I would suggest that any of you looking for some great skiing in NH should check out Ragged Mountain. For those of you who don't know, I worked in the RM Ski School (aka Learning Center) for 10-seasons from 1997 until 2007. This was my first return to Ragged since I left and since the new management/ownership has taken over.
They have made a lot of improvements to the amenities including the lodge, the cafteria, and the bar. "ragged employee" spent a great deal of time with me and was a most gracious host. (By the way, "ragged employee" is a big shot at the mountain and I suspect for him to call himself "ragged employee" would be like Barack Obama calling himself, "american citizen".)
My interest at any mountain is primarily in the skiing. The lift system with the 6-pack is wonderful. 6-minutes to the top. I might have spent my entire day there, but that would have short-changed me from the excellent runs on Spear Peak. For the beginner, they have a Magic Carpet; for the novice, they have the Barnyard. And there are also green circle runs off every lift.
For those who like cruisers they have every pitch from the steep Showboat on Spear to "Easy Winder" that loops through the Big Rock Area of the mountain..
For those who like bumps there are intermediate bumps on Raggae Glade and some more advanced bumps on Birches, Sweepstakes and the Ragged Edge (although the old sign for Claudes Glade is still there.)
And Ragged's glades in the Ravine (formerly Spooks Gorge) are some of the best in NH. And while "Joes Ravine" has been renamed "Not too Shabby", Gobblers Knob (formerly Jeffrey's Journey) and "Tree Hugger" aren't too shabby either. The very tops of Rags to Riches, Double Take and Triple take were closed due to traffic on the weekend which exposed the ledge. But there were many legal ways to get in just below the top.
They have a terrain park that looked fine to me, but I am not a terrain park officionado, so I have no idea if it is a good park.
Given the abundance of Mother Nature bounteous snow fall, I can't judge their snowmaking system. "ragged employee" volunteered that one line of the snowmaking system was inoperative, but by the time that will matter (i.e. next winter), it should be fixed. My guess is that where they have snowmaking capability they have used it. The evidence: For anyone who knows what`the top of Flying Yankee looks like without snow, the quantity of snow there is impressive!
So all-in-all Ragged has the product; no crowd to speak of; and a collection of trails and lifts that should meet everyone's needs for as long as there is no major thaw.
They do have ambitious growth and expansion plans, but even without them, Ragged will give their guests a great day of skiing.
I was there on 2/1 again, and I agree, it's a great place. This year was my first time trying the place out as an adult so unfortunately I don't have anything to compare it to... but they are close, cheap, and the snow has been great.
If you have the Ride & Ski savings card thing, you get 2-for-1 tickets all season, no blackouts/restrictions.
I would note that Showboat has gone from being marginally covered 2 weeks ago to having good depth. And it's fun. Only about half the width is open, there is a rocky ravine across the trail skiers right about halfway down that would take a ton of base to make skiable -- but even so all of Spear is a really good time.
The only less than excellent thing I found this weekend was Cemetery Gates, mostly ice with some ragged (ha!) bumps on the way down. Not recommended.
The Mountain Dew challenge needs a vodka co-sponsor... If you promise not to fall I'll race against you... Can you do those little choppy turns that make you go fast?... Well, I'm high on life and marijuana... It's not called dead man's hill, it's called Headwall... Snowboarding is actually harder on the Wii than it is in real life....
... Only about half the width is open, there is a rocky ravine across the trail skiers right about halfway down that would take a ton of base to make skiable -- but even so all of Spear is a really good time...
That area actually has a separate trail name. It used to be called Claude's Glade, but I forget the new name. It was open and quite skiable when I was there. As someone not fond of cruisers, I chose that way down rather than the groomed headwall.