While I love getting up to the White Mountains to ski as much as possible during the winter months, sometimes I just don’t have hours to spare in the car. When I’m jonesing for a slope session without spending so much time driving, I hit a few of my favorite mountains that are a bit closer to home.
Gunstock Mountain: This mountain is only about two hours from Somerville, so it’s very do-able for a day trip. With varied terrain that caters to thrill-seekers and beginners alike, it’s a great place to take the whole family. Gunstock is a lot smaller than the mountains I wrote about in my White Mountains post, but it has a lot of local charm and the lift lines tend to be shorter. This is my “home” mountain when I’m visiting my family in nearby Meredith and I’ve spent many a fun day at Gunstock. The view from the top of a clear day is stunning (see above), so don’t miss it.
Ragged Mountain: I love Ragged because it’s off the beaten path of skiers trekking up from Massachusetts, so the lift lines tend to be really short (or nonexistent). It’s also a great place to take beginners or someone who hasn’t skied in a while. There is a decent amount of expert terrain, but like Gunstock, it’s much smaller than Bretton Woods, Cannon or Loon. Ragged has a lot of small-town, old-school charm and without the crowds, it feels like you’ve found a secret stash. In addition to awesome views on a clear day, it’ll only take you about two hours to get there.
Pat’s Peak: When I’m in need of a ski day but don’t have time to drive very far (or the weather is too bad to head farther north), Pat’s Peak is my pick. It takes only a little more than an hour to get there from Somerville and once you do, it’s so small that you get up the mountain in no time. With three lifts all servicing the mountain’s peak, you never wait long. This isn’t a fancy place with high-speed quads or heated gondolas, but I’ve had some of my most fun ski experiences here in the last few years. It’s my go-to spot after a huge storm, has really fun glades to play in and is quintessentially quaint.
What’s your favorite mountain that’s close to Somerville?