High Park Ski Club

your questions answered

Please read through the FAQ to see if your question is answered. If not, please email crosscountry@hpsc.ca. For questions specifically on lessons, email xcskischool@hpsc.ca.

The FAQs will be updated with COVID-19 procedures/policies as they become available.

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General Day Trip Information

Where does High Park Ski Club ski and snowshoe?

We ski and snowshoe at destinations within a 2-3-hour drive from Toronto. Most offer groomed ski trails, marked snowshoe trails, rentals, and a cafeteria for lunch. Others (such as Provincial Parks) offer more rustic environments, set among rivers and lakes. Click here for descriptions of the resorts.

Our day trips are for both skiers and snowshoers, as you can do both sports at all the resorts we visit. There are many members who enjoy both throughout the season.

How much does a day trip cost?

The cost of a trip depends on where we go, whether you ski or snowshoe, and if you own your own equipment. If you have your own gear, a trip generally costs about $50. If you need to rent (rentals are available at all the resorts), it generally costs $70-80. Click here to view the 2019-2020 prices.

How does this compare to going on your own? Keep in mind that it cost about $30 in gas to drive to the resorts around Barrie, and you don't get group discounts on trail tickets and rentals. We also offer free lessons to all members. Introductory packages at resorts like Hardwood and Horseshoe cost about $60-70 for a lesson (just an hour), trail pass and rentals. No transportation. You also don't often get the opportunity to take more advanced lessons. With HPSC, you can take lessons on every single trip, which means you can eventually take more advanced lessons and your skiing will improve more quickly and you can explore more of the trail systems. 

Where and when do I get the bus?

  • Bay & Queen's Quay (usually 7:45am for two bus trips ONLY on the south side of Queen's Quay in front of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. Please note, we will not be offering this stop this year, as we will not be running two bus trips.)
  • Bloor & Indian Road (usually 7:45am for one bus trips on the south side in front of the church; 8:10am on the north side for two bus trips)
  • Yonge & Davenport (usually 8:05am; southwest corner of the intersection, by the parkette)
  • Yonge & Eglinton (usually 8:15am; 2191 Yonge St., east side of the Yonge, south of Eglington)
  • Yonge & York Mills (usually 8:25am; northeast corner of the intersection, outside York Mills Centre)
  • Hwy 7 & 400 (usually 8:45am; commuter parking lot, west side of Colossus Drive). 

See our pick up locations page for more precise information on location. 

The exact pick up times will be communicated on the day trip status page for each trip. Be sure to check the night before for any changes. Pay attention to the bus times! Be at the bus stop 10 minutes before scheduled departure. 

If you want to change pick up locations, that's fine. No need to tell us. Just show up at the right time. 

Drop offs will start at Hwy 7 and then go to York Mills and end at Keele for both days this year as we need to comply with COVID-19 bus company loading/unloading policies.

What happens on a typical day trip?

Check out our handy guide to see how a High Park Ski Club day trip unfolds.

What special day trip activities happen throughout the season?

We have a special lesson programming and a fun race series (with the emphasis on fun!). We offer back country ski touring and guided snowshoeing. There's also social events at the resort (e.g. New Year's champagne and snacks) and a dinner trip. Our trips to Arrowhead and Georgian Nordic feature potlucks on the bus on the way home. Check out our schedule for where and when these take place.

Note: unfortunately we will not be able to offer our resort social events, potlucks, or race program this year. We will offer guided snowshoeing and hopefully backcountry skiing at Kolapore.

How are Wednesday trips different from weekend day trips?

We now offer select Wednesday trips on our schedule. These are combo trips with downhill, and the bus will drop off the cross-country skiers after it drops off the downhill skiers.

Wednesday trips are different from our weekend trips:

1. These trips are run by downhill. You will register on the downhill event module. Downhill pick up times are earlier. 

2. There are NO lessons. 

3. Cross-country skiers must pay for their own trail passes and rentals at the resort. 

4. The bus goes by the downhilll schedule. First pick up is at Bloor/Indian Rd at 6:45am, generally Davenport is not used, and the bus will pick up the cross-country skiers at 3:30pm or 3:45pm.  

If you don't have to work during the week, take advantage of these trips to ski on quiet trails! More information on how to register can be found below under Day Trip Registration Policies. 

Please note that a very small number of XC members go on Wednesdays. You may not have ski partners.

Note: we anticipate very limited Wednesday offerings this year.

What are Test Drives?

Note: We will not be offering test drive trips this year. All participants must be club members.

Test drives are trips where non-members can sign up to try out the club. We have two test drive trips every season at the beginning of January.

To register for a test drive, look at the calendar or events window and find the trip you want to join. Select that trip and follow the instructions to register as a test drive (i.e., as a non-member). You will pay for the bus, trail pass, and rentals (if needed) using your credit card, and answer questions about your pick-up location and lessons. You will receive a confirmation email. Show up at the bus pickup location of your choice and have fun!

If we have to cancel a test drive due to bad conditions, we likely will not be able to reschedule it. We have a huge paid membership that wants to ski and the priority is getting them out on trips. If you want to ski with us, join the club!

What are "bring a friend" days?

Note: We will not be offering bring a friend days this year. All participants must be club members.

On select cross-country day trips, members may bring ONE person who is not a member. These trips are noted in the schedule as "bring a friend" trips. Guests may only come on ONE trip per season (even if they know multiple club members). If they like skiing with the club, encourage them to join!

Guests are only allowed on the bus. If drive ups bring guests, they are not permitted to participate in any HPSC activities and lessons.

Guests must be 21 years of age or older, and the member must accompany their guest on the day trip.

Instructions on how to register your guest are below in the Day Trip Registration Policies section.

Note: we may loosen the one guest/trip rule early and late in the season (i.e., early December and late March). Also note that XC trips generally sell out quickly and there is no guarantee that there will be available spots on Thursdays on trips that guests are allowed. Our priority is getting our paid members out on buses. If you guests want to ski, they can join the club!

What is a "walk-on"?

Note: We will not be allowing walk ons this year. All participants must register for trips in advance.

If the bus isn't full, we allow what we call "walk-ons". A walk-on is a person who hasn't registered in advance. They come to a pick up location and join the trip if there is space available. There is a $10 walk on fee. 

Walk ons are invoiced for the trip after the trip (please allow some time for this invoice to appear on your account). Please pay your invoices. If you owe money to the club at the end of the season due to non-payment of trips, you will not be allowed to rejoin the club, or register for future trips.

We post on the day trip status page whether or not walk-ons are allowed, and at what pick up locations. Check the day trip status page if you are interested in joining the trip, but didn't register on time. 


Day Trip Registration Policies

When do trips open for registration?

Weekend trips will be open for registration on the Monday morning two weeks prior to that weekend. For example, the January 2/3, 2021 trips will be open for registration on Dec. 21, 2020 at 9am. Before such time, the trips will be visible on the calendar, but you will not be able to register for them until the designated open time. The date on which they will be available for registration will be stated on the registration module in the trip description.


How do I register for a day trip?

  1. Sign in with the email and password you received when you joined the club.
  2. Look at the day trip registration page and find the trip you want to join. You can view this page by calendar or list view. 
  3. Select that trip and follow the instructions to register. You will pay for the bus, trail pass, and rentals (if needed) using your credit card, and answer questions about your pick-up location and lessons.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation with your registration.

Registration closes at 6:00 pm on the Thursday before each trip. Our day trips sell out quickly, so we recommend registering early if you know you want to go.   

What if a trip is full?

Once a trip is full, we will enable the waitlist. While our trips sell out quickly, there are often cancellations. If you are high enough on the waitlist, you'll usually get on the trip. If there is enough interest, we'll send two buses! Once you are moved onto the trip from the waitlist, you will automatically be sent an email instructing you to pay. You have 24 hours to pay before your spot will be offered to another member. Thursday morning, all pending payment and waitlist registrations will be deleted (even if you only received the notification to pay on Wednesday night) and any available seats are first come, first serve. This process is fair to our members, but creates less burden on our hardworking volunteers. Thank you for your understanding.

There are also usually a few no shows on every trips. If you want to risk it, you can show up at Hwy 7 pick up on the day of the trip and get on the bus if there is a seat available. We cannot guarantee that you will get a seat.

If you are on the waitlist and you no longer want to go on the trip, please email cancellations@hpsc.ca referencing the trip number (N####) and request to be taken off so that others may get on the trip more quickly. 

Can I cancel a booking?

Yes, you can cancel your registration. The deadline to cancel without penalty is 8:00 pm on the Wednesday evening before your trip. After the deadline, your bus fee is non-refundable. 

To cancel a trip, you must send an email to cancellations@hpsc.ca before the deadline listed above. Please include the trip number (N####), destination and your name. Once your registration is cancelled, you will be sent an automatic email notification.  

If we cancel a trip (due to poor weather/ski conditions), you will receive a full refund on your credit card.

Please allow 3-4 weeks for refunds to show up on your credit card. You cannot transfer your payment to a future trip. 

See the cancellations page for more details.

I made a mistake on my registration or changed my mind. What do I do?

Please note that we need members to be very careful when registering this year as the bus captain will not be able to make changes on the bus. If there are required changes, you may email crosscountry@hspc.ca and request the change until Friday at 12pm. After that, if you change your mind, you will incur the extra costs associated with your decision at the resort.

If you change your mind about the bus pick up location, that's ok. Just show up at whatever location you want at the right time.


What if I am a no-show on a trip?

Please note: we are reviewing our no show policy to ensure that people don't feel they need to come on a trip when sick.

We understand that life sometimes gets in the way and you may not be able to come at the last minute. In this case, the cost of your bus seat is non-refundable (as we run the bus based on how many seats we sell), but your unused trail fee and rental fees (if applicable) will be refunded.

If you registered with a bus voucher but don't show on a trip, your account will be charged $30, which you will need to pay online. You can then use your voucher on another trip. No exceptions. 

How do I register a guest on a designated "bring a friend" trip?

Please note: we are not offering bring a friend trips this year.

We offer select "bring a friend" days in December, March and on the Family Day long weekend. Guests may participate in lessons. 

HPSC members must register and pay for their guest, including the $20 guest fee. While members can sign up for trips at any time up until the registration deadline (Thursday at 6pm before a weekend trip), they can only register their guest beginning at 12:01am on the Thursday before the trip they want to go on. This provides one day for guest registration, ensuring that our members are given the first opportunity to register for trips. If your guest is keen to ski with club, encourage them to join so that they get first opportunity to register for trips.  

To register your guest, first register yourself on the trip. Then, after 12:01am on the Thursday prior to the trip, find the event again and click "New Registration." You will then be given the option of registering your guest. 

You must print the club waiver and bring it to the bus for your guest to sign and hand in to the bus captain. Guests without a signed waiver will be denied participation. You must be present on the trip with your guest; you are responsible for ensuring that your guest follows club policies and procedures. Only members registered on the bus are permitted to bring a guest. Drive ups cannot bring guests.  


How do I register for a Wednesday trip?

Wednesday trips are a little different. Essentially cross-country skiers and snowshoers are hitching a ride with the downhill bus. The bus will drop the downhill skiers off first, then drop off the cross-country skiers (usually around 10:30am). At the end of the day, the bus will pick the cross-country skiers up first (be ready to board the bus at 3:30pm or 3:45pm sharp!) and then will go pick up the downhill skiers. 

Cross-country skiers are responsible for paying for their own trail passes and rentals (if necessary). You will only pay for the bus when you register online for the trip. 

To register, click on the trip on the day trip registration page. The registration deadline is Monday at 6pm. Choose the Wednesday trip you want, and you will see the link in the trip description that will take you to the downhill event registration page. You will register online, paying only for the bus, and indicating that you are a cross-country skier. 

IMPORTANT: Under lift ticket, choose "none". Under bus options, chose "XC bus". This allows us to know if you are a XC skier! We know the system is a little clunky, but we are limited by the system.

What if conditions or the weather forecast looks bad?

The day trips team pays close attention to the weather and conditions at the resorts when deciding to run a trip or not. We will find the best conditions, even if its not the resort we are scheduled to go to. If nowhere is skiable, then we will cancel and you get a full refund. Let us worry about conditions. You worry about registering! If people don't register, the trips won't run, even if we get a dump of snow right before the registration deadline.  

This is an outdoor sport and we don't shy away from a little inclement weather (even rain, which is often ok in the woods). But, if we deem it unsafe to be on the roads or trails, we will cancel the trip. In the past couple years, this has meant significant rain, or weather warnings for freezing rain and high winds. Otherwise, you should keep an eye on the forecast and decide what you are willing to ski in and cancel accordingly (by the deadline). The Director makes every effort to keep registrants informed about the status of the trip should the weather look particularly unsettled. But keep in mind that she is a volunteer!

How do I know if the trip is going or cancelled?

Final trip details are communicated by Friday 12pm on the Day Trip Status Page. Check this page prior to your trip. You need to log in to the website to see this page. An email with these details will also be sent to all participants by Friday 12pm. If you do not receive an email, check the day trip status page. Please do not email for information before Friday at 12pm. 

What happens if I leave something on the bus?

If at the end of the trip, you accidentally leave something on the bus, don't worry. You can contact Pacific Western's Lost and Found, by email at dispatch@toronto.pwt.ca or call 1-800-387-6787 ext 220. You will need to reference HPSC and the day and destination you traveled to when you lost your item(s).

What if I have a trail pass to use? 

If for some reason you have a trail pass and do not need to purchase one through us, please pay for a trail pass and then request a refund on the bus from the bus captain (when they check you in). 

What if I want to drive to the resort?

Note: we anticipate that people who are not comfortable taking the bus may drive up to meet the bus. If you would like to take a lesson, you must register for it on the website this year. You buy your own trail pass and rentals at the resort. If you don't take lessons, but drive up and hang out with your HPSC friends, we would appreciate you letting us know if you test positive for COVID-19 or are in contact with someone who is so that we can contact trace appropriately.

You can drive up to the resort, but you’ll be missing out on the advantages of the bus trip – visiting with friends on the way up, sleeping on the way home, and our group discounts on the trail pass and rentals.

If you drive, do not register online for the day trip. You will be responsible for buying your own trail pass and rentals (and you do not qualify for the group rate). To request a lesson, send an email to xcskischool@hpsc.ca by Thursday at 6 pm before the day trip. Tell us what style (classic or skate) and what level you want for your lesson. This is essential to ensure we have enough instructors on the bus. If you do not email the ski school by Thursday at 6pm, you will not get a lesson. Lessons generally start 30 minutes after the bus arrives (approx. 10:30-11am) and generally meets in front of the chalet. If you have a change of plans and are no longer able to attend, please let the ski school know at xcskischool@hpsc.ca as soon as possible, as they arrange instructors based on the number of people who say they want lessons.


Lessons

Can I take lessons?

Yes, you can take free ski lessons from highly qualified instructors on every trip. Click here for more information on lessons and our ski school. To learn more about the various cross-country techniques, click here for our guide. You will sign up for lessons during online registration. 

What level should I be in?

Note: we may have to scale down our level offerings this year due to instructor availability.

HPSC offers both classic and skate levels from absolute beginner to advanced. We have 5 levels for both classic and skate. These are explained here. Do your best to estimate your level when you register. On the bus, an instructor will chat with you about your experience and skill level and place you in the appropriate class. 

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 levels? 

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.  

I'm a returning member and see that the lesson levels have changed. Why? 

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 a lesson every trip? 

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.

How do I sign up for special ski school programs?

Note: we may need to scale down our special programs this year. Regardless, lessons are offered every day trip.

In addition to regular lessons on every trip, we also offer special programs on some trips. Learn more about them here. There is no additional cost for these programs. The only ski school programs we request that you sign up for in advance are the classic and skate lessons series, as we need to ensure we have enough instructors. If you are interested in these lessons series, please email xcskischool@hpsc.ca and put "classic beginner series", "skate better series", or "skate great series" in the subject line. This email will register you in the series. For all other programs, you can sign up during registration or on the bus. 

I forgot to sign up for a lesson during registration. Can I still take one?

Yes, you can still take a lesson. Meet at the designated ski school meeting point and tell the DOD you would like a lesson.

Can I take a lesson if I drive up?

Note: this year, drive ups will register online for lessons.

Yes, members can take lessons if they drive up. To request a lesson, send an email to xcskischool@hpsc.ca by Thursday at 6 pm before the day trip. Tell us what style (classic or skate) and what level you want for your lesson. This is essential to ensure we have enough instructors on the bus. If you do not email the ski school by Thursday at 6pm, you will not get a lesson. Lessons generally start 30 minutes after the bus arrives (approx. 10:30-11am) and generally meets in front of the chalet. If you have a change of plans and are no longer able to attend, please let the ski school know at xcskischool@hpsc.ca as soon as possible.

Do you offer snowshoe lessons?

There are no snowshoe lessons, but we often offer guided snowshoeing. Our experienced guides can offer tips for navigating the snowshoe trails. See the schedule for our guided snowshoeing dates. 


Equipment and Clothing

Can I rent skis and snowshoes?

Yes! Most of the resorts we visit offer rental equipment (classic skis, skate skis, and snowshoes). This is a great option if you are just starting out. On the rare occasion that a destination doesn’t offer rentals, we will give enough notice so that you can rent in the city (e.g., at MEC).

On day trips, one of our instructors will take the renters to get their equipment.

What equipment and clothing do I need to ski and snowshoe?


To cross-country ski, you need:

  • Skis & bindings
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing

To snowshoe, you need:

  • Snow boots
  • Snowshoes
  • Proper clothing

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers dress a lot like runners. Breathable layers are key to staying warm and comfortable. To learn more, download our guide.

What should I bring with me on a daytrip?

You will need your ski equipment, the right clothing, and food/water. Click here to download our handy guide.

If your question was not answered here, please email crosscountry@hpsc.ca

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