Ragged Mountain - The end of the season approaches.
With the temperatures rising and the snow melting, spring is finally in the air here in New England. As any true skier knows, the realization that spring has arrived is a somber one indeed. The thought of being unable to ski for 6+ months starts to set in and you realize you will not be skiing for some time. With that in the back of my mind, I set out to make the few remaining days left in the season as awesome as possible.
I got to Ragged around 9:30 or so, booted up and jumped right on the lift. I know I have been to Ragged in the past, but I could not remember anything about the mountain, so it was basically another new experience for me. Ragged is by no means the biggest mountain around, nor known for anything in particular that I can think of (other than having the only 6-pack lift in New Hampshire). That being said, I really enjoyed my time at Ragged. I started the day off warming up on the edge trails around the mountain, stopping to snap photos and fumble with my boots occasionally. After making my way around the edges of the mountain, I decided to take a go at the glades. I sure am glad I dared to go into the glades so late in the season, as I had a pretty good time. Cover was thin in some places as to be expected in April, but it was not unmanageable. I was quite impressed by the glades I skied, nothing super technical, but certainly fun. I started with 'Rags to Riches', and later in the day found an entrance to 'Not too shabby' that I am guessing ski-patrol forgot to close off.
'Rags to Riches' was a fairly easy ride, 'Not too Shabby' however was a whole different ball-game. I am guessing it normally would not have been too hard of a run, but the heavy rain we have gotten over the last week really ran the trail bare. I found mandatory airs over fairly large patches of dirt and rock quite exhilarating. Make sure you bring your rock skis.
During my laps around the mountain, I noticed some prime gaps to be had under the Spear Mountain Triple on 'Showboat'. I was more than happy to make several laps down the un-groomed side of 'Showboat' jumping over everything I could find.I even got some applause from some of the people on the chair.
With most of the mountain covered, and my legs getting sore from hammering through the mashed-potato snow, I decided it was time for the park. The first one I came across was a nice little boarder-cross course located on 'Main Street'. It was nothing spectacular, but I really, really love a good boarder-cross course, and I wish more mountains would have them.
Just below the ski-cross course, I ran into the progression park. It was fairly clear that this park was pretty much done for the season, as one rail had recently been removed, and the lips to all the features were pretty shot. I tried to jump on the long side-entry rail they had, only to have the lip crush under my skis when I tried to pop. That was it for that park for the day.
I finally made my way to the main park, located on 'Wild Side'. It is a fairly long park, with a much heavier focus on jumps than most parks. These are not massive 60 footers though, these are all jumps that almost everyone I know would be more than comfortable hitting. If you want to work on your air-game, Ragged is not a bad place to do it. Interspersed throughout are a variety of rails.The two stand outs being an Up-Down-Up rail and a wavey box. I made it all the way to the end of the Up-Flat-Up before catching my edge on a burr on the rail and face-planting off of it mere inches from completion. I couldn't manage to stay on the wavey box past the first wave though, which really irked me.
After half a dozen hot-laps through the park, the Six pack started having mechanical issues, causing me to sit on it half way up for around 15 minutes. After another lap and seeing it stopped again, I decided to call it quits. I did not feel like having to be rescued off a lift this season.
I will say, other than some minor mechanical issues, I really did enjoy my time at Ragged. I will most definitely be coming back next year at some point. For a mountain so close to home, I don't know why I haven't been more often. Another thing I do like, is that the whole mountain can be accessed by two lifts. Simplicity in navigating a mountain goes along way in my book. Finally, Ragged is in the process of expanding the mountain to a third peak, so soon there will be even more skiing to be had.
For those of you counting, this installment of the GTNS is mountain number 28. This means I am all done with resorts. I have my Gunstock piece, which as I have been saying all season, will be out soon. The only other mountain I have left to do is the infamous Tuckerman Ravine. Keep your eyes open for the final two chapters of the tour!
Keep on Shredding NS!