A Hint of Fall in the Air!

Fellow HPSC members

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.   

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

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. 

Fall is just around the corner!

Dear fellow High Parkers!

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.    

Hope to see you all soon!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club 

SkiFit starting on September 12th in High Park

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.

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club

Update on Downhill Day Trips

The weather is hot and summer is in full swing, but the downhill day trips committee has been planning for snow and winter! Thinking ahead to next season, Erika and David (Director of Snowschool) met virtually with all of our downhill resorts. Hills are fully committed to being open and offering skiing and snowboarding, and are excited to welcome back HPSC skiers and snowboarders. As expected, hills will have COVID policies in place for next season. Masks will be mandatory inside, social distancing protocols will be in place and capacity will be limited. As HPSC reserves our dates well before the winter, we will have reserved lift tickets to all hills. This will include our bus and drive-up members. We are also planning for protocols on the bus, organization to drive-up registrations, and lessons. We will be releasing more details in the fall and closer to the winter, but for now, rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure we can get on the hills and enjoy our ski days as much as any other year.

– Erika Clark, Director of Downhill Day Trips

XC Ski Season 2020/21: An Update

While we won’t be racing this year, we still can have fun on the trails! Photo: Michael Connor.

Dear XC Ski and Snowshoe Members,

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I’m sure there is still lots of sun and heat to enjoy.

The board has been hard at work all summer planning our upcoming ski season – made especially challenging, as you know, by COVID-19.

Membership for the club is now open (as of Sept. 1). I know that many of you are probably unsure about signing up when there are so many unknowns. I hope that this update will provide a little more clarity about what is (likely) to come.

First, our membership fee is set at $140. You can sign up and if you don’t use your membership (i.e., sign up for a long trip or day trip, take a lesson) by the end of January and you don’t want to use your membership the rest of the year, you can email us (membership@hpsc.ca) by 11:59pm on February 1st to get it deferred to the following season. Doing this will not affect your quest towards a 25-year membership.

Second, while I don’t have a crystal ball, I think the following is the most likely scenario for our XC season: we will run one bus/trip at reduced capacity (likely around 30 members). We have no idea what demand for the buses will be, but we anticipate less demand. If there is enough , we will try our best to run trips on Saturday and Sunday. If there is not enough demand for that, we will reduce to one trip a weekend, alternating Saturdays and Sundays. Members can drive up to meet the bus and take lessons (for which you will have to sign up online so we can plan). If there is not enough interest to run the bus at all, we may consider organizing a drive up season. We would offer lessons at the resort, but instructors and members would be responsible for getting there on their own. You would need to be a club member to get lessons, and this is contingent on our Ski School being willing to participate.

Third, we are discussing a number of safety policies, including:

We can still toast marshmallows!
We just need to be a little further apart…

Masks (on the bus and inside the resort)

Reduced capacity on the bus (see above)

Bus safety policies (cleaning after arrival and after lunch, boarding procedures)

Limiting indoor time as much as possible (bus open for lunch to limit resort time)

New bus and resort procedures (e.g., no walking around the bus visiting with friends, staggering lessons so everyone isn’t returning for lunch at the same time)

No social events (i.e., no potlucks, wine and cheese etc…sorry!)

No race program (no programs that encourage large gatherings)

These policies are not yet official and may change as I communicate with the resorts and work with the XC team to create as safe an environment as we possibly can. Our focus will be getting out to ski and take lessons, having fun together, physically distanced of course, on the trails.

While we are doing what we can to minimize the risk, we cannot completely eliminate the risk. Members will have to do their own personal risk assessments. If you decide the risk is too much for you, we wish you a wonderful winter and will welcome you back to the club with open arms when you feel it is safe.

Stay tuned for more information! We ask for your patience as we and the resorts are figuring this out as we go. It may take some time to figure out all the specifics.

Sincerely,

Heather Steel

Director, Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Costume skiing is pandemic approved…just 6ft apart!

Membership Renewal September 1

Another season is upon us! I think I saw some yellow leaves on the trees. Its time to start thinking about the snow. 

We have a few new challenges this year that the board is all working on. All your questions will be answered on this blog, SnoBiz, and Facebook/ Instagram. We are trying to make this a safe year, as we absolutely want to get out on the snow if possible. 

In the meantime, our membership renewal date of September 1 is here.

To acknowledge that many of you have been financially impacted by this pandemic, we have lowered the membership price for this season to $140 for the entire year (which is lower than our usual early bird rate); and lower than our regular rate of $170. 

In this year of uncertainty, we are also including a special option  If by January 31st, 2021 you have not participated in any club trips (daytrips, long trips, or charter trips) you can request to have your membership deferred for the year.  To make this request, you will need to send an email to membership@hpsc.ca by February 1, 2021.

If the experience of resorts in the Southern Hemisphere are any indication, skiing and snow boarding will be very popular this coming season, and due to restricted numbers daily spots will likely sell out quickly.  However, HPSC has been assured by alpine resorts that we will have access to a set number of those daily spots for our members who come on the bus and those who drive-up (drive-ups will need register and pay for their tickets through HPSC). On the cross-country side, we have not heard that resorts will be limiting daily spots, but discussions are on-going. 

While this season will be a challenge, we look forward to seeing you all on the hills and trails soon. 

Thanks for continuing to be part of High Park Ski Club.

See you at the zoom AGM on September 23.

Ruth

Membership Director

Photo by Caterina Berger on Unsplash.

98% of Members Report Satisfaction with the Club

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.   

Planning for a ‘New Normal’ Ski Season

Dear fellow High Parkers,

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! 

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club