Ragged Mountain Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Back in the mid-1980s Ragged Mountain was known more for an obscure hiking trail along its rugged ridgeline than its history as a ski area. But that image continues to change due to the many improvements and upgrades the area has made.

Back then, Ragged's lifts were in disrepair and the base lodge was badly in need of renovations. Over the years Ragged has grown outward and upward from its core of trails to encompass much of the mountain's ridgeline, bowls, and glades. The lift system is now up to nine, including a 6-passenger detachable chair. A modern snowmaking system covers 98% of the trails, and two classic New England-style lodges grace the base area.

Recently, the property was sold to RMR-Pacific, an affiliate of Utah resort developer Pacific Group, who plans to make a number of exciting improvements to the resort and bring it to the next level, including updating the grooming fleet and snowmaking capabilities, repairing and updating the lifts, and making improvements to the base lodge facilities. Beyond that there are plans to improve Ragged's golf course, add condominiums, a swimming and tennis club, a fitness center, and a children's adventure center; and finally expand the snowmaking and irrigation ponds to allow for fishing or canoeing. All of which are geared towards make Ragged a true four season resort.

From the basic area that Ragged used to be, some fine steeper terrain has been added, including a large area of glades. Skiers and riders who stood on the summit in the early days of Ragged's revival and thought that a particular swath of the mountain would harbor some fine lines have frequently found their wishes fulfilled. A major expansion onto Spear Mountain, the other high point on the ridge, opened up a set of steep trails and glades on Spear itself and in Spooks Gorge between Spear and Ragged's true summit. Even more recent is the expansion into Big Rock Basin. Capping it all off is a six-pack chair, which accesses everything except the terrain right on Spear Mountain.

Beginners have their own chair, the Barnyard Triple, which serves a separate set of trails, but can also put together a couple of fine runs from the top of both peaks. Cardigan Turnpike off Spear Mountain is an especially scenic green circle cruise. Likewise Flying Yankee fills the same purpose for intermediates, although it is by no means the only choice rated blue. For advanced skiers and riders, Showboat and Sweepstakes fill the bill for top to bottom fun with a black diamond flavor. For some serious challenge, Double Take and Joe's Ravine, both gladed, demand attention throughout their full length. All abilities will find a wealth of choices for their skills, from short shots like Blueberry Patch (a green trail off the top of the six-pack) to Jason's Alley (a traditional narrow black diamond that ends with a steep drop in full view of the six-pack) to Glades, a true intermediate glade that runs the full vertical served by the Northeast Peak Double.

A half pipe, terrain park, and tubing park complement the snowplay choices. The terrain park features a skier/boardercross course where you and your friends can go head-to-head. All-out it isn't for the faint of heart; taken slower it almost misses the point.