Last updated: December 21, 2020
Located southwest of the Lakes Region in New Hampshire, Ragged Mountain's 2,286 foot summit is one of the highest peaks in Merrimack County.|
Ragged Mountain had been considered for skiing dating back to the initial boom of the sport in the 1930s. In December 1937, the Boston Globe mentioned a "Winter sports center" in Danbury on the "eastern slope of Ragged Mountain at about 1500 feet above sea level."
A potential major development almost started in 1955, when a Danbury-based corporation named Ragged Mtn. Ski Area, Inc. was registered. In the fall of 1956, word began to emerge of a possible 1956-57 opening of Ragged Mountain ski area. Plans included a 4,000 foot Pomalift and a 300 foot rope tow, serving two trails and three slopes. Former Ascutney manager George Dunning was part of the project. The corporation was dissolved in 1959.
Another attempt was publicized in the spring of 1962. New London engineer Clyde Benedict announced a two-phase, $600,000 development that would be funded by selling chalet lots at the base of the mountain.
In early 1963, State Senator Arthur M. Drake sponsored a bill that funded the construction of access roads to two proposed ski areas, Willard Basin and Ragged Mountain. Of the two, only Ragged Mountain ski area would open.
In the spring of 1964, Governor John King approved a $300,000 Industrial Park Authority loan for the development of Ragged Mountain ski area.
Ragged Mountain Ski Area Finally Opens
With Dick Guild as President and Earle Chandler as General Manager, about $300,000 was spent to develop Ragged Mountain ski area for the 1964-65 season. Having just been involved with the cancelled Big Bear ski area, Chandler designed the trail layout. Part of a proposed 10 year, $3 million project, the initial phase of development included a Hall double chairlift and T-Bar. Described as a family area, two expert trails, two intermediate trails, a novice trail, and two novice slopes were expected for the debut season, spanning 80 acres. Long term plans included developing a year round resort with a golf course.
The base area circa the 1960s
Ragged Mountain likely opened at the beginning of January 1965, in the midst of a subpar winter. The area soon made regional headlines in February, as Boston Patriot star wide receiver Gino Cappelletti went skiing with Ragged Ski School Director Hans Jaeger.
Ragged Mountain developed a focus on slope safety during its early years, including having ski patrollers stop out-of-control skiers and issue them a ticket for a free lesson. Hans Jaeger noted that, "skiing is like driving a car; it is not necessary to go too fast. Once the fundamental turns are mastered, anyone can ski under control and have fun."
Though a second chairlift was planned for the Northeast Peak area soon thereafter, it would not come to fruition for decades. Instead, Ragged found itself in financial trouble. While ski patrol director Roger Pederson was promoted to General Manager for the 1967-68 season and would remain in that position for multiple years, the ownership would not. Late in the summer of 1968, Indian Head National Bank, holder of the state industrial authority backed loan, commenced foreclosure proceedings. In October 1968, Ragged was heading to the auction block.
The present day Village Green slope in the 1960s
A few hours before the mid-October auction was to take place, Virginia resident James Foote purchased a controlling interest in Ragged Mountain Corporation, rescuing the ski area. Foote also reportedly acquired an option on 1,000 acres of land near the ski area. In a letter to Danbury residents, Foote announced the corporation was studying the development "of a year round recreational community within Danbury." The town was apparently so enthused with the development that it put "Ski Ragged" on the cover of its 1968 Annual Report.
The 1968-69 season was a success, with business up a third over its previous record. Unfortunately, this was to be the only good season during Foote's tenure as owner.
Apart from the addition of the Sunnyside Trail in 1970, no sizable developments took place in the subsequent years. Instead, without snowmaking, Ragged was forced into bankruptcy following the disastrous 1973-74 season. Foote later estimated his losses from ownership of Ragged at $400,000.
Bankruptcy and Closure
In July of 1974, the State of New Hampshire purchased Ragged Mountain at auction for about $231,000. That fall, the state sold Ragged Mountain to a group including Bob Dunn, owner of Boston Hill ski area in Massachusetts. Combined season passes were eventually offered.
The Summit Double circa the 1970s
In an early 1979 review, Ski magazine described Ragged as having "a strange physical profile: It has no novice terrain, and very few truly expert trails." It also described base area accommodations as "only four rooms, for which the demand tends to be underwhelming."
Still lacking snowmaking, lean snow years in the early 1980s crippled the ski area. Operations likely ceased following the 1983-84 season. While an attempt was made to reopen the area for 1986-87, deferred maintenance was likely too big of a challenge to overcome.
Back from the Dead
In 1987, the Endriunas brothers of Endriunas Brothers, Inc. purchased Ragged Mountain from Bob Dunn's Ragged Mountain Recreational Area, Inc. for $875,000. The new owners immediately spent a quarter of a million to get the summit double chairlift operational, while announcing a three year plan that included snowmaking, a triple chairlift, and an expanded lodge. Al Endriunas told the Providence Journal, "we think we can be as good as King Ridge." Discussing the real estate potential, Endriunas told the Lowell Sun, "We own 1,600 acres of land around the mountain. You can make it Waterville Valley we have so much land."
The summit circa the late 1980s or 1990
Snowmaking was finally installed for the 1988-89 season, reportedly reaching the top of the mountain. Though a new T-Bar was also advertised for the 1988-89 season, the T-Bar served Meadows beginner area was likely developed for the 1989-90 season as part of a half million dollar expansion.
Investments continued for the 1990-91 season, as the Lift Line trail finally received its lift. In addition to the Northeast Peak chairlift, other improvements included a new base lodge and expanded snowmaking. The total outlay for 1990-91 improvements was nearly three quarters of a million dollars.
Snowmaking improvements continued with the 1991-92 season, coupled with three new upper mountain trails (Blueberry Patch, Cemetery Glades, and Jason's Alley).
Another quarter of a million was invested for the 1992-93 season, including the construction of a building atop the Northeast Peak chairlift and replacing the original Face T-Bar with a refurbished double chairlift on the Village Green slope. Snowmaking improvements also took place for 1992-93 and 1993-94.
With the closure of King Ridge in 1995, Ragged doubled down on expansion. A new wing was added to the skier services building while trails were cut on what was then called Kenniston Mountain. The new terrain debuted for the 1996-97 season as Spear Mountain. Served by a chairlift acquired from King Ridge, the new complex dramatically expanded the size of the ski area, while also providing more sustained steeps.
Improvements continued in 1998, when a triple chairlift was installed serving the novice Barnyard complex, while the barn-like base lodge expansion also took place.
In the summer of 1999, the hilly 18 hole Ragged Mountain golf course opened. Numerous wetlands, along with an 820 foot vertical change, quickly made the course known as one of the most challenging around. One year later, the Endriunas brothers took over Blue Hills in Massachusetts and attempted to market it as a feeder area for Ragged Mountain.
In the winter of 2002, Ragged opened the first high speed detachable six person chairlift in New Hampshire. Purchased at a discount after another ski area had cancelled an order, the new lift was seen as a key piece of a future expansion that would have made Ragged the largest ski resort south of the White Mountains. Foreshadowing future problems, the lift did not open until February, leaving the upper main mountain inaccessible for the first half of the season. The costs associated with the lift contributed to the eventual bankruptcy of the area. Nevertheless, Al Endriunas remained optimistic at the time, telling the Lowell Sun that, "we plan to keep expanding and upgrading Ragged every year until we develop the entire 2,000 acres into a high-quality, four season resort that's affordable for families."
Former general manager Earle Chandler passed away on March 12, 2005 at the age of 91.
More Financial Problems and a New Start
The financial situation fell apart during the 2006-07 season, as the ownership defaulted on a $4.75 million loan. In addition, the resort had accumulated over a quarter of a million dollars in local and Federal back taxes. On top of that, the Spear Mountain and Northeast Peak chairlifts were inoperable. After narrowly avoiding multiple auctions, the ownership sold Ragged to RMR-Pacific LLC, a subsidiary of Pacific Group, in May of 2007.
The base area circa the mid 2000s
With Bob Fries taking over as general manager, RMR-Pacific invested nearly two million dollars in snowmaking, lift, and base area repairs for the 2007-08 season.
Bob Ashton assumed the title of general manager after Bob Fries departed for Waterville Valley following the 2009-10 season.
On October 11, 2011, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved New Hampshire EB-5 Regional Center, LLC as a part of the EB-5 program. Under the EB-5 program, a foreigner can invest $1 million in an approved United States business (which must then create jobs), in exchange for a green card. With the region labeled a Targeted Employment Area, the minimum investment is cut in half to $500,000, making participating rural businesses such as Ragged Mountain more attractive. Jay Peak was used as a model for the development of the New Hampshire program. At the time of its offering, Ragged Mountain Resort hoped to raise $35 million from the EB-5 program.
Winter offerings were expanded for the 2013-14 season, as Ragged opened a brand new tubing area serviced by tower mounted fan guns and a magic carpet lift. The tubing facility operated sporadically in subsequent seasons.
For the 2014-15 season, Ragged Mountain replaced the Spear Triple with a new Doppelmayr high speed quad. In January, Ryan Schramm was promoted to general manager, as Bob Ashton departed to start a consulting business.
The Spear Mountain Quad (2015)
A major snowmaking pond expansion took place in 2016.
Prior to the 2018-19 season, Ryan Schramm was named general manager of Pacific Group's newest area, Powderhorn. Longtime Mt. Sunapee general manager Jay Gamble took over the reins at Ragged.
||Average Percent of Terrain Open
|November||7% (3 reports)|
|December||24% (46 reports)|
|January||41% (37 reports)|
|February||70% (38 reports)|
|March||75% (27 reports)|
|April||69% (10 reports)||
-- start conditions table -->
|Recent Conditions Reports|
|Mar. 27, 2023 by brianna|
Variable Conditions, Variable Conditions
|Mar. 18, 2023 by beccam|
Ice, Loose Granular
|Mar. 13, 2023 by brianna|
Loose Granular, Frozen Granular
|Mar. 2, 2023 by beccam|
Packed Powder, Packed Powder
|Mar. 1, 2023 by beccam|
Packed Powder, Packed Powder
|Ragged Mountain Resort on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com|
|Bob Dunn Passes Away - Apr. 21, 2023|
|Jay Peak Sale Process Kicks Into Gear - Aug. 2, 2022|
|Three New New Hampshire General Managers - Oct. 21, 2021|
|Ragged Mountain General Manager Jay Gamble Departing - Sep. 9, 2021|
|Multi-Area Passes Growing in Popularity - Mar. 6, 2019|
|Musical Chairs at Vail and Pacific Owned New England Ski Areas - Nov. 26, 2018|
|Construction Starts on Ragged Mountain Snowmaking Pond Expansion - Sep. 29, 2016|
|State Financing Approved for Ragged Mountain Snowmaking Pond Expansion - Sep. 7, 2016|
|Ryan Schramm Named General Manager at Ragged Mountain - Feb. 12, 2015|
|Ragged Mountain to Install High Speed Quad - Jun. 11, 2014|
|Ragged Mountain Resort NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page|
Click on lift name for information and photos
Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
||Season Pass Price
|2022-23||$114.00||$704.00||6.2 days||December 9||April 2|
|2021-22||$94.00||$699.00||7.4 days||December 3||April 3|
|2020-21||$94.00||$599.00||6.4 days||December 10||April 4|
|2019-20||$92.00||$519.00||5.6 days||November 29||March 15|
||Season Pass Price
|2018-19||$89.00||$499.00||5.6 days||November 30||April 7|
|2017-18||$79.00||$449.00||5.7 days||December 1||April 1|
|2016-17||$79.00||$449.00||5.7 days||December 8||April 2|
|2015-16||$79.00||$749.00||9.5 days||December 5||March 20|
|2014-15||$79.00||$749.00||9.5 days||December 5||April 5|
|2013-14||$73.00||$579.00||7.9 days||November 30||April 6|
|2012-13||$71.00||$529.00||7.5 days||December 1||April 7|
|2011-12||$71.00||$529.00||7.5 days||December 16||March 18||80,000|
|2010-11||$68.00||$499.00||7.3 days||December 4||April 3||80,000|
||Season Pass Price
|2006-07||$54.00||$815.00||15.1 days||December 26||March 18|
|2005-06||$52.00||$815.00||15.7 days||March 19||97,683|
|2004-05||$49.00||$815.00||16.6 days||December 11||April 1||97,683|
|2003-04||$49.00||$815.00||16.6 days||March 28|
|2002-03||$775.00||November 29||April 13|
|2001-02||$45.00||$775.00||17.2 days||December 11||April 7|
|2000-01||$675.00||November 25||April 15|
|1999-00||$38.00||December 4||April 2|
||Season Pass Price
|1997-98||$30.00||November 22||March 29|
|1996-97||$30.00||November 30||April 6|
|1993-94||November 27||April 3||55,842|
||Season Pass Price
||Season Pass Price
||Season Pass Price
|"I served in Korea with Joe Noonan of Manchester. When we got home, he called and asked me if I wanted to get involved in developing a ski area in NH? I said yes and sent him a check which he took around saying to his buddies, â€œWatch out, New York money is coming.â€ I was on the original board with Dick Guild. I skied up there with my kids and played to golf course many years later. Iâ€™m glad to see it doing so well.
Rye, NY 10580"|
|John Blumenthal, Apr. 10, 2019|
Ragged Mountain Resort - official site
Ragged Mountain - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide