MALONE - One of Franklin Countys most unique features – its own ski hill, is officially open for business with a plethora of new additions.
Along with renovations and added lounge space, the 200-plus acre Titus Mountain is debuting 15 new ski trails, 11 of which are designed for glade skiing.
Its basically skiing through the trees, Titus Mountain Director of marketing and Information Technology Dene Savage said. People have always done it, but it wasnt always a sanctioned activity.
He said preparation of the glade trails involved taking the swaths of the mountain and leaving only the largest trees.
Theyre easier to see and miss, Mr. Savage said.
Everything else including rocks, smaller growth, and downed trees have been removed to ensure peoples safety.
He said the new regular trails include blue square-rated Three Trees and Big Als and double black diamond-rated Outer, Outer. The trails are rated either green circle, blue square, black diamond, or double black diamond. Green circle trails are for beginners and double black diamond are expert-level.
Titus Mountain is offering a full slate of events including races, trick challenges, and night skiing three days each week. Events include a military appreciation day in January, where current and former servicemen and their families can enjoy a free day on the mountain. They will also be hosting slalom and giant slalom races, rail jams, big air contests and the well-known Snocross race, which Mr. Savage said is similar to a roller derby.
There is a certain amount of physical contact involved, within reason, he said.
The mountain offers ski, snowboard, and skiblade rentals and lessons. The lessons are given on a bunny hill next to the main mountain, but separated so only those just learning can use it without having to worry about faster, more experienced riders flying past them.
Skiblades are half-size skis that dont require poles or special boots.
One of the features that many may wonder about is their ability to make their own snow. Mr. Savage explained it is created by nine machines that use a combination of water and air under high pressure to make the frozen condensation. The water is sprayed out of misters that encircle a jet engine-like apparatus at 400 pounds of pressure per square inch, mixed with compressed air and then shot out of a turbine in such a fine mist that it freezes into snow before it hits the ground. The enables them to open the mountain even if the weather has been warm.
New facilities that patrons can look froward to are a renovated lounge at the bottom of the lower mountain, which is the building to ones left as they come in from the parking lot.
The upstairs includes a new bar and renovated dining room, three times larger than they used to be. The dining room has comfortable chairs and overlooks the mountain and the hungry can order from the newly-launched Mos Moon Valley Grill, which offers more high-end edibles. Downstairs also has a less-expensive eatery and the former Dancing Bear Room has been expanded as well, but retains the old fireplace. Included now is a locker room with all-new storage lockers that are primarily offered so season pass holders and those that buy ski and stay packages can have a place to store their gear on-site.
For a complete list of rates and events, go to www.titusmountain.com.