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Best Small New England Ski Areas

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Brian
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Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 2:18 AM GMT

MY LIST WOULD BE--

1-pats peak
2-crotched mt
3-beast
4-wachusett mt
5-bradford .........................................brian o

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JerryG
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Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 2:57 AM GMT

With 2100 vertical feet and 50 + trails, (not to mention the 10 trails and 3 lifts planned for the next three years) Saddleback does not fit the bill as "small." It has a small feel to it with slow lifts and t-bars, but it's a very big mountain. It just happens to be a little off the beaten path.

A couple of good small areas might be Camden Snow Bowl, especially for the views from the top, and Balsam's Wilderness - not challenging, but a wonderful place to ski.

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rickbolger
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Great Gorge, NJ



Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 1:35 PM GMT
Edited: Sep 21, 2006 - 3:47 PM GMT

Quote:
tell me why it's so great. like it's traditionally a beginner hill so the few steeps don't get skied...or there's a great local-yocal bar...or operations will let you build jumps...stuff like that.


I drive all morning and most of the afternoon, finally arrive in Jackson around 2:30. I still have to park, get my gear, put on my boots, so I get to the ticket window a couple minutes before 3:00. Too late to bother? They sell me tomorrow's ticket since it's after 2:00. I don't wait on any lift lines. I've been there many times, yet I always seem to find some little chute or stash I never saw before. I see tracks where people jump off rocks (not me) or ski through the woods. A typical run might start with a narrow drop from the summit, open into a wide bowl, back into a traditional narrow trail, then open up into a pasture. At 4:00 I move into the uncrowded LostBo Pub, have a Tuckerman's draft for $3. while a guy with a guitar sings "Sundown." Is that worth my $30? you bet. So when I come back with tomorrow's ticket and ski all day, it's like I'm skiing for free. Wait for a good, solid snowfall and make sure everything's open, usually late January.

[edit: just in case someone isn't familiar, I'm referring to Black Mt NH]
AlpineZone
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Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 2:20 PM GMT

I learned to really love Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT last season. The fact that it's 25 minutes from my house helps and it's a great night skiing option. Nice lodge, cool vibe, some okay pitch on a few runs. and they set up one helluva seeded bump run (see attached) last season. My daughter will be learning there this year.
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jgreco
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Posted: Sep 21, 2006 - 2:24 PM GMT

yeh rickbolger, that's awesome. exactly what i was hoping to hear.

this thread is great. thanks so much everyone! that saddleback vid is awesome!



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jb66
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 1:14 AM GMT

Another vote for Midd Snow Bowl...fits the 'small' criteria, has varied and fun terrain, no crowds (ever), cheap eats in the new lodge, great retro feel.
riverc0il
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 1:29 AM GMT

Quote:
II tend to use the metric of 1000 feet vertical as small. As such, I would find nothing small about Magic, Ascutney, Black (NH or ME), etc.

black mountain is only 1100, so while not meeting your exact metric of 1000, it is mighty close and i find quite a bit about black mountain small.

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riverc0il
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 1:31 AM GMT

Quote:
While the ethos of Black Mt., NH may be MRG, I would suggest that the trails in MRG's Birdland are more exciting and challenging than the most difficult runs at Black.


dude, have you skied black mountain? there is some stuff at black that could easily match up with many of the blue squares at mrg. i wouldn't compare black to mrg, but to compare black to birdland is off base.

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katbennett
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 2:22 AM GMT

King Pine in Madison NH is a very sweet fun little mountain. It has about 800 feet; Pitch Pine is said to have the steepest pitch in nh - too bad it's so darn short. And some nice tree skiing. They have night skiing with nearly all their trails open so that is fun also.
teachski
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 3:34 AM GMT

How about Bousquet? It's a kind of cool place to visit. There is a lot of ski history in that little place too! I find it more fun to ski there at night though.

Ski Ward is a cool little place that thinks it is bigger than it is. You have to watch out there though, there are a lot of school groups.

Pine Ridge is extremely small and only has a t-bar. What it lacks in vertical and lifts it makes up for in it's service, restaurant and food service and personnel (particularly the patrol director, I've heard she is awesome!)

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joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 3:43 AM GMT

FYI. King Pine lists in the White Book as 350 feet vertical. The one day I skied there was very pleasant and I agree with the earlier poster who suggested there were some good, albeit short, steeps.

I (and I suspect most readers of this forum) can have fun anywhere I (we)can make some turns, but I can't think of an area with less than 500 feet of vertical to which I'd drive for more than an hour (unless I just wanted to add a area to the list of places I've been.)

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jimk
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 5:11 PM GMT

New guy jgreco starts fun and informative thread for non-New Englanders like me.

-Go to Cannon, ski old Mittersill.
-Isn't there some tough terrain/glades at Haystack? Can the public get in there anymore?
-Heard good things about Plattekill, NY - in the MRG/Magic vein, never been.
-In the "Saddleback category of too big to qualify, but still underutilized: maybe Pico, Ragged, and Smuggs?
JerryG
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 6:19 PM GMT

Quote:
New guy jgreco starts fun and informative thread for non-New Englanders like me.

-Go to Cannon, ski old Mittersill.
-Isn't there some tough terrain/glades at Haystack? Can the public get in there anymore?
-Heard good things about Plattekill, NY - in the MRG/Magic vein, never been.
-In the "Saddleback category of too big to qualify, but still underutilized: maybe Pico, Ragged, and Smuggs?



Ragged is not in the same catagory as Saddleback. They may have a 6-pack, but the terrain and vert don't compare.

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4aprice
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ


Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 6:41 PM GMT

Quote:

-Heard good things about Plattekill, NY - in the MRG/Magic vein, never been.
-?


Not New England but the best 1100 foot vertical I've ever skied.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 7:04 PM GMT

JimK said:
Quote:
New guy jgreco starts fun and informative thread for non-New Englanders like me.

...
-In the "Saddleback category of too big to qualify, but still underutilized: maybe Pico, Ragged, and Smuggs?


I'm not sure that Saddleback and Pico don't qualify as being in a league of their own with regard to being over 1900 vertical and underutilized.

I wouldn't call Smugglers under-utilized.

Ragged is a different size from the other 3 mentioned. 1250 vertical is claimed but mapnut says otherwise. Similar size areas in NH would include Cranmore, Gunstock, Tenney, Black. Maybe even Pats, Whaleback, Dartmouth and Crotched.

Of the above group: If I were looking to avoid crowds on a busy weekend: Ragged, Tenney, Black, Whaleback and Dartmouth would all probably keep you out of long lift-lines. All other things being equal, I'd choose Ragged because of the HS 6-pack. (In the interest of full disclosure: I work for Ragged.)

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skier90
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windham, nh



Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 7:49 PM GMT

if your trying ragged out for the first time wait for a snow day, raggeds a dream with snow, without it it can be quit boring and it will be a much less enjoyable day than if it is with snow.
JerryG
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Posted: Sep 22, 2006 - 8:56 PM GMT

Quote:
if your trying ragged out for the first time wait for a snow day, raggeds a dream with snow, without it it can be quit boring and it will be a much less enjoyable day than if it is with snow.



I'd love to ski Ragged again. I think it's been since the late 80's since I was there. Besides, I've never been on a 6-pack, but I'm going ot Heavenly, so that will change.

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powderslut
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Vermont, South Central.


Posted: Sep 23, 2006 - 1:41 PM GMT
Edited: Sep 23, 2006 - 1:46 PM GMT

"i've never been to magic (just moved to the area this summer). after walking around the trails on weekends and staring at it through my office window every day or every time i drive to londonderry, it is on the top of my list of places to go. looks fun. anyone know what's up with timber ridge? who to call if i wanted to hike it? or drop in from magic? dont ask don't tell?"

Magic ought to be tops on your list, the only real steeps in Southern Vt. Although more than the 1000' criteria described in this thread, It has a small feel, but some pretty serious terrain. Timberridge is great, provided we have a good snow year. You should call Tim 802-362-2215(Mtn. Plumbing) to get permission. He is a great guy, and will most likely tell you to go have at it. As for dropping in on Magic, I'm sure you'll get at least one run in. If the conditions are there, probably all you'll need to convince you to buy a pass. I look forward to seeing you on both sides of the mountian.





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jgreco
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Posted: Sep 25, 2006 - 4:32 PM GMT

thanks jimk! i was hoping it would be fun to talk about. it's super fun to read the responses too. trying to shed the "newbie" skin.

i grew up on bosquet. 1 hr from my hometown and when my family first started going, tickets were $15. hauling arse down grand slalom... yeah. or ducking the rope under the yellow chair and ripping up your bases on those little rocks and stumps towards the top? anyone ever ski off the backside of the mtn? (straight ahead off of the yeallow lift there is a trail that you have to walk out of). i had a great run with my dad there in about 16 inches untracked side by side with the patroller who dropped the rope.

what do you all know about "big squaw" in maine? it's up there a ways on the map, i guess. any challenge?


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photogf128
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Posted: Sep 25, 2006 - 5:14 PM GMT

Quote:
thanks jimk! i was hoping it would be fun to talk about. it's super fun to read the responses too. trying to shed the "newbie" skin.

i grew up on bosquet. 1 hr from my hometown and when my family first started going, tickets were $15. hauling arse down grand slalom... yeah. or ducking the rope under the yellow chair and ripping up your bases on those little rocks and stumps towards the top? anyone ever ski off the backside of the mtn? (straight ahead off of the yeallow lift there is a trail that you have to walk out of). i had a great run with my dad there in about 16 inches untracked side by side with the patroller who dropped the rope.

what do you all know about "big squaw" in maine? it's up there a ways on the map, i guess. any challenge?


Big Squaw is a really nice hill in a beautiful location. They do have a big problem in that the main lift to the summit now only takes skiers up about halfway. The view from the summit of Moosedhead Lake below and Mt Katadin in the distant has to be one of New England's best. Don'y know when the lift will be fixed.


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