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!


Off-season training using the TTC


It started with deciding to take public transportation instead of driving to work last fall.  First, I was just sprinting to the bus stop so I wouldn’t miss the bus and I did the usual walking up the escalator on the left instead of standing on the right in the subway [but did you know that TTC removed signs saying stand on the right in 2007 for safety reasons and that a study done on the London tube in 2015 suggested it may be more efficient use of the escalator if everybody stood on both sides?]

Since not everyone follows that (now) unwritten rule, I started walking up the stairs, which evolved into running, and then sprinting up the stairs. The good thing is that hardly anyone takes the stairs up so there’s minimal traffic.  Just because I can be a little competitive, I started pushing myself and now I can get to the top faster than people walking up the escalator. The amazing thing was realizing that this was helping me tackle the uphills in cross-country skiing.  Instead of doing that awkward Herringbone, I found I could just bound up the hills fast enough that I didn’t slide backwards.

If you take the subway during rush hour, you’ll be familiar with the no seats left, must stand thing, where you have to find a spot so you can grab a pole or lean against something so you don’t go flying (or sometimes it’s so jam-packed, you can do the sleep stand). The problem is that you can’t always find that spot and sometimes you still go flying even when you’re hanging on. It’s also hard to turn the pages of a book when the other hand is grabbing a pole.  So recently I started to try to balance myself on the subway without hanging on and I realized it was a lot like trying to stay upright when going downhill on skis, especially if you’re being rocked back and forth. It’s also kind of fun because it feels like you’re surfing or snowboarding on the subway train.

I thought I had stumbled onto something pretty brilliant but if you google “balancing on the subway”, the idea of getting a balance workout while standing on the subway has been written about here. And here. For the less adventurous, you can get a core workout sitting down.  And best strategies to stay upright on the subway has actually been discussed.  The next challenge for me is staying upright while walking towards the exit as the train pulls into the station while not hanging onto anything.  There are other positives – it’s more fun to ride the subway, I no longer have to pull out the smartphone to keep occupied, and I don’ t have to do that mad rush to grab a seat [by the way, it’s much worse on the Beijing subway where people don’t even pretend they’re rushing to grab a seat – they RUN and they push and shove even small children if needed].

So without a whole lot of snow or additional time needed, you can do a bit of off-season training while riding the TTC.





80% of New Year’s Resolutions have failed by this time of the year

Making lifestyle changes is notoriously difficult.

Here are some tips to stay in the 20% of resolutions that don’t fail.

See you on the trails (if it snows again this year..)