We ski and snowshoe on Saturdays and Sundays, usually mid/late-December to mid-March (start and end depends on snow), at destinations within a 2-3-hour drive from Toronto. All resorts offer groomed ski trails, marked snowshoe trails, and rentals. Click here for descriptions of the resorts.
Our day trips are for both skiers and snowshoers, as you can do both sports at all the resorts we visit. There are many members who enjoy both throughout the season.
You can find the schedule here. It is subject to change. The schedule for the coming season is usually posted by the end of November. Please do not email asking for it; it will be posted when it is ready.
The cost of a trip depends on where we go, whether you ski or snowshoe, and if you own your own equipment. If you have your own gear, a trip generally costs about $50-70. If you need to rent (rentals are available at all the resorts and include skis/boots/poles for skiing and snowshoes for snowshoeing), you will add on $30-$40, depending on the gear you need. Prices vary. Click here to view the current prices (this will be updated as prices are confirmed).
How does this compare to going on your own? Keep in mind that it cost about the bus fee (or more now) in gas to drive to the resorts around Barrie, and you don't get group discounts on trail tickets and rentals. With HPSC, you can take lessons on every single trip, which means you can eventually take more advanced lessons and your skiing will improve more quickly and you can explore more of the trail systems.
See our pick up locations page for more precise information on location. Show up about 10 minutes early; the times above are when the bus leaves.
The exact pick up times will be communicated on the day trip status page for each trip. We also send an email to all participants with all the information for the trip. The email will be sent/the status page updated by Friday at 12pm.
If you want to change pick up locations, that's fine. No need to tell us. Just show up at the right time.
Drop offs for all trips (except Kawartha Nordic) will start at Hwy 400/7 and then go straight to Keele St. (and then to Davenport and up Yonge). You may want to get off at Keele station and take the subway from there. There is no obligation to get off the bus at the same stop at which you boarded.
Check out our handy guide to see how a High Park Ski Club day trip unfolds. The facilities available - and any other special information about the day - will be communicated in the email we send to all participants regarding the status of the trip (sent by Friday at 12pm) and on the status update page (you need to log in to see this).
We offer guided snowshoeing on most trips and one backcountry ski touring day, weather permitting. Check out our schedule for where and when these take place. We hold an annual New Year's Eve celebration at Scenic Caves in December and a Wine and Cheese at Scenic Caves later in the season. Special events are subject to volunteer support and may not happen if we don't have the volunteers to execute them.
Cross-country offers limited opportunities for non-members to join as guests, typically at the end of the season when there is more space on the bus. Members get first opportunity to come on trips and if trips are very popular, we may not offer any guest trips at all. Our club can only run because of its membership structure, and we encourage those who want to ski with us to join as members.
On these select trips, members may bring ONE person who is not a member. Guests may only come on ONE trip per season (even if they know multiple club members). Guests are only allowed on the bus, must be 21 years of age or older, and the member must accompany their guest on the day trip. Instructions on how to register your guest are below in the Day Trip Registration Policies section.
If the bus isn't full, we allow what we call "walk-ons". A walk-on is a person who hasn't registered in advance. They come to a pick up location and join the trip if there is space available. There is usually a $10 walk on fee.
Walk ons are invoiced for the trip after the trip. Please pay your invoices. If you owe money to the club at the end of the season due to non-payment of trips, you will not be allowed to rejoin the club, or register for future trips.
We post on the day trip status page whether or not walk-ons are allowed, and at what pick up locations. Check the day trip status page if you are interested in joining the trip, but didn't register on time.
The schedule is available online by the end of November.
Registration closes at 6:00 pm on the Wednesday before each trip.
Note that you can still register if you don't log into the website, but you will have to provide an email during the registration process. It must be the email you used to register with the club or your registration will not work.
Once a trip is full, we will enable the waitlist. Many members get on trips through the waitlist as there are always cancellations. Once you are moved onto the trip from the waitlist, you will automatically be sent an email instructing you to pay. If you do not promptly pay, we will remind you and then give your spot to the next person on the waitlist.
There are also usually a few no shows on every trips. If you want to risk it, you can show up at the Hwy 7 pick up on the day of the trip and get on the bus if there is a seat available. We cannot guarantee that you will get a seat.
If you are on the waitlist and you no longer want to go on the trip, please email firstname.lastname@example.org referencing the trip number (N####) and request to be taken off so that others may get on the trip more quickly.
Yes, you can cancel your registration. The deadline to cancel without penalty is 8:00 pm on the Tuesday evening before your trip. After the deadline, your bus fee is non-refundable, but we will refund your trail pass and rentals.
To cancel a trip, you must send an email to email@example.com before the deadline listed above. Please include the trip number (N####), destination and your name. Once your registration is cancelled, you will be sent an email notification.
If we cancel a trip (due to poor weather/ski conditions), you will receive a full refund on your credit card.
Please allow 3-4 weeks for refunds to show up on your credit card as the refunds are done by volunteers. You cannot transfer your payment to a future trip.
See the cancellations page for more details.
We understand that life sometimes gets in the way and you may not be able to come at the last minute. In this case, the cost of your bus seat is non-refundable (as we run the bus based on how many seats we sell), but your unused trail fee and rental fees (if applicable) will be refunded.
If you registered with a bus voucher but don't show on a trip, your account will be charged $35, which you will need to pay online. You can then use your voucher on another trip. No exceptions.
HPSC members must register and pay for their guest, including the $20 guest fee. While members can sign up for trips at any time up until the registration deadline, they can only register their guest beginning at 12:01am on the Wednesday before the trip they want to go on (i.e., the last day of registration). This provides one day for guest registration and ensures that our members are given the first opportunity to register for trips. If your guest is keen to ski with club, encourage them to join so that they get first opportunity to register for trips. We generally only allow guests on trips we think won't sell out.
To register your guest, first register yourself on the trip. Then, after 12:01am on the Wednesday prior to the trip, find the event again and click "Register" again. On the next page, click the "New Registration" button. On the next page, your email will either be already there or you will have to fill it in with the email you used to join the club. Then click "Next." On the next page, you can click "Guest" registration and proceed with registration. You are just registering that you are bringing a guest; you do not input their name or other identifying information (just their bus/trail pass/lesson/snowshoe options). You need to pay the fees and then your guest pays you back.
The day trips team pays close attention to the weather and conditions at the resorts when deciding to run a trip or not. If we are forced to cancel because there are no skiable conditions, then we will cancel and you get a full refund. Let us worry about conditions. You worry about registering! If people don't register, the trips won't run, even if we get a dump of snow right before the registration deadline.
This is an outdoor sport and we don't shy away from a little inclement weather (even rain, which is often ok in the woods). But, if we deem it unsafe to be on the roads or trails, we will cancel the trip. In the past couple years, this has meant significant rain, or weather warnings for freezing rain and high winds. Otherwise, you should keep an eye on the forecast and decide what you are willing to ski in and cancel accordingly (by the deadline). The Director makes every effort to keep registrants informed about the status of the trip should the weather look particularly unsettled.
Sometimes we have to change locations. If we change locations, the prices will be different. This means either we need to refund members or members will be invoiced for the difference (if it is greater than the original location). If you are not comfortable with this, don't sign up for trips when the weather looks dicey (although that can be much of the winter).
Final trip details are communicated by Friday 12pm on the Day Trip Status Page. Check this page prior to your trip. You need to log in to the website to see this page. An email with these details will also be sent to all participants by Friday 12pm. If you do not receive an email, check the day trip status page (and your junk mail folder). Please do not email for information before Friday at 12pm. The team is busy preparing for the trips and we often need to check trail conditions on Friday morning before we can make a final decision.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will figure it out!
If for some reason you have a trail pass and do not need to purchase one through us, please pay for a trail pass, then tell the bus captain that you have a pass and need a refund. You must also notify email@example.com by Wednesday at 6pm (the registration deadline). Please note that we are organizing activities for a large group. If there is the odd time that you have a pass, that is ok. But it is not acceptable to pay for your own pass every trip. If you would like to do that, you should be skiing on your own.
If you would like to take a lesson, you must register for it on the website and, as usual, you must buy your own trail pass and rentals at the resort (they do not allow people not on the bus to get the group rate - please do not request it. They don't like it!). If you don't take lessons, but want to drive up and hang out with your HPSC friends, you will not register for the trip.
Please note that at some resorts (e.g., Hardwood, Horseshoe) you need to buy tickets and rentals online. Arrowhead requires pre-booking for car access. HPSC is not responsible if you are not able to get a trail pass or rentals.
Yes, you can take free ski lessons from highly qualified instructors on every trip. Click here for more information on lessons and our ski school. To learn more about the various cross-country techniques, click here for our guide. You will sign up for lessons during online registration.
HPSC offers both classic and skate levels from absolute beginner to advanced. We have 5 levels for both classic and skate. These are explained here. Do your best to estimate your level when you register. On the bus, an instructor will chat with you about your experience and skill level and place you in the appropriate class.
Once an instructor sees you on skis, they may decide its best to put you in a different group. Don’t worry about being moved up or down. Placing students in the appropriate group is essential for a safe and fun learning experience for everyone. Worry less about the level and focus on skill development. We also may, due to instructor availability, combine lesson levels. But the instructor will be able to give tailored activities to each level. We appreciate your cooperation.
Instructors are looking for particular markers at each level. At the end of each lesson, the instructor should provide feedback on specific things to work on. They will indicate if you should register for the same level or move up next time. If they don’t, please ask them.
Based on feedback from students and our experience teaching lessons we felt that the old levels (e.g. Beginner, Bronze, Silver) were unclear. Furthermore, we wanted to provide more opportunity for students to progress in their development. We’ve reworked lessons into a clearer set of levels, with better definitions for what each level means. This should allow you to be better able to get a lesson at your current skill level which maximizes your ability to learn and progress in your skiing. (Please note that we created this and then pandemic hit so we are still working out the kinks!).
The answer to this question is completely personal. We offer lessons on every trip. Some people like taking one every trip. Others like to take a lesson, go off on their own and practice for a couple weeks, and then come back to a lesson. Everyone learns differently. Do what’s right and, most importantly, most fun for you.
Note: we are not able to offer our special programs in 2023.
In addition to regular lessons on every trip, we also offer special programs on some trips. Learn more about them here. There is no additional cost for these programs. The only ski school programs we request that you sign up for in advance are the classic and skate lessons series, as we need to ensure we have enough instructors. If you are interested in these lessons series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put "classic beginner series", "skate better series", or "skate great series" in the subject line. This email will register you in the series. For all other programs, you can sign up during registration or on the bus.
Possibly. Ask the Director of the Day on the bus and if we have enough space, we will fit you in. You are not guaranteed a lesson if you have not signed up in advance.
Yes, members can take lessons if they drive up. You must register for lessons on the website. Go to the calendar on the registration page, find the trip you want, and select the drive up registration option. Then register for your lesson. You must register by the trip deadline (Wednesday at 6pm) or you will not be able to receive lessons.
There are no snowshoe lessons, but we often offer guided snowshoeing. Our experienced guides can offer tips for navigating the snowshoe trails. See the schedule for our guided snowshoeing dates when they become available.
Yes! Most of the resorts we visit offer rental equipment (classic skis, skate skis, and snowshoes). This is a great option if you are just starting out. On the rare occasion that a destination doesn’t offer rentals, we will put that in the trip description. Rentals for skiing include the skis, boots and poles (the prices are for the entire package). Snowshoe rentals include snowshoes.
On day trips, a designated volunteer will take the renters to get their equipment.
If you discover you really like skiing/snowshoeing and want to do it multiple times a year, we recommend getting your own gear, especially as rental prices increase.
To cross-country ski, you need:
To snowshoe, you need:
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers dress a lot like runners. Breathable layers are key to staying warm and comfortable. To learn more, download our guide.
Note that helmets are not mandatory on cross-country trails. Most skiers/snowshoers do not wear them, but you are welcome to should you wish. You must bring your own.
You will need your ski equipment, the right clothing, and food/water. Click here to download our handy guide.
If your question was not answered here, please email email@example.com.