Buckle your ski boots friends, here is an amazing alpine offering. Imagine a ski pass that pools together six of the best independent ski resorts in North America - for $349? The Mountain Collective Pass for 2013-14, which debuted this March, gives downhill skiers and riders access to Alta/Snowbird, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Whistler/Blackcomb for the 2013-14 ski season. What a winter line up.
Here's the scoop: The Mountain Collective Pass includes two days of skiing or riding at each of these six ski destinations plus a 50 percent discount on all additional days with no blackout dates. Collectively this pass buys you 12 days of skiing at 12 mountains offering more than 30,000-acres of terrain, 186 lifts, plus lodging discounts throughout the season. Children's passes, age 12 and under, are $229. With lift tickets running $80-100+ a day at these ski resorts, even if you only use 4 days, you are winning.
Imagine your travel excuses to go with this vertical vagabond value pass. "Hey boss, I may need the winter off, I have a pass to Whistler/Blackcomb, Aspen, Alta, Snowbird, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Squaw Valley, and Alpine Meadows, so I need to go skiing in British Columbia, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and California next winter."
This clever pass conglomerate competes with Vail's Epic pass valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, plus Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood in California, Afton Alps, MN, and Mt. Brighton, MI, plus five days at Verbier Switzerland. The Epic Pass if good for unlimited skiing, priced at $689 if you buy now for winter 2013-14.
Closer to home, The New England Pass goes is on sale this March, $999 for next season including the bonus of skiing this spring starting March 18. This Gold Pass provides unlimited skiing at Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Loon, plus benefits at Boyne resorts Big Sky Montana, Brighton Utah, Crystal and Snoqualmie in Washington, and Cypress in British Columbia.
Time to plan your alpine assault for next season. The Mountain Collective Pass for $349 is limited and may go fast, available at www.themountaincollective.com or www.Liftopia.com. The 2013-14 Epic Pass can be purchased for $689 with a $49 deposit and the 2013-14 New England Gold Pass at $999 will be available March 15.
See you on the slopes.
Alta, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming photos by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.