Top 10 reasons to try cross country skiing this year

10.  An excuse to shop (for new gear).

9. Look stylish without risk of helmet head.

8. It’s easy.

You can get started with a single lesson. Trakkers offers ski classes on Sunday trips. After one hour, you’ll feel confident enough to get on the trails.

7. It’s safe.

It’s very hard to injure yourself. It’s low impact and you can ski as slow and on as flat terrain as you want.

6. There are no queues.

5. It’s inexpensive.

$6- $20 for an all day trail pass, and $15-$25 to rent gear.

4. Equipment lasts for years.

If you decide to buy, Xc ski equipment can easily last decades. If you spend $400, this translates to $20 per year or less.

3. It’s an amazing workout.

Low impact, strength training, superb cardiovascular, a bit of flexibility and balance all rolled into one.

2,  Eat more.

With all the calories you’re burning, you can afford to slip in a few more snacks (without guilt).

1. Clear your head.

A great excuse to get out of the city— there’s nothing like the calm and peacefulness of being out in the woods, surrounded by snow covered trees, the sound of nothing, and the exhilaration of fresh chill air.

Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds!

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Don’t forget to come out to Trakkers’s Open House on Friday November 17th, 2017 @ Swansea Town Hall, Bloor West Village —

7PM – 9 PM, 95 Lavinia Avenue

See you on the trails.

 

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But what do I wear?

One of the perks of taking up a new sport is…shopping for new gear! (And not feeling guilty about it).

What to wear for cross country skiing? If you do any kind of sport in the winter, odds are that you have most of the items you need.  Like all sports, how warm (or cool) you need to dress depends not only on the temperature outside, but how fast you are moving. Because you’ll probably be heading out early in the AM to ski up north,  it might be chilly in the AM but warm up considerably by the afternoon. What to do? The key is to layer, layer, layer!

Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors in the winter probably knows to layer on the top and bottom, but what I didn’t appreciate is how hot your hands will get xc skiing and how handy it is to layer your gloves or mitts.  A thin wool glove that you might use for running in the cold plus another thin windproof glove or mitt might be all you need – remember air is the best insulator. I always bring one extra set of gloves for the ride home because there’s nothing worse than putting on cold damp mitts at the end of the day (from sweating —or maybe falling a lot).

Don’t underestimate how much insulation and covering you need from the neck up – a neck gaiter and a hat that covers the ears well and is windproof will keep you comfortable. I have taken to wearing a thin wool hat, a neck gaiter, and then an extra gaiter thing that can also be worn on top or around my neck in case I underestimated the wind chill factor.

Lastly, for your feet – wool socks or synthetic ones that wick moisture are key. Do not wear cotton socks! (Or anything else cotton- it will just get damp, cold and clammy and you will probably swear off winter sports from then on.)

Here are a few links for more info ( note, these are not endorsements for these sellers; they just happen to have useful info presented well).

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/what-to-wear-cross-country-skiing/

https://www.jans.com/blog/lizyok/how-to-dress-for-nordic-skiing

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/crosscountry-ski-clothing.html

**** Don’t forget to visit the MEC ski swap and Trakkers booth this weekend at MEC downtown (400 King st West, @ Spadina)!

See you on the trails.

So you’re thinking of buying xc skis this year (part 2)

Once you’ve decided on skate versus classic, what size to buy (or rent)?

Here are some links to get you started:

https://m.wikihow.com/Size-Cross-Country-Skis

https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/cross-country-nordic-skis

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Don’t forget these important dates!

Saturday, November 4th, 2017 – MEC Snowfest and Gear Swap (Toronto). Trakkers will also have a table at this event. See Jen’s October post for details.

Friday, November 17th, 2017 7:00 – 9:00 p.m – Trakkers Annual Open House
Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue

After November 30th, 2017 – Membership fees increase to $80 ($75 until then).

Saturday, December 9th, 2017 – Training for Bus Captains for Sunday trips

 

See you on the trails.

So you’re thinking of buying cross country skis this year…

Two basic decisions you need to make are:

1) classic versus skate skiing

2) wax or waxless

I’m no expert — so to get you started, I am shamelessly copying some links to useful information from crosscountryskitechnique.com

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/classic-vs-skate/

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/all-about-classic-skis/

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/skate-skis/

http://crosscountryskitechnique.com/advice-skiers-dont-want-wax-skis/

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s post on ski swaps!

 

Mystery blogger revealed

Hello internet and fellow skiers!

I was asked some time ago to share some info about me, the person blogging every now and then in this space.

I tried Trakkers for the first time last season and wanted to get involved in some way.  I do a lot of scientific writing in my real job so I thought it might be fun to write without the constraints of brevity and needing to sound smart so here I am. My real job is in clinical research and my other job is being a parent to a 12 year old, who also came along for some of the ski trips Trakkers organized last year.  By the way, Trakkers is the only ski club that I am aware of that allows kids to tag along.  No one ever had any issues with kids on the trips and some members even seemed to enjoy having kids around. Keeps you young, I guess.

Fun fact –I grew up in Northern Ontario where it snowed once in July and -40 C was not uncommon — but I didn’t take up skiing until moving to Toronto.  Go figure.

See you on the trails.

 

 

October President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

The club is officially out of summer hibernation mode and we are getting ready for a wonderful ski season! Some updates on our annual Open House and upcoming ski swaps.

Hold the Date: Trakkers Annual Open House — Nov 17

Come out and reconnect with members in anticipation of the upcoming season, sign up for weekend trips, 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 three weekend trips will also begin at the Open House (bring your chequebook or credit card for payment). Destinations this year will be The Woolner House at Highlands Nordic and the Blue Spruce Resort, near to both Algonquin and Arrowhead. Keep an eye on the Trakkers web site for updates re: dates.

Reminder to Provide Your Consent When Renewing Your Membership

Many members are taking advantage of our online membership renewal and our numbers are looking strong. Remember that when you renew your membership online it 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.

Upcoming Ski Swaps

Retire and recycle your old equipment – or upcycle with new gear! Most swap events require donations or consignments to be brought in up to a week in advance, so be sure to check each location’s requirements well in advance of the swap date:

Hardwood Hills Ski Swap (north of Barrie)
Saturday – Sunday, October 21-22, 2017

Highlands Trailblazers Dust ‘Em Off Nordic Ski Swap (south of Collingwood)
Saturday, October 28, 2016

MEC Snowfest  (Toronto)
Saturday, November 4, 2016

Come Visit Trakkers at MEC’s Snowfest

Trakkers will be on site again this year for MEC Snowfest on November 4. We’re also looking for a few other volunteers to help staff our table. It’ll be a fun day where you can hang out with other Trakkers skiers, share your experience of the club with the public and get exclusive discount for MEC’s products. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact me at president@trakkers.ca.

Calling All Bus Captains! — Training Session is December 9 

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 Sunday trip. It’s a lot of fun, the club provides full training, and as an extra incentive, if you volunteer as a captain you get half off your Sunday bus fare. 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 captains on Saturday, December 9. If you are interested in volunteering as a bus captain please contact Sam Tosaria, the club’s Lead Bus Captain, for more details.

Keep on trakkin’!

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