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Image credit: Perisher Resort

How to make the most of your Epic Pass

You might have heard that Perisher is now part of the snow behemoth that is Vail Resorts, joining a long list of US resorts offering the unparalleled benefits of the Epic Pass. It’s the company’s first overseas acquisition and it means there’ll be even more Aussies queuing up to go Epic. But with unlimited skiing at some of the world’s best resorts, where do you start?

Before we get into that, though, a spot of clarification.There are actually two ‘levels’ of Epic Pass: the normal Epic Pass taking the world by storm, and the Perisher-specific Freedom Pass with Epic Benefits. There are differences between the two, subtle as they are. The Epic Pass is the original, with unlimited access to Perisher, Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Park City, Canyons, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps and Mt Brighton (as well as limited-access to international partnerships such as those with Niseko in Japan, Les 3 Vallées in France and Verbier in Switzerland during the 2014/15 season). At a cost of US$769 (approximately AU$1020) for an adult’s pass, it is said it pays for itself in just under five days.

Perisher’s Freedom Pass, however, gives you much of the same but with restricted dates (there are certain blackouts) and 10 days’ combined skiing at Vail and/or Beaver Creek (rather than unlimited access). At AU$749 it comes in nearly $300 cheaper with the current exchange rate.

Once you’ve chosen your pass, it’s time to head to the US. After a season on the slopes of the southern hemisphere’s largest resort, start with the big names of Colorado, Utah and California with resorts such as Breckenridge, Vail, Park City and Northstar. Or venture to somewhere lesser known like Afton Alps in Minnesota or Mt Brighton in Michigan and discover a new side of America.

Planning to travel with a group? Perfect! Each Epic Pass is automatically loaded with six Ski-With-A-Friend (SWAF) discounts; simply flash your Epic Pass when they’re being validated and voilà! Lift tickets for less.

Keep track of your epic action by downloading EpicMix to your phone. Virtual guides help you create your ideal day on the mountain, monitors track your vertical metres, and you can even follow the kids’ progress at the ski or snowboard school. Earn pins for your on-snow achievements and even compete for the chance to race against US Olympian Lindsey Vonn. Now that really is Epic.

Image credit: Perisher Resort

Image credit: Perisher Resort

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