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.