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High Park Ski Club

your questions answered

General Day Trip Information

Where does High Park Ski Club ski and snowshoe?

We ski and snowshoe on Saturdays and Sundays, usually mid/late-December to mid-March (start and end depends on snow) at destinations within a 2-3-hour drive from Toronto. All resorts offer groomed ski trails, marked snowshoe trails, and rentals. 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.

You can find the schedule here. It is subject to change. The schedule for the coming season is usually posted by the end of November. Please do not email asking for it prior to this.

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 $50-70. If you need to rent (rentals are available at all the resorts and include skis/boots/poles for skiing and snowshoes for snowshoeing), you will add on $30-$40, depending on the gear you need. Prices vary as many of the smaller resorts are cheaper. Click here to view the prices.

How does this compare to going on your own? Keep in mind that it cost about the bus fee (or more now) in gas to drive to the resorts around Barrie, and you don't get group discounts on trail tickets and rentals. 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?

  • Keele St. (7:45am; the bus will be parked north of the subway stop on the east side of Keele)
  • Yonge & Davenport (8:05am; southwest corner of the intersection, by the parkette)
  • Yonge & Eglinton (8:15am; 2191 Yonge St., east side of the Yonge, south of Eglington, just north of the Soudan Ave. lights)
  • Yonge & York Mills (8:25am; northeast corner of the intersection, outside York Mills Centre; note that washrooms are closed on weekends in York Mills Centre)
  • Hwy 7 & 400 (8:45am; commuter parking lot, west side of Colossus Drive). 

See our pick up locations page for more precise information on location. Show up about 10 minutes early; the times above are when the bus leaves.

The exact pick up times will be communicated on the day trip status page for each trip. We also send an email to all participants with all the information for the trip. The email will be sent/the status page updated by Friday at 12pm. 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 for all trips (except Kawartha Nordic) will start at Hwy 400/7 and then go straight to Keele St. (and then to Davenport and up Yonge). You may want to get off at Keele station and take the subway from there. Line 1 is often closed on the weekends in the winter for track work; we try our best to give you advanced notice. Always be prepared to check for TTC disruptions or you may miss the bus.

What happens on a typical day trip?

Check out our handy guide to see how a High Park Ski Club day trip unfolds. Some of our locations do not have indoor space for storing bags so we will have the bus available to be open for a period of time mid-day in case you need anything. The facilities available - and any other special information about the day - will be communicated in the email we send to all participants regarding the status of the trip (sent by Friday at 12pm) and on the status update page (you need to log in to see this).

What special day trip activities happen throughout the season?

Our special activities have been curtailed due to the pandemic. In 2022-2023 we will offer only guided snowshoeing and back country touring. Check out our schedule for where and when these take place.


What are bring a friend days?

Note: there are no bring a friend days in 2022-2023 yet scheduled as we anticipate high demand from our members. If you have friends who would like to ski with us, please encourage them to join. Our club is only able to operate because of its membership based structure.

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. Our club can only run because we have a membership based structure.

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.

What is a "walk-on"?

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 Sunday evening (9pm) two weeks prior to that weekend. 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 and time registration opens will be stated on the registration module in the trip description.

The schedule is available online by the end of November.


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 in the calendar you want to join. Note that there are two modules for every trip - a bus module (for those taking the bus) and a drive up module (for those who want to drive up and take lessons).
  3. Select your trip and follow the instructions to register. Bus participants 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. Drive ups will just sign up for lessons. Drive ups will have to pay for the trail pass and rentals at the resort.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation with your registration.

Registration closes at 6:00 pm on the Wednesday before each trip.

Note that you can still register if you don't log into the website, but you will have to provide an email during the registration process. It must be the email you used to register with the club or your registration will not work.

What if a trip is full?

Once a trip is full, we will enable the waitlist. Before the pandemic, our trips sold out quickly, but members often were able to get on trips through the waitlist. We don't know how things will unfold this year. 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. Wednesday morning the week of the trip, 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 served. This process is fair to our members, and 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 the 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 Tuesday 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 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 as the refunds are done by volunteers. 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?

If you made a mistake or change your mind, we may not be able to fix it for you (it depends on the procedures at the resort). You may have to take care of it independently at the resort and incur the extra costs associated with your decision at the resort. Contact crosscountry@hpsc.ca and we will advise what to do. Please be careful when registering to cut down on these instances.

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?

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. There are two exceptions to this - Hardwood Ski and Bike and Horseshoe Valley. We buy trail passes for Hardwood in advance and may not get them refunded. At both, members need to pay in advance for rentals directly through the resort. They both have said they will refund (with a 10% admin fee in the case of Hardwood), but HPSC takes no responsibility for these refunds.

If you registered with a bus voucher but don't show on a trip, your account will be charged $35, which you will need to pay online. You can then use your voucher on another trip. No exceptions. 

Please do not come on a trip if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness or have come into close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We understand members don't like to lose their bus expense, but we hope you will put the safety of the club first. If you wake up sick, you may email us the day of the trip and let us know and we will refund your bus ticket. Later than the day of the trip and we will not reimburse you. Please do not abuse this policy and use it only when you are genuinely sick. This likely will be the last year we have this policy.

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

Note: we are not offering bring a friend days in 2022-2023. We anticipate high demand among members for our trips. If people wish to ski with us we encourage them to join. Operating our club is only possible because of our membership based structure.

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 (Wednesday at 6pm before a weekend trip), they can only register their guest beginning at 12:01am on the Wednesday 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.  



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. 

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 (and your junk mail folder). Please do not email for information before Friday at 12pm. The team is busy preparing for the trips.

What happens if I leave something on the bus?

Email crosscountry@hpsc.ca and we will figure it out! 

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 email crosscountry@hpsc.ca to request a refund. You must do this by Wednesday at 6pm (the registration deadline).

What if I want to drive to the resort?

If you would like to take a lesson, you must register for it on the website and, as usual, you must buy your own trail pass and rentals at the resort (they do not allow people not on the bus to get the group rate - please do not request it. They don't like it!). If you don't take lessons, but want to drive up and hang out with your HPSC friends, you will not register for the trip. 

Please note that at some resorts (e.g., Hardwood, Horseshoe) you need to buy tickets and rentals online. They sometimes sell out - do not leave it to the last minute. Arrowhead must be booked in advance - and weekends are selling out very quickly. HPSC is not responsible if you are not able to get a trail pass or rentals.


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?

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. (Please note that we created this and then pandemic hit so we are still working out the kinks!).

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 are not able to offer our special programs this year (2022-2023)

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?

Possibly. Ask the Director of the Day on the bus and if we have enough space, we will fit you in.

Can I take a lesson if I drive up?

Yes, members can take lessons if they drive up. You must register for lessons on the website. Go to the calendar on the registration page, find the trip you want, and select the drive up registration option. Then register for your lesson.

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 when they become available.


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 put that in the trip description. Rentals for skiing include the skis, boots and poles (the prices are for the entire package). Snowshoe rentals include snowshoes.

On day trips, a designated volunteer will take the renters to get their equipment.

Note that rentals are more complicated at some resorts this year. We encourage snowshoers to buy their own as they are inexpensive and pay for themselves quickly. If you ski with us a lot, consider buying your own equipment. It pays for itself in the long run, especially as inflation has increased rental prices. Hardwood and Horseshoe are requiring pre-booking with them for rentals; if you don't show, you may not get your money back.

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.

Note that helmets are not mandatory on cross-country trips. Most skiers/snowshoers do not wear them, but you are welcome to should you wish. You must bring your own.

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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