Ski for Free at Ragged Mountain

By: Reed Silvers, For The Clock

As winter in a pandemic drags on, hundreds are flocking to the ski slopes for COVID-friendly recreation. With the risk of indoor activities, a lot of people have found solace on the mountains. For those who don’t ski or board, now might be the perfect time to try. It could be a great way to break the online class funk.

However, skiing and boarding comes with a hefty price tag. The costs of lift tickets, gear, and gas to get to the resort adds up to be exorbitant. PSU students are incredibly lucky to get the $5 deal at Cannon Mountain. To put in perspective how unbelievable of a deal it is, the neighboring southern mountains of Loon and Waterville Valley cost an adult $108 and $102 for a single day weekend pass, respectively. Nevertheless, rental equipment for PSU students is still $16 at Cannon, making the effective cost for beginners $21. While experienced skiers with their own gear pay only $5, starters looking to rent equipment are not as lucky. While Cannon’s PSU deal is still relatively very cheap, the costs of multiple days of skiing with rentals would quickly mount up.

With Cannon as the home of Ski Day and $5 tickets, it can be easy to overlook Ragged Mountain in Danbury. However, this year, through their Bebe Wood Learn-to-Ski or Ride Program, they are offering a free, three lesson program with rentals included. Interested beginners can sign up online in advance for any Monday – Thursday until March 11. The lessonsrun from 10:00 am until noon, but $20 can be paid to stay through the afternoon.

While Ragged is no Cannon, and the skiing is only free for two hours, this deal may be just what is needed to get some beginners into the sport without any worry about cost. And while it is only weekdays, this is a perfect activity for PSU’s campus holiday coming up on Tuesday, March 9. Or, since Ragged is only about a half hour away, a lesson ending by 12:00 means plenty of time to get back for afternoon classes.

If you’ve been thinking about getting into skiing or snowboarding, there could not be a better time than this season. As an avid skier myself, I am always encouraging peers to try it out to see what a fun experience it can be. However, with resort prices the way they are, I don’t blame anyone for not taking part. Those who want to learn but have always been hesitant because of the costs, now is your chance.