Author Archives: trakkers

President’s Broadcast June 2018

Hello Trakkers!

Summer may be ramping up slowly, but our off season cross-training opportunities are moving full steam ahead!

On May 29th we had a great hike through the Scottsdale Farm and area with Trakkers and new friends. Thanks Doug Seaborn and Florence de Lannoy for leading a great hike.

On June 9th another hike took us on our first of 3 hikes through the Dufferin Highlands, toward completing the Dufferin End-to- End – one full section of the Bruce Trail.  Thanks to Anita Elash for leading us at a very solid pace! With everyone’s fitness rapidly improving it felt doable despite the terrain being hillier than on our first hike. Yes, that’s how quickly we find our legs, which we hope to keep moving until we can slide again!


Here you can see Doug keeping up his poling skills with ski poles and Trakkers and friends having a bite.

The Dufferin E2E hikes will continue on July 7th and August 11th, with details to be found on our website and further information to follow on Facebook.

Jim and Jannette’s bike ride offerings also continue with the 7th Anual Spokes and Spigots Niagara Winery Bike Tour on Sunday, July 15th.  This is a guided bike tour with fellow Trakkers to wineries and a lavender farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, with an optional supper at restaurant en route. This is a new route with new destinations not visited on previous tours. Further information can be found on our website and by following this link.

Jim and Jannette are also offering Sites and Cycles: the August Bike Tour, a guided bike tour encircling Hamilton and Burlington, with stops at historic sites such as the Hamilton Lift Bridge, the Beach Canal Lighthouse, H.M.C.S. Haida, and Dundurn Castle.  Options also available include driving a Go Kart and a post-tour supper. Further information can be found on our website and by following this link.

Keep on Tracking!

Katja Lutte, President, Trakkers XC Ski Club



May 2018 President’s Broadcast

Hello Fellow Trakkers!

With the skiing season now well behind us, here’s an update on our activities, both past and coming up during the off-season.

AGM and Year-End Party

Thanks to the many of you who joined us for this year’s AGM at the Madison Pub in the Annex. We heard from Jen Liptrot, who presented our annual report, and Gleb Jegaline, who provided an update on our financial statements. A new board slate was confirmed. Special thanks to our outgoing board members, especially Hanna Balakier, Vice President, who volunteered on the board for seven seasons! A huge thank you also to Ina Puchala, Secretary, Carolyn Sitler, Director responsible for Social Events and Mark Soubry, Director responsible for Membership. To be sure, the contributions of these folks are too many to detail, but suffice it to say that this is what makes it all happen!

These special awards were given to our fellow Trakkers:

Ski School Award (for enthusiasm and dedication to achievement) – Preeti Gandhi and Pramod Gopalakrishna

Special Recognition Award (to our fabulous blogger) – Linda Mah

Longevity Awards (30 year members!!!) – Diana Fancher, Christine Hughes, Steve Parfitt

5 Years Awards – Andy Bognar, Anita Elash, Pascal Ethier, Katja Lutte, Christina Mills

Bernie Award (for outstanding contribution to Trakkers) – Sylvia Crowhurst and Xavier Lambert

Broken Ski Award (President’s Award) – Jen Liptrot

AGM - 5-year members.jpg

Andy, Christine, Pascal, Katja, John & Anita

AGM - Bernie Award.jpg

Sylvia, John & Xavier

Thank you to John Webb for his thoughtful organization of the Trakkers Awards. A big thank you also to Karen Olsen for so capably chairing the AGM.

The AGM was followed by eating and drinking in very fine company. Thanks again for joining us for a wonderful evening!

Both the annual report and year-end financial report are now posted in the Club Operations section of our website.

2018-2019 Membership Fees

We are pleased to tell you that our membership fees will remain the same for another season. It may seem eons away, but remember to mark September in your calendar for early-bird renewal (by September 30th).

2018 Open House

And while you’re in your calendar, save the date for November 16th, 7-9 pm, for our annual Trakkers Open House at Swansea Town Hall.

Off Season Events:

Ready for some off-season training and fun? Here’s what’s on.


Saturday, May 26th:

On offer is an 18.5 km loop hike in and around Scotsdale Farm and the Silvercreek Conservation Area (just north of Georgetown). You will see beautiful views, cedar forests, bridges and boardwalks, and mossy terrain. Pace will be brisk. Offered by Doug Seaborn, Florence deLannoy and Katja Lutte.


 Saturdays, June 9th, July 7th and August 11th – Dufferin E2E Hike:

These are a series of hikes (each between 18-19 kms long), offered by various Trakkers hikers, adding up to hiking the Dufferin section of the Bruce Trail end-to-end.

Feel free to participate in any or all of the hikes. Friends welcome.


These rides are very generously facilitated by Jim Girling and Janette Porter.

Sunday, June 17th – Petals & Pedals – a guided bike tour to 3 Royal Botanical Garden sites and to the kitchen garden of Dundurn Castle

Sunday, July 15th – Spokes & Spigots – our annual guided bike tour of wineries in the Niagara region

Sunday, August 26th – Sites & Cycles – a guided bike tour of historic sites in Hamilton and Burlington

Further details about these rides will be posted shortly.

Participants in off season activities will be asked to sign release of liability waivers. 

There’s no better way to stay in touch than by following us on Facebook and Twitter and checking our website periodically for updates. This is also where you find details and updates on any of the above activities.

Wishing everyone a great spring!

Katja Lutte


Trakkers – LOVE Winter


It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

As we head into this evening’s AGM and year-end social — and with Highlands Nordic reopening their orange trail for skiing this weekend (no, the club isn’t going) — one more post to reflect back on a fantastic (and long season).

This guest travel blog comes from John Webb, who took part in the Val David trip led by the Bruce Trail Club, along with a number of Trakkers members in March:

With promises of 20 cms of new snow at our destination, it was to be a long-weekend trip, so the departure from York Mills was rather early, but that allowed an extra afternoon of activity at the destination. The forecast was correct and new snow and newly tracked trails greeted us at our two interconnected destinations, Chalet Anne-Piche and Chalet Far Hills.  Our accommodation was at the Auberge du Vieux Foyer which was located directly on the trail system.

During our next two and a half days on the trails, it was quickly obvious that the Quebec grading of Green, Blue and Black was one notch more challenging than similar grading in Ontario, for both ski and snow shoe trails.  But with the new snow every night, it was quite manageable and exhilarating. Perhaps not surprisingly, snow shoeing was the preferred activity for the majority of the Bruce Trail club members, and they were guided through some interesting walks throughout the more than 30 kms of trails available.  

The Auberge was perfectly equipped to meet the needs of hungry and exhausted guests.  A hot tub or swim, followed by a four course meal restored the body, and yoga was available before breakfast every morning.

Many thanks to our executive for arranging this joint club event.  For long-time Trakkers, it was a return to a regular destination from the 1980’s.  Sadly, the Hotel Far Hills has closed, shortly to become a time-share condo. But the memories of spending those late afternoon sipping B-52’s in the bar while gazing through the picture window at the sun setting on the Laurentian hills remain.



March President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Well, it’s turned out to be a very interesting ski season in terms of the weather! “The big thaw” the last two weeks of February meant that most resorts closed for some time in an effort to protect the snow base. And now that we’re back to normal cold temperatures there hasn’t been much snow, so many resorts are offering somewhat limited trail access.

But the season’s not quite over yet! Tomorrow we are headed to Georgian Nordic near Parry Sound, which is reporting decent conditions with new snow the last few days and freshly groomed trails. We have quite a number of standby seats available so if you’re hemming and hawing about coming standby there’s lot of room available — bring a friend! Reminder: because Georgian is one of our more northern destinations, we leave an hour earlier at 8:00 a.m. (Tonight is also Daylight Savings Time, so don’t forget to set your clock one hour forward before going to bed! Yes, it’ll feel like a double-whammy, but this could be one of our last trips so it’s going to be worth it!)

Hold the Date: AGM and Year-End Social — Thursday, April 19

Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey with respect to plans for the club’s Annual General Meeting and year-end social activity. The board had the opportunity to consider all the responses this past week and are pleased to confirm details for the AGM and social:

Thursday, April 19
Madison Avenue Pub
14 Madison Avenue (near Bloor Street West and Spadina Road)

6:30 p.m. — Annual General Meeting business
7:00 p.m. — Food and drinks

All Trakkers members are invited to attend the AGM, at which the board will present an update on club activities and financials, and the volunteer board to support next year’s ski season will be elected. For those who wish to stay for the year-end social portion of the AGM, tickets will be $20, which includes appetizers and two drink tickets.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time through the Trakkers web site similar to the way you register for a Sunday trip. Simply log in to your member account, scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “Events”.  Look for “AGM / Year-End Social Tickets” and click the “Register” link beneath that.

A formal invitation and notice of AGM business will be sent out to the members in the coming days.

We’re Recruiting for a Volunteer Communications Board Director!

Heading into the Annual General Meeting and nomination of next year’s board, the club has one board vacancy for which we are recruiting, specifically for Communications.

We’re looking for a social media-savvy club member who is looking to give something back to the club! The Communications director position is responsible for managing the club’s Facebook and Twitter account, posting updates for each of our Sunday trips throughout the week. The Communications director also supports content development for the blog and participates in 2-hour monthly board meetings (Sept through May). Average time commitment through fall, summer and spring is 6-8 hours per month (including the board meeting).

If you think you might be interested please contact myself or Hanna Balakier for details.

Congratulations to Sylvia and Xavier on Level 2 Certification!

A huge shout-out to Sylvia Crowhurst and Xavier Lambert — two of Trakkers’ awesome ski instructors — for recently obtaining their Level 2 certification with the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI). Congratulations, Xavier and Sylvia — we are so proud of you and look forward to taking advantage of your amazing teaching skills next season 🙂

CANSI Level 2 certification

Sylvia Crowhurst and Xavier Lambert, 2nd and 3rd from left

Photo Contest Winners — And One More Week Left!

Despite the dicey conditions, our photo contest is still going strong. Winners for Week 2 and 3 of the contest were Celine Lamarre and Steve Favell, and each received a $50 gift card from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Wild Life Photo

Wild Life theme: “I think I’ll turn left!” by Celine Lamarre

Wipe-Out Photo

Spectacular Wipe-Out by Steve Favell

And the photo contest has one more week to go! Because our last two trips were cancelled, tomorrow’s trip to Georgian Nordic will be the last week for the contest.

The theme for this week’s photo contest is “Winter Patterns in Nature”. Contest will close noon, Saturday, March 17.

Keep on trakkin’,

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

February President’s Broadcast

Dear Trakkers,

Every year seems to be bring some ups and downs with the weather and our ski conditions — and this season is shaping up to be no different! Rest assured, we will still get in many Sunday trips before the end of the season!

Cudos to Laurel on Level 1 Certification!

Congratulations go out to Laurel Christie, who completed her Level 1 CANSI ski instructor certification earlier this month! Laurel had been assisting with some of our Ski School lessons thus far this season — and she worked hard on her training for the instructor program — so please join me in welcoming her as a fully certified instructor to our Ski School! Well done!

Reminder — Wine and Cheese — February 25, 2018

This year’s annual wine and cheese will be held on Sunday, February 25th at Scenic Caves. This is a great mid-season opportunity to socialize with other members in the club and we will have the very cozy log cabin at Scenic Caves booked for our exclusive use again this year.

Festivities will begin at approximately 3:00 p.m., giving us lots of time to socialize before we board the bus back to the city at 4:30.

Photo Contest Now Underway!

Our annual photo contest is off to a great start, with each of our weekly themes giving you the opportunity to win a $50 MEC gift card! Winner of our first week’s theme — “Show Us Your Style” — was Niki Müller:


“Longgggg me skiing”

Upcoming themes include:

  • Wild Life — closes noon, Saturday, February 17
  • Spectacular Wipeouts — closes noon, Saturday, February 24
  • Winter Patterns in Nature — closes noon, Saturday, March 3

Check out the Photo Contest page on our web site for full details and watch our Facebook page for further updates on winners!

Blue Spruce Weekend Trip a Snowy Success!

It was a winter wonderland for the club’s recent weekend trip to Blue Spruce Resort in Dwight, near Huntsville this past weekend. With tons of fresh snow, members had the option of choosing between the wilderness trails in Algonquin Park or at Arrowhead Park in Huntsville. A few photos to share, courtesy of Hanna:

Fen Lake Cabin - Algonquin Park

With Gwen at Fen Lake Cabin

Heron Nests

Heron Nests on the Rockery Trail at the Blue Spruce Resort

Tell Us Your Thoughts re: Year-End Event

While there is still lots of skiing left this year, the club is thinking about the Trakkers Year-End Party and Annual General Meeting (AGM).

We welcome membership input and would appreciate if you could take few minutes to complete this short survey to help us in organizing and understanding what the membership prefers with respect to a year-end event. Thank you for your input!

Keep on trakkin’!

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

January President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Wow — what a phenomenal start to the season! The club has already had two glorious Sunday trips to Highlands Nordic (Dec 17) and Scenic Caves (Dec 31). We haven’t had such fantastic conditions so early in the season for many years — let’s keep hoping Mother Nature will shine on us with continued good snow forecasts!

Scenic Daves

Only A Few Spots Left for Trakkers Weekend Trips!

Interest in our weekend trips this year has been strong and we only have a few spots left for each of our trips.

The club’s trip to the Woolner Place at Highlands Nordic is scheduled for January 26-28, 2018. The Woolner Place is near Duntroon and offers direct access to Highlands Nordic trails for skiing and snowshoeing. There are 24 km of both classic and skate cross-country ski trails, and 7 km of snowshoe trails. Cost for the Woolner Place trip is $75 per person for bedrooms and $60 for the loft (up to 3 people).

Our trip to  Blue Spruce Resort on the weekend of February 9-11, 2018. The resort is near to both Algonquin and Arrowhead and offers a great range of options in terms of activities. Algonquin’s Fen Lake system of trails at the West Gate is closest to the resort and offers 18 km of classic-only skiing. The Leak Lake set of trails at Alonquin’s East Gate is farther afield, but offers 37 kms of both classic and skate trails. There is also the Minnesing 18 km backcountry trail for wilderness skiing (for the more adventurous and experienced types!). Arrowhead Provincial Park in Huntsville is also very close by and offers 38 kms of classic and skate ski trails with exceptional grooming, extensive snowshoeing trail options, a tubing hill, and a wonderfully scenic skating trail. (On most Saturday evenings, the park offers a “Fire and Ice” lighted skating event with tiki torches lining the skate trail!) Cost per person for the Blue Spruce trip is $140.

Please contact Henry Furlott, Trakkers’ Weekend Trips Coordinator, for further details and to register

Looking for Some Shutterbug Creativity!

Each year Trakkers runs a photo contest (with prizes!) to help showcase the creativity of our members while out of the trail, and to inspire appreciation of the fantastic sport of cross-country skiing.The contest typically runs for 4 weeks through the season. Each week’s winner of the photo contest is selected based on the most number of “likes” which their photo receives on the Trakkers Facebook page.

This year, we’re looking to bring some new creativity to the process and we are interested in hearing from members about potential theme ideas that could be used. If you’ve got a great idea about a theme for a particular week, please send it in to Florence de Lannoy, Communications Director, by Sunday, January 14.

Mark Your Calendars — Wine and Cheese — February 25, 2018

This year’s annual wine and cheese will be held on Sunday, February 25th at Scenic Caves. This is a great mid-season opportunity to socialize with other members in the club and we will have the very cozy log cabin at Scenic Caves booked for our exclusive use again this year. Look for upcoming Broadcasts and to our Facebook page for further updates closer to the date.

Trakkers Need Your Help — Board Recruitment Committee Volunteers

Behind the scenes the Trakkers board of directors is already starting planning for next year’s ski season — including the identification of potential volunteers for next year’s board! As part of our formal process, a nominations committee will be struck in January to help liaise within the membership and identify potential volunteers to join next year’s board of directors.

At this time, the board would like to extend an invitation out to the membership for any volunteers (we need 1-2 people only) who would be willing to join the nominations committee to help identify prospective board members for next year. It would be ideal if you have been a member in the club for a few years in terms of having overall familiarity with how the club works, as well as being willing to actively network with other members in the club to support the board’s efforts to identify prospective board members.

The nominations committee will formally launch in mid-January and anticipated volunteer time required to support the overall process would be 5 hours.

If you may be interested please contact us at

Keep on trakkin!

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