We hope many of you have already had a chance to get out and enjoy this fantastic weather and the great conditions at many of the trails in and around the city. Usually by now we would be well into our season, but not this year. With the current restrictions, gathering is still not possible. That may be changing (fingers crossed!), but for now, we are all on our own. Getting out for physical activity is important and encouraged under provincial health restrictions, and skiing is a great way to enjoy the winter.
Here is how the program is going to work until we can actually meet. Basically you are going to go skiing, and we are going to wrap some ideas, tools and support around that.
Starting next Friday (January 15th) we are going to offer a weekly parents meeting to talk about skiing - the weather, how to prep, where people may want to go, what to expect at different places, and some skills to work on. Depending on the interest we can break that into different meetings for different levels. We are also more than happy to have one-on-one meetings with families (including kids if you like!). This first Friday meeting will be some general stuff, with conversation about what you would find helpful. We'll also have a more detailed waxing clinic and talk about the Jackrabbit booklets, stickers and skill progression that families can use for motivation (if that is helpful). From there we'll build these sessions to meet what you need. We are also working on some 'on your own" activities that you can choose to do as well. All of this is to help you get out skiing with your family. None of it is required, use what works for you.
In terms of places to go, here are some ideas.
Wildwood is tracked and in great shape. Our usual ski playground area is a bit of a mess because of all the people sledding, but once you get on the trails they are great.
Windsor Park Nordic Centre is excellent. Well tracked. And lit for evening/night skiing, which is super fun. Look up the map online because there are lots of ways to go. Adam's kids like to follow the main drag out to the blue oval and then do the black diamond loop and all the little 'loops' (dog tooth, deer leg, fox hole, coyote run) back to the clubhouse. An easy 45 minute ski. (the black diamond isn't bad and you can easily skip it). You do need a pass to ski here. They can be bought online. We haven't ever seen them check for passes, but a good idea to get one to support them.
Beaudry Park is also great. Chad's family skied the Wild Grape - Elm loop, which is a great place start. You can always skip Elm with littler kids. The path across the river to the Basswood trails is open now, and that is a nice loop to add on if you want a longer ski.
And Birds Hill is always great for a fairly close adventure. Page 2 of the trails map shows the ski trails. You can start at the Chickadee parking lot (first parking on the map) or further along at the ranch just off Nimowin road. There are lots of trails here, so take a map for sure. Lots of great loops for whatever distance you want to tackle. The viewing tower is a fun stop, and Chickadee will take you straight there.
You need a park pass for provincial parks (that applies to Beaudry and Birds Hill). Remember that no warming shacks or club houses are open - so go prepared!
Let us know what your favourite place to go is and any tips you may have!
In the meantime if you have any questions about skiing at all - how to get started with your kids, or anything, shoot us an email.
And one last thing. If you haven't registered, this is the last mass email. We will be sending all further emails just to the registered folk, and posting on our website.
Registration is via ZONE4: https://zone4.ca/reg.asp?id=24872
We are looking forward to connecting next week!