Overnight Registration Is This Week

Trip Sign-Up Night #3 (TSUN) will occur this week on Thursday, October 29 starting at exactly 8:00 PM. All 6 overnight trips go on sale for the first time. Downhill has 5 trips, X-country has 1. But the weeklong trip to Mt Tremblant is a combo DH-XC. Login, go to the webpage for the trip you want, and scroll down to the “Register” button. Don’t look for the button now; the “Register” button will appear only after 8:00 PM. Registration will continue 24 hours a day until each trip is sold out.

Getting on a Trip

Only members who have paid the membership fee for 2020-2021 are allowed to register. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, do it right away because it will take 24-48 hours to be approved. The procedures for registering on TSUN are on the webpage, TRIP SIGN UP 2021.

What’s Different Now

The pandemic caused us to make big changes to overnight procedures. Firstly these are now self-driving trips. We reviewed bussing for overnight trips and rejected it as being very unsafe at this time considering the duration, confinement, masking, social distancing and sanitation that members would experience on a charter bus for the lengthy time it takes to get to distant Quebec ski resorts. Since we could not guarantee safety despite Covid protocols that might be in place, we organized trips for those who can arrange their own transportation.

Secondly, HPSC will not be assigning roommates this year. If you do not have a pre-arranged roommate, you will be required to pay the single room supplement. Therefore when you register, you are booking a room and can specify the name of your roommate (or a SINGLE).

Thirdly, because you are booking a room and not one seat, the non-refundable deposit this year is $200. Your roommate doesn’t have to pay a deposit because you have already secured the room. When you each have to pay the balance of the overnight trip cost, we will assume your roommate has given you half the cost of the room deposit.

Trip Supervisors

A supervisor is assigned to plan and manage all aspects of each trip. The supervisor may or may not travel on the trip itself, but they are very knowledgeable and experienced in HPSC group travel. If there is a question that the detailed description on the website doesn’t answer, please email the supervisor. The supervisor webpage is open to members-only, so you must login to get the email address.

Registered Attendees

“Anonymous”

When you register for a trip you can decide if you want your name added to the list of attendees. The list is not public and can only be seen by members after they login. If you don’t want your name shown, click on the flag and you will show up as “Anonymous”.  If you are already registered and want a change, contact the supervisor.

Enjoy a XC ski/snowshoe stay-cation with HPSC

The XC team is pleased to announce that our Family Day long weekend adventure is booked! Trip W6 will be heading up to Hunstville for three days with options to ski and snowshoe in three different places: Arrowhead (one of our favourites!), the trails near the West Gate of Algonquin Park (Fen Lake for groomed trails and Minnesing Trail for backcountry skiing), and the Frost Centre in the Algonquin Highlands. This will be a self-drive trip, car-pooling with those in your bubble.

The cost for this trip is $310 for three nights, double occupancy; the single supplement is $305. We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Huntsville – Muskoka. The rooms come with a fridge and microwave, so you can bring much of your own food if you want. We are hoping to offer instruction for beginners and perhaps guided snowshoeing, but this is not yet confirmed. Trip sign ups start on Thursday, October 29th at 8:00 pm.

A little about the ski and snowshoe locations! The Frost Centre has 22 km of trails at all levels, plus backcountry trails. Facilities include two on-trail, self-serve warm-up cabins (equipped with wood stoves), washrooms, outdoor toilets and parking; we are confirming that these facilities will be available in 2021. Arrowhead Provincial Park we know and love, but may not get to this year as a day trip. Arrowhead has an extensive set of classic and skate trails as well as snowshoe trails, some lovely classic-only ungroomed trails, and warm up buildings (note, these may not be available this year). The Fen Lake Ski Trail is located at the West Gate of Algonquin Park. It offers four loops from 1 to 18km with both easy and more challenging sections. All trails are groomed and trackset. A shelter and toilets are located at the beginning of the trail and at Fen Lake. Alternatively, the Minnesing Trail (23 km from the West Gate) has four loops ranging from 6 to 32 kilometres. The trail is maintained for backcountry wilderness skiing and is not groomed. Snowshoes are permitted on this trail.

Last year’s Family Day trip in Sault Ste. Marie was a blast. Let’s make it a great one this year!

Charter Registration is This Week

The date for registering for our charter trips is this Thursday, Oct 15 at 8:00 PM. Synchronize your watch to CP24 and wait for the clock to tick over to 8:00 PM. Be sure to login first.

Registration is already open for Whistler and St Moritz-Switzerland. Whistler has an early bird price that has been extended to Nov 15. St Moritz is an all-inclusive trip to a 4-Trident Club Med resort where all meals, all refreshments and all ski guiding are included.

Remember that you must have paid your membership fee for 2020-21 to be able to register.

Overnight Trip Registration

Registering for overnight trips will occur in two weeks on Thursday, Oct 29 at 8:00 PM. This Covid year, we had to make significant changes to our overnight trips with the emphasis on safety. Enjoying a ski trip to Quebec while being as safe as possible has caused us to arrange u-drive trips instead of our usual practice of bus transportation.

The difficulties of social distancing on a long distance bus ride, for many hours, with all hygiene considerations, and the reliance on everybody onboard to maintain Covid protocol, did not allow us to run our buses safely. Thus we have 5 u-drive trips with 5 excellent opportunities to “Ski-Quebec” including two weeklong trips. So plan your transportation, with a roommate, free up some cash, mark the signup date on your calendar, and get ready to register. Oh… we have single rooms available if that is your choice.

Quarantine for Covid

A few members have asked about the federal government requirement to quarantine following your return back to Toronto from a charter trip. This requirement now only applies to a trip leaving Canada; our BC and Alberta trips are not affected. The tour operator for the St Moritz trip has told us that by the time this trip runs next March, quarantining will no longer be required. But there have been many surprises during this pandemic so nothing can be ruled out for sure.

Get Ready for 2021 Registration

With summer over, the excitement of ski trip possibilities is upon us. Our 2021 lineup includes 6 charter trips and 5 overnight trips. To register for a charter or overnight trip, you must begin by reading over web page TRIP SIGN UP 2021. This page gives all the information about how to register and when to register.

Registration opens sooner than you think. Whistler is already open and at the end of this month, registration will open for St Moritz-Switzerland. As in past seasons, registration will open at precisely 8:00 PM on the dates listed. So don’t look for the Register button before those dates; the button won’t be showing. Although registration for overnight trips doesn’t happen until October 29, you will find it helpful to understand the procedure so you can ask any questions now about particular trips you may be interested in.

Note: You must have paid your membership fee for 2020-21 to be able to register.

Safety, Safety, Safety

Skiing is still great! But due to the pandemic, we had to make several changes this year to be able to run long trips in a safe manner. Safety was our primary consideration. A major change is that we cannot match up roommates for those who don’t already have one. Thus if you do not have a pre-arranged roommate, you will be required to pay the single room supplement. Another change is that all overnight trips will be u-drive. There is no bus transportation available this year because we could not guarantee social distancing on a long distance bus for the number of hours it takes to get to the resorts. A further change is that our normal après ski receptions cannot be held. Instead we will create opportunities to meet and mix with fellow travelers during the ski day. Skiers will be grouped up according to ability, and on all overnight trips HPSC instructors will provide guided touring as they have done in the past.

A final change you will notice is that while a supervisor has been appointed to organize each trip, they may not actually accompany the group to the resort. Supervisors are well-versed in the trip parameters and will respond to any questions you may have. The web page for supervisor name and email address is found by hovering over the Charter 2021 landing page or Overnight 2021 landing page. The supervisor page is a member-only page so you must login first.

FOTL Pass

Coronavirus cancelled charter trips C7 France and C8 Taos last March affecting 84 members (boo hoo!). These members received a Front-of-the-Line (FOTL) pass for 2021 to help them through their tears. They have the privilege to reserve a seat ahead of the rest of the membership. Thus when you are looking at the trip page, you may see that some seats have been sold before the registration night. These are the FOTL passes.

HPSC Charter trips for this coming season!

1. Whistler – Early Bird Offer

For a very limited time, HPSC is able offer early bird pricing on our trip to Whistler!  Until September 14th.

This special all-inclusive price of $2,380 (per person, double occupancy) must be booked and all deposits paid by Sept 14.  The trip is already open on the website for registration. Hurry if you want this discount.

The trip includes 7 nights at the Listel hotel with hot breakfast, 2 Queen or 1 King bed, 5 day lift pass, 6th day $85 extra, direct flights on Air Canada to Vancouver and shuttle from the airport to the hotel in Whistler.  The resort will be raising its lift prices next week, so our prices must increase at that point as well. 

The Listel hotel is located in Whistler Village, steps from the main gondola lifts and includes the award-winning Bear Bistro restaurant.  The trip departs Saturday March 6 and returns Saturday March 13, 2021, right in peak season.   This is a fabulous chance to ski with reduced crowds this year, at one of the top ten resorts in the world.

2. St Moritz Club Med

St Moritz Club Med trip opens for registration on September 30.

Sign up for our Club Med St Moritz March Break trip is September 30.  The trip will depart on Saturday March 13 and return on Sunday March 21.  As those who have travelled to Club Med before know, it is truly all inclusive and offers a fabulous opportunity to experience exceptional guided skiing in the famed Swiss resort of St Moritz at the unbeatable price of $3,055, with a limited number of single rooms for $565 extra. As a reminder, HPSC will not be assigning roommates this year.   

For those concerned about travelling during the pandemic, Club Med has included their own Club Med Covid-19 medical insurance within the pricing of all of their trips (details are available on their website). Spots are first being offered to those members whose Club Med Les Arcs trip was cancelled this past year due to the COVID shutdown, but all of the remaining seats will be available on Sept 30 to the membership. 

3. More Charter Trips

Other Charter Trips include 2 IKON destinations and 2 BC Interior resorts

Canadian destinations in this year’s line-up besides Whistler include the usual favorites, Banff and Sun Peaks, but we also arranged trips to Revelstoke and Panorama.  Registration for these trips will open on Thursday October 15th.

Check out all of the charters and overnight trips on the HPSC website to read detailed trip descriptions by going to OUR TRIPS > Charter Trips , or > Overnight Trips and scroll down the page to see the list and then clicking on the specific trip.  Don’t miss out on any of these fabulous trips!  Contact your partners to arrange a roommate in advance of sign up or treat yourself to a single room this year.  As noted, HPSC will not be matching up roommates on this year’s trips. 

Long Trips vs COVID19

Day Dreaming about Winter 2021

The Long Trips team has been working on potential charter and overnight trips for 2021. We will follow all safety protocols to make sure our members stay as safe as possible from catching COVID19 on one of our trips. We know that travel will not be the same because of social distancing, face masks and hygiene principles. With safety as top of mind, we will make some critical decisions about the best way to offer trips.

The responses from the recent HPSC survey told us that there is little appetite for US or European trips. COVID19 has been rampant in US; who knows whether the situation this winter will be better… or worse. Thus we will plan only Canadian trips in 2021.  Fortunately there are lots of great western and eastern ski resorts to select from and as usual we will try to get the best possible deal for our members. For those with Club Med credits from the cancelled 2020 trip, we will slide the next Club Med Europe trips into 2022. For those who were on cancelled Taos, NM, this trip will be run again in 2022.

Travel Insurance

Please reread the blog item below from April on travel insurance. We never plan on using our insurance but when we need it, it comes in very handy. By not buying insurance for your trip, you are “self insuring” and just hoping that nothing will go wrong. In March 2020 members found out that things don’t always go as planned. Through no fault of their own, two charter trips got cancelled and they had to rely on insurance to recover their losses.

HPSC has always strongly recommended trip insurance on our website and in our other documentation.  For 2021 we may insist that every participant have it, ie, both medical and cancellation insurance. So when you sign up your next ski trip, keep a few dollars in reserve for insurance.

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…