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Gunstock vs Ragged vs Pats

Savemeasammy

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Have you considered mt. Sunapee? Perhaps a similar drive as gunstock and ragged. No night skiing, but they do have a few decent glades, a seeded bump run, and a HSQ. To be real, none of these areas is challenging. The others all have one-and-done potential. Sunapee is probably the only (other than my home mt. Pats) that I would revisit. My own humble opinion of ragged: I skied there once back in the day (I think it was one peak at that point circa 1990). It was nasty cold, and I left after 3 runs. You can't fix flat ;) ! My recollection of gunstock is that it was more fun. Busy mountains are busy for a reason...
 

Bostonian

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After being a season passholder of Gunstock for the season, I think i will be re-upping again. Some of the great things about Gunstock as mentioned earlier, the trails from the summit are much much different than that of the Tiger pod, or the Pistol pod. Gunstock does have nightskiing (didn't get to take advantage of it this year though), and when it does snow, they do have a few glades that keep it interesting. The other great thing is that the staff are really great and super friendly.

Some of the downsides are that it skis much smaller than it is... The runouts are kind of a pain and if you're coming around from the flintrock side, unless you take Derringer (which intersects a few trails), you have to make your way back to the HSQ which can be a little bit of a hike. In terms of other mountains, I haven't been to ragged in a few years, but I do remember that their snowmaking pales in comparison to Gunstock. The other pass I am looking at is the Cannon, Waterville, Bretton Woods and Cranmore pass.

Hard to decide though.. Maybe I will pull the trigger on both!
 

hammer

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Had a pass at Pats a few years ago which was good because I did some night skiing...but as others have written it's a smallish place and it gets old fast. Would only have a pass if the drive were shorter (less than 30 minutes).

Between Gunstock and Ragged I'd choose Gunstock. More options from the top, bigger overall. Yes Ragged has more glades but I think you would do better at Gunstock in a lean snow year (which we've had a fair share of lately). Also easier to get to Gunstock from the main roads.

Crotched's definitely improved with the HSQ but in all honesty it's not that much bigger than Pats. It's also harder to get to. If you like lapping moguls they are doing more to incorporate bumps into their runs.

I for one want to figure out where else to go next season. Even places like Loon are starting to feel old. Reality for me is that I just don't get out enough to justify a pass.
 

57stevey

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What a pass would have done for me this season is to give me more ability to ski on weekends and holidays, which for me are intolerably crowded everywhere except... Ragged. And I love the Spear side, so that's my vote.
 

Quietman

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700 ft vs 1000 ft. Skis bigger, IMO.

Most ski areas fib on their vertical, and I was disapointed when Crotched claimed 1000' with the additional of the Rocket. It's actually a little over 900', you have to hike to the true summit where the cell towers are to get 1000'. Pat's only exagerates their vertical by 30' +/-, as thiers is more like 675'. Crotched skis bigger because it is bigger and dosen't have flat runouts at the bottom.

What kills me about Pat's is that they are spending a lot of dough to open up a couple of trails on the east side with a used triple with a vertical drop of LESS THAN 350'! I don't get it at all! Why they aren't investing in a high speed lift?

I can easily get 10+ runs per hour at Crotched vs. 5-6 at Pat's, and the Crotch can blow a ton of snow with their tower mounted fan guns, and their glades were amazing this spring. I have only very rarely seen lines for the rocket, and as a single I've never waited.

It also doesn't hurt that it's a 20 minute drive from my house.

I really liked Ragged but it's a pain to get to and the snowmaking firepower is laking. Sunapee is nice but I don't care for the weekend crowds. I've never been to Gunstock, if I'm going north, I'd rather hit Cannon or Loon.
 

deadheadskier

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While many are mentioning the poor quality of Ragged's snowmaking, it should be mentioned it has improved every year for the past 3-4 seasons; I expect that trend to continue. They have a ways to go to be able to expand terrain early season as quickly as the other Southern NH areas, but it's a far cry from what it was 2-3 years ago.

I guess my feeling with all the areas is you need to adjust expectations down a bit for their short comings and enjoy them for what the are. I had a pass to Ragged for two years and loved the limited crowds on the weekends and glades when they were open. I've had a pass to Gunstock the past two seasons and will be getting one there again next year because it's the most convenient place for me to go and they have good snowmaking and grooming. Both are a good value. Both places I end up skiing well less than half of my season ski days at.
 

riverc0il

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I'm sure the Switzerland argument has really helped the OP decide which is the best option for him. :lol:

Nothing wrong with pointing out the pluses and minuses of a given area. Ragged is weak on snowmaking compared to other mid-sized central and southern NH areas. Pretty much a cut and dry fact, there. No one is (ehm) ragging on Ragged, just calling it like it is.
 

deadheadskier

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Ragged is weak on snowmaking compared to other mid-sized central and southern NH areas. Pretty much a cut and dry fact, there. No one is (ehm) ragging on Ragged, just calling it like it is.

Maybe so, but what I'm saying is they've improved more than people who haven't been there in a few seasons realize. They can refill the snowmaking pond pumping from the bog 3 times faster than the 2010-2011 season and push 25% more water uphill since that time. Exhibition and Flying Yankee have brand new tower mount guns and are fully automated. In total, they've installed over 200 new low e tower guns over the past two seasons. Thats a crap load of guns for a mountain it's size. Three seasons ago I would caution those about their weak snowmaking, but I wouldn't do so today. Not as good as the rest yes, but more than adequate and quickly closing the gap on the competition.
 
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