High Park Ski Club

your questions answered

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 amongst 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 2018-2019 prices. We will update the prices for this season soon. 

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 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 (7:45am for two bus trips ONLY on the south side of Queen's Quay in front of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel)
  • Bloor & Indian Road (7:50am 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 8:10am; 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 8:30am; northeast corner of the intersection, outside York Mills Centre)
  • Hwy 7 & 400 (usually 8:45am; commuter parking lot, west side of Colossus Drive). New for 2019-2020: Hwy 7 pick up on Saturdays!

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. Be at the bus stop 10 minutes before scheduled departure. Click here for detailed directions to the locations.

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

NEW FOR 2019-2020: we will be instituting a REVERSE drop off on the way home on Saturdays. The bus will go from Hwy 7 to Bloor/Indian Rd. and end at York Mills. Sunday will remain the same as previous years (starting at Hwy 7 and going to York Mills and ending at Bloor/Indian Rd.).

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.

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.  

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. 

What are Test Drives?

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!

What are "bring a friend" days?

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. Drive ups cannot invite guests (well, they can, but they are not eligible to participate in lessons or any other HPSC activities). 

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). 

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. 

NEW PROCESS: Walk ons will no longer have to bring cash on the bus. You will be invoiced for the trip. You must pay this invoice before you can register for another trip. 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. 

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

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. In 2018-19, trips sold out fast, so we recommend registering early if you know you want to go. If the trip sells out early (e.g., a week early), we will enable to waiting list. If there are enough names on the waiting list, we may open a second bus. Or, you may get on the trip when registered members cancel. There are usually a couple no shows on every trip, so if all else fails, you might be able to walk on.  

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, destination and your name. Once your email is received by the cancellations volunteer, you will get a confirmation email back in response. If you don't get this email, your email wasn't received and your trip won't be cancelled. 

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.

See the cancellations page for more details. 

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.

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.

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

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. 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! 

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 (event a little rain!). But, if we deem it unsafe to be on the roads or trails, we will cancel the trip. 

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

Final trip details are communicated Thursday evening or Friday morning 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.

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 want to drive to the resort?

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. 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.


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. 

What level should I be in?

HPSC offers both classic and skate levels from absolute beginner to intermediate/advanced. On your first daytrip, an instructor will chat with you on the bus about your experience and skill level and place you in the appropriate class. Click here for more information on lessons and our ski school.

How do I sign up for special ski school programs?

The only ski school programs we request that you sign up for in advance are the classic beginners series and the beginner and advanced skate 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", "beginner skate series", or "advanced skate series" in the subject line. 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. An instructor will talk to everyone on the bus about lessons and sign you up.

Can I take a lesson if I drive up?

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.

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.

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