I like to say that I survive the summer in anticipation of the fall and the joy of winter. And this year is no different.
Autumn has always been one of my favourite times of the year – the crisp air, the colours of the trees, and of course preparing for the upcoming ski season, including the weekly HPSC SkiFit in High Park. This year, SkiFit has provided the opportunity for me to reconnect with members, as well as meeting a number of new members who have come out.
I know that many of you have been anxious to hear what our exact plans are for the year. In a normal season all of these things would have been announced by now. However, as we all know this is not a normal year. We are still working out details (and prices) with the various resorts because they are still working things out on their side. We will be communication plans as soon as we can.
HPSC members are different than many Canadians – we actually look forward to the coming of winter. And this year even more so than usual! A good omen for me was the arrival a couple of weeks ago (on my birthday) of a surprise package – my Ikon pass for the coming season!! And the news this past weekend that Mount Norquay in Banff has just opened, it’s earliest first day in it’s 95-year history.
I know this season will be much different than usual, but I can tell you that I am still looking forward to having a fantastic year.
At this time of year, we usually turn to our family and friends and give thanks for what we have and who we have in our lives. I personally want to thank all of you for making the community of High Park Ski Club members and friends one that I truly value and am very proud to be a member of. As I have said before, you may have joined HPSC to ski or board or snowshoe, but what keeps people coming back year after year are the friends that you make.
I also want to thank all of you who have shown your faith in the club and have already renewed your membership in this very different year.
While we are clearly in the expected second wave of the pandemic, the thing to remember is that the situation we face right now is not likely what we will be facing in two or three months time when the season kicks off. Or in four or five months when many of our charter and long trips occur. Remember you don’t decide on what you are going to wear in January based on today’s weather.
We are a resilient community who will find a way to thrive this coming season through being willing to adapt and change as the situation requires. In many ways we need to approach this season like you would a double diamond run, especially here in Ontario . . . you may have a plan on what you want to do, but in almost all cases you need to adapt to the changing snow conditions, the patch of ice you didn’t expect, or the build up of heavy snow at the bottom.
As September turns to October, the HPSC pre-season is starting to heat up.
SkiFit has been running for a few weeks now (with registration filling up early each week), the AGM was held on September 23rd to review last year and vote on a few changes to the By-laws, charter and long trip sign up is open or will be in the next few week, a special shopping event with Skiis and Bikes has been arranged (and for those uncomfortable about coming in person or those out of town a special discount code will be available for online shopping) for Wednesday October 28. People in general are starting to prepare for the cooler weather.
I personally want to thank all of you who have show your faith in the club by already renewing your 2020/21 membership. Our members are the reason we on the board are doing all the work to make sure we are ready to run a season under whatever guidelines we face.
This coming winter it is anticipated people will need and want to find ways to get outside, and snow sports will be a prime activity. Much like many who got back on bicycles this summer after long layoffs, we anticipate a lot of former skiers will once again turn to our sports for winter fun. One of the best ways to find new HPSC members is by your word of mouth, so if you have family, friends, or colleagues who are former skiers or boarders, tell them about the club, show them the website, or have them to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our first and hopefully only pandemic era Annual General Meeting was held viz Zoom on Wednesday September 23rd.
We want to thank all of those who registered and who logged into the AGM. While the meeting went off without a hitch, we sincerely hope that next year we will be able to get together in person to raise a glass to our fantastic club.
A special thank you to long time member, snow school instructor, and former board member, Laura Shephard for acting as this year’s AGM Chairperson.
Thank you to past president Stella Rossovskaia and the rest of last year’s board for leading us through the review of a very successful year. A year that helps set us up to better deal with the coming season. The 2019/20 AGM Report is available for review on our website under About Us/Club Documents. You need to be logged in to access the documents.
We also want to thank the attendees for all of the questions submitted and asked during the meeting regarding last year and this year. A list of all questions and answers will be posted in the next few weeks on the blog.
And finally, congratulations to Karen Snow for being approved as our new Director of Administration.
Labour Day has come and gone, which means our fall activities have begun!
This past weekend we had our first SkiFit of the season in High Park, with a good mix of old faces and a few new ones participating. I look forward to meeting and catching up with a lot of you at SkiFit over the next 12 weeks. Registration opens each Tuesday.
With the fall also comes anticipation of the unveiling of our overnight and charter trips for the season. Read up in this week’s SnoBiz regarding the trips and the different approach to trips we are taking to ensure our member’s safety. Take a look and decide what trip or trips you want to go on this season and note when sign up opens.
September also means the club’s Annual General Meeting. Which this year will be held virtually via Zoom next week. In addition to hearing about last season – which was very successful despite the abrupt end – you will have a chance to ask questions of the Board about the club. Please register online – the event is listed on the home page.
Finally, I want to sincerely thank all of you who have already renewed your HPSC membership! It is extremely satisfying to know how many have confidence and faith in the approach we have taken to ensure a great season despite the challenges we are facing.
Labour Day is just around the corner, and it is starting to feel a little like fall. And with autumn comes time to renew membership in our club.
In this week’s SnoBiz you can read about the special renewal rate for this season, as well as the plans the Board has been working on this summer for the upcoming season. While somethings may be different this year, as many things as we can, will remain as close to normal as possible. Including the ability to get out on the hills and trails with HPSC.
If you haven’t already, check out the HPSC website to read up on our overall approach for this coming season.
SkiFit is on for this season! Starting as usual on the first Saturday after Labour Day, September 12th at 9am.
However, due to the ongoing pandemic we have had to make a few slight adjustments. For this season, we are requiring that members register online to participate in the weekly SkiFit session. It is still free but just need you to register. The sessions will be listed under the Social tab on the website.
Weekly registration will open on the Tuesday prior to the session and will stay open until the start of that week’s SkiFit on the Saturday morning.
To ensure we are able to organize and maintain the required physical distancing, we are restricting the number of weekly participants to just 25.
The Grenadier Café is not currently open on the weekends, so we will not be brunching after SkiFit this year.
First off, I want to thank all members who participated in the recent membership survey. We received completed questionnaires from 477 members (41% response rate). The responses have provided very helpful guidance for our planning of the upcoming season.
Some of the highlights:
Almost all members (98%) report being very (80%) or somewhat satisfied (18%) with High Park Ski Club.
Six-in-ten (58%) members have gone on both long trips and daytrips during the last 2 years; 28% have only been on day trips (Alpine and/or Nordic); while 11% only went on long trips; 3% did not go on any type of trip for various reasons.
In the last two years, two-thirds of members went on an Alpine day trip, while just over one-in-three participated in a Nordic daytrip.
The wearing of masks, and reduced numbers on the bus, are the most cited requirements for members to go on a day trip this season with HPSC for both Alpine and Nordic daytrippers. However, one-in-ten report they will not be going on any daytrip bus this coming season.
Last season approximately one-third (32%) of Alpine members had an Ikon (16%) or Blue Mountain 5×7 (16%) pass. Looking ahead at this season, the numbers are not far off, with about one-quarter having already purchased or planning on purchasing an Ikon (14%) or 5X7 (12%).
Six-in-ten members indicate they plan on renewing their HPSC membership (FYI we usually have a renewal rate of approximately two-thirds). However, not unexpectedly in this pandemic time, about one-in-five indicate they are uncertain. Of those who were uncertain or report being unlikely to renew, the main reason appears to be the uncertainty of the pandemic situation.
As we suffer through a summer of record heat, your Executive has had their minds on snow and skiing and boarding and snowshoeing and making plans and decisions for the coming season.
In addition to our regular board meetings we also held an lengthy Strategy session (via Zoom) on Saturday July 25th that included both the Directors and volunteers from each of the various teams, to focus in on the specific challenges we face this coming year.
I want to thank all members who participated in the recent survey. We received completed questionnaires from 477 members, for a very good response rate of 41%. The responses have provided very helpful guidance for our planning of the upcoming season. We plan on conducting another survey in the fall, closer to the season, to further refine our plans.
While we do not have a crystal ball to fully know exactly what we will be facing in 5 months time when the season starts, the main thing is that, short of the government and public health officials ordering another shutdown, there will be a HPSC season as close to normal as we can make it. Or let me rephrase that, as close to normal as the ‘new normal’ permits. We will be providing more detailed information on our plans in the next month or so, but I want to assure you that we have all been working on plans, and contingency plans, and more contingency plans, to ensure a fun season.
Hope to see you all soon. Enjoy the summer and stay safe!
Many of us in the High Park Ski Club have been moved by the George Floyd protests against police brutality and racial discrimination unfolding around the world, as well as here in our local communities.
The High Park Ski Club Board of Directors stands in support of the Black community and all minority groups. As a community-based organization, it is of paramount importance that we create an environment that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds.
To this end, at our June virtual meeting, the HPSC Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of establishing a Diversity and Inclusiveness committee. This self-governing committee’s mandate will be to review our bylaws, policies, procedures, and practices for inclusiveness; and where opportunities for development are identified, provide recommendations to the Board.
If you are interested in getting involved with the committee please contact our Director of Membership and Volunteers, Ruth Schefter, at email@example.com ..