Pat's Peak vs Wachusett vs Ragged Mountain for beginner

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  1. #1

    Talking Pat's Peak vs Wachusett vs Ragged Mountain for beginner

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking at one of these three learn to ski/snowboard packages. If I'm just learning and planning to go 6-10 times how package at what mountain would you suggest to get?
    Pats offers 4 lessons + rentals + season ticket with free rentals for the season for $350.
    Wachusett offers $200 for 2 lessons + $30 for the next free days with 2 days of rentals
    And Ragged offers free lessons with rentals + season ticket no rentals for $70.

    But it feels like Pats is a smaller mountain and I will get bored fast. I heard that Wachusett is icy to ski. And if I want to ski at Ragged this season then I'll have to get my own skis after completing of classes. There are downsides everywhere and I'm not sure what is more important for me. I'm leaning towards Ragged since it is bigger mountain, but I'm not sure if I will want to commit to one sport by being my own equipment by the end of classes. So, I'm lost a little.

    About me and what I see myself accomplishing this season: I live in Boston. I'm relatively new to snow sports. I took 3 snowboard lessons at Wachusett Mountain couple of years ago and I think if I ever to take classes again I would start with level 2 there (out of 5) for snowboard. This season I wanted to do more snowboard and probably try some skiing as well as to go and try some big mountain once or twice. In total I was thinking to go ski//snowboard about 6-10 times this season.

    Thank you very much.


    P.S. I looked at PEAK DISCOVERY PROGRAM but it is too far from Boston.

  2. #2
    Google says that Crotched is only a 10 minute longer drive than Pat's. There is rarely a lift line for any of the lifts, and conditions are generally very good. I don't know if the $99 Discovery rate on cyber Monday is only for kids or not, but I'd check it out. Also, google has Ragged at 1:50 from Boston, vs 1:20 for Pat's and 1:30 for Crotched.



    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Wachusett bunny hill (indian Summer) is perfect learning terrain and surface is well maintained, then to Ralph's Run you go once you are confident enough to handle the easy blue square pitch at the bottom. The rest of it is flat.

    Awesome learning terrain but weekends are nasty crowded unless you arrive - first weekend chair will go up at 0730 this year. You want to be on it.

  4. #4
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    I can only comment about Pats vs Wachusett. I was a passholder for two years at the former when I lived in Medford and did so because of the low cost, being with a newbie skier, the service, the length of season, and the value. Pats Peak actually is pretty decent in terms of terrain for its size and now has a whole new area I have never tried. The service was always great. The grooming and snowmaking were very good. The drive from Medford was very fast and easy. If you are on the south side it is a bit further. It generally is not overly crowded, except for POP on Saturday nights (if they still do it). Even then it is pretty manageable. Pats has a lot of good beginner and intermediate terrain. The transition from one level to the other is pretty easy to see what you are getting into. The place is very clean and well run.

    Wachusett has more vertical, two HSQs, and good ownership as well. It is further south so season can be shorter. Its terrain is also decent for its size. It is more crowded. They do (or at least did) regroom terrain during the day because of the traffic. It also is a bit more expensive. If you live west of the city, it is easier to get to but there is more traffic. You can take the T there I think.

    Ragged is a good option. I know a lot of folks ski there from here and it has VASTLY improved. A bit further of a drive though.

    Another option is Sunapee. It is about 20-25 mins further up 89 and has more vertical and terrain.

    Crotched is also another good option. It is a bit out of the way, but similar drive as Pats, has a HSQ, and has a bit more vertical.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  5. #5
    I finally sampled the new beginner terrain at Pat's last season with my 3 year old. I was very impressed. A lot of thought went into the trail design. Great character to the trails. Far more interesting than what is available for beginner terrain at Ragged or Wachusette.

    I think I'd still probably go with Ragged of those three if you think you will improve quickly. It is massive in comparison to the other two areas.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

  6. #6
    Ragged.

    It's beginner area is huge and very wide open. They offer two magic carpets and a learning area triple with great runs. They also offer top to bottom greens on both their peaks.

    Awesome mountain with very manageable crowds.

  7. #7
    Pat's or Ragged. Never Wachusett (stupid crowded).
    Both Pat's and Ragged are great for beginners, but with enough good terrain to graduate to.
    For me it would be which has the better financial deal.

  8. #8
    Smellytele's Avatar
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    While I really want to like Ragged. Their snow making is not something anyone would desire. When there is great natural it is good but for a beginner natural is not what one looks for. It is all about the grooming and snow conditions. Pats peak wins this aspect hands down over Ragged. Ragged wins on crowds but even then they only have 2 real lifts while pats can spread it out more across 6 lifts.
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  9. #9
    ^ I’m lost.....

    Ragged has great coverage for their beginner/cruiser terrain. Usually all covered by Christmas vacation if not a couple weeks after. They also have three lifts that beginners can access not including the surface lifts. Overall the mountain is usually less crowded than pats and the trails are much less interrupted. Pats is great but ragged has the edge when it comes to space.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Smellytele View Post
    While I really want to like Ragged. Their snow making is not something anyone would desire. When there is great natural it is good but for a beginner natural is not what one looks for. It is all about the grooming and snow conditions. Pats peak wins this aspect hands down over Ragged. Ragged wins on crowds but even then they only have 2 real lifts while pats can spread it out more across 6 lifts.
    I'd argue as important for beginners as lift crowds are, the on trail crowding and lodge crowding should be heavily considered too. Ragged I think is better (though I have not spent extensive time on the beginner terrain at either area, mostly just observed). For lodges, both places are slammed and need more lodge space. I've spent more time at Ragged than Pats, but would personally prefer the Ragged lodge situation than Pats.

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