October Newsletter

October Update from The Heights

Official welcome to Fall!  We are weeks away from the start of our season.

Jay Peak Trip
For any members wishing to attend the Jay Peak December Camp that will be held December 9-15, the deadline for deposits - is NEXT Friday October 5 at 5:00 p.m. This is open to all U10 - U18 athletes and families.  Families are responsible for their own travel to Jay Peak. The cost is approximately $1600. If you are interested, please click here to email Mischele at the office. 

What is included?

  • 5 day ski pass

  • Accommodation in condos at the mountain

  • Meal Voucher

  • 5 Days Coaching;  technical free ski, gate training, dry-land

AGM - October 20, 1:00 PM
The annual general meeting will take place on October 20, 2018 with a member BBQ starting at noon and the meeting to begin at 1:00 sharp, Please join us for many important club updates. 

All equity members should have received to AGM packages from Sheri (sent on September 20th and 24th respectively). If you did not receive yours, please contact the office immediately. If you are unable to attend in person, your proxy must be returned in advance of the meeting or signed over to another member to vote on your behalf.

Volunteers Still Needed: 
If anyone is interested in donating volunteer hours, we'd love the extra help on two upcoming Saturdays – October 20 & 27. This is to help prep the hill for the upcoming season. If you are interested please arrive at 10:00 a.m. on either (or both) Saturdays at the clubhouse. Lunch will be provided. (weather permitting)

Mark Your Calendars:
For those of you who want to plan ahead, please find key dates below (full schedule below):

  • Cut-off for deposits for Jay Peak – October 5, 2018  *NOTE NEW DATE

  • Club AGM – 1:00 p.m., October 20, 2018 (BBQ at noon)

  • AOA Fitness testing – October 20, 2018

  • Staff Training – Saturday November 10, 10:00 a.m. to noon  

  • Ski program registration deadline – October 31st 2018

  • Christmas Brunch – December 2, 2018, 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m. reservations

  • Friday Pub Nights Begin – December 14, 2018

  • Opening weekend – Saturday December 15, 2018

  • Alpine ski school programs begin – January 5, 2019

Race and Recreational Program Update


Things are coming together for the upcoming season. We have signed on many new coaches and are still looking for volunteers to help with race weekends (see below for more details).

If you have not already, please register your children for their programs as soon as possible. This gives us an indication of the number of instructors and coaches we'll need for the upcoming season.

Race Week Volunteers Needed 

Race Weekends:
For intermediate to advance skiers, the alpine racing program is looking for volunteers to help out with our weekend ski races. What’s involved? The day begins at 8:15 a.m. and finishes by 1:00 p.m. (usually).

Duties include on hill safety training and instruction. Volunteers are required to carry heavy equipment up the chair lift while wearing skis. Crews are responsible for putting up/taking down safety netting, course corrals, timing equipment, replacing gates and maintaining the course for the duration of the race (side slipping/shoveling) and identifying any safety issues or race non-conformances.

There are typically 6 races per season, you can either commit to all 6 or come out when you can. If you commit to the entire racing season you are entitled to a free season’s pass.

Please contact the head Flying Squirrel Christine McCarthy at christinemccarthy@rogers.co

2018-19 Snow Sports Program 

As mentioned in the last newsletter. The 2018/2019 Snow Sports Program Brochure is online. Registration for recreational programs opened on September 1, 2018. New programs have been added and some program start and end times have changed from last year.  The great news is there are options available to ALL members of ALL ages to get engaged and participate in club activities.

A reminder that many of our programs have limited capacity. Once filled, wait-lists will be created. Please register on-time to avoid missing out on programs.

Snow Stars
Last season every participant in our recreational programs received an end of season Snow Stars evaluation. For the coming ski season, we will use these evaluations to better group participants of similar ability within their age categories. If you have misplaced this evaluation, we have the information recorded in the Race Office.

New participants/members will be evaluated during the first weekend of recreational programs. This will ensure all groups have individuals of similar age and ability. The goal is to establish training groups on day 1 and maintain a consistent and positive learning experience for the entire season.

CSIA Certification  

CSIA Level 1 Training:
We expect dates for Level 1 CSIA certification to be posted soon. If you are interested in taking your Level 1 ski instructor certification, please continue to check back and register here.

CSC Coaching Courses

Entry Level coaching course is Dec 28-30 at The Heights. Please visit www.canskicoach.org to register.

August Newsletter

Summer Update from The Heights

We hope you are all having a wonderful summer. We have been very busy planning for the upcoming ski season. We have a number of outside events -- job fairs, weddings and corporate meetings that will take place at the club this Fall. We also want to give you a sneak peek on other items of interest pertaining to the upcoming ski season.

Jobs at The Heights:
If you know anyone looking for a job, we have a number of open employment opportunities in our ski school, childmind and food and beverage teams.  For more information on roles available please contact the main office.

CSIA Level 1 Training:
We expect dates for Level 1 CSIA certification to be posted soon. If you are interested in taking your Level 1 ski instructor certification, please continue to check back and register here.

Mark Your Calendars:
For those of you who want to plan ahead for the season, please find key dates below:

  • Billing for membership dues – September 1, 2018 (reminder you can check your account balance here)

  • Club AGM – 1:00 p.m., October 20, 2018 (BBQ at noon)

  • AOA Fitness testing – October 20, 2018

  • Staff Training – Saturday November 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to noon

  • Cut-off to sign up for Jay Peak – October 27, 2018

  • Ski program registration deadline – October 31st 2018

Race and Recreational Program Update

Brad Taylor, Director of Alpine Operations

brad@theheightsofhorseshoe.com, (416) 710-9311


We have been very busy with off-season planning and organising for the upcoming ski season.
Last year was my first year at The Heights and it was most certainly a learning year for me and a transition year for the club. I want to let you all know that we’ve spend a great deal of time this spring and summer planning for the upcoming season and we are excited about the year ahead. I think you will be pleased with the progress we have made and I want to personally thank all of you for providing candid feedback and for your patience.

I also want to take a moment to extend a very warm welcome to the families who joined the club over the course of the spring and summer. Our Snow Sports Program Office is located on the lower level of the club or you can reach out to me directly if I can be of assistance with any questions about our ski programs – recreational or racing.

New Snow School Manager

As promised, we continue to evolve our leadership team. This summer we promoted Terence Tse (C.S.I.A Level 3, C.S.C. Level 2) to the position of Snow School Manager.

Terence has worked at the club since 2016 as an instructor and supervisor. In his new role, Terence will be responsible for hiring, training and supporting all our ski instructors and recreational program staff.

Improving the quality and execution of our recreational program was the first task on Terence’s list in his new role. We spent significant time over the summer re-designing and re-organizing this program. In addition to the changes we have made to better serve our members, Terence will be on hand every weekend to organise and lead this program.

2018-19 Snow Sports Program Brochure

The NEW Snow Sports Program Brochure is complete and available on the website. Registration for recreational programs opens September 1, 2018. This year you will see the team has put together a program that provides all Heights members with the best opportunities for snow sports instruction and competition in the province.  New programs have been added and some program start and end times have changed from last year.  The great news is there are options available to ALL members of ALL ages to get engaged and participate in club activities.

In addition, we are offering an "early bird" pricing and payment flexibility options. If you register and provide a 50% deposit before August 31st, the remaining balance does not need to be paid until November 31st. For those just wanting early bird pricing (not payment flexibility) you have until October 31st to register and pay for your programs. Registration must be complete and paid by October 31st to receive discounted pricing.

A reminder that many of our programs have limited capacity. Once filled, waitlists will be created. Please register EARLY to avoid missing out on programs.

New Coaching Staff for 2018-19

Many new and highly experienced ski coaches have joined our club for the upcoming season. I will be sending out a complete list of names and bios prior to season start. We are still looking to fill a few instructor positions.  If any members know of potential candidates or if you are interested in becoming certified, please reach out to Brad directly. We are happy to train and we provide great perks for our staff. We also have volunteer positions available.

Season Camps & Training

Pre-Season Camps – Sun Peaks & Jay Peak
In November we will take a group to Sun Peaks, B.C. for pre-season training. This is a 10-day snow camp designed for “independent and motivated” U14 to U18 athlete looking for a high-volume ski camp to prepare for the competition season. The dates are November 24th to December 6th. Please email Brad for more information. We require a commitment ASAP to secure rooms and airfares.

Jay Peak, VT. December 8th to 15th, 2018 – This camp is geared to families of U10 and older that are looking to get some early season free ski/gate training before the Ontario season ramps up. The Heights has offered this camp for the last couple of seasons. If you are interested in attending this camp, please email Mischelle our snow program coordinator ASAP so we can reserve rooms and assign coaches.

Pre-Season Dryland
Ski racing is truly a year-round sport. Throughout July, August and September many athletes are skiing and training on Glaciers around North America and enjoying the winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This is not possible for a lot of our members.

What can you be doing to better prepare for ski season? If you would like a specific training routine to prepare for ski racing, please email Brad and he will send along some information. Our Fall dryland program will begin on Sunday, September 16, 2018 beginning with an information session that will be held at 10 a.m. at The Heights. All athletes enrolled in the enhanced programs are required to attend. Please email Mischelle to register


The Heights -  Program Goals

  • To create a “Ski for Life” culture amongst our members.

  • To build The Heights racing/snow sports program into one which exceeds its membership’s expectations for safety, FUN and skill development.

  • To provide a creative outlet for young skiers to explore, challenge, and develop their skills in a positive and trusting learning environment.

  • To follow the LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) model as described by Canadian Sport for Life initiative. Check out their website here!

  • The Heights racing programs will increase membership subscriptions to the Club because parents will want their children to participate in our programs.

  • The Heights racing/snow sports programs will support and supply extensive staff training. Our staff will be Certified and Licensed. Our coaches/instructors will stay current to NEW and diverse coaching methodologies.


Frequently Asked Race Questions  

How are ski teams/groups selected? It has been proven that skiers of “like” ability should train and race together within their age group. We will utilise Snow Stars skill attribute bench marks to determine skills and abilities within each age group up to U12. Time trials will ONLY be used as a skill attribute NOT as a time benchmark for U10 athletes.

Why aren’t my kids doing more gate training? Generally speaking young racers should only spend 25% of the season training time in gates including practice and racing.  It is very difficult to learn basic skiing skills when skiing gates. Young skiers will progress much more quickly when they spend time perfecting their skiing skills. As they get older (14+ years of age) they will gradually spend more time doing gate training and race simulations up to but not in excess of 50% over the entire season.

Why are other clubs training in gates more than us? This is only a perception. Most clubs do their free skiing skill development (up to 25 days) in the early season in fall camps before a lot of other clubs start their programs. When they get to the competition season (January to March) the training focus turns to race preparation in courses.

Why do coaches stand around so much, shouldn’t they be skiing with the kids more? Taking a position at the top, side or bottom of the training run enables the coach to speak individually to each racer as they arrive or leave the training hill.  The emphasis is on the racer’s skiing and the feedback that the coach is able to provide based on their direction and observation of the racer’s performance. Young athletes learn much more by “doing” than they do by the more passive forms of listening and viewing.   

What can I do as a parent to help my child’s team? You can volunteer to be a Team Manager, volunteer to help host your child’s at home races, take the time to get to know your child’s coaches and speak to them about what they are doing. Come to all your child’s races and special events and perhaps help to organize one.

Do the kids have to wear their helmet all the time? Yes. We require all race participants, including coaches, to wear a helmet whenever they are free skiing, gate training, or racing.

Does my child need pole guards and shin guards? Young racers should not have pole guards or shin guards until such time as they are ready to “cross block” slalom gates. This rarely happens before U14. If they have this equipment before they are technically ready, it will cause them to reach across their body to hit the poles and this results in them developing poor technique. Consult the coaching staff before you get this equipment for your child.

Do my kids need two pairs of skis? It is not until U14 that young racers start to train and compete in specifically different events - Slalom & Giant Slalom. At U14 and older it is difficult and could be at times dangerous for young racers to be training or racing on the wrong size and shape of skis. Slalom skis are shorter and turn much quicker than GS skis which are intended for larger and faster turns. 

What is Snow Stars Skills day? Skills day consists of various stations that are set up by the coaches for the athletes to ski through. Some include moguls, brushes, stubbies, full gates and timing. All the stations challenge the athletes in a safe environment. Athletes will be benchmarked against the Alpine Canada Snow Stars skill attributes.

2018/19 U14/U16 OCUP - A joint effort with Glacier Ski Club

OCUP (or Ontario Cup) racing is the highest level of racing below F.I.S. (National/International) level racing in our province. For athletes to compete at this level, it requires a considerable amount of commitment through time, financial support and training. If we were to equate OCUP to hockey it could compare to a regional rep team who plays up to 3 or 4 times a week at various arenas. One step below a Junior level commitment.

For this season we have a committed group of families that have qualified to compete at this level. To assist in training and development opportunities, The Heights' has teamed up with our neighbors to the north, Glacier Ski Club, to create a larger training squad and provide better terrain choices for our members to train on. This team will train at both Mt. St. Louis and at various escarpment clubs to better prepare to race on longer and steeper terrain. They will occasionally train here at The Heights'. Please make our Glacier families and athletes welcome if you see them on hill or in the clubhouse. Qualification for an OCUP program is for athletes to ski at Snow Stars Level 5 or above. For more information about OCUP teams please contact Brad.


For more information on Snow Sports Programs, please contact Brad in the Race Office.

Check back for next month's newsletter.