SkiFit is back!

The temperatures are falling and the leaves are turning…this means it’s time for SkiFit, HPSC’s popular pre-ski season fitness program.

Every Saturday, join ski instructors John McHutchion and Karen Evans and their amazing crew of volunteers in High Park for a variety of fitness activities. There’s a level for everyone – for those who want a tough workout to those who just want to get out and move around.

The best part is the post workout brunch at the Grenadier Café!

Having fun & getting fit.

If you’re new the club, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people before the snow flies. Returning members can reconnect with old friends.

SkiFit will end with our participation in the popular annual event, Climb the Mountain, the first weekend in November in Blue Mountain.

Below are the dates. All sessions begin at 9am in High Park, meeting at The Grenadier Café parking lot.

September 7, 14, 21, 28

October 5, 19, 26 (note there is no SkiFit on Thanksgiving weekend)

Nov. 2: Climb the Mountain

Click here for the event schedule on the website:

Heads up – new Saturday pick up/drop off schedule for cross-country daytrips

Your cross-country executive committee gets lots of feedback regarding pick up/drop off schedules. West-enders point out that they spend twice the amount of time on the bus as everyone else. Drivers want a 400/Hwy 7 drop off on Saturdays (currently only the case with two bus trips).

We’ve decided to tackle both of these issues with a change to the Saturday pick up/drop off schedule. Starting this season, Saturday will feature a REVERSE drop off on the way home, with the addition of a stop at 400/Hwy 7 to accommodate those who drive. If you don’t want to wait to get off at York Mills, please drive to Hwy 7. If you take the subway, you can hop on the subway at Keele, Davenport, Eglington, or York Mills.

 This is what the standard schedule will look like going forward for Saturday:

Pick ups:

  • 750am: Bloor/Indian Rd.
  • 810am: Davenport
  • 820am: Eglinton
  • 830am: York Mills
  • 845am: 400/Hwy 7

Drop offs:

  • 400/Hwy 7
  • Bloor/Indian Rd.
  • Davenport
  • Eglinton
  • York Mills

Two bus trips will operate on our normal two bus schedule, with the regular drop off schedule (Bus 1 – Queen’s Quay/Indian Rd/Hwy 7; Bus 2 – Yonge stops). Sunday will remain on the normal drop off schedule. All pick up and drop off times will be communicated via email and on the status page for every day trip. Be sure to check it before you go.

Long Trips

Overnight Bus Trips

The list of 2020 overnight bus trips with a detailed description of the resorts, hotels, options and what is included in each trip is now on the website, here. These trips go on sale on Thursday, October 24. At that time, the “Register” button will appear on the trip page to allow you to sign up. Don’t look for the Register button now, you have to wait until October 24.

Charter Trips

The remainder of the 2020 charter trips will go on sale on Thursday, October 10. While the first two charter trips to Jasper, New Years and Pragelato, Italy are sold out, you can still add your name to the Jasper waiting list in case of a cancellation. For Pragelato, the waiting list is closed because there were many names already and adding more would not be productive

IKON Pass

Some members may have purchased the IKON pass for unlimited use at Blue Mountain. The cost of the base pass is $1,000 CAD and the full pass is $1,400 CAD. These members can use their pass on a number of our trips where the pass applies: Mt Tremblant (3 trips), Killington, Aspen, and Taos. These members would select the no-lifts option. Savings for using the pass are listed in the descriptions. 

Trip Sign-Up Night

The procedures for registering on Trip Sign-Up Nights (TSUN) are shown on the website, TRIP SIGN UP PROCESS. Please read this page so you understand what to do when the time comes. You can register for yourself and ONE additional member at the same time. Simply put a “1” in the Guest field and continue to the payment page.

FCFS

In the August blog, we discussed the way our trip registrations are done, ie First Come First Served (FCFS). We have used this procedure ever since we changed from lining up in person to signing up online. We felt that FCFS was the fairest and most transparent way although we realize that some members may be at a disadvantage (slow internet, slow fingers, away on TSUN, etc). If you have a suggestion as to how we could improve the procedure, we would like to hear from you. Our objective is to be fair to all members. Please send your suggestions to Bill Bates, longtrips@hpsc.ca.

Trip Leaders

Thank you to those who applied to be a 2020 trip leader. During September we will be training these leaders to lead the trips that you will be on. In the week before each TSUN, you will find the names and contact information for trip leaders on the website so you can ask any particular questions that are not covered in the detailed descriptions.

Bill Bates, Director

Wild Apricot for Members app

The Wild Apricot for Members app is a completely free app where you can register for our upcoming events and pay event fees straight from your phone.

The main features this app offers are:

  • View an event calendar and event details
  • Register for an event through the app
  • View existing event registrations
  • Pay an outstanding event registration fee

Here are some previews of what you can see

Social- Cross Fit

Back by popular demand! Come and workout with Stefan Overgaard (Level 3 CSIA instructor and Level 2 racing coach) and his staff.  This series has 6 sessions, each to be purchased individually for $10/session.  Each workout is tailored to your fitness level and emphasizes strength, power, speed, agility, coordination, mobility, flexibility and injury prevention.  All exercises can be modified to your level of strength.  These classes are normally $20 per class when bought as a package, but HPSC is offering them to members for $10!

Classes start promptly at 5:00, and run for 1 hour. Sorry, no refunds for a change of heart.

About the Trainers: Stefan Overgaard is the owner and founder of SXS Fitness (Sculpted by Stefan) and Crossfit Eglinton which is a division of SXS. Stefan brings plenty of practical experience in ski-specific fitness: being a former member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and currently U16 extended program race coach at Osler Bluff Ski Club. He is very adept with the implementation of strength and conditioning programs for both performance enhancements and injury prevention for athletes of ALL levels. SXS Fitness is also an official partner of Alpine Ontario where they provide fitness testing and contribute to weekly articles on a wide variety of topics ranging from stress relief tactics to nutrition to the best exercises/stretches to do at home.

The staff at SXS Fitness currently train athletes from many sports. They focus on everything from strength and power training to speed, agility, coordination, mobility, flexibility and injury prevention. SXS also has a wellness division which provides Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy, Naturopathic and Chiropractic treatments to complement their holistic approach to keeping the body running optimally. 

Long Trips

Charter Trips

The complete list of 2020 charter trips with a detailed description of the resorts, hotels, flights, options and what is included in each trip is now on the website here. These trips will go on sale on Thursday, October 10. For those with an IKON pass, have a close look at C3 Aspen and C8 Taos where you will save $325 on Aspen and $500 on Taos.

The first two charter trips to Jasper, New Years and Pragelato, Italy sold out very quickly on June 20, our first sign-up night. The good news is that we were able to expand the trips significantly to accommodate many on the waiting lists. Jasper has 42 members registered and Pragelato has 39. Unfortunately at this time those still on the waiting lists will have to count on a cancellation to get a seat. For Pragelato, you will no longer find the Waitlist Button. We had to close off the waiting list because there were many names already and adding more would not be productive. The Jasper waiting list is still open so please add your name if interested.

FCFS vs Lottery

Some members who could not get onto Jasper or Pragelato, have suggested that we should change the way registration is done and switch from a First Come First Served (FCFS) system to a lottery method. We should let you know that a lottery method has been considered in the past although we have never actually tried it. The club felt that a lottery of pulling names out of a hat was fraught with as many difficulties as FCFS. Similarly issues of fairness would arise from a procedure of giving waitlisted members first priority for the next set of upcoming trips, i.e. a Front-Of-The-Line pass.

With online registration, we are aware that those with a fast internet connection have a slight advantage over those with a slower one. And those with fast fingers have a similar advantage. In the minutes after 8:00 PM, a few seconds delay might have made the difference between being successfully registered or being on the waiting list. But here’s the bottom line, there is only a limit to the number of members we can accommodate no matter which method we use. FCFS mirrors the old paper method where we had to line up in person. We feel that FCFS is still the fairest method but will evaluate the lottery again to see if it can offer something that is equally as fair.

Become a Trip Leader

Trip Leaders are very important volunteers for the club. This season we need 16 TLs to lead our charter and overnight bus trips. If you have been on a long trip, you’ve seen a TL in action. If you want to contribute to the club in this way, now is the time to consider it. If you feel it might be too much work for you alone, you can team up with a friend and share the task. Despite the work involved, it is a very rewarding experience and you’ll have fun doing it. You’ll get training, lots of support and a generous reimbursement for your efforts.

Here is what you need to do. Send an email to: Ephraim Fernandez, ephraim.fernandez@gmail.com requesting an application form.  Complete the form and submit it by the deadline of Friday, August 30.

The 2020 long trips program is on the website, charters click here, overnight bus trips, click here. TLs for C1 Jasper, New Years and C2 Pragelato, Italy have already been chosen and announced. So there are a total of 6 charter and 8 overnight bus trips for which you can apply. You need to have led an overnight bus trip before you can lead a charter trip, so first-timers will be overnight bus TLs.

Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Duration and extent of recent contributions as a volunteer to the club
  • Leadership skills
  • Previous trip experience
  • People skills
  • Business skills
  • Computer skills – Excel & Word
  • Special emphasis on Excel skills
  • Skiing experience

Every HPSC member is eligible to apply. Don’t delay, request your application now as the time is short.

Bill Bates

Director

Snow School Recruiting News!

Given our club’s fast growing membership, the Snow School is embarking on a pilot program to gradually increase our number of downhill instructors over the next few years. This New Instructor Support Program (NISP) will be piloted in the next two years to encourage members to become instructors while being supported in their first year instructing with HPSC.

During the two year pilot program, members with a CASI/CSIA Level 1 will be able to apply without having completed the Instructor Training (although still desirable) if they have some teaching experience or are recommended by a current senior instructor.

Members with these qualifications can now ask for an application form by contacting Christine Bellerose (cmbellerose@gmail.com). The recruiting process: application, interview, and offers based on skills and fit, remains the same.

Experienced snowboarders are invited to contact us now as we can help you develop a plan to join our Snow School in the near future.

Skiers not quite ready to apply now should sign up for IT, get your Level 1 next winter and be ready to join your High Park Snow School!!

Christine Bellerose

Director Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding

Get SkiFit!

Cross-country skiing is one tough sport. We don’t need chairlifts to take us up hills! We’re sure that everyone is keeping active this summer doing all kinds of fun activities, such as running, cycling, hiking, and various water sports. All these are great cross training activities that will keep you in shape as we head towards fall and winter.

You can also add some cross-country skiing  specific dryland training to your repertoire. Enter, ski walking/bounding. Heather, your XC director, has been playing around with this once a week in High Park. You look ridiculous, but it’s also a tough interval workout that will (hopefully) translate to more strength and power in your skiing.

HPSC members getting their ski walking on at SkiFit! Photo cred: Karen Evans.

Ski walking/bounding is moving up hills mimicking the classic ski stride, with or without poles. You want to do it with proper ski form – flexing at the ankles and keeping your hips forward. Walking keeps one foot on the ground at all times, while bounding gets you some air time. There are also plyometric exercises you can do to mimic skate skiing (essentially jumping side to side up the hill) and double poling (essentially bunny hopping uphill). There’s lots of resources online to consult if you’re interested in exploring this further. Proper form is important, so do some research before jumping in, and take it easy to start!

https://cxcacademy.wordpress.com/tag/bounding/

http://www.nordicskiracer.com/news.asp?NewsID=5684#.XRIjRetKiUk

http://www.xcottawa.ca/articles.php?id=2089

Balance is critical to good cross-country ski technique, for both classic and skate. Like anything, if you want to improve your balance, you need to practice. Try balancing on one leg while doing activities like TV watching. It sounds easy. Then close your eyes!

Balance is best done with your HPSC friends. Photo cred: Karen Evans.

Strength training should also be a part of everyone’s life. Strong core muscles (abdominals, glutes, hips etc.) mean a body less prone to injury. You don’t have to be a weightlifter! There’s lots you can do at home, such as planks/squats/lunges, and single leg strength work is great for both strengthening muscles and improving balance. There are lots of resources online to demonstrate proper form.

If you want to ease your way back into ski training with your ski friends, be sure to join our SkiFit sessions in High Park every Saturday morning starting in September. There’s an intensity level for everyone, followed by brunch at the Grenadier Café. We welcome all members no matter your ski preference. We will also be offering the popular CrossFit series again this year. Check out the events calendar for all the details!

John always comes up with fun activities to test your fitness, agility and balance! Photo cred: Stella Rossovskaia.

(Disclaimer: Before beginning any new exercise activities, you should consult the proper resources to ensure you are doing them safely. This article is merely meant to give you some suggestions for ski specific training).

Long Trips

Charter Trips

So many members registered for our first 2 charter trips on June 20 that all available spaces were sold out within the first minute! Quite surprising for a June trip signup! To the extent possible, we will be expanding the number of seats in order to accommodate many on the waiting list. But spaces are limited. Those who wish can still add their names to the waiting list and you will be called if there is a cancellation.

For the other places we’ll be skiing in 2020, full information about the resorts, hotel accommodation and prices will be posted on the website in mid-summer, or as soon as we have it ready.  Registration will open up in October as usual. You will be quite pleased as we have secured some great group prices for the club’s 2020 season!

See places and dates on the website here. Prices aren’t yet finalized so they are not listed. Check back in a few weeks when all prices should be posted.

Become a Trip Leader

Trip Leaders are very important volunteers for the club. Every season we need 18 to 20 TLs to lead our charter and overnight bus trips. If you have been on a long trip, you’ve seen a TL in action. If you want to contribute to the club in this way, please consider it now so you’ll be ready when we ask for volunteers in August. If you feel it might be too much work for you alone, you can team up with a friend and share the task. You’ll get training, lots of support and a reimbursement for your efforts.

Now that’s spring skiing!

At the start line in Iceland!

Jean-Émile Paraïso (J-E), a level 2 instructor with HPSC, perhaps broke a club record and cross-country skied in May, a full month after skiing ended in Southern Ontario! He participated in the final WorldLoppet of the season – the Fossavatnsgangan – held in the Westfjords region of Iceland on the first weekend in May. A 25km classic race awaited his arrival…

Unfortunately, warm weather hit the country two weeks before the event, melting part of the race course. Organizers had to slightly shorten the course (to 21km), but they forged ahead. Cross-country skiers are hardy and can handle anything nature throws at them. And that they did on race day.

Conditions, J-E reports, were challenging. A warm +5 degrees Celsius meant soft snow, and the weather just got wilder throughout the race, with hail, freezing rain, sleet, snow, rain and finally brief spot of sunshine. Throw in some strong winds with gusts up to 40km/hr just for fun. No grip going uphill, no glide going downhill….

Despite all this, J-E did fantastic! He completed the 21km course in 1hr 54min and finished 33rd overall (out of 107). He finished 9th in his age category (35-49).

All smiles during the race!

As a reward for finishing such a gruelling race, the event provided a cake buffet in the afternoon and a seafood dinner and dance in the evening.

Reward.

In addition to the race, J-E said he had a wonderful trip visiting Iceland, meeting other like-minded skiers and is motivated to do it all again at other international events.

A huge congratulations from all of us in the club.

Check out this video if you want a taste of what J-E experienced. You don’t have to go this far to experience some fantastic loppets. A number of club members have completed the Gatineau Loppet (a WorldLopppet event in Gatineau Park), and there are a number of local loppets, such as the Muskoka Loppet (Arrowhead Provincial Park) and the Hardwood Loppet (Hardwood Hills).