With near record snowfalls still blanketing the West, this spring is going be memorable. Snowpack is high, the groundhog lied, and winter refuses to be shut down. Here are some of the hot spots for an April trip.
1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
They just passed the 530 inch mark. The resort closes April 3rd but the backcountry should be excellent riding for a few more weeks. Sundance Carson just went down there this past weekend. His report: Waist Deep.
2. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
A five day trip for the Chief Snow Junkie has stretched into almost two weeks. Every time I try to leave, another massive storm moves in, closes down the highway, and buries me up to my thighs in snow. Check around various ski area web sites for closing dates, but I’m guessing that most of the biggies like Squaw and Alpine Meadows will still be open for weeks.
3. Vail, Colorado
My home of the 2010-2011 ski season has given up nothing but powder days this season. Snow is still spitting out and with a projected April 24th closing day, there’s at least a month of riding left up here. Bonus perk: Colorado has some of the best end of season ski parties on the planet.
Side note: Last year’s Epic Pass was $579, only a $40 increase this year.
Each year, there’s one or two variations. This season, Vail Resorts offers the Epic Summit Pass for $419, which lets you ride Breck, Keystone, and A-Basin. If there’s any questions about which pass to get, definitely throw down the extra $200 and add three more mountains to your winter.
Each pass comes with some benefits. The best one is discounted tickets for your friends. We took advantage of a couple of these last season and rode Vail for around $55. Still a good chunk of change, but consider that a full day ticket was $97 and suddenly $55 looked pretty damn good.
Our recommendation: Don’t wait if you’re even considering purchasing an Epic Pass. There’s no official word on the Vail Resorts site if there will be a price increase or how long the passes will be available.
via Epic Pass]]>
These early season pass deals are dumping on us. We’re working like crazy to get the info out to you guys. We’re also working like crazy on the mini blizzard out here in Montana. You can take a guess which one takes precedence. Here’s a link to the other ski areas we already covered.
THE EPIC PASS (CO and Lake Tahoe)
Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Araphoe Basin
The Scoop: Unrestricted riding at 6 huge resorts. It costs the same as a 6-day lift ticket. This is one of the best deals you’ll ever see on the slopes.
Benefits: One year subscription to SKI magazine; Discounted tickets for friends and family
Deadline: April 9, 2009
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN (CA)
The Scoop: The best deal at Mammoth used to be closed to the public, but for the month of April they’re opening it up to everyone.
Benefits: Skiing/riding starting April 24 and exclusive loding discounts.
Deadline: April 30, 2009
THE GRANITE PASS (NH)
Resorts: Attitash, Crotched Mountain
The Scoop: You can pick up at Attitash pass for $479, but why wouldn’t you spend the extra $100 dollars for the Granite Pass?
Benefits: Use it until the end of this season; Get one free Attitash ticket.
Deadline: April 30, 2009
PATS PEAK (NH)
The Scoop: An excellent value pass in the state of New Hampshire. Even cheaper passes for midweek and college passes.
Benefits: Ski/ride until the end of the season; 50% off midweek tickets at Mt. Sunapee.
Deadline: April 1, 2009
BOREAL MOUNTAIN (CA)
The Scoop: Boreal is having a blowout sale with 40% off passes.
Benefits: Ski/ride until the end of the season
Deadline: March 29, 2009
PICO MOUNTAIN (VT)
The Scoop: 50 trails and more than 200 acres of big mountain skiing and riding served by six lifts. Payment plan is available.
Benefits: Skiing/riding for rest of this season
Deadline: April 30, 2009
SQUAW VALLEY (CA)
The Scoop: It’s a special anniversary price. It does include some blackout dates.
Benefits: Includes free night skiing/riding
Deadline: May 11, 2009
With airlines charging all kinds of rental fees, and the hassle of lugging ski gear through airports and up to hotel rooms, we decided to give Black Tie Ski Rentals a try on a recent trip.
Forget the crowd scene at the rental shop. Black Tie brings the rentals to wherever you’re staying. I signed up on the website before I left town, so they had all my info when they showed up. A few minor checks & adjustments and I was good for the next morning.
It’s got to be the fastest, most comfortable, most convenient rental process on the planet. Co-founders Ian Prichard & Joe Sternberg started out of their garage in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with a van in 2002. Now with 11 locations in North America, Black Tie is the premier delivery ski & snowboard rental business.
Two days later I decide to demo another pair of skis. They came to my cabin and swapped out my skis. Slick. Then on the last night of the trip, I’m sitting on my aprés-ski bar stool having a grand time with no recollection that I have rental skis to return. Black Tie calls me on my cell. How did everything work out? Do I want to use the skis another day? I confess my situation and throw in that I have an early morning flight. No problem. They’ll swing by tonight, if I’m not around, they’ll pick up the gear tomorrow morning. Just leave it on the deck when I head to the airport. Bartender, another round!
Each location is an owner operated branch office, so quality & service remains the same no matter where you go. The Big Sky, Montana location was the first licensed branch to open in 2004. Now they boast branches in Aspen/Snowmass, Breckenridge/Keystone, Crested Butte, North Tahoe, Park City/Deer Valley, South Tahoe, Vail/Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb. New for the 08/09 season will be the Telluride, Colorado branch. So basically they’re any where you want to go skiing.
All in all, a pretty sweet company. I’ll definitely look ’em up for my next ski vacation.]]>
THE EPIC PASS
Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Heavenly, and A-Basin
The Scoop: Vail Resorts really wants your business. Unlimited riding at all their resorts. No blackout dates. Consider that a season pass just to Vail costs $1800.
Where to Buy: Vail Resorts site
Offer Expires: 11/15
THE SUPER PASS
Resorts: Copper, Winter Park (Steamboat, Whistler with Super Pass Plus)
The Scoop: Intrawest fires back with their value pass. We recommend you cough up the extra $20 for the Super Pass Plus, which give you 6 days with Friday afternoons at Steamboat and with two free Whistler Blackcomb tickets.
Where to Buy: You have to pick up the Super Pass in person. Check the Superpass site for locations.
Offer Expires: 11/23
THE COLORADO GEM CARD
Resorts: Arapahoe Basin, Echo Mountain, Eldora, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, SolVista Basin, Sunlight
The Scoop: The smaller resorts band together to offer discounts at nine mountains. For ten bucks, there’s no reason not to pick up this card. Deals include free days, 2 for 1, and daily discounts.
Buy it: ColoradoSki.com
Where are you finding deals this November? Let us know at email@example.com or drop a comment below.]]>