Front-of-the-Line (FOTL)

Coronavirus cancelled charter trips C7 France and C8 Taos. Members on these trips are now waiting for their insurance claims to be processed. It will be a lengthy process to get their money back due to the many thousands of claims from passengers all around the world on ski trips, vacation packages, cruise ships, flights, etc. But there is a small bit of good news for these members; they will be getting a FOTL privilege for 2021. When we reschedule the Club Med and Taos trips for 2021, the FOTL privilege will be used to get a jump on the rest of the membership to register before these trips go on sale. Since some C7 and C8 members received a credit instead of claiming a cash refund, the FOTL privilege will ensure that they can use their credit to get onto the trip.

What’s your next dream ski vacation destination?

Travel Insurance

This unprecedented stop of travel has highlighted the need for proper trip insurance. With 84 members affected by C7 and C8, we discovered that some members did not have cancellation insurance. With cancellation insurance, there will be full recovery of the amount paid or most of the amount paid. Without cancellation insurance, there is only a credit. Hotels and airlines are not obligated to give cash refunds. Where a refund is offered that is a bonus.

One member wrote, “Going forward, HPSC might want to re-emphasize the need for trip insurance and refer to this spring’s experience and remind club members that in most cases they will have to rely on insurance to get cash back and be the ones who have to chase after their refunds as the travel agents, resorts and airlines are not likely to refund payments and, at best, provide credits, often with deductions. Further that it is the members themselves who will have to do the bulk of the legwork and spend a lot of time chasing people and filing claims and then waiting for the refunds.”

HPSC has always strongly recommended trip insurance on our website and other documentation.  For 2021 we may insist that every participant must have it, ie, both medical and cancellation insurance. Without it, you could not register for a trip.

W8 Tremblant-March

Spring in Tremblant

Tremblant-March was planned to be our biggest and wildest trip of the season… but now cancelled! Boo hoo! Now be patient, refunds are coming. It’s a big job and our volunteers are busily working on it. You’ll see the refund back on your credit card by mid-April.

Trips Cancelled: C7 Les Arcs, France, and C8 Taos, New Mexico

Disappointment reigned supreme last week as the last two charter trips of the season were cancelled due to the corona virus. Both trips had been sold out since October so these members were eager to finally get to ski those two beautiful resorts. Alas it was not to be! Refunds are now being pursued and members will call on their travel insurance policies to recover any loss. We will try to put on these same trips in 2021 when the smoke has cleared on COVID-19.

Trip Cancelled: W8 Tremblant

Coronavirus has rained on our parade – two bus trip to Tremblant. We’ll be back next season!

Over 100 members on our overnight Tremblant trip were very disappointed to miss out on the biggest ski party of the season. What an event we had planned! What a shame to have it cancelled by the corona virus. Full refunds are coming. Refunds will take some time for our volunteers to do so please be patient. Rest assured whatever amount you paid for W8 will be refunded back to your credit card.

HPSC discovers Sault Ste. Marie

On the family day long weekend, a full bus headed up to Sault Ste. Marie to experience some of the best cross-country skiing Northern Ontario – and indeed Canada – has to offer! We stayed in Sault Ste. Marie and skied two days at Stokely Creek and the final morning at Hiawatha Highlands. Both places delivered amazing skiing.

Konstatin is pretty tired after all that climbing!

Stokely Creek is not for the faint of heart. With over 100km of trails and some serious climbing, you are sure to get a workout! But, there are some lovely easier trails too if that’s more your style. And the snowshoeing looked lovely!

There was a huge base of snow, so no worries about bad conditions on this trip! It also snowed all day on Saturday, creating a lovely winter wonderland. Then the network was freshly groomed entirely for Sunday.

Snow all day = happy skiers!

Members had all kinds of fun. There’s 6 huts to explore throughout the network and we hit all of them at some point! Norm’s cabin even offers full tea and cookie service! The sun peaked out on Sunday and gave us views of Lake Superior. Lots of members challenged themselves to climb King Mountain. Others explored the snowshoe trails.

Four of our members – Heather, Paul, Ian, and Jean-Emile – took on the 6 Hut Challenge on Sunday. That’s all 6 huts in one day. And what a day it was. In the end, this foursome skied 40km and climbed about 1000m! You don’t get that kind of climbing in Southern Ontario. They’re waiting for their t-shirts to be mailed.

The last hut!!! Then the death march home commenced.
The Sugar Shack at Hiawatha!

The final day took us just outside Sault Ste. Marie to Hiawatha Highlands, the local nordic ski club. A smaller trail network and not nearly as challenging (thank goodness!), but also beautiful. The sun came out and everyone wished we had time to stay the whole day.

All in all, this trip was a massive success and we’ll add it to our roster of long weekend destinations! Special thanks to trip leader Monica, who always does a fantastic job.

Norm’s Cabin offers tea and cookies to weary skiers! Our members got a little comfortable…

Update on Long Trips

There are just a few seats still open on our overnight and charter trips. If you are interested in a trip, add your name to the waitlist because cancellations happen from time to time, sometimes very close to departure.

NEW for the Lake Placid trip is an option for XC. Here is your chance to ski and snowshoe the Olympic Cross Country ski trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg. See Lake Placid details on the website, Learn More https://hpsc.ca/event-3508545

1. Lake Placid, 1 seat left to match a male roommate, register NOW!

2. Tremblant March, 2 buses… what a party! There are still seats open although the Register button isn’t showing. The rooming needs to be sorted out so add your name to the waitlist for a seat.

3. Taos, 1 seat for a Male to match rooming.

If you need to cancel the trip, please review and follow long trips cancellation policy. Learn more https://blog.hpsc.ca/2020/01/long-trips-7/

Our ski trips are like trips back to the childhood, when someone takes care of everything and we are just having a blast and come back for dinner after playing in the snow with the red cheeks and big smiles… Our ClubMed trips definitely have it all to feel like a child on a snow carousel.

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.

Insurance

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.

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

Apres 70th Anniversary Season spectacular trip & party in Tremblant in March

Based on a high interest we’ve added second bus for Tremblant 3 trip (March 27-29). Registration is now open, as you know the trip will sell fast. It’s a great trip for new members, new to sport, snowboarders, snowshoers and hikers, and just as a social trip. Great value, mega party! Apres ski in the mild spring conditions in Tremblant is the best! We’ll have a retro party on the bus to celebrate 7 decades of our club’s history and we’ll will dance in Le P’tit Caribou, considered one of the best après-ski bars in the world. Let’s plan to finish 70th Anniversary season spectacular strong! https://hpsc.ca/event-3507219

Tremblant 1 – Rain, fog, snow and a great time had by all!

Excellent first overnight downhill bus trip of the season to Tremblant. Instructors and enthusiasts had the opportunity to break the ice of the season on a high note. Rain, fog, snow and a great time had by all! Tremblant – blizzard of activities, always inspiring… Join Tremblant 3 to end the season strong with the best Apres ski and spring riding.

Long Trips

Open Trips

The homepage will show an “On Sale” label for a trip with an open seat. But you can add your name to the waitlist for any other trip. Cancellations happen from time to time and members on the waitlist get called first before opening the trip up to others. There is no cost to adding your name to a waitlist.

Charters:

C6 Silver Star, 1 seat for a Male

C7 ClubMed Les Arcs, France 2 seats

Overnight bus trips:

W4 Mt Ste Anne, 10 seats

W7 Lake Placid, 21 seats

W9 Holiday Valley-2, 15 seats

Second Holiday Valley

The 2nd Holiday Valley trip added to the schedule last month is filling up W9 Holiday Valley-2 , Jan 31-Feb 2, 2020. Both Holiday Valley trips leave the city after work on Friday and return early Sunday night. On Saturday night after a great day of skiing you will enjoy the pretty town of Ellicottville, NY. A passport is required, make sure yours is up to date.

Parking for Overnight Trips

If you plan to park at the bus pickup point, you will have to pre-pay online at least 2 days beforehand. There is no option for a cash payment so you cannot arrive at the lot with payment in hand. If you know definitely that you will need parking, you could pay for parking when you register for the trip. You’ll find the parking webpage this way: Login > OUR TRIPS > MY LONG TRIPS > Trip# Payment for Parking. Check the itinerary for the correct parking lot because unlike last season, each trip has a different bus pickup point.

Bill Bates, Director