There is nothing quite so much fun as skiing with someone special and Monday morning I got to do that at Ragged Mountain in Danbury, New Hampshire, with Mary. Mary is on the cusp of becoming a teenager which means she is full of energy and spirit. That made for a great day on the mountain.
Ragged Mountain, what is the snow like?
First, I have to talk about conditions because people south of the mountains don’t know that there is snow on the trails even when the city is bare. Ragged has 85 percent snow making coverage and the snow on the trails Monday was good to excellent. At the very top of the mountain there were a few spots where the snow cover was down to hard pack, but in general these were avoidable and were undoubtedly covered overnight.
The snow over the trails was very good, packed powder with just enough loose stuff to make turns a joy and without any lumps. These conditions were a great surprise because Ragged, one of the closest of the New Hampshire resorts to the greater Boston area, is also in the zone that tends to rain. The snow makers at Ragged have done a great job keeping the trails open and enjoyable.
Lesser known but worth the trip
Ragged Mountain is one of the lesser known ski areas in New Hampshire, but not less in what you get for your money. It has 55 trails spread over the slopes of Ragged Mountain and Spear Mountain. All of this territory is served by seven lifts. Included among them is the state’s only six-pack lift, which takes skiers/riders to the top of Ragged Mountain. The second peak, Spear Mountain, is served by a triple.
While some of the trails were closed on Monday, most of them were open in all skill categories, including the nominally green trail Blueberry Patch-Lower Chute which allows novice skiers to ski from the top of Ragged Mountain to the bottom, a great confidence builder for those just beginning and an enjoyable way to warm up on the first run of the day. Unfortunately, the nice green cruiser from the top of Spear, Cardigan-Turnpike was closed Monday, but it is a great run and good confidence builder for less experienced skiers.
Most of the expert territory at Ragged Mountain lies in the ravine between the two peaks. Exit the lift to the right at the top of the Ragged six-pack or to the left on the top of Spear. Ragged has a vertical drop of about 1,250 feet and some nice runoffs over the shoulders of the mountains, which make very enjoyable skiing and riding.
A bit for non-skiers and tired skiers as well
Ragged has just added a ten-lane tubing park, so if there is anyone in the party that doesn’t feel up to skiing point them in the direction of the tubing lanes, located over in the Beginner’s Basin area. Tubing is available is two-hour segments Fridays 1 to 3 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 9 am, 11 am, 1pm and 3pm and Sundays at 9 am, 11 am, 1pm. Each two-hour segment is $23 per person, but check for specials, last Monday they were $19.
Better yet, anyone who wants to try skiing or boarding can buy a Learn to Slide package which includes equipment rental, a lower mountain lift ticket, skiing/snowboarding lessons and a two-hour tubing session for only $89.
Getting to Ragged
Ragged is about 100 miles from the greater Boston area. There are two alternate routes. The first is to take I-93 North to Exit 23 onto Rt. 104 for about 20 minutes through the Town of Bristol. The Ragged Mountain Road, will be on your left. The alternative is to take I-93 to Exit 17 onto Rt. 4 West for about 30 minutes into Danbury. Turn right onto Rt. 104 for about a mile. Ragged Mountain Road will be on your right.