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Celebrating the New Year in New York!!!

Ti..s is the place!!!

Not TIMES Square at the centre of Manhattan, but TITUS Mountain on the Northern edge of the Adirondack mountains a few miles south of the Whippleville near Malone, New York.

titus_20131231

In the last days of 2013 I received an email from Titus informing me of their plans. I thought it would so cool. I had skied a number of times on the first day on New Year, but never at the stroke of midnight.

Quote from Titus:

This New Year’s Eve, we’re pulling-out all the stops to ring in 2014 & you don’t want to miss it!

Great food & beverages, LIVE entertainment, nightskiing & much, much more!

Our lifts will be OPEN ’til 1am on New Year’s Day! For the FIRST TIME, you can lay down the FIRST TRACKS of the New Year!

As midnight approaches, you can enjoy our Torchlight Parade down the main slope in front of our expanded lodge & patio area . . .

. . . and, at the stroke of midnight as the last torch goes out, the FIREWORKS explode over the mountain!

The North Country has never seen a New Year’s celebration like this! Join us & welcome in 2014 the Titus way!

It was something that I had looked for New Year 2000, but I didn’t find. Now we were going into 2014 and a family ski area few miles south of the border was going to make it happen. The month of January 2014 was also a personal skiing milestone for myself.


Wait at US Customs on New Year’s Eve

Although I was skiing locally at Edelweiss almost every day during the Holidays, the family thought it would be so cool to drive to Malone, New York. The forecast was calling for an extremely cold night, but the lowest temperatures of the week was pushed back 24 hours making me breath a sign of relief as my youngest daughter had a hard time the previous day at Edelweiss. We hadn’t planned to ski for the whole day, but the last few hours of the year and getting first tracks of the year past midnight was on a “Bucket list somewhere”. We left Ottawa after 6pm to make the 100 miles 2-hour journey across the border. Between the traffic, slippery roads with snow and the cold below -21c, the longer than average wait at the US Border and the odd extremely slow driving individual such as 30mph in a 55mph zone (they were either drunk or never drove when snowing types): the drive took us over 2:40. We arrived shortly after the torchlight parade (which had been moved earlier in the evening) which gave us a parking spot not far from the lodge.


Sign to Titus


Base Lodge


Party in the Base Lodge with band playing some Guns

We walk through the the bar which was rocking with lights and a live band playing stuff like Guns N’ Roses. It was passed 9pm when we got our lift tickets. This was my third trip to Titus: the last one involved us showing up at unfortunately closed ski area during a terrible Spring Break 2012. The only visit which featured actual skiing was in February 2005. Morgane was only 7 at that time and it proved to be an excellent family ski area. It is a 1200′ vertical area with 3 small mountain with a calm atmosphere. The night skiing is limited to two sides of the smaller of these hills.

Ski Map


Ready for some turns


Sunset at the base of Chair I


Chair I

This was the ‘least’ good and the iciest conditions I had experienced in 18 outings so far this season. I have to say that the conditions for the last month have been consistently amazing. It was snowing and there was a nice layer of fresh snow, however the base was slick and firm and would have called for sharpen skis to fully appreciate it. It is true that ski areas north of the St.Lawrence divide hadn’t suffered any real thaw this season, unlike near or south of the border.

A trip to Titus is a bit of travel to simpler time with old lifts, old lighting and quieter trails. I always love skiing at rustic ski areas. The terrain offered to us didn’t add any extra value to make the trip from Ottawa, especially for the night skiing. The skiing isn’t steeper and the vertical isn’t really greater than the Ottawa locals have to offer. For the same distance, you can make it to Tremblant, but you won’t be able to find that rustic feeling, excellent family, quiet and beginner ski area.


Snowing on Chair I


Main Side and Chair IV

Our late evening started with a slow ride up the triple and a descent towards the other side of Moon Valley. Morgane mentioned that the black run wasn’t that much harder than Edelweiss’ green run Easy Street. There was maybe 7 various descents to be skied on this night. The plan had to ski non-stop until next year, but it was a cold night. The temperature was warmer than anticipated with a -14c compared to the -20c it was in Ottawa when we left, but it didn’t stop us from taking a small break to warm up.


Warming up


Fireworks and snowflakes galore

Our last moments of 2013 we done riding the slow double. Certain trails had their light shutoff and the trail closed by a simple chair during the fireworks so we could ski back to the main side from our location. With a few other skiers, we watched the fireworks from behind the chair then heading down the still blackened trails. The darken trails reminded me of night skiing when I was in High School in the early 1980s.

The run on the side of the double chair (chair I) with runs like Whistler, Sunset and Milky West-Ravine Run were more interesting than the flatter main side with chair IV with Milky West, Little Dip/Meadow Run, Chocolate Chip and Ridge Run, however that more remote Pine Run was nice and quiet. The Face was a sheet of ice-covered by small layer of snow. Besides the entertainment inside the Base Lodge, there was also a few people riding the beginner handle tow, in the novice terrain park or at the snowtubing park. A wonderful evening to spend outside.


First turns of 2014 in the dark

Tara and my wife were cold and called it quits for the night with maybe 30 minutes left. Morgane and I closed off our evening until last chair on the main side at 1am. It was a wonderful evening and I could see a better great way to celebrate the New Year and reaching month 100 in the ski streak. I have a voucher for Titus and I might make a return visit when the bigger mountain is open, because 2-hour
is a long drive for this skier to only ski 155 meters (508ft) vertical which is smaller than the hills next door. Still I wouldn’t have wanted to be at another place on this day.


MadPat celebrating the 100-month mark

Happy New Year everyone in the Ski Mad World.

20131231_titus

MadPat’s Gallery:
Titus NY – December 31, 2013 – New Years

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Back for my second day from 13 days out west.

Skiing with the whole family (Morgane, 8 and Tara, 3 and my Caroline, my wife which I won’t mention her age :o). …only 1300m total vertical today (testing my new watch)… that’s slightly less than one Tram ride at Jackson.

Conditions this afternoon were slick and icing, almost forgot how to ski on this. Marc, if it doesn’t snow soon, i’ll be back next week. 😆 or I should sharpen those skis… probably did some damage on P-Tex point at Snowbird. 😀

Definitely not a packed powder that Anthony found at Sutton.

Originally posted on Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:47 pm on firsttracksonline

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Ontario Spring Break was here and I had taken the week off. After one day family ski day St.Bruno (near Montreal) where we initiated Tara (2.5 yrs old) to the great sport of skiing, Tuesday was Parents’ Day.

We left our kids with Grand’ma in Montreal and treated ourselves with a beautiful day of skiing at Stowe, one of our favorites ski areas in the East.

Focus: Spruce ….

I wanted to return to Stowe and ski Spruce Peak before that whole area got “improved” 😡 next year with the removal of the old double and added snowmaking. Unfortunately, I always overlooked this part of Stowe because of the lack of expert runs. Yes, the lift was slow, but the conditions were well worth the wait. Whirlaway is fun and twisted, great coverage with minimal rocks and branches. Smugglers was also great. He did repeat those runs a few times.


Spruce Chair


Spruce Chair


Smuggs from top of Spruce

Mansfield:

After the great skiing off the old double, we took the gondola and headed for the gondola. Chin Clip was a huge disappointment, conditions were hardpacked and wind-blown, a far cry from the fun stuff at Spruce. Most runs were (or looked) windblown and icy. We didn’t stay here for long, it’s was getting late.

What’s next? Goat, Starr?

Although there are many runs that I love at Stowe, the other focus of the trip was to ski the Bruce trail. We started skiing down it sometimes past 3pm. What a great run, long and narrow with a few drops. Conditions were better than Spruce (virtually no rocks and branches, only a few bare spots at the end (before the cross-country center)). The snow had more of a Spring texture to it. We had to push and climb for a while before we were able to get back to the “resort”. 4:03PM – Finally made it to the Toll Road chair (or whatever it’s called). “Sorry, we are closed, the liftee told us” 😥 We finally had to hop on the shuttle to get back to the lot.

A great day. Best conditions skied: Spruce and Bruce.

Next day destination: Mad River Glen.


Bottom of Spruce and Mansfield


Nosedive


Bruce Trail

MadPat’s Stowe – March 2005 photo gallery

Text originally posted on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:40 pm on firsttracksonline

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Super Bowl Super Sunday at Whiteface, skiing for $25, I couldn’t miss that. Parking lot were very very full, however I don’t know where the people were, the liftlines were reasonable. The longest we waited was maybe 5 minutes at around 11am, after that, it was more like 1-3 minutes waits. 😮

Like the other reports of this weekend, it’s was warm, it felt more like April 6th in temperature and snow cover. 8)

With this in mind, conditions were great for an April day, Upper Skyward had loose granular that bumped up nicely as the day went by. The other option off the Summit was Paron’s Run (didn’t ski Follies) was also bumped up by 1PM. The whole upper mountain was soft and fun to ski. 😀

Conditions were similar on Little Whiteface (Wilderness, Mountain Run, Thruway), however there were more icy spots. 😕

Essex on Little Whiteface remained hard and icy all day. Now for the negative, IT WAS FEBRUARY, not April and the snow coverage was thin in some spots and a few bare patches could be found, edge of trails might have hidden branches or rocks as I found out on Upper Skyward. 😡

Sheets of blue ice could be found on the flatter places on the mountain, some trails will probably never open this year unless it’s starts snowing now and we get a few BIG dumps. Trails like Northway, Empire (LW) and Cloudspin were virtual bare of any coverage. The Slides??? Forget about the Slides, unless Winter comes back in a very big way. 😦

Next Super Sunday is March 6th??? Hopefully Winter comes back with snow. 🙄

Originally posted on Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:28 pm on firsttracksonline

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After a 4 1/2 year hiatus, I was back at Killington. First time in November since 1991. Saturday was my first opportunity to leave Ottawa (i.e. for Montreal) and probably my last chance before Christmas. So I made the most of it.

After seeing the less than convincing reports on Ste.Anne’s opening weekend and Tremblant opening the top mountain this weekend with probable hordes of skiers, the choice was pretty clear in my mind. It had to be Killington. Sorry folks, but St.Sauveur and Camp Fortune (15 minutes from downtown Ottawa) were not going to do it for me. The fact that the Loonie hasn’t been close to this height in years (1993) wasn’t bad either.

Friday night: picked-up my new Rossignol B1s in my favorite small shop in Montreal.

Saturday morning: 5:30am (planned departure time). Woke up at 5:45am, Shit the alarm clock stopped in the middle of the night. Quick Breakfast and made a quick lunch. Left Montreal at 6:30am sharp. Montreal is 187miles (290km from Champlain Bridge) and 3 hours away.

This was going to be a solo trip. 100th solo ski day since 1981-82; 45th Killington visit.

What a beautiful drive, just 20 minutes away from MTL in the middle of the plains between the city and the ever-expanding suburbs, I could see through the morning fog, the sunrise just behind Mt.Sutton. The view through my windshield was beautiful; Mt. St.Hilaire, Rougemont, St.Grégoire, Sutton, Jay Peak, Smugglers’ and Mansfield. Unfortunately, I never take time for pictures in the morning, especially this morning.

Going to Killington in November and zipping through U.S. Customs in record time, cheap American dollars, this trip had a definitely a 80s feel to it.

Heading down on Interstate 89, I had a glimpse on. Look like they had one run on Skye Peak, that was definitely confirm one hour later when I hit the access road. Finally arrived at Killington at 9:45am, I was parked all the way to Pitts-field!!!

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View from the access road.

GIVE US THE REPORT, MAN!!!!

Killington ski report for the day mentioned 19 trails with 7 lifts (K1, Glades triple, Snowdon triple and Quad, poma and Superstar Quad). That last addition probably explained the new pricing; $47, up from $39 the previous day when the SS quad was not running.

It was Customer Demo Day, which might partially explain why my car was park a time zone away. The skiing was great. I have to lift my hat at Killington with what terrain was opened, especially opening the Upper Downdraft headwall.

Conditions were generally good, coverage was excellent. Someone definitely needed to have sharp edges to fully enjoy this day, especially with the heavy skier traffic. Loose granular conditions were the norm, as someone got closer to the KBL.

Started skiing at 10:30am. Skied generally the Snowdon and Glades areas with one top-to-bottom run. The line-ups weren’t too bad, maximum 3 minutes using the single lines. The worst line up were for the K1 and the Glades triple. Glades area was fairly crowded.


Snowdon chair.


Glades area.


Glades chair.

Lunch at 1:00pm at the summit.

Afternoon at 1:30pm, re-did Downdraft and probably one more run on Glades. The traffic was still pretty heavy. Decided to do laps off the poma (poma was out-of-order for at least 15 minutes). At the end of the day, skied with 2 Ryans from Pennsylvania. Toward the end of the day, we decided to go all the way to the bottom. Notice that the Superstar Quad was running (I had noticed that it was closed at 12:30pm) and did the last two run on Bittersweet. Someone had told me that Bittersweet was a bowling alley in the AM (one run and one express Quad), however at 3:45pm, we were virtually alone. This is a nice long run and fun to ski when it isn’t crowded.

The Ryans had skied the previous day and mentioned that the run had virtually no snow on it when the guns were turned on that night. Good job Killington.


Downdraft Headwall.


Downdraft Headwall.


Highline with KBL and Bittersweet on the other side.

Best trails:

Upper Downdraft (headwall) – nice and steep. Amazed that they decide to choose it for an early opening. However it was a bit of a drag to have to ski all the way down via Snowdon and get back on the K1 to access that trail again. No, I am not going to talk about the double again.

Highline (a ban of thin spots coming out in middle pitch by the end of day) – Best steep, overall satisfaction of the day. Spring conditions.

Upper East Fall – relatively quiet for the crowded Glades area.

Bunny Buster: Next to poma. Sorry Joe, this trail is definitely a better course trail than mogul run. A lot of fall away pitches, fun to ski.

Mouse Trap: it was bumping up nicely.

Bittersweet when the Superstar Quad was functioning.

Worst place:
Great Northern: a human flow of skier from Glades across Snowdon.
Bottom of the Snowdon Quad (no snow and mud).

Other trails:
Rime and Reason: snow park.
Mouse Run and the Killink.
Bottom Bunny Buster and parallel trail lower kept the skier density manageable.

Overall, it was a great day, best November skiing I had in a long time (i.e. Last year was my first year skiing in November since 1991). I can’t talk about Kmart without adding a few negative points. I took a few pictures, however K will already have over 120 trails open by the time I get the pictures finished, scanned and posted.

Pet-Peeve of the Day:
I guess someone heard Joe complaint about the SkiKey racks, I saw one, however I only saw one!!! And my Ski lock was all the way in the Pitts-Parking.

Lifts and Alarm Clock not functioning properly (Superstar Quad being closed for at least 3 hours + poma problems).

Crowds (I have seen worst) and $47 lift ticket.

Skiers (didn’t see any boarders) taking/making cell phone calls on the trails/liftlines, etc.

Guys that pee in toilets instead of using urinals (you will understand when you have a young kid). Not really related to that ski day.

Boarders that sit in the middle of the trail with is back turn at you. Man, is that brave or stupid, especially when you consider the skier traffic Great Northern near the open Snowdon trails (i.e Mouse Run)?


Snowless Superstar.

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MadPat and the Ryans with Highline in the background.

MadPat’s Killington – November 2004 photo gallery

Text originally posted on Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:22 pm on firsttracksonline

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Finally the Internet connection works…

Back in Ottawa after a few days in Montreal. I couldn’t be at St.Sauveur for the first day (driving someone to the airport), but I was able to make it to St.Bruno for night skiing. I decided to add these reports after reading Frank and Max’s reports on these places. Different conditions on different days.

MT.ST.BRUNO – NOVEMBER 9TH

It was my first time back at Mt.St.Bruno in maybe 30 years, I had to follow the light through the suburban streets to find to the mountain.

Sunday night lift tickets are $10. The mountain opened at 5PM, I got there at 6:30PM. The Hill was pretty crowded at first (at least 200). Like Max said, there had open one blue-run. The condition were somewhat icier due to the skier traffic. At 9PM, the crown died down – mostly snowboarders remained. All in all, I had a pretty good evening of night skiing for November 9th.

Early November skiing under the lights at Mt St-Bruno

MT.ST.SAUVEUR – NOVEMBER 10TH

Lift tickets: $26 day /$23 for 4hours (I think?). Today was much quieter than the previous day. The number of skier increased after 1PM when students with afternoon courses (I guess?) started showing up.

Two trails opened: 70 West and Nordique. The hill, especially the steeper parts, got pretty icy around 2PM (All day Traffic and as the shade moved in). This was another great day.

Advice if you go there or anywhere: Start skiing early because what is soft is going to be scraped off in only a few hours (faster if there is a crowd).

Nicest part: Lower pitch of West 70, off the main groomed part with non-base. Just enough coverage to make him turns.

Top of Nordique with Triple in the background

Top of Triple and heading toward 70

Top of 70 Pitch and St-Sauveur-des-Monts

Originally posted on Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:26 pm on firsttracksonline

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