Category Archives: XC Skiing

Review on Beginner Hill Lessons

Trakkers offers free lessons to members and guests. Lessons range from absolute beginners to advanced skiers, for classic skiing and skating. CANSI (Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors) certified instructors provide lessons on Sunday Trips. Sylvia has been an instructor for many year and tell about her latest Beginner Hill Lesson.

Sunday, January 20 was a cold day for Trakkers who headed to Hardwood Hills Ski and Bike. I was happy to have five keen students for my Beginner Hill Lesson despite the -34° wind chill!

Because everyone was at different levels, we started on a very small hill. Getting the right body stance was important to practise to build confidence. We gradually moved to snowplows. We didn’t move to higher hill until everyone was comfortable.

The benefit of having a lesson dedicated to hills is there is plenty of time to practise.

Some highlights were:

  • learning herring bone technique to get up the hill
  • body position and straight run
  • snowplow
  • snowplow turns to manage turns on trails

In addition to the many skills learned, we all managed to stay warm for the 75-minute lesson!

The special moment came when everyone skied snow plow and snowplow turn on a higher hill.  Applause and cheers rang out for an absolute beginner who clearly made the most progress.

If you’re hesitant on hills, sign up for the Beginner Hill lesson. With the guidance of your instructor, working at your comfort level and having lots of time to practise you will feel the difference!

Learn more about the ski lessons and tips to ski at trakkers.ca/lessons.

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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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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

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

Strong Body. Strong Trakker. | Pre-Season Conditioning

As temperatures drop, it’s time to think about getting your body ready for the ski season.

XC Ski Indiana gives great tips on:

  1. Stretching to improve flexibility
  2. Improving your balance and stability
  3. Toning your muscles for increased endurance

http://www.xcskiindiana.com/articles/condition1.html

Blitz Conditioning also offers a great strength training routine for those wishing to improve their performance:

blitzconditioning.com/strength-training-for-cross-country-skiing/

Not a Trakkers member yet?  Click to join!

Strong Body. Strong Trakker. | Cross-training

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Are you a runner? A cyclist?  Read about the benefits of cross training with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months.

Cross-Training 101: Cross-Country Skiing (Competitor.com)

For runners:

Cross-country skiing: The ultimate winter cross-training (Canadian Running)

Cross-training Options for Runners (Runner’s World)

For cyclists:

Cross Training and Cross-Country Skiing (Hunter Allen Power Blog)


Interested in becoming a Trakkers member? Click to join!