Ski joke of the day


Two poles or one?

A non-issue for skiers, but a subject of debate for hikers – are two trekking poles better than one?

Two are better – for balance, to work both sides of your body evenly

One is better – so you have a free hand to grab a hold or pull out your map

and sometimes none is better – so you don’t forget how to naturally balance or use proprioception.

This is the best I’ve read about the topic:

I decided to get two poles since you can always buy two and use one but you can’t buy one and use two…Plus the ones I chose were sold as a pair. They work brilliantly on downhills.  But going over fences and similar types of obstacles, having a free hand does come in handy. The pair I bought folds into 3 so it’s easy enough to stash in or onto your backpack until needed, or lend to someone in your hiking group.

Will cross-country skiing be the canary in a coal mine for global warming?

Is it just me, or was that a really short cross-country season we just had?

Next year’s will be even shorter. The effect of global warming on winter sports including cross-country skiing has been discussed by many, including Bill McKibben, who started

Trump’s recent decision to pull the US out of the Paris accord has spurred other government officials, business leaders and ordinary people to vow to do more to protect the environment.

Although cross-country skiing has fewer environmental costs than other past times – no ski lifts needed, skis can be used for a couple of decades – there is the issue of the travel that is needed to get to where the snow is, which will surely increase with global warming.

Can we further reduce our impact on the environment? What about using transportation that uses clean energy — like the electric buses being piloted in Montreal? This is an amazing initiative.

In the meantime, check out


Skiers are made in the summer! [or, off-season training for cross-country skiers]

Spring is here and summer is upon us!

Like some of you, I’ve been wondering how to stay active without snow on the ground. If you google “off-season training for cross-country skiers”, here are some of the websites that pop up. Some are clearly geared towards competitive skiing but there are some good ideas to take away.   I might try some of the strength training exercises in the fall to get ready for the ski season, but for spring and summer, I decided to try a hiking club to stay active and to socialize with like-minded people.

1) General principles


2) A specific training schedule


3) Drills and strength training

A) Indoor strength training:

B) Outdoor drills -see especially tire dragging, which looks kind of fun:


4) Cross-training:

A) Roller skiing

I’ve seen a few people out on the Martin Goodman trail- it looks like a lot of fun!

B) Nordic pole walking?

Apparently it’s been popular in Finland for decades. Here in Toronto it seems to be geared towards older folks – even the Toronto Public library organizes groups.

C) Hiking

This seems to be a popular choice in the off-season. There are tons of hiking groups in Toronto. This is the club that I joined


Happy healthy summer to all!






Our first season with Trakkers!

Every winter, I told myself that I should really join a ski club to enjoy the snow, but every year, I’d be too busy, it was too cold….maybe next winter…

But this past winter, I joined Trakkers Ski Club! Partly because I wasn’t able to run due to a left knee injury. And partly because I wanted to get my preteen son out more during the winter, and Trakkers is the *only* club that allows kids to go on the ski trips. He didn’t need a membership, which was even better, so if he hated it, at least there’d be no financial hit.

We loved it! I ended up buying cross country skis for myself, and then for my son, and for the first time ever, I found myself wishing it would snow! It was fun getting to know the various ski resorts, and all of the members were very welcoming and laid back.

A bonus is that lessons are included in the membership. Although I had done some cross country skiing many many (many) years ago, my son had never been on skis. After one lesson, he felt confident enough to ski, and after one outing, he said he wanted to go the following week!

The most amazing thing for me was that the knee problem I had been experiencing didn’t interfere, because cross country skiing is so low impact and emphasizes different muscles than running.  By the end of the season, my left knee was actually strong enough that I could run again, after being off it for nearly a year.

The only problem? There weren’t enough snowy weekends! So if you’re at all interested, put it on your to-do list to try this club next winter (you can try it by just paying the bus fee a couple of times before buying a membership). It’s affordable, it’s a fun way to pass the winter, and you’ll be so fit by the end of the season. We’ll be back next season!













Best wishes to Han & Sam!

Active members on Trakkers’ executive committee, Han & Sam got engaged a year ago on Trakkers’ Sunday trip to Arrowhead and will soon celebrate their union with family and friends in China and India. We wish them all the best for their upcoming wedding and a lifetime of happiness together.