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.
Skiing, in balance
West Wind Highlands Ski Touring Association is a not-for-profit
organization dedicated to ski touring in the highlands west of
Algonquin Park. Through education, advocacy, and trail-building we
increase awareness of ski touring in our region, nurture a responsible
community of enthusiasts, and work to create and manage ski touring
trails while acting as land stewards.
- Stewardship: Being good stewards means using and caring for resources responsibly and being accountable for our actions. We consider the present and long-term effects of our actions on people and the environment.
- Professionalism: We treat all people with respect, dignity and fairness. We are honest, open and transparent. We will be timely and responsive with communication and decision-making.
- Health & Safety: We put the health and safety of people first and foremost. This means taking care of ourselves and others; working to minimize risks and prevent injuries.
- Community: We love the Highlands. Supporting local people and businesses are important. We use local businesses and contractors whenever possible.
- Discovery: We use our strengths and resources to allow others to discover the joy of winter in the backcountry.
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.