Time to buy your Ski Passes for Next Year!

Spring time is when most of the sales for next years ski passes starts to end. Having written before about the Epic Pass and the Mountain Collective Pass, I need to mention that the Epic Pass is selling with the 10 buddy passes only until 19 April. After tomorrow, the prices would not include the buddy passes which allows 10 tickets to be bought at a discount.

Fireplace by the slopes
Fireplace at the base of Beaver Creek

In this post, I would highlight several passes that might be of interest for skiers to purchase in the next week or so before they run out of promotions, though they are expected to remain on sale through August/September.

Epic Pass

For those who are new to buying seasonal ski passes, the cost of a day in Whistler Blackcomb is around C$160 (~$120) per day, as Vail Resorts wants skiers to purchase the Epic Passes in advance. The Epic Pass retails for $939 (~C$1,257) but gives unlimited access without holiday restrictions to all Vail-owned resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb.

7th Heaven zone
Skiing at Whistler Blackcomb

Below are the ski resorts that have unlimited access for holders of the Epic Pass:

Vail (Colorado, USA)
Beaver Creek (Colorado, USA)
Breckenridge (Colorado, USA)
Keystone (Colorado, USA)
Crested Butte (Colorado, USA)
Park City (Utah, USA)
Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe (California, USA)
Northstar in North Lake Tahoe (California, USA)
Kirkwood (California, USA)
Stevens Pass (Washington, USA)
Stowe (Vermont, USA)
Okemo (Vermont, USA)
Wilmot (Wisconsin, USA)
Mt. Brighton (Michigan, USA)
Mount Sunapee (New Hampshire, USA)
Afton Alps (Minnesota, USA)
Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia, Canada)

As a disclaimer, perhaps only the resorts in Colorado, Utah, California and Washington might be of interest along with Stowe and Whistler.

In addition to these North American ski resorts, the Epic Pass includes access to these Australian resorts for June-August 2020.

Perisher (New South Wales, Australia)
Hotham (Victoria, Australia)
Falls Creek (Victoria, Australia)

The pass also includes 7 days each with no restrictions at the following resorts:

Telluride (Colorado, USA)
Sun Valley (Idaho, USA) and Snowbasin (Utah, USA)

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies which comprises of the following:
Fernie (British Columbia, Canada)
Kicking Horse (British Columbia, Canada)
Kimberley Alpine Resort (British Columbia, Canada)
Nakiska (Alberta, Canada)
Stoneham (Quebec, Canada)
Mont Sainte-Anne (Quebec, Canada)

Then, there are 5 days each with no restrictions at both:

Hakuba Valley resorts near Nagano (Japan)
Rusutsu (Hokkaido, Japan)

Rusutsu Ski Resort
Rusutsu Ski Resort

Finally, there are ski passes inclusions with terms such as booking accommodations and advanced email communications at selected ski resorts in Europe including:

Les 3 Vallées (France)
Paradiski (France)
Tignes – Val D’Isere (France)
4 Vallées (Switzerland)
Arlberg (Austria)
Skirama Dolomiti (Italy)

Schlegelkopfbahn
Schlegelkopfbahn at Lech am Arlberg

Other Epic Pass benefits includes discounts on lodging and summer access to the ski resorts for sightseeing, hiking and biking.

Epic Local Pass

A cheaper version of the Epic Pass is the Epic Local Pass which goes for $699. The difference is that unlimited skiing without restrictions is only valid at:

Breckenridge (Colorado, USA)
Keystone (Colorado, USA)
Crested Butte (Colorado, USA)
Stevens Pass (Washington, USA)
Okemo (Vermont, USA)
Wilmot (Wisconsin, USA)
Mt. Brighton (Michigan, USA)
Mount Sunapee (New Hampshire, USA)
Afton Alps (Minnesota, USA)

Meanwhile there are unlimited skiing with holiday restricted dates at:

Park City (Utah, USA)
Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe (California, USA)
Northstar in North Lake Tahoe (California, USA)
Kirkwood (California, USA)
Stowe (Vermont, USA)

And 10 days of skiing at holiday restricted dates at:

Vail (Colorado, USA)
Beaver Creek (Colorado, USA)
Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia, Canada)

The Epic Local Pass does not have access to the Australian ski resorts, but still provides 2 days of holiday restricted dates access to:

Sun Valley (Idaho, USA) and Snowbasin (Utah, USA)

Village base at Warm Springs

Access to the Japanese resorts are similar for 5 days each with no restrictions at:

Hakuba Valley resorts near Nagano (Japan)
Rusutsu (Hokkaido, Japan)

Ikon Pass

Another major ski pass to get is Ikon Pass, which is backed by Alterra Mountain Company. The Ikon Pass goes for $949 and grants unlimited access with no restrictions at:

Steamboat (Colorado, USA)
Winter Park (Colorado, USA)
Copper Mountain Resort (Colorado, USA)
Eldora Mountain Resort (Colorado, USA)
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (California, USA)
Mammoth Mountain (California, USA)
June Mountain (California, USA)
Big Bear Mountain Resort (California, USA)
Crystal Mountain (Washington, USA)
Solitude (Utah, USA)
Stratton (Vermont, USA)
Snowshoe (West Virginia, USA)
Tremblant (Quebec, Canada)
Blue Mountain (Ontario, Canada)

Looking toward Lake Tahoe
View of Lake Tahoe from Squaw Valley

The Ikon Pass would also give 7 unrestricted days of skiing at each of the following ski resorts around the world:

Aspen Snowmass (Colorado, USA)
Jackson Hole (Wyoming, USA)
Big Sky (Montana, USA)
Taos (New Mexico, USA)
Deer Valley (Utah, USA)
Brighton (Utah, USA)
Alta Snowbird (Utah, USA)
The Summit at Snoqualmie (Washington, USA)
Killington-Pico (Vermont, USA)
Sugarbush (Vermont, USA)
Boyne Highlands (Michigan, USA)
Boyne Mountain (Michigan, USA)
Sugarloaf (Maine, USA)
Sunday River (Maine, USA)
Loon Mountain (New Hampshire, USA)
Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay (Alberta, Canada)
Revelstoke (British Columbia, Canada)
Cypress Ski Area (British Columbia, Canada)
Thredbo (New South Wales, Australia) – only for 2020
Mt. Buller (Victoria, Australia) – for 2019/2020
Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt. Hutt (New Zealand)
Valle Nevado (Chile)
Niseko United (Japan)

Momia run
View from the top of Valle Nevado

In addition, the pass includes 10 buddy tickets at a fixed 25% off the counter price. Other benefits includes spring skiing (April/May or until whenever the resorts close) for the resorts that has unlimited skiing. There are also discounts for retail (15% off for softgoods), food and beverages (15% off) and summer access at selected destinations.

The Ikon Pass is on sale at $949 only until 24 April 2019.

Ikon Base Pass

A cheaper version of the Ikon Pass exists and again it retails for the price of $649 only until 24 April 2019. This cheaper pass has unlimited skiing at only 12 resorts instead of 14 and comes with holiday season restricted dates. The resorts with unlimited access includes:

Winter Park (Colorado, USA)
Copper Mountain Resort (Colorado, USA)
Eldora Mountain Resort (Colorado, USA)
Big Bear Mountain Resort (California, USA)
Crystal Mountain (Washington, USA)
Snowshoe (West Virginia, USA)
Tremblant (Quebec, Canada)
Blue Mountain (Ontario, Canada)

Meanwhile there are unlimited skiing at the following 4 resorts but restrictions apply for the dates of Dec. 26-31, 2019; Jan. 18-19, 2020; Feb. 15-16, 2020, which are basically the holiday season and long weekends.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (California, USA)
Mammoth Mountain (California, USA)
June Mountain (California, USA)
Solitude (Utah, USA)

Ski Pass and Trail Maps
Ski passes from my 2013/2014 season

On top of that, there are 5 days of skiing each at the following resorts, with blackout or restricted dates that varies depending on whether the resort is in the northern or southern hemisphere.

Steamboat (Colorado, USA)
Aspen Snowmass (Colorado, USA)
Jackson Hole (Wyoming, USA)
Big Sky (Montana, USA)
Taos (New Mexico, USA)
Deer Valley (Utah, USA)
Brighton (Utah, USA)
Alta Snowbird (Utah, USA)
The Summit at Snoqualmie (Washington, USA)
Killington-Pico (Vermont, USA)
Stratton (Vermont, USA)
Sugarbush (Vermont, USA)
Boyne Highlands (Michigan, USA)
Boyne Mountain (Michigan, USA)
Sugarloaf (Maine, USA)
Sunday River (Maine, USA)
Loon Mountain (New Hampshire, USA)
Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay (Alberta, Canada)
Revelstoke (British Columbia, Canada)
Cypress Ski Area (British Columbia, Canada)
Thredbo (New South Wales, Australia) – only for 2020
Mt. Buller (Victoria, Australia) – for 2019/2020
Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt. Hutt (New Zealand)
Valle Nevado (Chile)
Niseko United (Japan)

Donkey Serenade
Skiing at Coronet Peak in New Zealand

The Ikon Base Pass has the same extra benefits like the main Ikon Pass. Personally, I feel the Ikon Base Pass is the sweet spot for most leisure skiers since the larger and nicer resorts gets packed up on the holiday season and I now tend to avoid them due to the long lines.

View of Mt Yotei while skiing
Skiing with Mt Yotei at Rusutsu, Japan
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