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Important 2020-2021 Season Update

Dear Trakkers:

After much consideration as to what we are able to offer that is safe, comfortable and enjoyable, and based on the responses from the survey we sent out in September, we have decided that we are not able to offer bus trips this season. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to suspend club activities for the 2020-2021 season until further notice.

We have made this decision after carefully considering:

  • The safety of our members: Advice surrounding the modes and risk of transmission of COVID-19 in indoor environments for long periods of time, such as on a bus, continues to evolve.
  • Comfort of trips: To comply with public health regulations, each ski resort is modifying its operations differently, including limited or no change rooms, limited ski rental capacity, and reducing the number of people inside chalets and the amount of time spent indoors. Arriving in a group means that the bus must be used as a hub, which runs counter to advice given from public health.
  • Value to members and financial impact to the club: Reducing the number of passengers on the bus to ensure appropriate social distancing significantly increases the cost of bus fare. We considered subsidizing the cost of buses in order to keep bus fares reasonable, but this is not financially responsible as we would need to significantly increase fees in the future to recuperate the lost revenue.
  • Logistics and feasibility: After much discussion of various options, including methods to minimize costs and restructuring, modifying and reducing club activities, we determined that other club offerings such as ski lessons, weekend trips, and social events were not feasible under the current situation.

The Board would rather weather the storm this year so that Trakkers can continue to operate in future years. We thank you for your support and ask for your cooperation and understanding during this time. We will continue to maintain our online presence until we are able to re-open membership next year.

In the meantime, we are developing an approach to foster community and online engagement, so please follow us on:

Yours truly,

Trakkers Board of Directors

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[Newsletter] Trakkers Broadcast – January/February 2021

Hello Trakkers!

Hopefully you are keeping happy and healthy! While we are not operating any club activities this season, we are keeping active on our blog and social media.

Here’s what’s been happening on the Trakkers blog:

Please note that whenever heading out, check websites regularly to ensure that you are up to date on and following COVID-19 protocols, including physical distancing and wearing face coverings.

A tour of Trakkers Trails for safe, physically distanced fun

With no bus this year, some of you might be looking to make your own way up to the trails. But, one of the benefits of the bus is that you really did not have to know where we were going. Trakkers took care of it. So, maybe you are wondering how you can get to those trails by yourself? If so, here is a guide. Read more….

Places to Ski and Snowshoe

I’m going to add a few less likely places to ski.  These are all non-commercial ski areas with limited or no facilities.  And that means limited or no trail fees.  You are unlikely to meet many people on these trails which, in these strange times, can be considered an added bonus rather than a problem. Read more…

Virtual Canadian Loppets

Looking for a challenge this winter? Consider participating in a virtual loppet. Due to the ongoing pandemic, some of our favourite loppets have gone virtual. Here’s what the Canadian Ski Marathon, the Canadian Birkie and the Gatineau Loppet are doing this winter. Read more…

Unable to ski? Try skating!

In December, my partner and I booked a getaway to spend a few days in Tiny Township. We were really looking forward to getting back on our skate skis. After the lockdown was announced, our plans were blown to smithereens, but what can one day do?? So we decided to go… skating! Local, free, and fun! Read more…

Follow us!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/trakkersskiclub
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/trakkersskiclub
Blog: https://trakkersskiclub.wordpress.com

Unable to ski? Try skating!

By Olga Kusztelska

In December, my partner and I booked a getaway to spend a few days in Tiny Township. We were really looking forward to getting back on our skate skis. After the lockdown was announced, our plans were blown to smithereens, but what can one day do?? We thought of Plan B, which involved a day trip to Kawartha Nordic. Perfect! we said to ourselves. We booked a car and counted the days to our trip. As the day approached, we thought… hmmmm… a two-hour drive each way… that’s maybe not so bad on the way there, but driving back that long when we are tired…? Nah…

We thought: we miss the Trakkers bus and taking a nap on the way home after a full day of skiing!

So we decided to go… skating! Local, free, and fun!

My only problem was that my skates had not touched ice for over 13 years. I regarded them with suspicion. Then I thought that this was a perfect opportunity to practice skating and, maybe, just maybe, learn a proper technique that could even help me with my balance on skate skis. I was nervous but also curious and excited. Learning to properly balance on ice skates is important, just like proper balance is key to skate skiing. The skate skiing stride is very similar to ice skating. In ice skating, however, you will gain more momentum faster with less effort. While most ice skating techniques might not be transferable to skate skiing, I remain convinced that learning how to balance well on your skates can be very beneficial to keeping balance on your skate skis.

Here is a short video that might help if you are making your first steps on ice skates:

Get out and skate!

On the City of Toronto’s website we learned that we first had to get our family number for our household and separate client numbers for me and my partner. You can find out how to do this by accessing this link:

https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/skating-winter-sports/public-leisure-skating

Once you have your family and client numbers, you can register for skating for any of the 54 locations across the city by either calling or going online. It is actually quite simple, BUT the capacity is 25, and many rinks fill up quickly. Registration opens one week in advance at 8 a.m. and allows for 20 spots, leaving five spots for walk-ins. If you want to secure a spot, it is best to get online or call shortly after 8 a.m. (You can also keep on checking the website if the spots became available in the meantime, because it does happen). If your plans change, you can always cancel. If you are unable to snatch a spot in advance, you can always try a walk-in, as often many people do not show up. I have not been turned away yet! (especially on a weekday).

The interactive map is very easy to use. You can just click on the location that interests you, and a dialog box pops up where you can click further to access the registration platform. It takes less than 5 minutes.

My first couple of times on the skates were like a “Bambi on ice” experience, but I am getting better. Skate time is about 45 minutes, which is more than enough for me. I particularly like the first skate window at 10 a.m. after the Zamboni goes over the ice and leaves the surface (generally) as smooth as glass. It is a new found winter activity for me, and I really like it. We are still hoping for a ski trip soon, but in the meantime, we keep on skating! So if you are unable to ski, try skating instead!

Canadian Virtual Loppets

Looking for a challenge this winter? Consider participating in a virtual loppet.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, some of our favourite loppets have gone virtual. Here’s what the Canadian Ski Marathon, the Canadian Birkie and the Gatineau Loppet are doing this winter.

Please note that if heading out to ski, check websites regularly to ensure that you are up to date on and following COVID-19 protocols, including physical distancing and wearing face coverings.

Virtual Canadian Ski Marathon

February 6 to March 7, 2021

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The Canadian Ski Marathon is Canada’s oldest ski tour. It welcomes all ages and all ski levels.

Typically, the Canadian Ski Marathon is held on a weekend in February in the Mont Tremblant and Gatineau region, in Quebec, on a trail that is only groomed once a year. It covers 160km that is divided into 5 sections, averaging 16km per section. Participants can ski as much or as little as they wish.

For the virtual version, participants are able to ski on any trails in their own regions. Keeping with tradition, they are offering three categories as noted below. Registration fees vary based on category and age of participant.

  1. Tourer – Ski as many 15km sections as wanted between February 6 to March 7, 2021
  2. Half marathon – Ski 45km in a single outing
  3. Coureur des Bois:
    1. Bronze – Ski 50km for two consecutive days
    2. Silver – Ski 50km for two consecutive days while carrying a minimum load of 5kg
    3. Gold – Ski 50km for two consecutive days while carrying a minimum load of 5kg and sleep outside between the two days

For more information:
Website: https://skimarathon.ca/virtual-event-info
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/csmmcs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/csmmcs 

Virtual Canadian Birkie

February 12 to 21, 2021

The Canadian Birkie (Birkebeiner) is one of the three Birkebeiner loppets in the world – the other two being in the United States and Norway.

Typically, the Canadian Birkie is held over the second weekend in February in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area in Alberta. The Canadian Birkie was founded in 1985, but legend of the Birkebeiner dates back much further: During a civil war in 1206 in Norway, the infant heir to the throne was rescued by two Birkebeiner warriors who carried him safely over a 55km route across two mountain ranges. 

For the virtual version, participants are welcome to classic ski, skate ski, roller-ski, skijor, cycle, run, ice skate, snowshoe, or walk the 4, 8, 13, 31 or 55 kilometres in their own regions. There are several options available and registration fees range from $15 to $35 per participant. 

For more information:
Website: https://canadianbirkie.com/virtual-birkie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdnbirkie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/canadianbirkie 

Virtual Gatineau Loppet

February 13 to 28, 2021

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The Gatineau Loppet is Canada’s largest international cross-country skiing event.

Typically, the Gatineau Loppet is held over three days in February in Gatineau Park, Quebec and sees approximately 2500 international participants each year. Founded in 1979, it remains the only event of the Worldloppet series that takes place in Canada. 

For the virtual version, participants can cross-country ski classic or free technique, fatbike, snowshoe, bike, roller ski or run, any distance of their choice, anywhere they want. There are several options available as noted below. Registration fees range from $5 to $15.

There are five options:

  1. Virtual 50km
  2. Virtual 25km
  3. Virtual 10km 
  4. Virtual 10km challenge (allows skiers to complete over several outings)
  5. Virtual mini 2km (available for children 10 years and under)

The Gatineau Loppet is one of the races of the  Worldloppet Virtual Racing League.

For more information:
Website: https://gatineauloppet.com/gatineau-loppet-virtuelle/?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gatineauloppet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GatineauLoppet