Parent Handbook

Understanding Highlands Nordic and Highlands Trailblazers

Highlands Nordic is the cross country ski resort where we come to ski. It is a for-profit corporation which brings in equipment, maintains trails, grooms the trails, etc.  Highlands Trailblazers is the not-for-profit volunteer run club that organizes the training and racing programs and events.

Parent role and responsibilities

Your role as a parent of an HTB athlete

  • See Parent Code of Conduct here.
  • Support the goals of your athlete, other athletes, and the club
  • Volunteer for jobs/roles as needed (see service hours)
  • Help your athlete arrive on time for practices and events
  • Support coaches, volunteers, and club officials to do their best job possible
  • Remember; most coaches, all officials, and the Board are volunteers
  • Help your athlete fulfill the Athlete Code of Conduct Ontario Athlete Code of Conduct
  • Help your athlete fulfill team roles and expectations.
  • Help your athlete follow proper nutrition and recovery guidelines.
  • Recognize that athletes at this age need to have fun with their peers in order to   grow as athletes/skiers
  • Parents of air rifle biathletes are required to assist in setting up and tearing down the range (mats, targets, target strings, loading mags etc.) at each practice.
  • Have Fun!

Family Service hours

HTB relies on members to perform many jobs and take on many roles in order for the club to function. In 2019, the HTB Board initiated a “bond hour” program to assure that everything needed for the Club’s functioning was done.

Each family is responsible for a certain number of “work hours” based upon the program in which it is involved (Chipmunks, Jackrabbits, etc.). At the end of the season, if the required number of Service Hours are not fulfilled, the credit card used at registration is debited.. Our goal is to have a smooth working club, not to debit credit cards.

More information can be found on here.

Cross Country Equipment Requirements

All skiers (cross country and biathletes) need both classic and skate equipment.

Classic Equipment

  • Classic Skis
  • Grip zone may be fish scale, skins or grip waxed
  • Tip and tail are glide waxed
  • Classic boots – flexible, almost like a running shoe
  • Classic poles – fit uncomfortably in armpit

Skate Equipment

  • Skate skis
  • No grip zone, glide wax full length of ski
  • Head height or slightly longer
  • Skate boots – stiff, taller than classic boots, have a stiff cuff
  • Skate poles-reach chin to lips
  • Combi boots-can be used for both classic and skate (recommended if you are buying boots)
  • Skis, boots, poles may be leased from Highlands Nordic (skis only to be used in good snow conditions)

Biathlon Equipment Requirements


  • Level 5 uses .177 air rifles. These are provided to athletes as part of their Equipment and maintenance fees.
  • Level 6 biathletes use Air Arms S400 air rifles, and these are owned by athletes or leased from HTB.


  • All ammunition (.177 pellets) is provided as part of the Equipment and Maintenance fees
  • Level 7 and 8 biathletes use biathlon specific .22 rifles. The most commonly used .22 rifle is the Anschutz 1827F.

Prone Cuffs

  • Prone cuffs are necessary for Levels 6 and above.
  • Prone cuffs are provided to biathletes who require them. However, athletes are recommended to purchase prone cuffs from providers like Larsen and Anschutz.

Races and Race Schedule – Cross Country

Level 6 is a race program; we focus on the Paraffin Race Series, which takes place in a number of the local ski areas, including Highlands Nordic. You can figure on arriving 1-2 hours before start time, racing, post race short cool down/ practice and awards ceremony. These events are good for both Level 5 Race Development and Level 6. 

Levels 7, 8 are race programs focused on Ontario Cup races. See program descriptions here.

The culmination of the season for Level 5 Race development and Level 6 (age 13 & below) is the Youth Championships which usually takes place near the beginning of March. This is a multi-day event which is highly anticipated by the athletes, coaches and families.

Registering for races will take place on Athletes are to register as “Highlands Trailblazers”

Races and Race Schedule – Biathlon

Level 5 Athletes will participate in our local races hosted at Highlands.

Team members in Levels 6 through 8 are expected to participate in local and regional Biathlon and Cross Country races. Volume of races increase as biathletes progress. 

The culmination of the season for Air Rifle athletes (across all levels)  is the Ontario Air Rifle Championships which usually takes place near the end of February. This is a multi-day event which is highly anticipated by the athletes, coaches and families.

Ski waxing

  • We will have wax clinic(s) for parents if desired.
  • Glide waxing – Trip and tail of “no wax skis”; tip and tail of ‘waxable’ classic skis
  • All skis need to be waxed (even “no wax” classic skis)
  • Grip waxing – on grip zone of ‘waxable’ classic skis