What is WWHSTA?
The West Wind Highlands Ski Touring Association (WWHSTA) is a registered not-for-profit association formed in 2020 to advocate for and support the development of self-propelled winter backcountry touring opportunities in Muskoka, the Almaquin Highlands, Haliburton and surrounding areas.
Our group embraces the enjoyment of the deep snowpack brought to our region by the west winds off Georgian Bay. The region’s wonderful open hardwood forests and the undulating topography offers a beautiful canvas for exploration and, every now and then, a few turns of pure joy. If you enjoy winter in Ontario on AT gear, telemark skis, a snowboard or nordic backcountry gear, WWHSTA is a group that will introduce you to a new community, new areas, shared information and learning opportunities.
The guiding principles of WWHSTA are:
- Trail and infrastructure development
- Environmental stewardship
- Grow and strengthen the self-propelled backcountry touring community
- Promote the sport of backcountry ski/snowboard touring
Why join WWHSTA?
WWHSTA members share these qualities:
- A desire to explore untracked deep snow in the unlikely province of Ontario.
- A willingness to earn your turns with skins, fishscales, grip wax or snowshoes.
- An interest in contributing to the exploration and development of new places to enjoy our sport.
- A desire to connect with other like-minded snow enthusiasts.
- A commitment to working on trail development in the off-season.
- A commitment to safety
- A commitment to enjoying sustainable, legal and responsible outdoor activities
Get involved and support WWHSTA’s objectives:
- Grow and strengthen the winter backcountry community
- Network with and support other organizations and groups of self-propelled snow riders
- Plan events to get our group together, whether to work or ski
- Develop an email list for WWHSTA communication
- Maintain social media pages for members to communicate with each other, and for WWHSTA to reach out to its members.
- Reach out to local alpine and x-c ski groups to communicate what we are doing and encourage supporting WWHSTA
- Provide member benefits and incentives: maps, beta, discounts, events, swag and trips
- Develop, in consultation with experts, a “West Wind Standard” to guide our forest management (“glading”) work in order to minimize environmental impact and sustain a healthy forest ecosystem
- Pursue land use agreements with private landowners
- Pursue access to public lands for trail-building and ski touring
- Support the development of infrastructure necessary for ski touring opportunities, such as: parking, plowing, bridge-building, signage, waste management, restrooms, etc.
Meet the WWHSTA board
Meet the current WWHSTA board members here
Become a member and support WWHSTA
See our different membership options and use our secure online registration platform here.