Summer ski days at Mammoth Mountain closes on Aug 6

After an unbelievable 270 days of skiing and riding, the closing date for the 2016-17 season is this Sunday Aug 6th at Mammoth Mountain ski resort; here’s your chance to ski and ride in shorts and t-shirts. Join the fun from 7:30 am to noon daily and get your last taste of summer shredding. Lifts expected to operate are Face Lift Express, Chair 23 and the Panorama Gondola with access to Saddle Bowl, Center Bowl, Gremlins, Cornice and Climax.

Afterwards, jump on your mountain bike to traverse the 29 open trails including Bullet, Shock Treatment, Velocity and Midtown.

Apres biking? Enjoy a refreshing icy cold beer and good eats on the patio with panoramic views of the mountain.

Got season pass for 2017-18? Join a ski lease to maximize your Tahoe ski and ride days and make a few new friends in the process.

Yearning to shred? View Mammoth Mountain hours of operation and opened ski trails.

“Last winter dumped so much snow on California’s peaks that at least one resort raised the possibility of staying open all summer, allowing skiers to ride the lifts until next winter’s snowfall.

But the hot weather during the last few weeks is finally putting an end to California’s extra-long ski season.

Mammoth Mountain, the state’s most popular ski resort, announced it will close Aug. 6, making this the resort’s second-longest season. The resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains still has 6 inches of snow at the main lodge and 35 inches at the summit, with three of 28 lifts in operation.

Squaw Valley, the California resort northwest of Lake Tahoe that raised the possibility of saying open year-round, ended its season July 15, marking the resort’s longest season.

The 2016-17 winter created one of the largest snowpacks in California history, so big that the Central Sierra Nevada snow accumulation was larger than the previous four years combined, according to NASA data.

When the ski season stretched into the summer months, skiers and snowboarders hit the California slopes in shorts and tank tops.

Squaw Valley had so much snow this winter — about 60 feet in accumulated snowfall — that the resort’s chief executive, Andy Wirth, predicted the resort could operate for 550 days, through next season.

That would have been unprecedented. Over the last 50 years, Squaw Valley has operated beyond July 4 only four times.

Instead, this season amounted to a record 200 days of operation.

Mammoth Mountain has stayed open beyond July 4 three times. Its longest season was in 1994-95 when it opened in early October and closed Aug. 14.” – Los Angeles Times

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Tahoe resorts extend ski season; ski until the fourth of July – see fireworks

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Tahoe ski resorts extended their closing dates as a result of record snow totals(54 feet of snow recorded for the season at Mt Rose as of March 2017). Enjoy Spring skiing and riding in shorts if you like.

2017 Lake Tahoe ski resorts extended ski season / closing dates ..

Heavenly will be opened until April 23 plus the weekend of April 28-30 Trail Map | Live Resort Cams

Sierra at Tahoe will be opened until April 24. Sierra will honor guests with Customer Appreciation Day on Monday, April 24; skiers and riders of all ages can purchase a lift ticket for only $35 on April 24, 2017.  Trail Map | Cam

Kirkwood April 16 Trail Map | Cam

Squaw Valley USA opened until July 4; ski/ride then see the fireworks Trail Map | Cam

Alpine Meadows July 4 Trail Map | Cam

Northstar-at-Tahoe April 23  Trail Map | Cam

Sugar Bowl April 23 Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Rose May 29 Trail Map | Cam

Bear Valley  will opened until April 23, 2017 Trail Map | Cam

Want to sleep and let a professional driver take you to Tahoe resorts? Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski bus trip: one day and overnight bus trips. Enjoy a full day of skiing or riding; sleep on the way to Tahoe and watch movies on the return.

Plan a Tahoe getaway(check out Tahoe vacation rentals) or those with a season pass, join a ski lease to max your ski/ride days. Get the latest Tahoe news and deals; subscribe to Snowpals’ newsletter and/or sign up for invites to participate in our social events.

For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

Looking to cross country ski or back-country ski or ride? You can enjoy the snow at Mount Shasta until late summer. It’s the perfect place for cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, glissading, or for the ambitious few, to trek up one of the high ridges and then ski or snowboard down into one of Shasta’s vast bowls. Base elevation 8,000 feet, peak elevation 14,179 feet. Read more at SFgate.com

Southern California/Sierra

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort  Opened until July 4, 2017 Trail Map | Cam

Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet new friends.

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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One day and multi-day discount Tahoe ski bus trips

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Bay Area Ski Bus to Tahoe Promo Discount Code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ is valid only for NEW Registrants.

 

Get the following discounts:

  • $6 off per person on one day trips
  • $10 off per person on two day Bay Area Ski Bus Trips
  • $30 off per person on travel ski destinations trip packages

Bay Area Ski Bus trips goes to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley USA, Homewood and Alpine Meadows. 1 day and 2 day hotel, house weekend trips and overnight ski bus trip packages. The Bay Area Ski Bus offers the most ski bus trips to Tahoe resorts; operating four days weekly with 11 SF Bay Area pick-up locations.

Bay Area Ski Bus offers:

  • Adults Only Ski Bus Trips
  • Family Ski Bus Trips
  • Teens Exclusive Ski Bus Trips
  • Singles Ski Bus Trips(“Singles” Ski Trips give solo skiers & snowboarders a chance to meet other singles in a fun and engaging setting: meet that special person who shares your love for snow sports)

These trips include:

  • round- trip transportation
  • a full day’s lift ticket
  • breakfast
  • free energy drink for the slopes
  • after- ski hot cocoa(wine/beer tastings on selected dates), snacks, and on-bus featured movie entertainment
  • optional: add ski/snowboard rental and/or lesson package

Treat family, friends and/or yourself to a fun day at your favorite Tahoe ski resort. Gift certificates available for the holidays or that special occasion.

  If you already have a ski season pass or lift ticket, you can choose to purchase a ‘ ala carte ‘ round-trip bus ride only service/transportation for $93 with the ‘ 17snowpals ‘ promo code(regular price is $99).

SAVE $30 ON SKI TRIP VACATIONS 

Use discount code  ‘ 17snowpals ‘ at payment checkout* to get $30 off.

Treat yourself, family and friends to a Ski & Snowboarding Destination Vacation

 Get $30 off ski / ride and stay vacation to ..

       Jan 2 – 8, 2017         Powder Hunt Ski Trip
       Jan 14 – 21, 2017      Banff and Kicking Horse, British Columbia Ski Trip
       Feb 9 – 20, 2017       Japan
                

Reserve your spot(s) with a deposit. Space is limited; register early as trips will fill up. A DEPOSIT secures your spot!

Browse the Tahoe ski bus schedule, register and use our discount code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ to get your discount. Please note discounts only valid for NEW registrants.

Here’s what a typical ski bus day trip with the Bay Area Ski Bus is like:

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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Tahoe Learn to Ski and Snowboard Package Deals

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Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard package deals and discounts for beginners to advanced

Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer learn to ski and snowboard deals and discounts for skiers and snowboarders through out the ski season with a few Tahoe resorts offering deals good on weekends and holidays.

Gather family and friends together to take advantage of these deals and introduce them to learn an enjoyable snow sports that will last a lifetime; plan a getaway; browse and book a Tahoe vacation rental.

We know; skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive sport especially for beginners without any gear but that doesn’t have to be true if you take advantage of Tahoe ski resorts introductory and promo deals. Discount learn to ski and snowboard package deals include ski / snowboard lessons, beginner’s lift ticket, and equipment rentals.

The Learn to Ski and Snowboard promos offer great value deals for children and adults who are first-time skiers to get started skiing and riding down powdery Tahoe scenic slopes without breaking the bank.

The 2016-17 Ski Season started out with fresh snow on Nov 20, 2016 and more snow is in the forecast.

For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

Top four Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard deals:

(1) Boreal’s TAKE 3, RIDE FREE
Recognized as one of the country’s best beginner programs , this pre-paid package automatically enrolls you into the Take 3, Ride FREE program and includes (3) Single Day Half Day Lesson Packages and a FREE 2016-17 Season Pass on your fourth visit! What we like about Boreal Mountain resort is the fact that it is easy to get to with quick access off of Highway 80 on Donner Summit plus an added bonus of night skiing.

(2) Homewood’s $59 adult ski and snowboard first-timer packages
Homewood Mountain Resort offers the best learn to ski/snowboard deal in the Lake Tahoe region – for just $59. Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, first-timers will receive a half-day lesson along with all-day equipment rental (helmet not included in package but available at an additional cost) and beginner lift ticket – It’s everything you need to make your first turns on snow!

Simply purchase your Learn to Ski or Learn to Ride package online, at least 2 days in advance of your desired lesson date to receive the special $59 price all season long.

Those interested in making a real commitment to learning to ski or snowboard can score the ultimate deal – Homewood’s Learn to Ski/Ride 3-pack comes out to just $59/day and includes three full days of lift tickets, rentals and lessons, as well as the Learn to Ski/Ride guarantee – you’ll be skiing/snowboarding down one of our signature upper mountain beginner runs by your third day, or your fourth day is free. What we also like at Homewood is their incredible lake views; skiing and riding down Homewood slopes gives you a breathe-taking view of the lake. Very beautifully scenic for a first timer. Romantic setting no less. 😉

(3) Learn how to ski or snowboard for just $99 at Alpine Meadows Monday-Friday for ages 13+

First time lesson package includes everything you need

+ Beginner lift ticket
+ Equipment rental (skis, boots, poles -or- snowboard, boots)
+ 2.25 hr beginner lesson

The advantage of learning to ski or snowboard on non-holiday weekdays is you’ll get more personal attention and the fact of having the whole mountain to yourself – less people on the slopes.

(4) Donner Ski Ranch offers perhaps the best deal all-around; even on weekends and holidays, the price is the same: adults, youths, and seniors can sign up for the learn to ski or snowboard deal package for $99 while child(ages 7-12) package is $79. Why pay the high price of big moutain resorts when you only need a bunny hill to learn on?

Designed for first-time skiers and beginners, our Learn to Turn package includes a restricted lift ticket, granting access to beginner terrain on the front of the mountain via the skiing moving carpet and chairlifts #4 and #6, ski or snowboard equipment rental package, and a 1.5 hour group lesson.

LESSON TIMES

9 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm

Lift tickets and rentals valid for full-day skiing and riding.
Anyone who purchases a Learn to Turn package may use the moving carpet to practice on one’s own prior to his/her lesson.
Visit the ticket window to secure your space. Lessons will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

Other deals? Check out our list of Tahoe ski resorts offering learn to ski and snowboard deals and promotions for beginners to advance; page down for intermediate to advanced/expert level deals and discounts on ski and ride lessons:

North Lake Tahoe Resorts

  • Boreal Mountain Resort: Good for the entire ski season – Boreal Mountain Resort continues to offer one of the best deal for learn to ski / snowboard beginner programs which includes lesson, lift ticket and rentals for those who would like to get the most bang for their buck: this $199 pre-paid package(which breaks down to less than $67 per learn to ski day) automatically enrolls you into the Take 3, Ride FREE program which includes (3) Single-Day, Half-Day Lesson Packages and a FREE 2015-16 Unlimited Season Pass(a $299 value) on your fourth visit. No blackout dates! Buy online now to get this deal. Ages 4+, must enroll in program online to receive benefit. Additional benefits of skiing and riding at Boreal is that it is easy to get to, right next to Highway 80 with night skiing.

 

  • Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley: Learn to ski and snowboard for just $59 at Alpine Meadows Monday-Friday for ages 13 and up from January 4 to 29, 2016. The first time lesson package includes everything you need to make the most of your learning experience.The package includes a beginner lift ticket, equipment rental (skis, boots, poles -or- snowboard, boots), a two-and-a-half-hour long lesson, and priority lift access. The morning session is from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The afternoon lesson is from 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.

  • Diamond Peak: Diamond Peak Ski Resort is offering special Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages January 11- 15. The Ski and Snowboard School (ages 7 and up) will have Learn to Ski and Burton Learn to Ride packages for just $39. The package includes a beginner lift ticket, rental equipment and 1 hour 45 min lesson beginning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Diamond Peak Child Ski Center will also offer a 2 hour $39 Learn to Ski package for ages 4-7 at 10 a.m. No advance reservations needed. Arrive at least an hour before the lesson start time. For more information, call (775) 832-1177.

 

  • Homewood Mountain Resort: Homewood offers ski and snowboard packages tailored for those who have never skied or snowboarded before. Homewood has stunning views of Lake Tahoe and offers adult Learn to Ski/Ride packages inclusive of a lift ticket, rentals and half-day lesson for $52. Purchase online at least two days before hitting the slopes to receive this rate. This package is a $40 savings, available Sunday through Friday, non-holidays.

 

  • Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area: Learn cross country skiing deal; take in some of the most picturesque views Lake Tahoe has to offer while investing in a lesson and get started on the right track at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area . Learn the basics of safely gliding, turning, and stopping in a supportive group atmosphere. Lesson packages include a group lesson, ski rental, and trail pass. Adult full day packages start at just $50.

 

  • Tahoe Donner Downhill and Cross Country During January 4-8 and 11-15 Tahoe Donner Downhill ski area will offer Learn to Ski or Snowboard packages for just $39. These packages are only for first timers, which include an all-day lift ticket, rental equipment, and a 1.75-hour group lesson for ages 7 and up.At 10 a.m. on January 8, the team at Downhill will participate with other resorts across the country in an effort to break a group world record for teaching the largest learn to ski and snowboard lessons ever. 50 skiers and 50 snowboarders will be available to participate with advance registration required (first come, first served). $10 to register.Tahoe Donner Cross Country will be offering two-for-one private lessons and private lesson packages any midweek day from January 4-15.
  • Sugar Bowl Resort
    Eager skiers and riders of all ages are invited to Learn to Ski and Snowboard at Sugar Bowl. The Guests Learn to Ski and Ride program is designed to entice new participants to the sport. For $99 ($109 on holiday weekends), guests will receive a 2-hour lesson, all day rentals, a lift ticket valid on beginner lifts.

 

South Lake Tahoe Resorts

  • Sierra at Tahoe: Affordable Ski and Snowboard Lessons in South Lake Tahoe
    2.5-hour First-timer Lesson Package for $49. Deal good all season long, seven days a week, online pre-paid required. At just $49, this is one of the best deals for learn to ski or snowboard package in South Lake Tahoe! This package includes: Lift ticket (limited access to the conveyor lift(s) on Easy Street and Easy Rider Express), Rental equipment (includes skis and ski boots or snowboard and snowboard boots), and a 2.5-hour first-timer lesson. Lessons meet at 9:45 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. (depart 15 minutes later), and check-in is required an hour prior to lesson start time.

 

  • Kirkwood: Deal good all season long, seven days a week, online $60 beginner to advanced level lesson only pre-paid required. Adult Half Day 1st Time Ski / Snowboard Lesson. Certified and friendly instructors will guide you through your first day of snowboarding. Your session will cover how to use your equipment, getting on and off the lift without falling, executing different turn shapes, controlling speed and stopping where and when you want.

Discounted ski bus trips: If you’re looking for a discounted ski bus from the SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts, check out the discounted one day and overnight ski bus trips with pick-ups around the Bay Area. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride.

Get half off SnowBomb’s Platinum Pass for $99 (reg. $200) when you use ‘snowpals’ promo discount code at checkout. Check out the Platinum Pass aka Tahoe Card which includes four free lift tickets at four Tahoe resorts, free ski and snowboard rentals and tune-ups, and a two-night Reno hotel stay. The pass also allows you to buy discounted Lake Tahoe area ski resorts lift tickets. For $99, you get over $500 in value. The pass is valid through April 2016.

For our latest scoop on Tahoe discounts and deals on lift tickets and vacation packages, get our newsletter.

Intermediate and Advanced Level Ski and Snowboard Lesson Discounts and Deals

  • Homewood Mountain: Free Intermediate/Advanced Lessons
    Free lessons are offered Sunday through Friday afternoons, on non-holiday dates throughout the season. Limited to the first 10 people. Skiers must be able to ski parallel; snowboarders must be able to dynamically link turns on Homewood’s blue terrain in order to be eligible to participate. A lift ticket or season pass is required. Buy discounted lift tickets online.

Arriving for your lesson: Free Intermediate/Advanced lessons depart at 1:30 p.m. from the top of Old Homewood Express and are first come, first served. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to lesson start time. Limited to the first 10 people. First come, first serve.Free lessons are not available during Peak Days* or Holidays**.

* Peak dates include all Saturdays plus Dec. 20 – Dec. 25, 2015; Jan. 1, 2016; Jan. 18, 2016; Feb. 16 – 19 & 21, 2016.
** Holiday dates include Dec. 26 – Dec. 31, 2015; Jan. 16 & 17, 2016; Feb. 6, 2016; Feb. 13 – 15, 2016; Feb. 20, 2016

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Comparison of best multi-resort ski season passes for 2016-17

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For the 2016-17 winter season, what’s the best multi-mountain/resort ski season pass?

We’ve crunched the numbers and compared the best multi-mountain/resort passes; the following is a summary guide. Remember that the more days you ski or ride, the more value you get from your pass. Also, keep in mind the best time to purchase a pass is in the spring, typically around early April. Many resorts offer a discount bonus and a spring ski / ride FREE the remainder of the current ski season when you buy your pass early.

Epic Pass

One of the most popular ski passes, the Epic Pass gives you unlimited access to twelve resorts, including Australia’s Perisher.
Adult Pass: $849 (Pays for itself in 6 days)
Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin
International Resorts: Verbier (Switzerland), Perisher (Australia)

The Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective pass offers two days at each of its 14 resorts for a total 28 days of skiing/riding. Home resorts are SunValley, Stowe Mountain Resort, Taos, and Thredbo.
Adult Price: $419 (Pays for itself in 5 days based on on individual resort pricing)
Resorts: Alta/Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sun Valley, Taos, Thredbo, Whistler Blackcomb
International Resorts: Valle Nevado (Chile), Hakuba Valley (Japan), Chamonix (France)

M.A.X. Pass

The M.A.X Pass gives you access for five days at each of its 39 participating resorts. There are no blackout dates and many options on both the east and west coast.
Adult Price: $699 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
Resorts: Big Sky, Boreal Mountain Resort, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Lee Canyon, Mt. Bachelor, Steamboat, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Winter Park, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Killington, Loon Mountain, Pico Mountain, Snowshoe, Stratton, Sugarloaf, Sunday River
International Resorts: Cypress Mountain (Canada), Blue Mountain (Canada), Tremblant (Canada)

Tahoe Super Pass Gold

This pass includes unlimited access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, four days at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, unlimited 50% discounts on lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts, and a worry-free guarantee that will credit users up to four days towards a 2016/17 pass if they don’t ski at least five times this year.
Adult Price: $899 (Pays for itself in 9 days)
Resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-At-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl
International Resorts: Two days at Zermatt (Switzerland)

Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus

Get access to multiple resorts in Colorado as well as resorts in places like New Zealand, you’ll be able to enjoy the snow year-round. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus offers many benefits from free “friends and family” tickets to discounts on rental equipment and tuning.
Adult Price: $629 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
Resorts: Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora Alpine Pass, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Alyeska Resort
International Resorts: Tomamu (Japan), Alts Bandai (Japan), Nekoma (Japan), Cardrona (New Zealand), Mt. Ruapehu (New Zealand)

Cali4nia Pass

Access Southern California’s mountains every day with this pass. It offers unlimited skiing, five “bring-a-friend” tickets, and up to 20% off lodging at Mammoth Lodging Collection properties.
Adult Price: $849 (Pays for itself in 11 days)
Resorts: Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

*Listed pricing is current as of November 1, 2016. Click on the name of the pass for the most up to date pricing details.

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Epic Pass gives more bang for the buck

So you still haven’t bought your ski season pass yet and can’t quite decide on what’s the best pass to buy for a multi-resort pass packed with value to price ratio? ..

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Here are some important factors and questions to determine which pass will give you the best value for the price aka “best bang for the buck”:

  • how many days do you plan to ski/ride this season?
  • how many resorts/mountains would you like to have access to?
  • is it required that you have no blackout days meaning holidays must be
  • included(note that holidays tend to be crowded slope-side, services sub-par/long wait times, and high traffic getting to and from the resort)?
  • would you like to have access to resorts across multiple States in the US plus international ski resorts access?
  • how many days would you need to use the pass for it to pay for itself?

Once you’ve had a chance to answer the questions above, you’ll be in a better position to decide which ski/ride season pass is the best value for you. Naturally, if you grew up skiing or riding at a particular resort, you’ll likely have a loyal tendency to favorite that resort but let’s say we set that aside and let’s just talk shop in terms of determining the best value season pass.

Ok, so we’ve crunched the numbers for you and ran a comparison of all the available 2016-17 multiple mountain ski season passes, our findings point to the Epic Pass as a great value for a multi-mountain pass and here’s why:

“Ski as much as you want, whenever you want.” – Vail Resorts..

Unlimited access to:

  • Vail
  • Beaver Creek
  • Breckenridge
  • Keystone
  • Park City
  • Heavenly
  • Northstar
  • Kirkwood
  • Wilmot
  • Afton Alps
  • Mt. Brighton
  • Perisher (2017 access)
  • Arapahoe Basin

International Access:

What drew us in to the Epic Pass is the bonus inclusion of 5 lift tickets to Whistler Blackcomb which is rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort”. Not sure about you, but Whistler Blackcomb is on our MUST DO LIST for it’s vast terrain and super fun apres ski and nightlife.   😉  – Read more about Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain and nightlife .

In addition, the Epic Pass includes access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland! Access now includes four of Europe’s most iconic destinations. France’s largest ski areas, Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere offer a unique playground to skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, accessing five glaciers, 391 ski lifts and over 800 miles of marked runs for all ability levels within a 30-mile radius. The three areas combine high-altitude skiing guaranteeing quality snow from November to May with stunning view of Mont Blanc and a 360-degree panorama of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.

South of the Alps, nestled amongst some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world such as Brenta Dolomites and Adamello (11,666 feet), is some of the best skiing in Italy. Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta is home to 150 lifts and 236 miles of ski slopes that that make up acclaimed resorts such as Madonna di Campiglio and Pinzolo in Val Rendena; Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio and Tonale in Val di Sole; Ponte di Legno, Andalo-Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgaria-Lavarone. The winter offering is enriched by the high-quality cuisine and the exclusive “Italian style.”

Verbier, part of the 4 Vallees ski area, is the largest resort in the Swiss Alps, is acknowledged as one of the premier “off piste” resorts in the world, and is home to a number of professional freeride competitions. Above and beyond this reputation, Verbier is well-known internationally for its electrifying, cosmopolitan nightlife, and the resort is proud of its legendary après-ski and its lively clubs. While skiers and snowboarders from all over the world rave about this off-piste paradise and fun evenings, families also appreciate the resort’s social atmosphere and family-friendly offerings.

For decades, the mountain range between Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which is home to Arlberg, has been a highly sought-after metropolis for international ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Arlberg is widely considered the cradle of modern skiing and in December 2016, thanks to the opening of four new chair lifts, it will be Austria’s largest linked ski area. Also the birthplace of champions, athletes from Ski Club Arlberg have garnered an incredible 83 medals at various Olympic Games and World Championships.

“For value, for ease of use, for access to world-class destinations, for constant improvements in the guest experience, and now for being the only pass to offer significant access to Europe, the Epic Pass is in a class by itself,” Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

Epic Pass access to the European ski areas is described below:

Resort Country Access Notes
Les 3 Vallees, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere France Six (6) days of free skiing with two (2) days of skiing at each resort area
  • Includes:

Les 3 Vallees (Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides les Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Bellevelle, Val Thorens and Orelle), Paradiski (Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne), and Tignes-Val D’Isere

  • 2016/2017 Epic pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card and a valid photo ID to the lift cashier in each resort to redeem their lift access
Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta Italy Three (3) days of free skiing
  • Includes:

Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Folgarida-Marilleva, Peio, Ponte di Legno – Tonale, Andalo – Fai della Paganella, Monte Bondone and Folgarida – Lavarone

  • Epic Pass holders must email at least one week prior to arrival and specify the Dolomiti ski area where they will pick up their pass and show a valid Epic Pass
  • Details can be found below
4 Vallees Switzerland Five (5) consecutive days of free skiing
  • Includes:

Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon

  • To redeem lift access, 2016/2017 Epic Pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass hard card, as well as a valid photo ID, to the resort’s Ticket Office
  • Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
Arlberg Austria Three (3) consecutive days of free skiing
  • Includes:

Lech, Zurs, Stuben, St. Christoph and St. Anton

  • Offer valid when booking in-resort lodging (details and participating hotels can be found below)
  • Epic Pass holders must book their lodging directly with the property and the property will deliver the passes to the guest upon confirmation of their Epic Pass

 

ski-magazine-best-resort-award    Plus, 5 total holiday-restricted days at:
Whistler Blackcomb – Rated #1 for the 2016-17 winter season by Ski Magazine, named “Top Overall Ski Resort” – If Whistler Blackcomb is on your to do list, you’ll be glad when you’ve experienced it; however be forewarned, once you go, you won’t be able to wait to get back there again. Rated best ski/ride resort for ..

  • Overall Resort
  • Terrain Variety
  • Off-Hill Activities/Nightlife

Restrictions:
Whistler Blackcomb restricted 11/25/16–11/26/16, 12/26/16–12/31/16, 1/14/17, 2/18/17–2/19/17.

Additional Tickets:
6 Ski-With-A-Friend tickets

Visit Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for more info.

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An Insider’s Guide to Ski Leases: Tips and Advice

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Ski Leases. The Ins and Outs of Getting Into One. I’d like to talk to you about ski leases. Not the kind to lease ski equipment, but condo and cabin rentals for an entire ski season for ski addicts like us. I had never heard of one until the end of last season. After I learned about them, they seemed so intriguing and beneficial to my situation that I had to learn more. I finally got into one and would like to tell you about my experience with my first ski lease. By doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into them and learn about what they are and how you too can get into one. I’ll start with my story and then provide a general description of a ski lease and then some tips from people that have lots of experience with them. Hopefully this will help you into your very own ski lease.

So, I discovered ski leases I saw them as a great ski housing opportunity for me and my family. You see, I’ve come back to skiing full tilt after almost 20 years of hiatus. Back in the day, I skied every opportunity I could get and being young and without responsibilities, never had an issue finding a place to crash when up in Tahoe. Back then, the freedom of being able to drive up to Tahoe, bum around, ski lots and have really no worries about a place to stay was taken for granted.

Flash forward twenty some-odd years and is it still that way? We all know that answer to that. Marriage and kids have become the major parts of the equation. Since the kids are now old enough to ski all day without a meltdown, we can go up a lot. However now when we go its not just me and my buds anymore. Can you imagine going up to Tahoe with my wife and three kids to just show up at someone’s place ready to crash there? It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

What is a family to do? Buying a ski house is out of the question right now. We could book a hotel stay, but that gets very expensive especially for those of us with a ski season pass with the goal of getting in as many ski days as possible. How about day trips? We gave had to go that route towards the end of last season because we were spending an ungodly amount of money on hotel stays. I’m sure I’m in a similar boat to many of you out there. The solution for someone like us was the seasonal ski lease.

What is it? Basically it is a rental of a condo or cabin in Tahoe for the ski season. If you know you’re going to Tahoe often for skiing then renting a condo/cabin for the ski season is a great alternative to paying for hotels/other lodging each time you go up. It can be more cost effective but also more convenient because you can leave your ski gear and clothing at your ski lease cabin and not worry about having a place to stay and the chore of having to pack for every ski trip. Combined with a season pass to your favorite ski resort, the major expenses are covered and you’ll only have the cost of meals and gas to worry about. If you’re a ski nut like me and aren’t yet in a similar situation, I can’t express how priceless it is to have peace of mind, comfort, and the convenience of having a ski season pass and a place to stay anytime during the season taken care of.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into a ski lease, how do you get into one of these great deals? Through my research, I’ve discovered three ways.

1- you can deal directly with the owner of a property and lease the place for you and your family for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families that you know if they’d want to go in with you and share the cost of the lease.

2 – you could contact a local professional that brokers these kinds of deals. I haven’t had much luck finding these professionals though. From what I’ve heard and if you can find one, they can put you in touch with owners that are looking to rent out their property. Once in touch with the owner, you could do the lease yourself or put together a group of members to split the cost. A good resource for Lake Tahoe area ski lease membership offerings is listed on Snowpals.

3 – you could go to online resources and search for individuals that already have a deal in place with the owner of the property and are looking for additional “members”. For those of you that are new to this, this route is probably the easiest way to enter the ski lease world. Snowpals is a great resource for Tahoe ski leases and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease opportunities. For those of you looking for ski leases in areas outside of Tahoe, you could check TGR, Epicski forums or Craigslist for postings.

The cost per membership varies and there are so many options out there. I’ve seen listings on Snowpals for full season(typically December to April) ski lease membership for one person from $600 all the way to $2000. If you’re single and can spend just $600 for lodging for an entire season–that’s an amazing deal; let’s say you stay at the ski lease for a total of 30 nights, your cost per night would be $20 per night. Naturally, the more nights you stay, the more value you get from the ski lease. Signing up for ski lease membership is a great way to maximize your ski season pass since it encourages you to go up to Tahoe the night before and be close to the ski resort and can take advantage of a good night’s rest and skiing/riding fresh tracks/powder when resorts open. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless. In addition, getting into a ski lease gives you the chance to expand your social circle and make new friends.

So, how did I find my ski lease? I got into mine by letting everyone I knew know that I wanted to learn about ski leases and my desire of joining one. Within a short period of time, a friend contacted me to ask if my wife and I would be willing to go in with them on a ski lease. He knew the owners of a great place in Truckee and they mentioned to him that they wanted to rent the place for the ski season. I told him absolutely and that we should jump on that. We brought our families together along with one other family and now we have a great house to stay in any time we want from Dec 14 to May 15. Each “member” in our group is each family. We each paid an equal lump sum on November 1, have no guest fees and our lump sum cost includes all utilities and snow removal. It is such a great deal. Of course, if another family is up there when we go up, we must share the space with them, but since we all know each other and our kids are all friends, other members being up there makes our stay more fun. Also a great benefit is that we take turns watching the kids so each set of parents get some down time. We also rotate turns cooking so that gives us more quality time to enjoy our time together.

So what are some of the pitfalls? There have to be some, right? From my research, most pitfalls come from a misunderstanding of the rules of use when in a group ski lease. If you leased the place on your own, then the rules are yours and yours alone. However, if you are going into a ski lease as part of a group, then it is important to understand the rules otherwise there could be trouble. Of course it is important to click with the other members and if you do then it is important to nail down whatever rules all the members of the ski lease decide on. Here are some things to consider from my wise and experienced ski lease mates, Eric and Andy:

  • What does your membership cost include? Make sure you know up front what your membership cost includes and what other expenses (if any) you’ll be responsible for at the end of the lease (e.g. utilities, firewood, hot tub maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning services, etc.)
  • Guest fees. Some ski leases charge “guest fees” for non-members to stay overnight to cover any additional expenses for lease. Make sure you are clear about guest fees in your ski lease and the rules for them
  • Parking. What are rules for parking? Last thing you want is to go up late Friday night and not have a parking space or at least be prepared for no parking space. Consider the option to carpool or ride share to your ski cabin if you don’t have alot of people in your family and empty seats in the van/SUV.
  • Storage of your stuff. Can you store stuff at the ski cabin/ski lease and if so what are the rules and where do you store your stuff?
  • Priority for bedrooms. If it is important for you to be in a bedroom, then what are the chances that you might not get one if everyone in the membership happens to be up at the same time. Some ski leases have agreements to allocate a dedicated bedroom where it is solely yours for the entire season which is very beneficial to bringing your own bedding and store your winter clothing and gear in the closet for convenience and easy access.

So, if you go up to Tahoe a lot and need the convenience of your own home without the financial commitment, but want a more cost effective solution than hotels/motels, a ski lease is the way to go. There are so many different options available out there. A great place to start is our very own snowpals.org ski lease section of the website. If you’re in a different area than Tahoe, you can also try craigslist, TGR, epicski, snowheads forum and other places online in your search to join a ski lease.

Many thanks to Eric and Andy, my ski lease mates who share their many years of experience and useful advice on how best to get into a ski lease and reap the benefits of maximizing our ski season pass, lodging cost savings and most of all, deepening our friendship with shared experiences. Also many thanks to those of you who provided me with some great stories and advice.

Read more about ski leases and/or list yours

Take care and enjoy!

Joe Woo is Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. He lives with his family in the North Bay.

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Saving the Planet One Rider At a Time

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By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

SnowPals is making a difference; saving our planet and particularly the Lake Tahoe Basin, one ride-share at a time.

“Did you know there are 1 billion cars in the world?  Unfortunately, we’re set to double this in the next 10 years.  Each shared car takes 13 cars off the road (average).  You can make a difference by sharing a car.”  — getaround.com

Since 1999, SnowPals members have ride-shared from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe and back at least 5,100* times (this is a conservative estimate*).  An average 400-mile round-trip in a vehicle that gets 28 miles per gallon average highway miles will burn 14.3 gallons of gas.  A gallon of gasoline burned releases 20 pounds of CO2 into the air.  By carpooling, each rider, in addition to the driver, represents 14.3 gallons of gasoline saved from being burned — or 286 pounds of carbon dioxide per round trip!

“A gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds. Roughly 90% of that mass is carbon or about 5.5 pounds.  When that carbon is burned one atom of carbon, C, combines with two molecules of oxygen, O2, to form carbon dioxide, CO2.  One molecule of CO2 weighs about 3.5 times as much as an atom of carbon, so that 5.5 pounds of carbon burned results in about 20 pounds of CO2.”

— U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11

High Five yourself, riders.  Together we have saved the planet from 1,458,600 pounds of carbon dioxide pollutants!

To calculate how much carbon pollution you contribute to the planet, annually, use the energy calculators at Infinite Power (gee, those Texans are really serious about oil): http://www.infinitepower.org/calc_carbon.htm

Plus, think about how much you have saved in gasoline expenses by offering to share your vehicle with a snow rider or two.  At 5,100 SnowPal ride-shares, times 14.3 gallons, times the price of a gallon of gas … that’s no small change.  In fact, that would be $218, 790 in dollars that did not go to Big Oil if you had paid $3/gallon at the pump, alone.

And, how many of us have made friends along the way?  Or shared a meal and a drink, or two, after the slopes … Oh, well let’s not go there!

* Median of 15 ride-shares/wk; with New Snow this shoots up to 30-35 ride-shares/week.  We’re saying that at least 4x/season there’s a surge of snow riders looking for new snow.

Help keep our planet green, save money and expand your circle of friends by joining Snowpals to ride share to Tahoe area ski resorts and beyond(members of Snowpals in past years joined forces and resources to organize ski and snowboard trips via carpooling/ride sharing to Colorado, Utah and even British Columbia ski resorts).

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Warren Miller Ski / Ride Film Showing with pre-event PIZZA

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Join us for Warren Miller’s 67th ski and snowboard film screening at 9 PM on Saturday November 19, 2016 of Here, There & Everywhere with Snowpals’ exclusive pre-show pizza social. Here’s a great opportunity to meet local skiers and boarders to expand your social circle/meet a few new friends for Tahoe ride share and ski trips for the winter season.

Got season pass? Maximize your ski season pass by joining a ski lease and expand your circle of friends and activity partners in the process.

Pre-show Pizza Social Tickets Remaining: 3 tickets left as of 11/17/2016. Ticket sales via Snowpals close at 11:59 PM PST on Friday Nov. 18, 2016.


Pizza Social Tickets: $10 per person ~ buy tickets.

Join us for our exclusive pizza social prior to the movie from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Pizza is included. Buy your own drink(s). Pizza social location is in Campbell; exact address will be given to all participants by email on Saturday Nov 19, 2016 by 11 AM.

Once you have purchased your ticket(s); PayPal will send you a receipt by email. Please print the receipt and bring it to the Pizza Social get together to redeem. If you have any questions, please  Tim or text/sms 408.341.9744.

*Pizza social tickets are non-refundable but transferable to someone else; you are responsible to sell /transfer your ticket if you can not go. If you missed or can not make it to the pizza social, there’s no refund.

Got film tickets? You can still buy tickets on Eventbrite to see the film screening of Here, There & Everywhere film screening 9:00 PM showing on Saturday November 19, 2016 at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, CA.

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Film Ticket Holders will receive coupons at the film showing for:

     2-FOR-1 LIFT TICKET TO SQUAW VALLEY | ALPINE MEADOWS: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for One (1) 2-FOR-1 lift ticket to Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows. Buy One (1) adult lift ticket at the resort rate and receive a second lift ticket for FREE. Offer valid from Opening Day 2016 through Closing Day 2017. OFFER NOT VALID Saturdays AND the following blackout dates: 12.17.16 through 12.31.17, 1.14.17 through 1.15.17, AND 2.18.17 through 2.25.17. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

     FREE LIFT TICKET TO MT. BACHELOR: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher to Mt. Bachelor good for One (1) FREE lift ticket valid Opening Day 2016 through Closing Day 2017, Sunday through Friday (non-holiday). One (1) coupon per person. Not valid with any other discount offer. No refunds. No cash value. Non-transferable.

     FREE EARLY- OR LATE-SEASON LIFT TICKET TO STEAMBOAT: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for One (1) FREE lift ticket to Steamboat. OFFER VALID 11.24.16 through 12.16.16 OR 4.1.17 through 4.16.17. Non-transferable. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

     20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE AT SPORTS BASEMENT: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for 20% OFF your entire purchase. One (1) coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other coupons or discounts. Some exclusions apply. OFFER EXPIRES 11.30.16.

About the movie:

It’s been 67 years since ski-film pioneer Warren Miller picked up a camera to capture the wonder, the adventure, the humor and the beauty that is skiing. Since that time, Warren Miller film crews have traveled the globe—from storied slopes to hidden, snow-covered corners—to celebrate all things snowsports. Their quest has taken powder-hungry filmgoers, well, Here, There & Everywhere—and this year continues that legacy.

In this 67th annual Warren Miller film, take a freeski adventure with industry veterans Ingrid Backstrom and Wendy Fisher in Crested Butte, tour Eastern Greenland by dog sled with Seth Wescott and Rob Kingwill and follow Jess McMillan and Grete Eliassen on a Swiss holiday aboard the Glacier Express. Explore the backcountry of Western Montana’s Glacier Country with Tyler Ceccanti, Collin Collins and Keith Curtis and catch a powder day with Kaylin Richardson, Matt Elliott, Marcus Caston and the Kicking Horse ski patrol in British Columbia.

Travel along as Warren Miller Entertainment commemorates Stein Eriksen in Deer Valley, captures the big air at Boston’s Fenway Park (yes, that Fenway Park!) and rides the steeps of Squaw Valley to the big lines of Cordova, Alaska, plus much more. This year, don’t miss original ski bum and filmmaker Warren Miller himself in on-screen interviews as he spins tales of the past as only Warren can do, reminding us that through the years, these films have truly taken audiences Here, There & Everywhere.

Sponsors of the 2016 Warren Miller Film Tour include: Western Montana’s Glacier Country, Gosling’s, L.L. Bean, Moosehead, Switzerland Tourism, Helly Hansen, Korbel and SKI Magazine.

Featured Athletes: Aaron Blunck • Chris Anthony • Collin Collins • Grete Elliassen • Ingrid Backstrom • Jeremy Jones • Jess McMillan • Jonny Moseley • JT Holmes • Kailyn Richardson • Keith Curtis • Marcus Caston • Matt Elliott • Morgan Hebert • Rob Kingwill • Ryland Bell • Seth Wescott • Tyler Ceccanti • Wendy Fisher

Narrated by: Jonny Moseley and Featuring Warren Miller

Featured Locations: Squaw Valley, CA • Crested Butte, CO • Deer Valley, UT • Montana • Switzerland • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort • Cordova, AK • Greenland • Boston’s Fenway Park • Steamboat Springs, CO

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We curate the best deals such as:

  • Top picks for lift ticket deals and season pass deals
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