As summer swings into high gear, I wanted to take this opportunity to assure our XC ski and snowshoe members that we are planning the best we can for next season.
The situation with COVID-19 is very fluid, and we are exploring a number of different possibilities for running trips in a COVID-19 environment. We may not have answers soon, but rest assured we are doing our best to make a ski season – in some form – happen if at all possible.
We will keep our members informed of developments the best we can. In the meantime, enjoy the summer!
Our cross-country ski school is looking for enthusiastic skiers who want to become an instructor. Becoming an instructor involves passing a two-day CANSI Level 1 certification course. Our ski school can help you prepare for the course.
CANSI Level 1 tests skiers on diagonal stride, double poling, freeskate, one-skate, and wedge turns, as well as the ability to teach these techniques. Don’t be intimidated – it’s a Level 1 course, which means you do not have to be an Olympic level skier! You simply need to meet the “standard” and be able to teach the techniques to beginners. Our instructors can evaluate you to see if you meet the standard and what to work on to meet the standard. We can also arrange for you to shadow experienced instructors to get teaching experience. You can pass the course in classic only, or both classic and skate.
There is a Level 1 course scheduled for Southern Ontario on Jan. 18 and 19. If you aren’t ready for that, you can spend the season preparing and do the course the following year (or, when you are ready!).
Becoming an instructor is a wonderful way to pass on your love of skiing to new skiers and members, and there is nothing like teaching others to improve your own ski skills. One of our newer instructors, Yiuyin, says “…when I told the High Park ski school that I would like to improve my skills and be an instructor, the instructors not only helped me improve my sills, but also invited me for different training [events] in Ontario and BC. I finally got my Level 1 certification last season and have enjoyed teaching.”
Heather, our cross-country director, became an instructor in 2018 and says “the process of becoming an instructor really improved my own skiing, especially skate skiing. I had support from the more experienced instructors in the club and I spent a lot of time practicing (especially one-skate!). The course itself was a lot of fun and I enjoy helping beginners become a little more efficient on the trails, which hopefully helps them have more fun.”
We aim to help our members become instructors at minimal personal cost. Certification courses are fully covered over a period of three years (provided you teach with us over those three years). Instructors are reimbursed a certain amount for each lesson, and they get complimentary day trip fees on the trips they teach.
If interested, please contact email@example.com and we’ll connect you with our instructor development director.
Amazing early season snow, a huge trail system, mountain views, and top level coaches makes SilverStar’s XC Supercamps an unforgettable experience.
This year, a group of HPSC members – including a number of instructors – got a kick start to their season from Nov. 30-Dec. 8. We participated in the week-long camp, from all-classic beginner to intermediate and advanced combo and advanced all-skate. A couple members even tried their hand at biathlon (the real deal…guns not frisbees!). There is something for everyone here.
Supercamp places you in small groups depending on your skill level, fitness, and goals. You are led by an experienced instructor (lots of level 4 instructors out in these parts!). Generally instruction takes place in the morning, followed by a hearty lunch, and then ski time with your group in the afternoon. The combo groups do two days classic, two days skate, and one day the choice of the group. They shuttle participants on two days to Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, which has a teaching stadium and beautiful trails. On the final day, we did a fun photo scavenger hunt to close out the week!
Being with the same instructor for five days does wonders to improve your technique in a short time, and gives you lots to work on when you go back home and ski through the season. We highly recommend the camps if you want to become a more efficient skier and have a lot of fun doing it.
HPSC holds regular lessons every trip, but we also offer the
following special programs through the season. There is no additional cost for
these programs. You can find the dates in our schedule. You
can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you
have questions about any of these programs.
Series: Held on three consecutive weekends with the same instructor, this
popular program will get you moving on the trails and making friends in no
time. If you are interested, please email email@example.com
to register. Ideal for Classic 1 and Classic 2 skiers.
Skate Better Series: Held
on three weekends with the same instructors, this series is designed for those
who can get some forward momentum and glide on their skate skis. If you are
interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
to register. Ideal for Skate 2 and Skate 3 skiers.
Skate Great Series: Held
on two weekends with the same instructor, this series is designed for those who
already move well but want to become stronger and more efficient. This program
introduces you to more advanced techniques. If you are interested, please email
email@example.com to register. Ideal
for Skate 4 and Skate 5 skiers.
Tips & Tricks: Offered
four times (2 classic, 2 skate), these 15-minute one-on-one lessons offer the
chance to work with an instructor on a particular skill. Great for those who
want to learn, but don’t want to commit to a full regular lesson. Register on
the trip registration module. Available to skiers of all levels but ideal for
Level 3 to Level 5 skiers.
NEW CLINICS! Faster,
smarter skate & Faster, smarter classic: If you have good foundational
skills and decent fitness, learn how to navigate terrain more efficiently. Register
on the trip registration module. Ideal for Classic 3+/Skate 3+ skiers.
HPSC offers a wide array of lessons from our roster of
qualified instructors. Taking lessons is a great way to learn the sport, refine
your technique so you can explore more efficiently, and meet other skiers at
your skill level.
Based on feedback from last season, the ski school has redesigned our lesson levels. We hope this will help students land in the right class so their skiing can progress more effectively. We have split classic and skate lessons into five levels. Below is a brief outline of each level to help you assess where you should be.
Classic 1/Skate 1:
I am brand new to skiing or have only been on skis once or twice.
I feel uncomfortable on skis – my balance is very unsteady. I fall often.
I don’t even want to think about hills!
Classic 2/Skate 2:
I have been on skis before, but still feel
uncomfortable or unsteady at times.
I don’t think I understand the basic techniques.
I can’t glide with all my weight on one ski.
I attempt to get down gentle hills, but I’m
still very hesitant.
Classic 3/Skate 3:
I feel comfortable moving on beginner trails and
may go on some intermediate trails.
I understand the basic techniques, but my skiing
feels choppy and, while sometimes I manage it, it is hard to glide with all my
weight on one ski.
I can get myself up and down moderate hills.
Classic 4/Skate 4:
I think my skiing is fluid and efficient much of
I can confidently glide with all my weight on
one ski some of the time.
I feel comfortable on intermediate trails, and
capable of advanced trails.
I can get myself up and down most hills,
although still hesitant on the steep ones.
Classic 5/Skate 5:
I think my skiing is fluid and efficient most of
I can glide with all my weight on one ski most
of the time.
I am comfortable on all the trails and cool with
most hills I encounter on advanced trails.
I think I’m ready to learn more advanced techniques
How do I know what
level to put myself in?
With the above descriptions in mind, do your best to
estimate where you should be. Feel free to talk to the head instructor on the
bus when they go around confirming lessons. They are happy to provide advice.
Once an instructor sees you on skis, they may decide its
best to put you in a different group. Don’t worry about being moved up or down.
Placing students in the appropriate group is essential for a safe and fun
learning experience for everyone. Worry less about the level and focus on skill
development. We also may, due to instructor availability, combine lesson
levels. But the instructor will be able to give tailored activities to each
level. We appreciate your cooperation.
When can I move up
Instructors are looking for particular markers at each
level. At the end of each lesson, the instructor should provide feedback on
specific things to work on. They will indicate if you should register for the
same level or move up next time. If they don’t, please ask them.
Why did the lesson levels change?
Based on feedback from students and our experience teaching
lessons we felt that the old levels (e.g. Beginner, Bronze, Silver) were
unclear. Furthermore, we wanted to provide more opportunity for students to
progress in their development. We’ve reworked lessons into a clearer set of
levels, with better definitions for what each level means. This should allow
you to be better able to get a lesson at your current skill level which
maximizes your ability to learn and progress in your skiing.
Should I take lessons
The answer to this question is completely personal. We offer
lessons on every trip. Some people like taking one every trip. Others like to
take a lesson, go off on their own and practice for a couple weeks, and then
come back to a lesson. Everyone learns differently. Do what’s right and, most
importantly, most fun for you.