If you want to travel to ski, there’s been no better time. With Alterra’s Ikon Pass good at anywhere from Stratton to Snowbird, the Mountain Collective providing access to Sugarbush and Jackson Hole and a suite of other resorts and Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass valid at Stowe and, now Kicking Horse, Telluride and a host of other places, there are sweet deals to be had. Epic Pass prices and were to be preleased on March. And the best news? If active or retired military personnel (or a dependant), can get a Military Epic Pass starting at just $99. (See “Vail Honors Military.”)
“We’re thrilled to welcome the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies on the Epic Pass for the 2018-19 winter season, offering skiers and snowboarders world-class mountain resorts in eight countries,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.
Perhaps best known among the RCR family of resorts are Kicking Horse and Fernie, located in the southeast corner of British Columbia on the legendary “Powder Highway”. Both Kicking Horse and Fernie are consistently ranked among the top 10 Canadian resorts as ultimate playgrounds that cater to powder hounds with their abundant annual snowfall and big mountain skiing. Kicking Horse, also known as “The Champagne Powder Capital of Canada” is situated just outside the charming historic logging town of Golden and boasts a diverse mix of expert and extreme terrain and one of the longest vertical drops—4,133 feet—in North America. Home to the World Freeride Tour, the ski resort is known for its four large alpine bowls, 85 long steep chutes and short lift lines. Fernie features over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain and 3,550 vertical feet, including 142 trails, five alpine bowls. With a reputation for the best powder in the Rockies, Fernie is a true winter playground for skiers and riders of all levels.
Following are the benefits for Epic, Epic 7-Day and Epic 4-Day pass holders, as well as RCR season pass holders – RCR Rockies Pass, Fernie Season Pass, Kicking Horse Season Pass, Kimberley Season Pass, Mont Saint Anne and Stoneham Season Pass.
Epic pass holders also get additional free days at 30 European resorts — with varying conditions attached. For instance, in Austria, you get three free days in the Arlbeg if you book at certain lodges. In France, if you apply two weeks ahead, you can get two days at each of the regions: Les Trois Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere.
HOW IT WORKS
Also on the Epic Pass are:
Kimberley Alpine Resort proudly boasts the most sunshine of any resort in Canada. Located in the Purcell Range of Southeast British Columbia, almost two thirds of the 80 runs and glades are rated beginner or intermediate, allowing skiers and riders the chance to relax and enjoy the exquisite views from the front side of the mountain. For guests seeking more expert terrain, there are attention-demanding black and double-black diamond runs on the back side.
In Kananaskis Country, in the front range of the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, Nakiska is a family-friendly resort offering a variety of terrain including perfectly groomed runs and a very popular learning area. The mountain, which was home to the alpine events at the 1988 Winter Olympics, is just 45-minutes west of Calgary and close to the world-class dining and accommodations found in Kananaskis Village.
One of Canada’s original ski resorts, Mont-Sainte-Anne is an ideal year-round destination located only 30 minutes away from beautiful Quebec City within the Laurentian mountain chain. The resort is known for providing guests with spectacular scenery as the ski slopes rise up to a summit elevation of 800 metres from the shores of the St Lawrence Seaway. Mont-Sainte-Anne boasts incredible snow conditions, long groomed trails and family friendly activities. Neighboring destination, Stoneham Ski Resort, features 42 runs spread across three mountains with a vertical drop of 420 metres, Stoneham has an incomparable free-style area and is Canada’s largest illuminated ski centre with a network of nineteen trails available for night skiing.
Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort’s gondola, courtesy Stowe Mountain Resort