Mount Southington reports that its Ski Patrol was named the Outstanding Eastern Division Alpine Patrol for the 2007-08 ski season.

This is an award given to the Ski Patrol that "accomplishes the most to further ski safety, advance their training, and be prepared to provide rescue services to the skiing public."

It reflects on the dedication, performance and commitment of the 75 members of the Mount Southington Ski Patrol.

Patrol Director Guy Oakes said half of his patrollers have more than 20 years experience, and half are senior level patrollers. Fifteen of his patrollers are women; at least six work on snowboards, and at least two are telemark skiers, he said.

"We're not a big mountain, but we're a big family mountain," Oakes said.

Patrollers cover three sessions of skiing: morning, afternoon, and night, seven days a week. Each member of the Ski Patrol works a minimum of two sessions per week.

Beyond keeping Southington's slopes safe, they run clinics and testing sessions on patrol skills around the region.

Oakes, like many of the Mount Southington Ski Patrol members, has been on skis for many years. Born in New Brunswick, he moved to the Naugatuck Valley as a boy, and stayed, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1961. He has been patrolling for more than 30 years, and has directed the Southington patrol since 1994, with no plans to stop.

Mount Southington has 25 trails, all covered by snowmaking and all open for night skiing, served by a triple chair, two doubles and five surface lifts.

The area offers a Premium Discount Card for $69 which gives holders discounts on lift tickets, including $20 off an 8 Hour Flex Ticket and $10 off a Night, 4 Hour Flex Ticket, or Sunset Ticket.