Back in 2021, when the prior owner of Granite Gorge in New Hampshire announced that they would be closing for good, I thought its life as a ski resort would conclude there. Then there was a plot twist. Last year, the property went into foreclosure and was won at auction by a group of local investors. Since then, they have worked extensively to get the mountain back open for the 2022-23 season.
When they toured the property, they had their work cut out for them: a lot of the trails had been overgrown, and the equipment had been severely neglected. During the 2022 offseason, they renovated the base lodge, added new snowmaking equipment, bought new tubing and rental gear, repaired the lifts, reclaimed the trails, and built a new website. The mountain officially opened on January 14th, with its rope tow and tubing park operating. In February, they opened up the Pinnacle Double Chairlift.
Last week, I got to visit Granite Gorge for the first time. Conditions were excellent during the day that I visited. Temperatures were well above freezing, so the snow was super soft and very carvable. The steep terrain means that you can pick up quite a bit of speed, even for a mountain with just a 525-foot vertical drop. My favorite runs were Paradise and Main Street.
The terrain layout is pretty simple. A double chairlift services all of the terrain. The first two-thirds up the mountain are relatively steep, with the steepest pitch being on the lower portion of Main Street. The upper third of the mountain is where the steepest runs on the mountain are: Lift Line and Venture Out.
The ski resort has put a major emphasis on terrain parks. Keith Kreischer, who is the General Manager of Granite Gorge, has extensive experience in the terrain park sphere. He’s previously worked as the terrain park director at the Nashoba Valley, and the terrain park manager/snow surfaces manager at Windham Mountain. This extensive experience has led to great snow quality and a solid terrain park network for its first season under new ownership.
This offseason will be a busy one for Granite Gorge. Offseason activities will be a major priority for the mountain, with the construction of a downhill mountain biking park set to begin after their winter operations end. Throughout the summer and fall, they’ll be hosting a variety of events, which have yet to be formally announced. They will also have the Roxbury Lounge & Grill, which is in their base lodge, open on weekends.
In terms of improvements for the 2023-24 ski season, snowmaking will be a priority. Granite Gorge will be adding snowmaking capabilities to Central Square, which will host another terrain park with medium to large features.
Another trail will be added between Main Street and Lift Line to better service the racers. The upper portion of Main Street doesn’t feature snowmaking, so getting a trail in between that would be able to give them snowmaking capabilities.
If you’re ever around Southern New Hampshire, go check this place out. With its focus on year-round activities and events, it’ll be a great spot to explore, even during the offseason. I’m glad to see Granite Gorge bounce back and have ownership and a General Manager that are committed to making it a community staple.
Image Credits: Granite Gorge Mountain Park, Ian Wood Of Unofficial Networks