Ski more, pay less at Titus – The Daily Gazette

Trying out a ski area you’ve never been before is always a mixture of adventure and anxiety.

Will it be worth the trip? Can I manage the land? What about crowds and lifts?

Well, if you’re headed to Titus Mountain Ski Resort in Malone, like I did last week, forget the worries. The trip is easy – about an hour’s drive north of Lake Placid – the layout is gentle, a sprawling mix of easy to moderate groomed terrain with plenty of glades for advanced skiers – and the crowds and lifts are largely non-existent – ​​and you’ll ski straight to the lifts most days to access the slopes that still have plenty of corduroy after lunch.

Want variety? The region has 52 trails and glades, 38 of which have artificial snow, spread over three peaks with eight lifts and a vertical of 1,200 feet. Ski the area from end to end and you go through two tunnels and cross a bridge.

Titus has flown under the radar of most skiers in our area since it was founded as Moon Valley in 1960. The current owners, the Monette Brothers, purchased the area in 2011. North Country entrepreneurs with varied business interests range from maple syrup production to gravel extraction to fuel distribution, they stepped in when it looked like the area might close after the death of Paul Augustine, who had owned the area since 1980 and renamed it Titus.

What has happened since then is not a common pattern in skiing.

Although slope development doubled over the period, uphill access is still by fixed-grip double and triple chairlifts manufactured by the Hall company of Watertown, which went out of business in 1982. don’t expect a quick climb up the hill to Tite.


“We think these lifts are a perfect fit for us,” Bruce Monette III said last week. He is in charge of operations and marketing for the family owned and operated area. “It gives people time to talk during the uphill journey. We don’t see that changing.

Families, not facilities, have been the theme of all our recent conversations at Titus. And it starts with the kids.

The educational program hosts more than 15,000 lessons each winter for some 4,000 young people in school-sponsored programs, many of whom hail from as far away as Plattsburgh and Watertown. With the closure of the Big Tupper area ten years ago, there are no other ski areas nearby.

School programs these days include free classes and rental equipment for attendees, made possible by funding from COVID-related outdoor incentive grants to compensate for physical education and sports programs lost over the past two last years.

Titus does not stop there. Any fourth year student can take a lesson for free, and if they return to ski or snowboard, they receive a free season pass. The region also wants the rest of the family.

In addition to attracting more families, the area also benefited last season from restrictions put in place by neighboring Vermont, which limited out-of-state visitors. There was no similar restriction for New Yorkers who stayed in the state, so a whole new audience of downstate skiers used to traveling to ski were introduced to Titus.

“Last year, with remote work and learning commonplace and out-of-state travel discouraged, we had our best season ever,” Monette said. “Even with the current border restrictions limiting Canadian visitors, our weekend activities this year have been just as good. People who were introduced to us last year are coming back.

Earlier this year, Titus became part of the Indy Pass program, a lift ticket plan giving skiers at least two days of access to more than 80 ski resorts across the country.

“We’ve had over 400 Indy Pass skiers so far this winter,” Monette said. “These are skiers who otherwise probably wouldn’t come here.”

Like all ski areas, Titus offers a range of ticket prices. By today’s standards, Titus is a bargain. There are only two classes: adults who pay $59 on weekends and $49 on weekdays, and juniors under 12 who always pay $10. And, there is night skiing included with that on Fridays and Saturdays. Tubes are also available.

Titus has two lodges; one at the main base area and another on its upper mountain. You can ski or drive both.


Then there are the “Skibanas”. There are 11 regular cabins and three larger shed-sized cabins built by the Amish near the base’s main lodge that can be rented by the day. These are heated units that come with parking and can easily accommodate a family of four carrying their own food and drink. Need to rent equipment? Arrange in advance and it will be there in the skibana when you arrive. The cost to book? $99 on weekdays and $149 on weekends, which usually sell out days in advance.

Prefer to be away from the hill at night? The Monette family also owns the Holiday Inn Express a few miles in downtown Malone, which offers a ski and stay package for two for a total of $249 that includes breakfast, preferred parking and lift tickets. . That’s about the same price as a weekend day lift ticket in Vail.

So what’s next for Titus? While high-speed lifts aren’t in the plan, mountain accommodation is. The roughly 1,000-acre property in the area already has 14 airstrip homes, several of which are available to rent through Airbnb. Other bundles are available. Titus is outside of Adirondack Park, so not bound by agency restrictions on land development.

Also on the property are some 20,000 sugar maple trees which support a large maple syrup operation in the area, and a large gravel pit which serves a growing need for infrastructure and road development in the north of the country. . As these are seasonal businesses, many of those who work in the ski area work year-round in other family businesses. This helps give Titus some immunity from the staffing issues that have plagued ski areas across the country of late.

So if you are planning a road trip and want fast lifts and fancy facilities, Titus is not your place. But if you want to try a family-friendly resort with attractive skiing facilities at a modest price, this is one worth trying.


Section II will crown its ski champions in Gore this week with the Alpine and Nordic competitions taking place on Wednesday. The alpine event was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was brought forward a day due to weather forecasts.

In cross-country, Katrin Schreiner of Hadley-Luzerne and Philip Mathews of Shenendehowa dominated the races this winter and are big favorites for regional honors in the skate-style competition. Shenenedehowa and Queensbury are expected to battle it out for tag team honours.

In women’s alpine skiing, Shenendehowa junior Micaela Leonard was the best this season with Queensbury junior Meredith Montgomery close behind. The competition for the boys was very tight. Saratoga Springs’ Mathew Moeckel is the defending slalom and giant slalom champion, with Saratoga Springs’ Nathan Rodrigues, Broadalbin-Perth’s Colin Cotter, Shenendehowa’s Braden Kruk and CBA’s Cole Paton among those expected to vie for individual honors.

In the team competition, Queensbury and Shenendehowa are the favorites for the girls while Ballston Spa and Saratoga are expected to lead the boys.

The top 10 from each race will represent Division II at the state championships on Feb. 28 and March 1, which will also be held in Gore.


The two former Union College connected athletes competing in individual events in Beijing are done with their events. Three-time Olympian Tucker West, now 26, finished 13th in the singles luge competition. Hannah Soar, 22, finished 11th in women’s moguls. Continuing her training, she transferred to the University of Utah. Three former Dutch hockey players are still skating; Daniel Carr for Canada and the Spencer and Parker Foo brothers for China.


There’s still time to catch the Futures Tour Slopestyle and Big Air competitions taking place in Gore this week until Friday. These are several of the best young freestyle skiers and snowboarders vying for spots in the national championships later this winter. Both events are spectator-friendly on the Arena grounds, directly across from the base clubhouse.

Phil Johnson can be reached at [email protected]

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