Trails Closed Until Further Notice – Loppet Rescheduled to February 14

Due to unseasonably warm weather and rain, Murphys Point Park Staff have closed all trails as of February 1, 2016 until further notice.

Hopefully snow conditions will improve soon. You can check Trail Conditions any time on this website by going to the Trail Information page.

The Tay Valley Loppet has also been rescheduled. Early Bird registration discounts are extended to February 7. Registration ends February 12.

Upcoming Ski Clinic

Tay Valley Cross Country Ski Club

Classic Ski Technique Clinic

Novice to Intermediate

Place: Murphys Point Provincial Park

Sunday, January 31st, 12:00 hrs.

Meet at the warming chalet

Park Administration Area

Registration Required

Limit 16 Participants

The Tay Valley Ski Club is pleased to offer a classic technique cross country ski clinic. This afternoon ski clinic will focus on basic classic cross country technique for beginner to intermediate skiers and will cover the following topics:

Chalet – Meet sign in, 12:00 hrs.:

1) A brief discussion of modern cross country skis, their design and the merits of both waxable and waxless bases, and short discussion on waxing of both.

On Snow:

2) Lets start at the beginning, falling down and getting up;

3) Classic diagonal stride: with emphasis on use of poles, weight shift and maintaining your glide,

4) Classic technique: kick double pole, double pole, changing technique to rest and maintain efficiency;

5) Downhill technique, skiing in control: nordic snow plow, step turns, double pole

6) Turning and stopping; a demo / introduction to christie and telemark turns;

7) Climbing uphill: herring bone, side step, classic technique and running;

8) Learning to use the terrain to your advantage to be an efficient skier; which technique for which terrain;

9) Introduction to skate skiing: depending on progress and interest of the group.

The session will be held at Murphys Point Park beginning at 12:00 noon, on the afternoon of Sunday February 17th, weather permitting. Pre-registration is required and participants will be asked to sign a waiver. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and have their own ski equipment. The clinic will be limited to 16 participants on a first come first serve basis. There will be no charge for this clinic.

The clinic will be taught by Nancy Gaudreau and Rick Sauder. Nancy is a former college level racer and high school level coach in the U.S. Rick is a former loppet racer and was a Nordic ski patroller in British Columbia for many years. Both have many years of Nordic ski training, racing and experience.

To register please email Rick Sauder at

Include your name, phone number and brief description of your XC ski experience, or ability and level of skill. You will be notified by return email to confirm your participation.

2016 Loppet Registration is Now Open

To register for the 2016 Tay Valley Ski Club Loppet go to

This year’s Loppet includes:

20 Km Loppet, and 10 Km Short Loppet
Classic Technique

February 7 (Backup Date Feb 14)

The 20 km event is part of the Ontario Masters Loppet Points Series

Start Time 11:00 am for 10 & 20 km  events
Discount for entry by Sunday, January 31
Entry deadline 12:00 noon Friday, February 5

Special medals for fastest 3 men and 3 women in 20 Km Loppet
Age Group Medals for both events
Draw prizes open to all entrants. Special award for kilted skiers.
Skimeister Awards for best female and male skiers combined 5 km and 10 km races.

2.5 and 5 Km “Cookie Race”
Freestyle (skate or classic)
2.5 km 12 and under, 5 Km 13 – 19, 5 km over 19
Special Participant Ribbons and Cookie Medals
Start Time 10:00 am

Facilities and notes:
Post-race hot food is included in the entry fee.
Toilet facilities are available but not change rooms or showers.
Note that if you enter your entire family in one transaction, there is a slight savings due to the $1 per transaction fee

Trails Groomed and Ready

Enjoying a New Year's Day Ski.

Enjoying a New Year’s Day Ski.


At our AGM on November 2, it was decided that the Family rate would be raised from $65 to $75 per season, beginning November 15. You can take advantage of the lower rate for a few more days. Individual and student rates remain unchanged.

The fee increase was seen as necessary since the amount  paid to our parent organizations (covering things such as liability insurance) has now increased to $18 per skier. At that rate we were actually losing money on a family of four.

The Tay Valley Ski Club still has one of the lowest rates anywhere for cross country skiing, and with our new grooming equipment we will likely have even better trails.

Hope to see you there soon.


There still may be some summer weather left, but on September 28, The Tay Valley Ski Club Executive met to begin planning the 2015-2016 ski season. With our new grooming equipment ready for action, we look forward to the snow and an exciting Cross Country season.

Contact information for the club executive, including those running programs, can be found on the Membership Page.

Again this year Rick Sauder and Nancy Gaudreau will be running adult ski clinics as demand and snow conditions permit. If you, as an individual or as a group, are interested in improving your skiing, get in touch with Rick at to indicate your interest. Clinics will be scheduled depending on interest as well as scheduling issues. Watch this site for information on scheduled clinics throughout the season.

Drew Lampman will be coordinating the children’s program this year. Drew is looking for volunteers who wish to assist with coaching. The club will provide access to coaching clinics to up grade skills. (All coaches will be required to under go a criminal investigations check before assuming duties).

The 2015 AGM will be held at Dufferin Square Board Room (Behind Wendy’s on Highway 7), November 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm.

Those attending will have an opportunity to register for early bird membership. Following a short business meeting, there will be a presentation by a special guest.

The Tay Valley Cross Country Ski Club is proud to announce that Lanark County’s two time Olympian Perianne Jones will be our Guest Speaker.

Perianne was first introduced to competitive skiing at our own Tay Valley Loppet when she was a young visiting Jack Rabbit from our neighbouring Nakkertok Ski Club. She will speak of the many rich and joyful experiences she acquired as she evolved into a successful athlete proudly representing Canada on the world stage.

You can also purchase memberships on line by going to the Membership Tab above.

Besides the programs and the executive, the club requires groomers, people to prepare trails in the fall, and volunteers to run the Loppet. If you want to become a part of the running of the club, please get in touch.


No doubt about it, after a slow start in January, we have had a phenomenal cross country ski season. Lots of good snow and new top of the line grooming equipment have resulted in near perfect tracks and trails. The new groomer has made the club executive and the groomers very happy. Good equipment is one of the best ways to improve the ski experience. That applies to skis, poles and boots as much as it does for Ginzu groomers.
As it happens, if you are thinking about buying, or upgrading ski equipment, right now, the last two weeks in March, is the perfect time to do it. Most ski shops are getting ready to put XC skis in storage for the summer and most have sales on right now. In addition, with the fall in the value of the Canadian dollar this last few months, new equipment is probably going to cost more next season
So why would you buy or upgrade equipment?
1. Your equipment is old, worn out, doesn’t fit, or not working for you;
2. You have improved you ski technique through clinics and, or practice and your equipment doesn’t fit your skill level or desire to improve.
3. You simply want to upgrade.
4. You ski classic/skate ski and want to buy proper equipment for the other technique.
So what should you think about when you decide to buy or upgrade your equipment. First and foremost, you need to think about what type of skiing you wish to do and how often. As an instructor, I often categorize people who come to clinics with respect to those parameters. There are three classifications in my unscientific classification system:
1. Relaxed tourers, these are people who like to go out occasionally, often only in very good conditions. They are not interested in skiing fast or athletically, and technique is either a minor issue or not important to them at all.
2. Fitness skiers, these are people who like to ski for exercise, they go out frequently, like to ski for skiing’s sake and want to improve their technique, most often they are primarily interested in one technique only, skate or classic, though as they improve in one technique, may become interested in trying the other.
3. Athletes who want to ski multiple loppets and race.
If you think about what type of skier you are or want to be, it will help both you and staff at your ski shop decide what equipment will suit your needs. People often ask me, does equipment matter? Some of the most common questions we get at clinics are: Are waxable classic skis better than waxless; Do I need skate skis if I want to learn to skate; How long should my poles be; Do I need both classic and skate boots and poles. The answer is it depends on the type of skier you are and what conditions you want to ski i. How much and how well you want to ski is also an important consideration! If you first think about what type of skier you are, what type of skiing you want to do and what conditions you are willing to ski in , you can better explain your needs to ski shop staff, and thus have a better chance of getting equipment that will fit your needs and your skiing goals.


Some general comments on equipment and skier type as explained above:
Relaxed tourers are generally happy on and well suited to recreational level skis and boots. They often ski with shorter poles and are happy to shuffle on their skis at a slow pace. The fresh air and ambiance of the outdoors is what they are after. Waxless skis are usually the best choice for this type of skier. The best tips I can give if you fit into this category and want to improve technique a little is take a clinic or lesson. Then most likely you will need to buy longer poles to improve the all-important poling phase of your stride. Waxing the tips and tails of waxless skis will also greatly improve glide. Have someone knowledgeable check your skis to determine if the camber is too soft, or too hard to work well. If so, upgrade.
Fitness skiers or people who want to progress as fitness skiers may wish to upgrade from recreational level skis to a high end fitness ski, or a lower end racing ski. These types of skis come in both waxable and waxless models. In general, if you are skiing in all conditions, then a waxable ski will probably work best with respect to performance. If you ski most often in warmer conditions, -5 and warmer, then a waxless performance ski will be a good fit. Poles that are the proper length for good technique are “very” important. Skating skis and loner poles are necessary if you wish to take up skate skiing. Performance boots will help with both comfort and improved technique. If you wish to ski both skate and classic, then a combi boot is a good option that works very well for most recreational skiers.
Competitive athletic skiers generally have knowledge of what skis and other equipment work best for them. However, if you are a fitness skier who wishes to progress to a more competitive level, then an upgrade of equipment will help. This type of skiing requires race quality equipment if you hope to be competitive.
There are many good cross country ski shops in the area. However, we have three shops that provide sponsorship to our club that I would encourage you to support. They are Sport X in Smiths Falls, (they sell equipment, including packages, most suitable for relaxed tourers), Fresh Air Experience in Ottawa and Greg Christies in Chelsea, Quebec. Both Fresh Air Experience and Greg Christies are full service ski shops with a wide selection of equipment to suit all levels of skiers and have excellent knowledgeable staff who are avid skiers themselves and who will be able to answer your questions and fit you with equipment that will serve you well for many years.
So, if you wish to upgrade equipment, now is a great time to do so. Enjoy your summer and I’ll see you on the trails next season.
Rick Sauder,
Member at Large, Tay Valley Cross Country Ski Club


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.