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!

 

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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.

Blue Spruce Weekend Trip

As always, our weekend trip to Blue Spruce was a big success. Four cottages with fireplaces made for a cozy atmosphere in a winter wonderland. We kicked off the weekend late Friday afternoon with a welcome wine & cheese party. On Saturday night, intoxicated only by nature and the fresh air that surrounded us, we made space for our own dance floor!

Sitting beside the fire while looking out at Oxtongue Lake and the beautiful pine trees, we felt relaxed and totally lazy. With mountains of snow everywhere, the skiing in Algonquin Park was awesome as always. Those in the mood to shop could visit Algonquin Outfitters for deals on the best jackets, sweaters, gloves, boots, skis, canoes, and other outdoor gear. A fantastic weekend was had by all!

Henry Furlott, Weekend Trips

Photos:  Henry Furlott & Hanna Balakier

February President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Don’t despair with the warmer temps of late and the melted snow in Toronto — the extended forecast is showing colder temperatures again and more snow through March, so we will definitely have several more Sunday trips yet! In this month’s broadcast, we’ve got details of our year-end party, another call out for volunteers willing to join the club’s board to support operations next year, and lots of great photos from the recent wine and cheese!

Tickets Now Available for Trakkers Year-End Party & Annual General Meeting — Hold the Date!

All Trakker’s members are cordially invited to the club’s Annual General Meeting and Year-End Party:

Saturday, April 1, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
The Crooked Cue
3056 Bloor Street West, Toronto

The AGM will be held at 6:00 p.m. in order for the club to conduct necessary business to conclude the season and nominate the board to support next season’s operations. Agenda and materials to support the AGM will be posted to the Club Operations section of the member-only area of the web site within the next few days. We’ll also send a separate email out to all members with instructions for access.

The year-end party begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $38 per person and include buffet dinner, taxes, gratuities and access to pool tables for the evening. Tickets for the year-end party must be purchased in advance on the Trakkers’ web site. (Simply log in to your member account and tickets can purchased from the Events section at the bottom of the page.) Cash bar will offer a regular selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

See flyer for full details and menu.

The Club Needs a Few Good Volunteers!

As our Annual General Meeting gets closer, the club is still seeking a number of volunteers willing to join the board of directors to support operations for next year’s ski season. Being on the board is a great way to meet more members in the club and share your love of skiing with others by giving something back.

The board meets once per month (2 hours) from September through April. Depending on the portfolio, volunteer hours beyond the monthly board meetings may vary. We are seeking individuals for the following board positions:

Treasurer — responsible for Trakkers’ weekly banking and financial reconciliations during the ski season, making sure our bills are paid and tax filings done in a timely manner, monitoring the club’s investments, and in conjunction with the board at large coordinates development of the club’s annual budget. Weekly time commitment during the ski season is approximately 2-3 hours, which must be done on Monday or Tuesday (i.e., before registration for the next week’s trip opens up).

Weekend Trips Coordinator — responsible for booking locations and liaising with the resorts for Trakkers’ weekend trips (usually 3 per ski season), processing members applications for the trips and providing general coordination support. Note: the Weekend Trips Coordinator does not need to attend any of the actual trips. Time commitment is approximately 3-4 hours per month.

Sunday Trips Coordinator — responsible for picking our Sunday Trips destination each week during ski season and liaising with the various resorts, ongoing monitoring of trail conditions and weather forecasts, coordinating and liaising with Trakkers’ charter bus company. Time commitment is approximately 5-6 hours per month, predominantly during the active ski months, January through March.

If you might be interested in volunteering with the club — for one of the above board positions, or otherwise — please don’t hesitate to contact any members of our recruitment committee: Hanna Balakier (vicepresident@trakkers.ca), Katja Lutte (sundaytrips@trakkers.ca), or Jen Liptrot (president@trakkers.ca).

Full House for the Wine and Cheese!

Trakkers’ annual wine and cheese was a huge success this year at Scenic Caves. On February 5 had two full buses and had the cozy log cabin all to ourselves for the festivities. A big shout out to Carolyn Sitler, Trakkers’ social coordinator, and our numerous volunteers for making the event such a great success.

club-photo

Sam and Mark

Sam and Mark

carolyn-and-hanna

Carolyn and Hanna, our Social Coordinator and Vice-President

Lost and Found Items

The Trakkers lost and found is starting to accumulate a few items. Recognize any of these? If so, please contact info@trakkers.ca and we’ll get you reunited!

Thermos left behind on our January 29 Kawartha Nordic trip:

thermos

Mitts left behind on our February 19 Georgian Nordic trip:

mitts

Keep on trakkin’!

Jen Liptrot
Volunteer President
Trakkers Cross-Country Ski Club — LOVE Winter!

Beautiful Day at Kawartha Nordic

“It’s perfect — sun and snow!”  This comment surprisingly came not from a skier, but from the bus driver as we disembarked under a brilliant sky for the club’s January 29th trip to Kawartha Nordic.

After so many overcast days in a row, we were all glad for a sunny day.  On the trails, the brightness of the day was reflected in the broad smiles of passing skiers, glad for the great ski conditions and low wind. Trakkers also hasn’t been out to Kawartha for some time, and it’s long been a favourite for many in the club.

kawartha-nordic

Although it is a bit longer to get to Kawartha Nordic, I always love going there for the gently undulating trails that take us through the mainly mixed coniferous forest.  Maybe it’s that little extra distance from Toronto that lets people be more friendly, as almost everyone we passed on the trail said hi and some we never met before stopped to talk to us.  To add to the positive experience, Kawartha Nordic this year has added a trailer with women’s and men’s washrooms, accessible from the chalet.

All around, a great day.

Jannette Porter
Trakkers Member

January President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Our season is off to a fantastic start with significant amounts of early snow — most of which has continued to remain up north, despite a few really warm days through December. Read on for details about the club’s upcoming wine and cheese, our annual photo contest, weekend trips details, and important updates about the club’s Sunday trips policy.

Say Cheese!

What could be more fun than skiing all day and then enjoying some wine and nibbles while socializing with other members in the club? This year’s Wine and Cheese event will be held on Sunday, February 5 at Scenic Caves, and we have the cozy log cabin booked for the event. This is a great opportunity to meet other members in the club, or to invite any guests who may be interested in trying skiing or checking out the club.

Festivities will start around 3:00 and we’ll have a 4:30 departure time. We’ll also be taking the club’s annual photo before we all get back on the bus.

Calling All Shutterbugs!

The Trakkers photo contest has officially started! This year members have a chance to win one of four $50 MEC gift cards. Four themes have been chosen to inspire your photography:

  • Fit and Fun
  • Satisfying Ski Snacks
  • Fabulous Friendships
  • Trakkers’ Favorrite Trails

To enter members may post one photo with the theme title each week to the Visitor Posts on our Facebook page. Trakkers members and their Facebook friends will choose the winning photo for each theme by voting with a “like” on our Visitors Page. The winning photo will be chosen based on the most number of “likes” accumulated between the opening and closing dates for each theme.

For weekly entry deadlines and full rules, please see details on our web site.

Important Update & Reminder to Review our Sunday Trips Policy!

If you haven’t done so already, all returning and new members should familiarize themselves with the club’s Sunday Trips Policy. The policy outlines everything you need to know as a member about registration deadlines for our Sunday trips and lessons, guests, how to come as a standby member, bus fares, our cancellation policy and more.

An important change to note this year is that the club is limiting our Sunday trips to 2 buses (capacity for 112 members). As our membership has continued to maintain steady at approximately 200 members over the last few years, we have not seen sufficient sign-ups to fill a third bus without the club taking a considerable financial loss.  At the same time, 2 buses seems to be the optimal balance for the club to manage in terms of our precious volunteer resources. (Fun factoid: while the club’s Sunday Trip policy is to run a bus with 32 paying adult passengers it actually takes 48 paying adult passengers — on a 56-person capacity bus — for a Sunday trip to “break even” from a financial perspective.)

If additional volunteers from the membership step forward to assist with club operations, we may be in a position to consider expansion to 3 buses, but only in the situation that registration numbers demonstrate sufficient consistent demand and financial sustainability with respect to numbers.

As a result of our new 2 bus limit we strong encourage members to pre-register by the 9:00 p.m. Thursday deadline.

Weekend Trips — Spots Available & Guest Sign-Up for Woolner Trip

Looking for a fun ski getaway? Why not join a Trakkers weekend trip — we’ve still got a few spots left:

The January 27-29, 2017 trip to Woolner House at Highlands Nordic has 1 spot available. The February 10-12, 2017 trip to Blue Spruce Resort, near Algonquin and Arrowhead, has 5 spots available. Please contact Henry Furlott, our Weekend Trips Coordinator, for more details and to obtain application forms for the trips.

In addition, registration for the Woolner House trip has now opened up so that members can also register guests to join on the trip. Contact Henry for details.

Keep on trakkin’!

Jen Liptrot
Volunteer President
Trakkers Cross-Country Ski Club — LOVE Winter!