How to Insulate an Attic That Has No Soffit?

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What is the best way to insulate the floor of an attic if the house does not have soffit vents - or any soffits at all?  There is a ridge vent and two gable vents for ventilation.  Do I need to install special soffit-less vents, or can I insulate right into the corners of the attic, right up to the roofing boards?    I live in New England and am concerned with ice dams.

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