High Park Ski Club

Explore a world of snowy trails and serene landscapes on skis. With our free lessons you'll be gliding along trails in tranquil forests in no time.

Cross-Country Ski School

Why learn to cross-country ski with HPSC?

Our 22 certified instructors offer cross-country ski lessons on all bus trips between January and March.

  1. Lessons are FREE with your membership (vs. approximately $60 for one intro clinic, trail pass, and rentals - no transportation - at a resort).
  2. No limits: you can take a lesson every time you come on a day trip. You can also take more advanced lessons, which are generally not available at the resorts.
  3. Instructors are all certified by the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI) and participate in professional development opportunities every winter.
  4. Lessons are in small groups with individualized attention (generally no more than 6 people in a lesson).
  5. It’s social! You meet fellow skiers at your level to ski with in the afternoon, and on future day trips.
HPSC Cross Country Instructors


Cross-Country Ski Lesson Levels

Classic and Skate Ski Levels

NEW FOR 2019/20: We've redesigned our lesson levels. There are now 5 levels for classic and skate. Below you will find explanations of each level to help you decide which level you should be in. If you aren't sure, don't worry. You can talk to the head instructor on the bus. 


For more information on lessons, see the FAQ page first. If your question is not answered, you can email xcskischool@hpsc.ca (please only email this address with questions about lessons; for all other questions, please email crosscountry@hpsc.ca). 


Classic 1/Skate 1

  • I am brand new to skiing or have only been on skis once or twice.
  • I feel uncomfortable on skis – my balance is very unsteady. I fall often.
  • I don’t even want to think about hills!

Classic 2/Skate 2

  • I have been on skis before, but still feel uncomfortable or unsteady at times.
  • I don’t think I understand the basic techniques.
  • I can’t glide with all my weight on one ski.
  • I attempt to get down gentle hills, but I’m still very hesitant

Classic 3/Skate 3

  • I feel comfortable moving on beginner trails and may go on some intermediate trails.
  • I understand the basic techniques, but my skiing feels choppy and, while sometimes I manage it, it is hard to glide with all my weight on one ski.
  • I can get myself up and down moderate hills.

Classic 4/Skate 4

  • I think my skiing is fluid and efficient much of the time.
  • I can confidently glide with all my weight on one ski some of the time.
  • I feel comfortable on intermediate trails, and capable of advanced trails.
  • I can get myself up and down most hills, although still hesitant on the steep ones.

Classic 5/Skate 5

  • I think my skiing is fluid and efficient most of the time.
  • I can glide with all my weight on one ski most of the time.
  • I am comfortable on all the trails and cool with most hills I encounter on advanced trails.
  • I think I’m ready to learn more advanced techniques

Special Programming 2019-2020

In addition to regular lessons, we offer the following special programs through the season. There is no additional cost for these programs. You can find the dates in our schedule and you can email xcskischool@hpsc.ca if you have questions about any of these programs.

  • Classic Beginners Series: Held on three consecutive weekends with the same instructor, this popular program will get you moving on the trails and making friends in no time. If you are interested, please email xcskischool@hpsc.ca to register. Ideal for Classic 1 and Classic 2 skiers.

  • Skate Better Series: Held on three weekends with the same instructors, this series is designed for those who can get some forward momentum and glide on their skate skis. If you are interested, please email xcskischool@hpsc.ca to register. Ideal for Skate 2 and Skate 3 skiers.

  • Skate Great Series: Held on two weekends with the same instructor, this series is designed for those who already move well but want to become stronger and more efficient. This program introduces you to more advanced techniques. If you are interested, please email xcskischool@hpsc.ca to register. Ideal for Skate 4 and Skate 5 skiers.

  • Tips & Tricks: Offered four times (2 classic, 2 skate), these 15-minute one-on-one lessons offer the chance to work with an instructor on a particular skill. Great for those who want to learn, but don’t want to commit to a full regular lesson. Register on the trip registration module. Available to skiers of all levels but ideal for Level 3 to Level 5 skiers.

  • NEW CLINICS! Faster, smarter skate & Faster, smarter classic: If you have good foundational skills and decent fitness, learn how to navigate terrain more efficiently. Register on the trip registration module. Ideal for Classic 3+/Skate 3+ skiers.

  • Race program: 5 races held over the season are a fun way test out your new ski skills. Click here to learn more. 
  • There are also opportunities to train to become an instructor with the club. Talk to an instructor or email xcskischool@hpsc.ca for more details.


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