featured Khareem Sudlow

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Ski Hill Pass this Winter

November 29, 2019DMT.NEWS

#DMTBeautySpot #beauty

Ski and Snowboard Season Pass Buying Guide

Most people see the onset of winter as time to dust off their Canada Goose parkas and groan over 4:30 p.m. sunsets. To skiers and snowboarders, however, the season presents an opportunity to dip into some of that PTO they’ve accrued and enjoy a little time in the snow at their favorite mountain. They’ll still wear parkas, but the setting of the sun just means a shift from day riding to night skiing – i.e. No groans necessary.

RELATED: Ski and Snowboard Attire That'll Have You Shredding in Style

A day spent skiing or snowboarding isn’t the same as it used to be, though. Sure, the gear remains largely similar to what’s been used for the last decade or more, but the process of buying and selecting a resort season pass has changed vastly.

What was once a process consisting of buying an individual ticket at an individual resort is now a network of companies offering access to a variety of mountains. This means that for a higher price, riders are now able to buy a season ticket that doesn’t only include access to Vancouver, British Columbia’s Whistler resort but also to Park City in Utah – among literally tens of other resorts. For the avid skier or snowboarder, the versatility is priceless.

All told, there are now five standard options for buying season passes: The Epic Pass, the Ikon Pass, the Mountain Collective pass and the Powder Alliance pass. This also includes the old-fashioned method of sauntering up to a lift ticket counter at, say, Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon and buying a single pass for only that resort.

To help you figure out which pass is best for you this winter, we’ve broken down what each pass offers in terms of specific mountain access, total pass price and quality of resorts. Here’s what you need to know before buying a ski and snowboard pass this winter.

Epic Pass

Price

Unlimited: $989 for adults and $519 for children Local: $739, $659 for college students, $589 for ages 13-18, $389 for ages 5-12 Epic ski pass

The Epic Pass comes in two different varieties: Unlimited and Local. With the Unlimited pass, there are zero restrictions or blackout dates, meaning you’re able to ski or snowboard at any of the offered resorts whenever you want. A few additional resorts offer up to seven days of riding with the Unlimited pass, and there’s even a small selection of resorts in Canada, Japan and Europe.

The Local pass is a slightly watered-down version, yet still offers plenty of access for skiers and snowboarders. It does come with a few peak-season and holiday restrictions, though many of them depend on the individual resort. The Canadian and European resorts are also absent, though any of the 11 Japanese resorts offered with the Unlimited are also included with the Local.

Epic also offers cheaper multi-day passes that allow for anywhere from one to seven days of riding. This allows you to custom-build what resorts you want to go to, as well as how many days you plan on visiting. Any of the multi-day passes are able to be used during holidays, as well, though the price is slightly higher.

Some examples of included resorts are Vail in Colorado, Kirkwood in California, Stevens Pass in Washington and Hunter Mountain in New York. Visit both the Unlimited pass landing page, as well as the Local pass landing page, to see a comprehensive list of domestic and international resorts supported.

Find out more here

Ikon Pass

Price

Base Pass: $799 for adults, $639 for ages 13-22, $419 for ages 5-12 and free for anyone 5 and under. Active and retired military, as well as college students get a discounted rate of $599 Full Pass: $1,099 for adults, $859 for ages 13-22, $459 for ages 5-12 and $49 for anyone 5 and under. Active and retired military, as well as college students get a discounted rate of $799 Ikon ski pass

Similar to the Epic Pass, the Ikon Pass comes in two levels, the unrestricted Full Pass and the holiday-restricted, less-mountains-offered Base Pass. What makes the Ikon Pass attractive is two-fold: Access to a different collection of resorts and the 10 discounted friends-and-family passes it comes with, offering 25 percent off a lift ticket to any Ikon-supported mountain.

Ikon’s supported resort list is comparable to Epic’s – which pass you end up choosing will likely come down to physical location and travel plans. This pass does offer access to mountains in Canada and Japan, and there are plans to add even more international destinations (such as New Zealand) for the 2020 season.

The Ikon Pass supports resorts such as Taos in New Mexico, Jackson Hole in Wyoming and Cypress in British Columbia. Visit Ikon’s Destinations landing page to see all resorts offered, as well as trip inspiration and any active deals.

Find out more here

Mountain Collective

Price

$529 for adults and $199 for children 12 and under Mountain Collective ski pass

The Mountain Collective approaches the season pass process slightly differently. Instead of offering unlimited access to a wide range of resorts, it gives out two free days – that can be used at all of its 18 supported mountains – and provides future lift tickets at 50 percent off. If you’re able to visit even three or four of the resorts, the price starts to look dramatically cheaper.

Though it may seem like a steep initial investment, especially since you’ll have to pay more money after just two days at a certain resort, the pass does make sense. The more days you spend riding, the cheaper your average lift ticket price becomes. Not that anyone needs an excuse to spend more time on the snow, but making expenditures cheaper is about as good as it gets.

The list of offered resorts isn’t too shabby either. There’s Alta in Utah, Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta, Niseko in Japan and Aspen in Colorado, among several others. There are no blackout dates at any of the resorts and pass holders get select discounts on lodging.

Find out more here

RELATED: Vegan Winter Coats That Will Keep Your Style Hot

Powder Alliance

Price: No price, benefits are free with the purchase of a top-tier anytime season pass from one of Powder Alliance's resorts

Powder alliance ski pass

The Powder Alliance isn’t so much a one-use pass to a variety of resorts as it is, well, an alliance. For example, if you purchase a season pass from Timberline on Mount Hood in Oregon, a Powder Alliance resort, you’ll also get perks at any of its other supported mountains. This includes Loveland Ski Area in Colorado, Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico and Bogus Basin in Idaho. All told, there are 19 different resorts that are part of the collective.

Perks include two or three free days of riding, special lodging rates and future lift ticket discounts. Some of the resorts have blackout dates or restrict you to riding your free days during the week, but even having the ability to get free resort access is a major benefit. Check out the Powder Alliance Partner Resorts page to see each supported mountain, as well as what it offers pass holders.

Find out more here

The Old-Fashioned (Yet Expensive) Way

The traditional way of visiting a resort is to either buy a single-day lift ticket or opt for a season-long pass at just one mountain. Even with the creation of all-encompassing passes like Ikon and Epic, this method still exists – even if it’s not the cheapest option.

One reason people may still desire to buy mountain-specific passes is because the mountain they like to ride may not be part of any wide-sweeping pass or alliance. For instance, Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon operates as its own entity, offering season-long and single-day passes for only its own resort. The pass does come with a few perks, however, as it offers a few free days at resorts like Mt. Baker and Whitefish, but it isn’t nearly as comprehensive as other options.

Choosing the right ski or snowboard hill pass doesn’t have to be a stressful process. All it takes is a little research on where you expect to spend most of your time riding and how often you plan to go. Now that more resorts make themselves available to the collectives listed above, and aren’t just a one-stop-shop, it’s much less of a shock to your wallet to spend a day in the snow.

You Might Also Dig:

How to Be the Cool Dad When Skiing Remembering Snowboarding Pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter Why National Parks Are Better to Visit in the Winter

DMTBeautySpot

via https://www.DMTBeautySpot.com

Rick Stella, Khareem Sudlow

You Might Also Like

0 comments

DMT BarberShop

DMT BarberShop
Come get the professional touch you deserve!

Featured Video

Contact Form