A Guide to Local Ski Clubs – The Blue Mountains Area
While we can’t lay claim to true mountain ranges, the Niagara Escarpment’s steep slopes do provide the best ski and snowboard conditions anywhere in Ontario. Whether you’re heading out for the first time or looking for a challenge on a black diamond run, you’ll find everything you need, from rental equipment to lessons, over night accommodation to family-friendly restaurants, all within a short drive of the Collingwood area. Whether you’re in the market for a private club membership or day passes for your whole family, there’s a club that’s the perfect fit for you. So, what are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy our winter playground!
Alpine Ski Club: (Private)
242 Arrowhead Road #17,
The Blue Mountains
Adjacent to the Bruce Trail, minutes from Collingwood and 2 hrs from Toronto, the Alpine Ski Club is owned and governed by its members. With a focus on keeping membership relatively limited and the setting intimate, the club is family-friendly, with a strong emphasis on safety and providing “a quality club experience” for members and guests.
Alpine offers a breadth of on-hill programs, with 35 trails over 120 acres and over 150 certified coaches on staff, recreational and competitive training is available for all ages in both skiing and snowboarding, as well as cross-country and snowshoe trails and a terrain park.
Facilities include a contemporary open-concept club house, chalet, warming centre and on-site pro shop. Non-members can visit as guests of members or as part of mid-week programs for visiting groups. A wide variety of membership programs (introductory and voting memberships) are available. At the lower end of the price scale for introductory individual memberships, voting membership price is mid- range.
Beaver Valley Ski Club: (Private)
100 Pioneer Drive, Markdale 519-986-2520
Beaver Valley Ski Club, located just outside of Markdale in Grey Highlands is situated on a steep section of the Niagara Escarpment close to the Bruce Trail. Established in 1967, the club aspires to be an affordable option for young, active families.
With a friendly atmosphere, two great terrain parks and its signature run “Avalanche”, the steepest groomed run in Ontario, there’s plenty to keep members and visitors entertained. Twenty active runs, snowshoe trails and 12kms of cross-country trails are groomed daily to maintain high standards. Beaver Valley offers competitive and recreational programs and a busy calendar of social events for all ages.
Facilities include the main chalet, Member’s Lounge, the Keg chalet and a pro shop. Introductory, annual and lifetime memberships available, appears to be the most affordable private club membership.
Beaver Valley Ski Club
Blue Mountain Resort: (Open to the public)
Town of the Blue Mountains
Ontario’s largest mountain resort, Blue Mountain Resort is the crown jewel of Grey County’s ski and snowboard region. With a total of 42 trails covering a healthy range of difficulty levels, and 16 lifts, the resort enjoys a high capacity and visitors don’t waste any time waiting in line. Night skiing is popular with locals and the resort also includes 3 terrains parks, 1 super pipe, various lodge buildings with optional food services and warming centres. Facilities are well staffed and slopes are monitored by Ski Patrol.
True to its resort status, The Village at Blue offers an extensive variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. With 750,000 lift tickets sold annually, Blue Mountain is the 3rd busiest ski resort in Canada but still manages to offer the widest range of competitively priced daily lift tickets, season passes and package deals available.
Craigleith Ski Club: (Private)
164 Craigleith Road, the Blue Mountains
With 33 trails ranging from beginner to expert level difficulty, terrain feature areas including a progression park, terrain park and SBX course, Craigleith is known for providing a fun, dynamic atmosphere that appeals to a younger crowd. Founded 1958 and viewed as a home away from home for its members, Craigleith emphasizes that its members are part of a family. Three lodges with food services, extensive social programs for all ages and expert instructors/coaches for skiing, boarding and racing programs, the club takes pride in creating and maintaining a high standard in all areas and in keeping its facilities running efficiently. Equipment rental available on site.
Summer activities open to members include tennis and swimming in outdoor pool. A wide range of memberships are available (not including initiation fees) but all membership applications require 2 letters of introduction from current members and all applications are reviewed and granted by committee. Mid-range membership fees.
Craigleith Ski Club
Georgian Peaks Ski Club: (Private)
104 Wensley Street, Thornbury
Described as big and brash with steep runs and an especially active social scene, Georgian Peaks sets a casual ski club atmosphere. Georgian Peaks offers the highest vertical drop of any club in Ontario at 820 feet, which is high enough to allow the club to host official GFIS standard slalom races. With 24 trails, some of the longest runs in the province, snowshoeing and cross-country trails, High Performance ski and snowboard schools, 3 fully licenced lodges, 3 family lounges, food and beverage venues, two terrain parks (1 “progression” (small features only) for learning free-style manoeuvers and perfecting skills and 1 “intermediate/experienced” with jumps of 10-45 feet of all shapes and sizes [park pass required for entry]), there truly is something to please every type of winter warrior.
A limited number of annual (trial) memberships are available each year, Full Life memberships and Under 40 Program memberships are also available. Georgian Peaks offers Lifetime memberships so fees are costlier than some other ski clubs.
Georgian Peaks Ski Club
Osler Bluff Ski Club: (Private)
795534 Blue Mountains-Clearview Town Line, The Blue Mountains
Osler Bluffs is the oldest ski club on the Niagara Escarpment and therefore got “first dibs” on location and some would say, the best hills and runs. With peaks 200 feet higher than Blue Mountain and a location 10km from Georgian Bay shoreline, the club claims its prime location results in more natural snow and a natural northeast exposure which “provides better protection against snow erosion from wind and sun”. Its steepest vertical drop is one of the highest in Ontario at 745 feet, offering lots of excitement for thrill seekers. Osler Bluff operates 20 runs over 130 acres, “the most skiable acreage per member of all Ontario clubs” and great pride taken in grooming the trails. A 6.5 acre terrain park includes a full-sized competition half-pipe and over 2 dozen other features plus there’s a dedicated Snow School and Racing staff, snowshoe and cross-country trails, a skating rink and skate ski track means there’s no shortage of activities to fill your day.
A 6.5 acre terrain park includes a full-sized competition half-pipe and over 2 dozen other features plus there’s a dedicated Snow School and Racing staff, snowshoe and cross-country trails, a skating rink and skate ski track means there’s no shortage of activities to fill your winter days. Facilities include the Clubhouse, Orchard Lodge and Upper Chalet, all of which offer food service and warming stations. A busy schedule of social events and age-appropriate après-ski activities every weekend during the winter keep members busy well into the evenings. Membership also gets you access to the “Summer Club”: 2 tennis courts, heated pool, change house, playground for small kids, paddle-boarding, remote control regattas and beach volleyball at The Pond. Limited memberships are available each year in variety of categories, from introductory to single to family passes to “Over 60”. Given the wide range of activities and facilities, it is understandable that Osler Bluff membership fees are higher than other clubs.
Osler Bluff Ski Club
Established in 1924 by a group of adventurers bent on exploring and skiing as much downhill terrain as they could find, the Toronto Ski Club, one of the country’s oldest, proudly helped to establish skiing on the Niagara Escarpment and continues to build a strong and active membership of life-long winter sports aficionados. The TSC Clubhouse sits right at the base of Blue Mountain and is open to provide more ski days than any other private club in the area. Fostering excellent alpine programs, TSC is a family club for all ages and is proud to include National and Provincial Ski and Snowboard team members among its alumni. Equally important to its membership are strong social programs. Enjoy live music every Saturday, kids activities and a legendary “Awesome Apres”, and a Members Calendar packed with amazing events. Boasting more than 40 runs, high-speed 6 pack chair lifts, 720 vertical feet and 364 acres of skiing terrain, the Toronto Ski Club has everything your family needs to enjoy winter on the slopes!
Not sure about a full-fledged membership? You can try things out with a Test Drive Membership, a one year trial membership for a family of 4, for $800 (http://www.torontoskiclub.on.ca/Membership/Test_Drive_Membership.aspx ). A limited number of memberships are available each year, so act quickly!
Try a Mid-Week Membership to get full Clubhouse access Monday through Friday for the length of the ski season (excluding Christmas and March Break holidays). (http://www.torontoskiclub.on.ca/Membership/Mid-Week_Membership.aspx)
From beginner slopes to some of the most challenging runs in the province and an advanced terrain park, Devil’s Glen offers members an ideal winter getaway. With state of the art facilities, world class conditions and exceptional amenities (including a recently renovated lodge), Devil’s Glen works hard to “preserve our cherished size, values and traditions” while working to ensure your family gets the most it can out of the club experience. Offering high level ski school, racing, freestyle and snowboard programs plus a diverse terrain park and 16kms of snowshoes and cross-country trails…not to mention child care programs and an apres-ski “social lifestyle”, Devil’s Glen has a lot to boast about! A membership at Devil’s Glen doesn’t only get you access to the ski hills, it’s a lifestyle investment that ensures future generations can enjoy the very same aspects of the club that you do.
Interested in an introductory membership? Contact Sandra Gee at the Club office, extension 257.
Under 40 Membership http://www.devilsglen.com/Membership#U40
Senior’s Membership http://www.devilsglen.com/Membership#Senior
Over 60 Membership http://www.devilsglen.com/Membership#Over60
Welcome Back (for returning members) http://www.devilsglen.com/Membership#WelcomeBack
For a full Staff Directory http://www.devilsglen.com/Contact_Us
Looking for a small scale, family-friendly ski/snowboard club based at Blue Mountain? The Collingwood Ski Club is a family-focused volunteer-run club rich in history and tradition. Membership at CSC requires 2 sponsorship letters from members in good standing. Contact a sponsor to arrange for an application.