the Long Trips Committee (LTC) to continue as their leader and have the support of the current HPSC Board and President to continue as Long Trips Director.
Being involved in negotiating charter and bus contracts is exciting but this role comes with a lot of detailed administration, people management, decision making and a major commitment of time. Although previous Director, Bill Bates, had been hoping to pass on the torch earlier, he waited until I retired from my full-time job (as an accountant) to start fully transitioning the role.
Planning successful trips for the club means evolving with change and keeping your finger on the pulse of where members want to go. Having personally skied at most of the destinations is a key factor in knowing what can work. Providing a variety of trips that will appeal to our long-term members, new members, Ikon pass holders, retirees and working members means planning for weekend, mid-week and week-long trips across a spectrum of price points.
Establishing relationships based on honesty, trust and integrity is critical in obtaining the best deals from our ski industry suppliers. Members deserve fairness and the knowledge that policies and pricing is being fairly applied to all members without special exceptions.
My pledge is to continue to offer the best trips, to the best destinations and best overall value for our members.
[Acting Director of Long Trips – 2021-22]
Candidate for Director of Marketing – Rocco Romeo
My first skiing experience happened when I was 21 years old. A college friend convinced myself and another friend that he could teach us to ski. That weekend we drove up to Horseshoe Valley. With rented skies standing on top of the top of the hill we waited for our first lesson from our experienced skier. He said “watch me” and began to ski down the hill. We watched him slowly disappear from sight and then we both turned to face each other. Dumb faced and after some deliberation we decide to give it a try. Sliding and purposely falling down to control our speed we managed to complete the run. Surprisingly that day didn’t make me stop going but helped me find the joy of skiing.
I joined HPSC in 2010 and was immediately impressed with the lessons I was getting from the ski instructors. I looked forward to the morning lessons and eating lunch together made it possible to develop friendships and ski together in the afternoon.
In 2012 I became a HPSC instructor. I find teaching and passing on knowledge to our members to help them achieve their goals very rewarding. Not only has the club enriched my life I have made many lifelong friends along the way.
Previously I have volunteered on the Social Committee. Now I feel it’s time to give back in a larger capacity that will allow me to use my skill set. I am a Digital Marketing Designer. A creative thinker with experience building brand awareness and launching new products. My goal as the new Marketing Director will be to ensure the club is visible and the target audience is engaged.
Candidate for Director of Membership and Volunteers – Jack Ran
I grew up in downtown Toronto and got to ski about once a year as a child. Our family didn’t have a car, so accessing ski resorts became a much-anticipated event for me to enjoy around Christmas time. Then, as life got busy and the demands of school, sport, and other activities got in the way, I didn’t get to go again for many years. Once I graduated university, I started looking for ways to access ski resorts as a non-driver – another consequence of growing up downtown. This was the moment I discovered HPSC.
Since joining, I’ve participated in many day trips, from skiing to snowshoeing, and have had the most incredible time learning from great instructors and making new friends. I have profound appreciation for all the HPSC volunteers who make these incredible winter experiences possible for those like me and hope to pay it forward through volunteering for the club.
I hope I can make new members feel as welcomed as I did when I first joined!
[Jack has been shadowing our current Membership Director Ruth Schefter since January]
Candidate for Director of Social – Jennifer Beatty
I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and learned to downhill ski in Banff. I have skied several hills in Banff, as well as in Golden and Whistler, BC.
I moved to Toronto in October 2018 for a job in marketing and was looking for something to keep me active in the winter. That’s when I discovered the High Park Ski Club and it’s been the best thing I’ve done since moving to Toronto! Having never cross-country skied before joining the club, I advanced from Classic 1 to Classic 3. This past season, I went on a number of downhill trips with the club. I made some great friends and had tons of laughs along the way!
As a marketer in my day job, I was excited to use my skill set as Director of Marketing for the last two years. However, I’ve viewed social events as a critical strategy for attracting and retaining members and enhancing the overall value proposition of the club, keeping our club strong for years to come! As part of the Board, over the last two years, I have provided many ideas and suggestions on possible social events for the club (which unfortunately due to the pandemic we were not able to do).
When asked by the President to consider taking on the Director of Social role I was excited to put my name forward. I look forward to continuing to serve our members as part of the Board of Directors in this new role.
[Director of Marketing 2020-22]
This past weekend HPSC’s cross-country crew returned with our first bus trip in almost two years! We were limited to 25 people on the bus (that will increase after Feb. 21), but that didn’t damper our fun.
Highlands Nordic had excellent conditions and welcomed us back with open arms. Thanks to them! We offered four lessons – three classic and one skate. Our classes were a bit larger than normal, but everyone was a good sport, which allowed us to accommodate as many members as possible.
There were big smiles all around, happy new members, and returning members seeing each other for the first time in a long while. Thanks to all our members for following all the COVID protocols to make sure that we can continue to run buses. We’ve got two trips on the long weekend (both sold out, but there is a waitlist) and we’ve opened Feb. 26/27 trips for registration. Feb. 26 is going to Highlands Nordic and Feb. 27 is going to a club favourite, Georgian Nordic. With increased capacity, there’s still room on both trips.
We finally have some good news – we feel ready to offer bus trips, but the plan looks a bit different than normal years.
On Feb. 12 (Highlands), Feb. 19 (TBC), and Feb. 20 (Horseshoe Valley), we will run with 25 members on the bus, including our instructors, guides and the bus captain (so the spots open for registration will be less than 25).
After Feb. 21, provided the provincial reopening plan remains the same, we will return to our regular schedule and increase capacity.
The schedule and important registration information can be found here.
Below find the highlights of our most important changes, and keep reading for details of how the bus trips will operate.
Highlights of important changes:
- You must show proof of vaccination before you can register for trips. Email your proof to email@example.com if you haven’t already.
- You must wear a mask on the bus except if eating lunch (and we expect you to eat quickly). We VERY strongly recommend wearing an N/KN95, which are proven to protect you and others better than alternatives.
- There are no warmup options at the resorts. At some places you can go inside to use the washroom. At others, there are portable washrooms. We will have the bus available, but it won’t be very warm as it cannot idle all day. This is the reality of skiing this year. If you do not think you will be comfortable under these circumstances, we advise that you do not come with the bus. See below for tips on coming prepared to ski under these conditions.
- We have fewer instructors available this year due to COVID. We may not be able to accommodate all requests for lessons, especially if there are a lot of people who want to drive up for lessons. We plan to offer three classic lessons and skate lesson, if we have the instructor available. With four instructors on a trip, we can accommodate about 24-30 students.
- There are new registration (Wednesday 6pm) and cancellation (Tuesday 8pm) deadlines.
COVID-19 policies and procedures:
- All HPSC members must show proof of full vaccination before registering for a club trip. Please see here for the full club vaccination policy.
- All day trip participants must be members. There will be no test drive or guest days this year.
- Members must comply with mask policies on the bus and at the resorts. Proper cloth or medical masks must be worn and cover the nose and mouth. Buffs and improper wearing of masks will not be tolerated. We very strongly recommend wearing an N/KN95.
- Please do not come on a trip if you are experiencing symptoms of illness, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. In these instances, we have a more flexible cancellation policy this year.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, please inform us so that we can contact trace.
- All members will have to fill out screening apps the morning of the trip and show it to the bus captain. The link will be in the day trip registration module. If you do not own a smart phone, do it at home and bring a printout on the bus with you.
- Failure to adhere to club or public health rules will be considered a breach of conduct and addressed accordingly.
- All the trips will appear on the online event calendar once the modules are created. Weekend trips are open for registration on the Monday two weeks prior to the trip (except for the first trip, which will have less registration time). For example, the Feb. 20 trip will open Feb. 7 at 9am. The date a trip opens for registration will be stated on the event description. While in the past we have opened trips up further in advance, this approach will give us maximum flexibility given the uncertainty, while still allowing people to plan.
- You can find the trips that are open for booking and the schedule here. It is subject to change. If a trip is not on the calendar, it is not yet ready. Please do not email about it.
- Registration is done online. There are two modules for each trip that offers lessons – a bus module and a drive up module for those wanting to drive up and take lessons. If there are no lessons on a trip, only a bus module will be created.
- If you want to take the bus, register on the bus module. Generally, you pay for the bus, trail pass, and rentals (if necessary). Please note that resorts are operating differently this year. For example, at Horseshoe you have to reserve and pay for your rentals online through the resort. All this will be detailed on the registration module – please pay close attention. You will receive email confirmation of your registration. If you do not complete payment, your registration will be deleted automatically after 15 minutes.
- Members who wish to drive up AND take a lesson must register for the lesson on the drive up registration module. You must, however, buy your own trail pass and rentals at the resort.
- Registration deadline is Wednesday 6pm for Saturday and Sunday trips. After this date, the trip is closed, and registration disappears from the website. All members must register in advance. There will be no walk-ons allowed this year.
- If a trip is close to selling out, we will activate the waitlist. There are always cancellations. If you are on the waitlist and are offered a spot, you will be notified and must pay within 24 hours. Waitlist spots are held until Wednesday morning. At that point, the waitlist is cleared, and it is first come first served for any remaining spots. We find this policy is fair, while not putting undue burden on our volunteers.
- You may at some point get a bus voucher (a voucher entitles the holder to a bus ride). You must bring the physical voucher with you on the bus, or you will be invoiced for the bus fee. No exceptions.
- If you have any questions about your registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not respond to the registration confirmation email.
- The cancellation deadline is Tuesday at 8pm for Saturday and Sunday day trips.
- You must email email@example.com with the trip number (NXXXX) and the cancellation request. The cancellations team will email you a confirmation of receipt.
- If you do not follow this procedure before the deadline, you will be considered a “no show” and will be charged for the bus ($30).
- If you do not come because you are sick or have been in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org within 72 hours after the trip to get a full refund. Please do not come on the trip if you are sick! If we find our no-show rate is too high (costing us too much money and depriving others of seats on the bus), we will have to re-evaluate this policy. Please do not abuse it and use it only when you are genuinely not feeling well.
Is the trip running?
- An email will be sent to all registered participants by Friday at 12pm. Please do not email for information prior to this time. If you do not receive an email by Friday at 12pm, check your junk mail. Then check the status page on the website. You must log in to see the status page.
- This email/the status page will contain all the information you need for the day trip, plus a link to the COVID-19 screening form that will be used for that day.
- If we must cancel a trip, we will refund you in full. A bit of inclement weather doesn’t deter us (even rain), but if we deem it unsafe to be on the trails or roads, we may cancel. We appreciate your understanding; cancelling/changing trips is a very difficult decision for our team, and we do whatever possible to get you out skiing. In the past couple of years, we have only cancelled trips when there were extreme weather warnings for high amounts of rain/freezing rain and damaging winds.
- Trips can also be cancelled due to insufficient registration numbers. Pre-COVID, this didn’t happen, but if not enough people are comfortable enough taking the bus, we won’t run it.
- Sometimes resorts will have varying conditions depending on local weather. In the past we’ve been able to be flexible and find an alternate resort if conditions at the scheduled resort are poor. We may not be able to operate this way this year. Some resorts are limiting access to one group/day. Thus, we may have no option but to cancel if a resort is not available or deemed safe.
Lessons & other programming
- We will be offering lessons on day trips, however, due to less instructor availability (due to COVID and other factors), the amount and nature of the lessons will be scaled back. We will try to ensure all beginners get lessons. We cannot guarantee lessons to everyone who wants them.
- We are offering guided snowshoeing on many trips. Please sign up for it in the registration modules.
- There will be no race program.
- There will be no social events.
Tips for a successful COVID season
- Please seriously consider wearing N95 masks. They are proven to help protect you and others better. We need to protect ourselves if we are going to run successful trips.
- There will be capacity limits in the chalets as the resorts, meaning we must use our bus as “home base”. We will store our bags there, get ready, eat lunch etc. Be prepared to spend more time outside than normal. It is up to you to determine if you can handle this given the temperatures.
- Come prepared with enough warm clothing considering the lack of indoor space. More is better than less.
- We recommend that you ski with a small backpack that contains extra warm clothing (a dry base layer, warmer mitts, dry socks etc.), snacks, and water.
- Patience. Everything is going to take longer. Our volunteers are learning new procedures. Please have patience!