Gunstock vs Ragged vs Pats

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  1. #1
    MadPadraic's Avatar
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    Gunstock vs Ragged vs Pats

    I'm contemplating getting a pass to one of these for my "day-trip" mountain next year. I'm leaning towards Gunstock because of night skiing and its slightly shorter drive time from Boston. Why should I choose Ragged over Gunstock? Is one much more aggressive in terms of opening terrain or extending the season?


  2. #2
    Paging DHS.....this is right in your wheelhouse buddy. I prefer ragged myself. Best tree skiing of the 3 and T2B continuous vertical. Gunstock can get busy on mid winter Saturdays while i don't think ragged ever has many lines. Depending on where ur coming from u could also consider Crotched
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  3. #3
    Pat's is probably too small to keep you engaged all season and the slow chairs make it slower to lap. Ragged has better glades and the 6-pack eats lines pretty well. Gunstock's night skiing is only serviced by slower chairlifts and not to the summit. I'd consider Crotched, Wildcat, Attitash pass, you get nights and quick trips to Crotched and two larger mtns that are day trippable still from Boston.
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  4. #4
    I'm a pass holder at Pats. To be honest, Pats is a small, family-oriented mountain. It doesn't have a ton of vertical, and their glades are pretty weak. However, to it's credit, it's still a pretty decent little mountain. They seem to have a decent budget, which translates to pretty good snowmaking (100%) coverage. I recall once this season that I waited in a line that I was annoyed about. It turned out to be 15 minutes! For me, it's all about the night skiing. I live less than 15 minutes away, and the whole mountain is lit up (except for one beginner trail). They also offer their passholders ticket deals to Sunapee (before Pats is open and after they close) as well as Jay (I think it is half price).

  5. #5
    Wouldn't choose Pats... run outs are pretty long for the amount of true skiing there but of course it's a different ballgame if you live close by. When I went there, I was bored and ended up leaving in 3 hours; and that's coming from the mouth of someone who usually skis bell to bell (or the best I can do otherwise w/ extraneous constraints) and yes, I did 5 days at Waterville; 3 of them being bell to bell and the other 2 being weekend days 1 hr from that. Gunstock provides great vertical through the HSQ but the Attitash/Wildcat/Crotched combo is quite good as well as you can get some variety there.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by xwhaler View Post
    Paging DHS.....this is right in your wheelhouse buddy.
    Ragged has the best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had in my life, so of the three, I'd get a pass there.

  7. #7
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    I've only been to Gunstock and Pats. The drive from Boston to Pats is simple and fast. The service there is great and the folks are real friendly. If you have kids it is a good place. But other than that you will probably get bored. They do blow a ton of snow and the expert terrain, though short, is legit. Nice bar. The new area that they are adding is not going to change things IMHO. Still 700 vertical feet with maybe the bottom 100 feet or so being pretty flat.

    Gunstock was interesting...when the HSQ is running it makes the place feel pretty big. The upper mountain is very different than the lower portions. And the night skiing is the lower sections as said. The lodge is old school. I never drove there from Boston, but I don't consider it to be too easy...about the same as Ragged actually in that you have to leave the highway and drive for a while. But then again it is probably much more direct to take 16 off of 95.

    The Crotched/Snow/Attitash may be a good option as said because you get some variety there. It will be interesting to see what the deals will be. Ragged, from what I've been hearing, has been doing OK.
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  8. #8
    MadPadraic's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I should mention that I'll have other passes, so I'll likely get my woods fix at these further away places. Is there any appreciable difference in season length either in terms of official opening/closing or how long it takes them to actually most of the terrain open?

  9. #9

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    Of the three you mention, Ragged is my favorite. Unfortunately they are probably on the slower end of opening but usually last longer into spring. Ragged's main lift is very fast and of the options they have the best terrain. The food in their lodge is reasonably priced and very good quality for a ski area. The whoopie pies are amazing. This is an under appreciated mountain, probably because it is far from the highway so people would rather drive the extra 30 minutes to Waterville / Loon / Cannon.

    I agree that you should strongly consider the Crotched / Attitash / Wildcat pass. The two mountains up north would be a great extra option for bigger mountains. Crotched probably has the best snow making and is fastest to open in NH. Their night skiing goes the latest and they have a HSQ now. Ski until 3am? Yes sir! The lodge is simple but functional. Unfortunately there aren't any easy routes off the summit for novices. This place has become popular with the locals from the Peterborough / Nashua / Manchester / Lowell area.

    I see no reason to even consider Pat's Peak. It is small, gets crowded, and has slow lifts.

    Gunstock has the most vertical of the options. However, their night skiing is not impressive. They only operate the slow lifts on the lower mountain. The mountain also lacks continuous vertical as their is an awkward flat stretch in the middle of all the runs. Their HSQ is nice, but it gets crowded on weekends. In comparison, lift lines are absolutely unheard of at Ragged or Crotched. I think the market that keeps Gunstock going is all the people with second homes in the lakes region.
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  10. #10
    I think Ragged has the best natural terrain in So NH. The 6-pack does get crowded on the weekends and holidays, but there's never a line on the Spear Triple. I'd say they're middle of the road in terms of opening terrain and staying open late. Not spectacular, but they recover well from freeze/thaws. A little conservative in dropping ropes.

    I have much less experience in Gunstock, but I believe they would have better snowmaking coverage. Night skiing too, if you can take advantage of it. I was surprised to see that they have the same vertical as Ragged. Last time at Gunstock, if felt like it skied a lot smaller.

    Agreed that Pats doesn't compare to the other two. Unless you have young kids that would be in the ski school, or you live really close by, I wouldn't consider it as an option.

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