Author Archives: trakkers

December President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers,

First Trip!!!

Well, it’s that time again! We are very excited for our first Sunday ski trip planned for this Sunday, December 16th to Highlands Nordic! Please register early for the bus, so we know you are planning to come. Advance registration always opens on Mondays and closes Thursdays at 9pm. Please review the Sunday Trips policy on the website to refresh your memory the procedures. If you wish to join a lesson, please sign up when you register for the trip.  Please remember to check our website and facebook  for regular updates on trip status, including any destination change.  Better yet, follow us on facebook for the latest updates.



Speaking of lessons, Trakkers offers various types of lessons for skiers at all levels: Junior Trakkers (for kids), Beginners (both Absolute Beginners and Experienced Beginners); Intermediate; Advanced; Skating and Hills lessons (for new and experienced skiers).

Hesitant to make the leap or unsure of your technique? Try our new Advanced Lessons in both classic and skate technique, offered by Xavier Lambert and Sylvia Crowhurst, both CANSI certified level 2 instructors. These lessons are for skiers who have mastered their intermediate skill and want to up their game, or who are thinking about teaching. Students will receive on-snow video feedback throughout the lesson.

For more information about our lessons, go to this link on our website and keep your eye out for more updates to come.

Ski Lessons

Saturday December 15 – CANSI Level 1 Instructor Preparation Course

The CANSI Level 1 Instructor Preparation Course takes place this Saturday, December 15th at  Highlands Nordic ski resort, near Collingwood

If you’d like to share your skills with others, becoming a ski instructor is a great way to do it. This course will prepare you become an assistant ski instructor, and to pass the exams required to become a CANSI certified Level 1 instructor.

Trakkers pays the tuition in return for your teaching. Instructors and assistants also get free bus fare and trail fees on the days they teach. (See our Poster for more info)

Trakkers Open House

We had a great turn out at our Open House on November 16th, where we met many new people interested in the club.  It was also wonderful to see many of our members.  Thanks to everyone who came out, especially the many volunteers who helped with set up!


MEC Snowfest

On November 18th a few Trakkers represented the club at MEC’s Annual Snowfest.  Again, thanks to all who came out!

Calling all Volunteers

If you have a skill that might be of use in the running of a not for profit, entirely volunteer-run club, please speak to our bus captains or one of the board members on an upcoming trip about how you might be able to help.  At the moment, we could use the help of a graphic designer to assist with updating some of our promotional display materials.  If you have the skills and desire to help out, please let us know!

Ok, folks, the countdown is on!  Conditions look promising and our Sunday Trips Coordinator, Liane MacGregor, is all over the weather reports.  Here’s to shaking our snow globes between now and Sunday!

Katja Lutte, President



November President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Do you feel it coming? As the last of the fall glory lights up our beautiful city, light snow is falling this morning. Yes, winter is on its way and our activities are ramping up!


On October 18th 22 Trakkers and friends enjoyed a great evening at our Winter’s Not Far Off pub night. It was really great to see everyone! Thanks to all who came out and thanks especially to Gina Ang for organizing the event.


Trakkers’ Open House is on Friday, November 16th,, from 7-9 p.m., at Swansea Town Hall – 95 Lavinia Avenue. Come to connect with your pals and meet some new folks exploring the club.  Bring anyone interested in trying XC skiing. There will be refreshments and snacks. Learn about our plans for this year, including weekend and Sunday trips, ski lessons and more. Prizes will be awarded throughout the evening.

Calling all bus captains and anyone who would like to volunteer! Being a bus captain is rewarding and gives you an opportunity to participate in one of the most important parts of our club – making the Sunday trips work! You will get a free bus fare, as well as a reduced rate on several of the resort trail fees. It’s a great way to meet everyone in the club and have fun while you are volunteering. For anyone interested in volunteering, please contact Sam Tosaria at

Our annual Bus Captain Boot Camp will be held on December 8th from 1-4 p.m., at Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue, in the Hague Room. This is a refresher for all returning bus captains and an introduction to this position for new volunteers.

On November 18th, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. we will be participating, once again, in Mountain Equipment Coop’s Snowfest.  Come out, browse your favourite store and join us in getting excited about winter and, moreover, our club!

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage returning members to consider volunteering in our various activities. If you are interested, please contact me at so we can talk about how you could get involved.

As the season ramps up, I would like to remind everyone, members and friends alike, that by participating in any Trakkers activity we agree to adhere to the Trakkers Code of Conduct, found on our website.

Katja Lutte,

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

September President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

The end of summer is bitter-sweet and all the more sweet because we know we have skiing to look forward to!

We have had a busy summer as many Trakkers were able to join in our off-season outings.  The enthusiasm surrounding these outings made it clear to all of us that Trakkers is a club where friends are made around our common love for being active and  enjoying nature!

This summer we had three interesting and scenic bike tours, organized by Jannette Porter and Jim Girling.  Many thanks for your generous offerings!

Bike tour.jpg

We also managed to hike an entire section of the Bruce Trail in 3 fantastic hikes, with many thanks to Doug Seaborne, Florence DeLannoy, Anita Elash and all who came out to make these hikes so much fun!


Hikers 3.jpg

Important Events, Dates & Times

We have now held our first board meeting of the 2018-2019 season and are well on our way to planning for another fantastic season.

Membership Renewal

Remember to renew your membership as soon as possible and before September 30th to benefit from our early-bird rate:

Before September 30th – $70

After September 30th – $75

Winter’s Not Far Off Pub Night

Thursday, October 18 from 7 pm to 9 pm at The Mugshot Tavern, 1729 Bloor St W. (Bloor & Keele)

Get together with your fellow Trakkers for a fun and friendly time.  Come for the whole time or stop in. If you are a card or game player, bring your toys and let’s enjoy!

Trakkers Annual Open House

Friday, November 16th, from 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall.

This is a great time to reconnect with your fellow Trakkers, meet some potential new members and share with them your love for skiing.  This is also a great time to register for weekend trips, which are wonderful, popular and can sell out quickly.  You can also talk to us about various volunteer opportunities, be it to help with events, to become a bus captain or ski instructor.  We will be serving snacks and refreshments, including some nice wine.  Bring your friends and spread the word!

Speaking of Weekend Trips …

Hold these dates for affordable two-night (Friday, Saturday night) winter getaways.

  • January 26-27, 2019 – The Woolner House, Highlands Nordic, Duntroon
  • February 9-10, 2019 – Blue Spruce Resort, Algonquin Park area

More information about these weekend trips can be found at this link:

Bus Captain Boot Camp – Calling all Trakkers Ski Club Bus Captains! 

Date: Saturday, December 15th – 10 am to 1 pm at Swansea Town Hall

Want to meet more people in the club and get a free Sunday bus fare?  Why not consider becoming a Trakkers bus captain?

Our bus captains are responsible for registering all skiers as they board the bus, purchasing and distributing the club’s trail passes when we arrive at the resort, and acting as all-around ambassadors on each trip.  It’s a lot of fun, the club provides full training, and as an extra incentive, if you volunteer as a captain the cost of your Sunday bus fare is covered by the club.  We require two bus captains per bus for each of our Sunday trips.

The club is holding our annual Bus Captain Training Boot Camp for all returning and potential new bus captains on Saturday, December 15th.

If you are interested in volunteering as a bus captain, please contact Sam Tosaria, the club’s Lead Bus Captain, at for more details.

Very much looking forward to seeing you all soon!






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!