What does it mean to have a season pass? Freedom. Freedom from second guessing conditions and asking yourself if you really should go ski or ride. (If you have to ask, go.) And now, freedom to choose where you ski. The trend in multi-resort season passes has exploded. All you have to gure out is which pass is right for you.
We’ve done the homework and here’s a chart of what passes will cost around Vermont this year and, below it, what a multi-resort pass can get you.
The Epic Pass ($879) has no restrictions, no blackout dates, and gets you unlimited access to 15 resorts, including Stowe, Vt.; Colorado’s Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone; Park City, Utah; California’s Heavenly, Northstar-at- Tahoe and Kirkwood; the Midwest’s Wilmot, Wisc., Afton Alps, Minn.; Mt. Brighton, Mich., plus Whistler Blackcomb, BC and Perisher, Australia (2018). There’s also limited access to 30 European ski resorts including Les 3 Vallees (France), Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta (Italy) and Arlberg (Austria). epicpass.com.
Want to ski some of the least crowded little gems from Vermont to Alaska? Consider the Freedom Pass. Passholders at any of the participating resorts, including Magic Mountain ($599) and Bolton Valley ($549), get three free day tickets at the following: New Hampshire’s Black Mountain, Dartmouth Skiway, Granite Gorge, McIntyre and Whaleback; Maine’s Lost Valley; Plattekill, N.Y.; New Mexico’s Pajarito Mountain and Sipapu; Ski Cooper, Colo. and Eaglecrest, Ak. boltonvalley.com or magic.com.
If you like to chase snow across the Northeast Kingdom, the Judge Pass lets you ski or ride both Jay Peak and Burke with unlimited access to both with no blackout dates for $949. jaypeak.com
MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS
This year, Sugarbush is the only Eastern resort in the Mountain Collective’s all-star resort lineup. Sugarbush premium season passholders get 50 percent off tickets at all Mountain Collective resorts. And anyone can purchase a $469 Mountain Collective pass that gives two days at the ‘Bush and at each of the following 15 resorts: Colorado’s Aspen, Snowmass and Telluride; Utah’s Alta, Snowbird and Snowbasin; Jackson Hole, Wyo., Sun Valley, Idaho; Taos, N.M. and in California: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Mammoth. In Canada, the pass is also good at Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Revelstoke. Internationally, use it at: Coronet Peak/The Remarkables (New Zealand), Thredbo (Australia), Valle Nevado (Chile), Hakuba Valley (Japan), Chamonix (France) and Niseko United (Japan). mountaincollective.com
MULTI-ALPINE EXPERIENCE (M.A.X.)
With 5 days free at each of 44 resorts, (a potential 220 days of skiing) this $679 pass is a great bang for the buck. Among the 19 Eastern mountains are Vermont’s Okemo, Killington, Pico and Stratton; plus Canada’s Mt. Tremblant; Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine; New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee and Loon Mountain; and Whiteface, NY. Western resorts like Big Sky, Mont.; Crested Butte and Steamboat, Colo., and Kicking Horse, BC are also included. If 5 days per mountain won’t cut it, grab a season pass at any of the participating resorts, then purchase the MAX Pass add-on for $329. themaxpass.com
If you want to explore the Northeast, Peak Resorts o ers the $799 Peak Pass with unlimited access to 7 Northeast resorts including Mount Snow; Attitash, Crotched, and Wildcat, N.H.; Hunter, N.Y.; Jack Frost and Big Boulder, Penn. peakpass.com
This year, Okemo’s multi-mountain pass gets skiers and riders unrestricted access at Okemo and Mount Sunapee, N.H. for $1,409; plus single-day, non- holiday $49 tickets at Stratton. okemo.com
The 4.0 College Pass ($399) gives students unlimited access to Killington, Pico, Okemo and Mount Sunapee, NH. You’ll also get 50-percent off tickets for your buddies. The Threesome College Pass ($389) offers unlimited skiing and riding at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen, and Mad River Glen.
Photo courtesy Stowe Mountain Resort