With the winter season around the corner, the opportunities for local skiing, snowboarding and family fun are becoming even more important.

Luke Sweeney / Equinox Staff

Luke Sweeney / Equinox Staff

As the snow slowly makes its descent, the importance of affordability in the skiing and snowboarding community is becoming even more illusive.

However, local Keene business and Ski/Snowboard/Tubing mountain, Granite Gorge, is looking to draw in the younger generations and snow lovers with improved prices, family activities, good food, and the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of the mountain.

Coming up on the mountain’s 14th year of re-opening, Granite Gorge hopes to catch the attention of avid skiers and snowboarders who want a low price and a short drive to the mountain.

Located only 15 minutes away from Keene State College, Granite Gorge offers a $99 season pass to college students, with discounts on rentals.

For just $199, you can add unlimited tubing to that, making Granite Gorge the most affordable mountain in New Hampshire. There are 22 trails that skiers and snowboarders can explore on, the mountain containing natural beauty and being shielded from the harsher winds.

Adam Kaufman, the general manager at Granite Gorge Ski Area said he really hopes to draw more people in.

“We’ve been working on grooming the trails and getting the place ready. We just really want to draw in more people and Keene State students,” said Kaufman.

In anticipation for the season, Kaufman said they have a lot of cool things going on right now, that including the making of snow and maintenance of the lifts and equipment.

“We hope that this year more people come to Granite Gorge and see all the potential that this mountain has. It’s a great family area and we love to share it with families and local skiers and snowboarders,” said Kaufman.

Co-Owner of Granite Gorge Ski Area Fred Baybutt also believes in the mountains potential.

Baybutt said that this year they’re really trying to draw in more younger skiers/snowboarders and hoping to get new faces on the mountain.

Baybutt added that this year Granite Gorge is working to plan tubing events and create more apparel to advertise the mountain.

“Our prices are down 35 percent and just unbeatable. We really try to draw in families and local people who are looking for a affordable and fun way to enjoy the end of their day,” said Baybutt.

“There’s nothing like going up the lift and going down the mountain. The freedom you have (while skiing/snowboarding) is unbelievable,” added Baybutt.

Chris Fosher, a first-year at Keene State College and a snowboarder, thinks the opportunity to teach younger people, as well as get a free season pass is definitely a good deal and worth saving the money.

Fosher added the closeness of the mountain is also a huge perk.

For this winter season Granite Gorge is really trying to put the afford-ability and fun back into skiing and snowboarding.

“I see less and less younger people coming skiing. It costs $33 to ski or snowboard for a day, $18 per person to go tubing for two hours, and our food and drinks are cheap. I hope to see people taking more advantage of these deals this coming season and to get out and enjoy the mountain,” said Baybutt.

If you are interested in becoming an instructor at Granite Gorge for the winter season, e-mail snowsportsschool@granitegorge.com in order to apply.

Caroline Perry can be contacted at cperry@kscequinox.com