Author Archives: trakkers

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.

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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:

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“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 info@trakkers.ca.

Keep on trakkin!

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

December President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Our first trip of the season is tomorrow, we’ve got a few spots left on our weekend trips, mark your calendars for the Wine and Cheese, and we’re already planning for next year!

Tomorrow’s Trip to Highlands Nordic is a Go!

This is the first year in many where conditions have cooperated and we’ve been able to go on a Sunday trip in December — something to celebrate! Highlands Nordic is located on the top of the escarpment, close to Georgian Bay, and is reporting a very healthy 16 cm base, 11 kms of trails open, and only 2 spots on the network where there is a bare patch (easy to ski around). The Highlands Lodge has an excellent cafeteria, lunch room, rentals, pro shop, area for repairs and waxing facilities.

It should be fantastic first day on the trails and we have 21 standby seats available, so we have lots of space if you want to bring some friends or family members as impromptu guests.

A few reminders before we embark on our first trip of the season: if you are a member, your first trip (pre-registered) is free. (If you are coming standby you will need to pay the $5 difference at the bus for the standby bus fare.) Please remember to bring cash for your trail fee. (Trail fees and equipment rental fees are listed on the web site.)

Please also remember that our bus leaves from the pick-up location at 9:00 a.m. sharp! The subway starts running at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays — and tomorrow, in celebration of the opening of several new subway stations, the entire TTC system is free for the day. If you are driving to our pick-up point, there is parking available at the Keele subway station parking lot.

New Club Code of Conduct

The Trakkers Board of Directors has recently endorsed a Code of Conduct to apply for all members and guests participating any club activities. The Code of Conduct establishes the standards that govern the way Trakkers members deal with each other, the media and the public at large. The Code of Conduct differs from the Club’s bylaws and articles of incorporation in that it addresses acceptable/unacceptable behavior.

By taking out a membership or participating in any Trakkers activity, members and our guests agree to be bound by the rules of the Code of Conduct.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Code. Any questions can be directed to info@trakkers.ca.

A Few Spots Still Available for Trakkers Weekend Trips

We still have a few spots available for our weekend trips. Dates and spaces available:

January 26-28, 2018 – The Woolner House at Highlands Nordic, Duntroon: we have two beds available to share in a room with two other members.  Price $75 for the weekend.

February 9-11, 2018 – Blue Spruce Resort, near to both Algonquin and Arrowhead: we have two rooms with two singles, each, in two different cottages. Also, there’s one Queen/King size bed for a couple.  Price $140 each, for the weekend.

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

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.

It’s Not Too Early to Think About Next Year!

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 info@trakkers.ca.

Reminder: Weekend Trip Offer from the Toronto Bruce Trail Club — Val David, Quebec, Mar 9-12

The Toronto Bruce Trail Club has graciously extended an offer for Trakkers members to join on their cross-country ski and snowshoe weekend in Val David, Quebec from March 9 to 12 2018.

Travel will be by luxury highway coach, with 7:00 a.m. departure time on Mar 9 from York Mills station. Cost is $340 + tax per person (based on double occupancy) and includes three nights accommodation, three breakfasts, three dinners, and trail passes for all four days. Coach fare is $170 for non-members.

Guided snowshoe hikes with spectacular views of the Laurentians will be available. Skiers can explore over 50 kms of groomed trails in the Park Regional Val-David Val-Morin, or discover the P’tit Train du Nord linear park, groomed for classic and skate skiing from Val David to St. Jerome (40 km).

See their flyer for full details and registration instructions. Any questions can be directed to Martina Furrer.

Keep on trakkin!

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

November President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

The Open House approaches — there’s already been a light dusting of snow up north — we’ve got details of our Weekend Trips below — and a special weekend trip offer from our friends at the Toronto Bruce Trail Club!

Web Site is Back Up!

The Trakkers web site was down for a few days last week — our apologies for any inconvenience. All functionality has now been restored and you can use the web site to renew your membership. Thanks for your patience.

Two Weeks to the Trakkers Annual Open House — Nov 17

Come out and reconnect with members in anticipation of the upcoming season, meet some of our ski instructors, or just find out more about the club. New and prospective members welcome. Light refreshments will be served and we’ll have some wonderful door prizes!

Friday, November 17, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue

Registration for the club’s weekend trips will also begin at the Open House (bring your chequebook). See details below.

Trakkers Weekend Trips

Looking for an accessible and affordable way to get out of the city for a few days of skiing? Why not try out a Trakkers weekend trip? Dates for this year’s trips are:

Cost for Woolner House is $75 per person for bedrooms and $60 for the loft (up to 3 people). Cost for Blue Spruce is $140 per person for the weekend.

Registration for our weekend trips will begin at our Open House on Friday, November 17th. Please contact Henry Furlott, Trakkers’ Weekend Trips Coordinator, for information and availability.

Weekend Trip Offer from the Toronto Bruce Trail Club — Val David, Quebec, Mar 9-12

The Toronto Bruce Trail Club has graciously extended an offer for Trakkers members to join on their cross-country ski and snowshoe weekend in Val David, Quebec from March 9 to 12 2018.

Travel will be by luxury highway coach, with 7:00 a.m. departure time on Mar 9 from York Mills station. Cost is $340 + tax per person (based on double occupancy) and includes three nights accommodation, three breakfasts, three dinners, and trail passes for all four days. Coach fare is $170 for non-members.

Guided snowshoe hikes with spectacular views of the Laurentians will be available. Skiers can explore over 50 kms of groomed trails in the Park Regional Val-David Val-Morin, or discover the P’tit Train du Nord linear park, groomed for classic and skate skiing from Val David to St. Jerome (40 km).

See their flyer for full details and registration instructions. Any questions can be directed to Martina Furrer.

CANSI Ski Instructor Prep and Level 1 Course Dates Announced

Trakkers continues to offer opportunities for our members who may be interested in becoming a ski instructor with the club. If you’re interested in taking your skiing technique to the next level and giving something back to the club, this can be a great way to do both — plus, there’s perks!

All Trakkers instructors are trained and certified by the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI). You don’t need to know how to do both skate and classic ski techniques as CANSI offers certification for classic instruction only as well. For anyone who completes the Level 1 training and commits to teach with Trakkers for a period of time, the club reimburses the costs of the CANSI training and certification, and covers trail/bus fees while teaching as an incentive. Our instructors teach for approx. 90 mins on the morning of each of our Sunday trips, and then are free to get their own ski in through the afternoon.

Dates for the Level 1 preparatory and Level 1 certification courses have just been announced by CANSI:

Level 1 Preparation Course — December 16, 2017 — Highlands Nordic

  • This 1-day preparation course is designed to assess your cross-country ski technique and to provide you with feedback and fine tuning to ensure that you can ski at the required level before you attend the CANSI Level I certification course.

Level 1 Instructor Certification — February 3 and 4, 2018 — Highlands Nordic

  • This 2-day (16 hours) course will introduce you to the fundamentals of cross-country (classic and/or skate) and the teaching technique. You will improve your demonstration skills and learn how to introduce new people to the sport.
  • Curious is you’ve got the skills? Check out CANSI’s video of the required level of skiing for Level I certification.

If you’re interested, please email Anita Elash, our Ski School Coordinator.

Don’t Forget Your Consent!

A friendly reminder that your membership registration is a two-step process: 1) renewal and providing payment details; and, 2) providing your consent for our insurance purposes — both can be done from your Member Account page on the web site. Many members seem to be forgetting to complete the consent part of the process, so please ensure that you do both steps when you register / renew — thanks!

Keep on trakkin!

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