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Explore a world of snowy trails and serene landscapes on skis. With our free lessons you'll be gliding along trails in tranquil forests in no time.

Cross-Country Ski School

Why learn to cross-country ski with HPSC?

Our certified instructors offer cross-country ski lessons on most bus trips (exceptions may be the very start and very end of the season).

  1. Lessons are free with your membership.
  2. No limits: you can take a lesson every time you come on a day trip.
  3. Instructors are all certified by the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI) and participate in professional development opportunities every winter.
  4. Lessons are in small groups with individualized attention (we aim for no more than 6 people in a lesson).
  5. It’s social! You meet fellow skiers at your level to ski with in the afternoon, and on future day trips.
HPSC Cross Country Instructors

Cross-Country Ski Lesson Levels

Classic and Skate Ski Levels

There are 5 levels for classic and skate. Below you will find explanations of each level to help you decide which level you should be in. Note that this year there will be a limited number of lessons offered with a limited number of spots in each. Lessons may combine levels (e.g. Classic 1/2). All members must sign up in advance for lessons.

For more information on lessons, see the FAQ page first. If your question is not answered, you can email

Classic 1/Skate 1

  • I am brand new to skiing or have only been on skis once or twice.
  • I feel uncomfortable on skis – my balance is very unsteady. I fall often.
  • I don’t even want to think about hills!

Classic 2/Skate 2

  • I have been on skis before, but still feel uncomfortable or unsteady at times.
  • I don’t think I understand the basic techniques.
  • I feel more like I am shuffling or walking on skis. I definitely can’t glide with all my weight on one ski.
  • I attempt to get down gentle hills, but I’m still very hesitant.

Classic 3/Skate 3

  • I understand the basic techniques.
  • I feel comfortable moving on skis, but my skiing still feels choppy.
  • I get some glide (rather than shuffling or walking on skis), but I hear my skis slapping behind me on the snow for classic, and I feel like I am on my inside edges most of the time when skating.
  • I can get myself up and down gentle to moderate hills.

Classic 4/Skate 4

  • My skiing feels pretty fluid.
  • I can confidently glide with all my weight on one ski some of the time. For classic, I don't hear my ski slapping behind me as much (although it still happens) and when skating I can land on a flat ski most of the time.
  • I feel comfortable on intermediate trails.
  • I can get myself up and down most hills, although still hesitant on the steep ones.

Classic 5/Skate 5

  • My skiing feels fluid.
  • I can glide with all my weight on one ski most of the time for both classic and skate. My classic skiing is quiet (i.e., I don't hear my skis slapping behind me) and I can glide with solid balance in skate skiing.
  • I am comfortable on all the trails and cool with most hills I encounter on advanced trails.
  • I think I’m ready to learn more advanced techniques

Special Programming

Please note: We will not be able to offer our special programming in 2022-23 due to capacity issues related to the pandemic. But we offer our standard beginner, intermediate and advanced level lessons every trip.

In addition to regular lessons, we offer the following special programs through the season. There is no additional cost for these programs. You can find the dates in our schedule and you can email if you have questions about any of these programs.

  • Classic Beginners Series: Held on three consecutive weekends with the same instructor, this popular program will get you moving on the trails and making friends in no time. Ideal for Classic 1 and Classic 2 skiers.

  • Skate Better Series: Held on three weekends with the same instructors, this series is designed for those who can get some forward momentum and glide on their skate skis. Ideal for Skate 2 and Skate 3 skiers.

  • Skate Great Series: Held on two weekends with the same instructor, this series is designed for those who already move well but want to become stronger and more efficient. This program introduces you to more advanced techniques. Ideal for Skate 4 and Skate 5 skiers.

  • Tips & Tricks: Offered four times (2 classic, 2 skate), these 15-minute one-on-one lessons offer the chance to work with an instructor on a particular skill. Great for those who want to learn, but don’t want to commit to a full regular lesson. Available to skiers of all levels but ideal for Level 3 to Level 5 skiers.

  • NEW CLINICS! Faster, smarter skate & Faster, smarter classic: If you have good foundational skills and decent fitness, learn how to navigate terrain more efficiently. Ideal for Classic 3+/Skate 3+ skiers.

  • Race program: 5 races held over the season are a fun way test out your new ski skills. Click here to learn more. 
  • There are also opportunities to train to become an instructor with the club. Talk to an instructor or email us to find out more.

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