Just as you are start amortizing this season's pass purchase, skiing 10 days usually makes the worth-buying breaking point, ski resorts start pumping you for next year. It's mid-winter, but the "chase for your season pass money" race has begun.
The Granite State is first out of the gates with a new 2013-14 White Mountain Super Pass. Starting Feb 23, you can buy next year's ski pass valid at four White Mountain ski areas with no blackout dates. The new $949 White Mountain Super Pass hooks you up at Bretton Woods, Cranmore, Cannon Mountain and Waterville Valley ($949 - the adult price if you purchase by June 1). This NH conglomerate will grant you alpine access to 284 trails, 41 lifts, 1,148 acres and 6,900 vertical feet - pretty sweet deal. Looks like these four independents are teaming up to contend with Boyne's New England Pass.
The New England Gold Pass provides unlimited skiing at Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Loon, which statistically buys you three ski areas and 347 trails, 42 lifts, 2,265 acres and 7,260 vertical feet, for comparison sake. The New England Pass price is not out yet, to be released in March. Last year it started under $1,000, and you get the bonus Boyne benefits of up to 10 free days at their western ski resorts Brighton in Utah, and Big Sky in Montana (with a lodging reservation).
These multiple ski resort passes are a deal for skiers and riders who get their ski days in and like a little variety in their vertical (read: you are not pledged to one mountain by kids camps or a ski condo). Of course, it's not quite the caliber of the Epic Pass for $649 valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, & Mt. Brighton. Anyone else remember the ASC pass?
Photo of Cranmore by Greg Burke