What’s the best value season pass deal for 2019/20? Get the most mountain for your money

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Updated on April 9, 2019 – What’s the best value ski season pass deal for 2019/20?

IKON Pass ($649/$949), Epic Pass ($699/$939), or Mountain Collective Pass at $449?

Here’s why the MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS 2019/20 is the best value season pass:

Ski, Ride & Explore 17 Mountains Around The World. 2 Days At Each Resort. No Blackout Dates, 2 Days at the Collective Ski Resort Destinations for Passholders.

For the 2019-2010 season included is a BONUS THIRD DAY AT THE DESTINATION OF YOUR CHOICE. Perfect Ski Getaway. Adults and Kids’ Passes. That’s a total of 35 lift tickets included with the pass.

Unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets after the 2 days of lift tickets per resort, plus exclusive lodging deals at each destination. Includes big name resorts like Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Aspen Snowmass in Colorado, Taos in New Mexico, Niseko United (Japan) & more (see full list below)

The pass includes two days of lift tickets at each of the following resorts:

+ Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Northern California)
+ Mammoth Mountain (Central Sierra, California)

+ Alta (Utah)
+ Snowbird (Utah)

+ Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)

+ Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico)
+ Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
+ Big Sky Resort (Montana)
+ Sugarbush Resort (Vermont)

+ Revelstoke Mountain Resort (British Columbia, Canada) – sets record for highest vertical at 5,620 feet & longest ski season in Canada and is only 35 miles away from Banff Sunshine

+ Banff Sunshine (Alberta, Canada)
+ Lake Louise (Alberta, Canada)

+ Niseko United (Japan) – watch the epic powder riding video below; Japan skiing is on many skiers’ bucket list

+ Coronet Peak | The Remarkables (New Zealand)
+ Thredbo Alpine Village (Australia)

+ Mt Buller (Australia) – added for 2019/20
+ Valle Nevado (Chile) – added for 2019/20

Read more/buy the Mountain Collective Pass for $449 Adults. Kids 12 and under only $99.

How is THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS a best value deal?

1) Ski or ride three days and the pass will have more than paid for itself; keep in mind a single adult regular lift ticket goes for $169 at Squaw Alpine and similar resorts cost just as much. Once you have redeemed three days of lift tickets, you still have 32 more days of skiing at other resorts. The more days you ski and ride, the more value you get from the pass. So the key question is from your past experience, how many ski days do you actually take? If you have a busy work schedule, this pass offers the best value for the price aka the best bang for your buck.

2) THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS gives you the opportunity to ski and discover big name resorts like Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Niseko United (Japan), Banff Sunshine, and Taos Ski Valley resort. The pass gives you an excuse to explore new resorts. Take to 2-3 days at one resort, then take a road-trip to another as opposed to staying in one place for a week or longer. This pass is your ticket to adventure.

3) If Tahoe area resorts suffer from lack of snow as a result, you can chase powder dumps at your choice of 16 other resorts included in the pass, namely Alta (Utah), Aspen Snowmass (Colorado), Big Sky Resort (Montana), Banff Sunshine (Alberta), Coronet Peak | The Remarkables (New Zealand), Jackson Hole (Wyoming), Lake Louise (Alberta), Mammoth Mountain (California), Niseko United (Japan), Revelstoke Mountain Resort (British Columbia), Snowbird (Utah), Sugarbush Resort (Vermont), Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico), and Thredbo (Australia). THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS lets you go where the powder is. In case Lake Tahoe area resorts suffered from insufficient snow, you have a list of other resorts you can go to.

With the Mountain Collective, it’s possible for passionate skiers and riders to discover thousands of vertical feet and chase ideal winter snow conditions across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, Japan, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR PASSHOLDERS

+ 2 days at Chamonix in France*

Chamonix — France

* Benefits at Chamonix apply to their 2019/20 season. Mountain Collective global affiliate benefits are valid only at the current Mountain Collective Global Affiliates. Global Affiliates are subject to change each ski season.

+ Complimentary 1-year Protect Our Winters (POW) membership

Get more details about the Mountain Collective Pass details/purchase.

“The Mountain Collective Pass encourages skiers to plan adventures and explore new areas, to chase snow and to cross off bucket list destinations.” Below is a video of why Japan is on many skier’s buck list.

Every year consistently Epic POWder: Niseko, Japan

One of the top ski and ride destinations is Niseko United (Japan) where you’ll discover simply some of the driest, lightest powder aka champagne powder in the world. Consistently recording winter seasonal snowfall of 45.9 feet of snow or more, it’s a favorite powder skiing and riding destination.

The ski resort Niseko United – Annapuri/Grand Hirafu/Hanazono/Niseko Village is located on Hokkaido (Japan). For skiing and snowboarding, there are 44.5 km of slopes available. 32 lifts transport skiers and riders to the summit (check out the resort’s trail map). The winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 300 and 1,200 m.

Seasonal winds from the Eurasian continent pick up moisture over the warm currents of the Sea of Japan to from snow clouds and in turn some of the driest, lightest powder in the world. With its rich variety of terrain and beautiful winter woods, Niseko offers an unforgettable experience for all levels of skier/snowboarder.

The Niseko United is composed of four resorts on one pass: Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono. With over 14 meters of powder per year, fantastic lift-accessed backcountry, a short 20-minute hike from the top lift to the 1308m-high peak, and night skiing until 8:30pm throughout the season; Niseko offers the best ski resort experience worldwide. The international nature of the resort means that even English speakers can travel to Japan without any language barrier worries.

Watch the video below to see what riding powder looks like at Niseko United (Japan):


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* Looking to create a ski lease members group to share the cost of a ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse available ski leases to join or planning a Tahoe vacation, browse rentals.

Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Maps and Guidebook

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Get the Inside Scoop, Purchase a Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Map and Guidebook – use snowpals19 promo discount coupon code to get 10% off.

You’re in Tahoe, the stoke is high, the conditions are perfect…
…and you’re stuck waiting in a lift line to ski groomers and bumps because you couldn’t find a local with the beta you needed to get into the backcountry.

No longer! Backcountry Ski Maps wants to make this scenario a thing of the past.

Our map was specifically designed as a topographic map and guidebook rolled into one to make it easier to find all the information you need to get out touring in the Tahoe area.

All maps include detailed ascent and descent routes, photos, and a text guide to the best lines, which means that just one source of beta can easily get you to secret stashes you had only heard ‘whispers of’. We highlight the most classic lines, help you find the easiest approaches, and reveal the biggest potential dangers and challenges so you can spend less time searching for information and more time skiing!

The Tahoe Southwest Map features more than 70 descents, ranging from mellow glades to ultra-steep couloirs.

Included are ski routes on:

Rubicon Peak
Jake’s Peak
Mt. Tallac
Pyramid Peak
Dick’s Peak
Echo Peak
Angora Peak
and many, many more!

Backcountry Ski Maps partnered with SnowPals to offer a 10% off all backcountry ski maps by using discount promo code: snowpals19

To get 10% off your backcountry map purchase, enter the discount coupon code ‘ snowpals19 ‘ at check-out; purchase maps at

https://backcountryskimaps.com/product/tahoe-southwest

Available formats: paper and digital maps

+ Mount Hood, Oregon Backcountry Ski Map (Coming Soon)

+ Lake Tahoe: North Backcountry Ski Map (Coming Soon)

More About Backcountry Ski Maps

“Make the Most of the Backcountry
Maybe you’re new to an area or even new to touring in general. Maybe you’re a weekend warrior with only a limited amount of time to play in the mountains. Or maybe you’re a jaded local who thinks they’ve skied every worthy line in the area.

Here at Backcountry Ski Maps, LLC we feel you. If you’re anything like us, all you want is to spend more time outdoors, taking in beautiful views and riding the steepest, deepest lines.

We were frustrated to have to spend hours on the internet researching potential lines on sites of varying reliability. We were even more frustrated when summer came along and we saw all the in-depth hiking, climbing, and backpacking topos on the market.

Something needed to change.

And so Backcountry Ski Maps, LLC was born.

Now we’re striving to make the easiest to use, all-in-one backcountry ski touring maps on the market. A place where you can find all the route information you need on one piece of paper: just take a look at the map, find a zone that fits your needs (and the current avalanche conditions), read a little about the zone on the back of the map, and get out into the white room.

Now you’ve got a one-stop-shop to find everything from low-angle pow-day trees to rarely skied and ultra-steep couloirs.

Our hope is that by helping people find the right lines, our maps can inspire more people to get out into the backcountry hooting and hollering and collecting faceshots.

Come join the fun!” – backcountryskimaps.com

 

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Featured Tahoe Ski Lease and Vacation Rental Listings

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Lake Tahoe Area Group/Families Organized Ski Lease Share

North Tahoe Donner Lake ski lease share
✔ Midweek North Tahoe Donner Lake ski lease memberships available
Established Ski/Board House is looking for friendly skiers & boarders to join us this winter. We have room for midweek-only members in a 4 bed 3 bath house with 11 beds. Every member/couple is guaranteed a bed. This is a dog friendly house across from Donner Lake in Truckee. Save time commuting compared to other Tahoe locations. $950 for a single or $1800 for a couple. Monthly cleaning included in pricing – details & contact.

south tahoe luxury ski lease share ✔ South Lake Tahoe Luxury Lease with Hot Tub, Sauna, Steam Room
We are a group of late 20’s/early 30’s Bay Area professionals looking for an additional 2-4 full-time members and up to 6 weekday members to share our luxury ski lease cabin with hot tub, sauna and steam room for the season. The house is located near Rte. 89 in Meyers. It is a 13-minute drive to Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Main Lodge. The Heavenly Village Gondola is also a 14-minute drive from this home. Kirkwood Mountain Resort is only 40 minutes away and Sierra-at-Tahoe is 20 minutes away – details & contact.

–> Browse the entire list of available ski leases.

Lake Tahoe Area Vacation Rentals + Rentals Available for Seasonal Ski Lease

South Tahoe vacation rental ✔ South Lake Tahoe Home with Hot Tub.
Your next great getaway awaits at this 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom vacation rental house in South Lake Tahoe. Boasting a 2,206-square-foot interior, accommodations for up to 10 guests, and amenities both inside and out, this property is one of the best. Starting at $250 a night – details & contact.

Truckee area vacation rental ✔ Cozy Cabin Winter Retreat.
Our Russel Valley cabin has all the benefits of feeling remote, while still having proximity to everything you might need for a special winter get-away: bird and wildlife viewing, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking or a short drive to Truckee restaurants & shopping, nearby Ski Areas and beautiful Lake Tahoe. Northstar is 18 miles and Squaw Valley is 23 miles away – details & contact.

–> Browse the entire list of vacation rentals.

Have a ski lease or vacation rental you'd like to list?

*List a vacation rental or ski lease.

*Browse more vacation rentals or ski leases.

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Survival Guide & Tips: Skiing with Kids

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By Joe Woo, Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. 

Skiing with kids. It seems like a simple thing. But let me tell you. If you haven’t done it before and aren’t prepared for it, it can ruin a great time on the slopes. However, with the right preparation, it can be more fun skiing with them than skiing without them. For those of you toying with the idea of finally bringing the kids up or maybe you’re considering bringing up a nephew or niece…read this. What I’ll do first is share some of my kid skiing experience and what we do to make it lots of fun.

For me, skiing pre-kids was easy. I never thought about anyone else. I never considered having to ski with anyone. If anyone I was skiing with slowed me down or was having a bad time, I could separate from them and meet up with them later. That was no big deal. When you add kids to the mix, things really change. The main thing is that you can’t just dump the kids and continue skiing when they’re cramping your style. When you’re on the mountain with your kids, you’re stuck with them for better or for worse. What is a parent to do?

Over the last two seasons I’ve come up with a pretty good system for skiing with kids. My wife and I came up with it using trial and error to finally dial in something that works for our family. It was a lot of effort using trial and error and lots of frustration but it was worth it. Why go through all the effort? Why not just dump the kids in ski school for the day so that I could ski without them?

Cost is an obvious issue, but more importantly skiing with my kids is fun. It is more fun than skiing without them because when they’re having fun, there is nothing better than skiing together, laughing together and watching them learn, grow and overcome all the little challenges of skiing. The look on their face when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could is priceless and worth more than anything in the world. When it is good, skiing with them is better than any skiing I could do on my own.

So, what’s the issue? Those fun times were rare and didn’t happen often. When they did happen, they were priceless, however it seemed like the bad times outweighed the good times. Finding a way to make those fun times happen more was something I had to do.

So, how do you do that? What I discovered through two years of trial and error is CCSF. What does this mean? Confidence, Comfort, and Sated (not hungry) equals Fun. If you can get the Confidence, Comfort and Sate (not hungry) issues right that will equal Fun for your family. Lets look closer at each element.

Confidence

Confidence is a very important thing for anyone. It is especially important for kids to have when skiing. I’ll go so far as to say that confidence is so important that I believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing. Without confidence, the kids will never want to ski, will dread skiing and will make your time on the mountain miserable. You should do everything in your power to build your kids confidence in skiing.

How do you do that? For us we decided to always try and put our kids in skiing situations that we knew they could be successful. We never made them do anything we knew they would fail at. They quickly built confidence the second day they ever skied. The thing that built confidence the most was succeeding in tasks when they were scared of doing something even though I knew they could do it. These were the cases where I pushed them hard because I knew they could do it, but they needed to realize they could do it and when they did it you could see the confidence grow.

For example, my 5 year old son refused to ski without being between my legs and me holding him down the bunny slope. I knew he would crash at first if he tried skiing by himself as this was his first time on skis. After about 5 runs between my legs I started to stop actively holding him and he would ski holding me. Then after a few runs of doing that we would stop halfway down the hill, put his skis in pizza and let him go so that he was standing still on the hill in pizza. Then I would go about 10 feet in front of him and tell him to slide to me. At first it was a struggle because he didn’t want me to let go of him. He would cry when I would let go. I just wanted him to slide to me in pizza. He didn’t have to stop. I would catch him. But he was scared to do it, but I knew he could do it and he finally did through the cries and tears. Once he realized he had actually done it, he did it again.

At first it was 10 feet, then 20 feet and I would stop him. If he veered off course I would slide over to catch him. Then I told him to stop by himself and he just did it. He was amazed that he could stop by himself and the rest is history. He skied the rest of the day by himself without ever turning. Just pizza strait down the hill with his arms held in front of him like he was ready to do some serious karate chops. His way to balance I guess. The next day he was turning back and fourth and excited about skiing.

My daughter was the same progression at the same time. Soon they got bored of the slope and asked to do another lift. We moved onto another beginner lift with slightly steeper terrain and a longer run. That was last year at Diamond Peak. They gained so much confidence at Diamond Peak, Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley. I continued to teach them parallel skiing and my daughter is no longer in pizza. My son is in an advanced pizza today, but is almost ready for parallel skiing.

Today my younger son is six and my daughter is eight and both are happily skiing black diamonds off Red Dog, KT-22, Headwall and other lifts at Squaw Valley. My older son is actually skiing (as opposed to just surviving down) West Face, Tower 16 and the various terrains off Silverado chair! It is amazing what a little confidence can do. My kids are testament to that without ever having professional ski lessons. Whatever you do, make sure the kids gain lots of confidence. I truly believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing.

Comfort

Now your kids are confident skiers. Is that it? Not really. No matter how confident they are, if they are not comfortable, they will complain and ruin your day. Kids are not mature enough to overcome the little issues so they don’t ruin the big things like a fun day of skiing. Our kids are pretty tough and the last thing we do is baby them, but every kid has a limit to what comfort they’re willing to give up on to have fun on the slopes.

It is important that you take the time to learn what your kids comfort limits are and make sure those needs are satisfied. My kids don’t complain that much about their comfort. I think it is because I’ve invested in making sure they stay warm and dry no matter the conditions. They have top of the line ski pants, jackets, gloves, base and mid layers. They have great helmets and goggles. Goggles were an issue and I finally got them decent stuff that doesn’t fog and they can clean easily. Another important piece of equipment was the neck gator. It seals out the cold air getting in from the neck. The kids rarely complain about being cold or wet and it is one less issue we have to worry about.

Sate

Kids don’t do well when they’re hungry. Instead you sould make it a priority to make sure they’re sated and not hungry. This one is really simple. Kids start getting moody and melting down when they get hungry. It is amazing. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Feed your kids periodically and your chances are better at having a great day. We discovered that if we have a big breakfast, lunch around 12:30 or 1, 2:30 heavy snack and small snacks on the lifts in between, we avoid the hunger meltdown altogether. Now I always have a large Hershey bar in my pocket and on every other lift ride, I’ll give each kid one piece to eat. This system has worked great this season.

Skiing with your kids can be fun and very rewarding. Just remember that kids have unique needs that you have to consider. The best way I know is to remember CCSF. Confidence, Comfort and Sated equals Fun. Try is next time you’re out with the kids. Good luck!

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More skiing with kids tips for parents..

From Jeremy Feinberg, a Ski Instructor at Kirkwood for 6 years plus, a certified PSIA Level 2 instructor, training for Level 3; he teaches skill levels that range from first timers to expert; he coaches a Progression team that skis 99% of the legal terrain at Kirkwood.

As someone who makes their living teaching children how to ski I can say that there are some good things in this survival guide; a comfortable and well fed child is one who is set up for success, and depending on the child, confidence can be a limiting factor, however in the 1+ page of text there was very little emphasis on skill development and no mention at all of the physical and cognitive limitations that change as a child grows.

That being said, a few things to keep in mind include: 

It’s hard to learn new skills when people are on terrain that is at the edge of their comfort level, dial it back, gain ownership over the movements and then take it to the steeper snow.

Confidence can be a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing… your child needs to ski in control and not be a menace or hazard.

Leash and harness systems enable parents to get younger kids on the snow but can reinforce bad habits, however the harnesses themselves can be useful for picking up kids from the snow and helping them on to the lift.

The Edgy Wedgie can be a useful teaching tool, try it for a run or two, take if off and see if the child can stop without it… use it for a few runs, not a few days or seasons.  

If its your child’s first time skiing, start on a small hill below the lift, 30-50 feet long and almost flat with a flat runout at the bottom, or a gradual uphill if you can find it, learn to stop there, then head to the chair.

Some children perform at a higher level with their parents around, some excel within their peer group under the tutelage of an experienced coach, it helps to know which group your child falls into

The pace of skill development as detailed in the Survival Guide sounds about right, just keep in mind that today I had a 6 year old girl first time skier (along with a five year old girl with separation anxiety issues whose mother checked her out after lunch) who was able to stop within the first hour, we were on the chairlift before lunch and making turns.  By the time her parents picked her up (1/2 hour early) she had taken several runs through the trees. Tomorrow after a brief warm up she will be ready for the lower intermediate lift.  Her older brother who was on a snowboard was unwilling to follow us through the woods.    Her parents were impressed by her success and gave me a generous tip.

If you want to get your child out of the wedge and making turns that have a least some parallel at the end of each turn, and you want that to happen quickly, ski school is the place for your child, especially on the weekdays when group sizes are small and only experienced and highly certified instructors are getting any work.  

Please don’t be that person who has their child skiing advanced terrain in a power wedge, if you are going to ski with your child and teach them how to ski, make the day about them, you need to be there to support them and help them along the way.  

Recognize the limitations of your own teaching abilities and don’t let your child (or yourself) get stuck in the skill rut; if you have any questions about how this can manifest one can use the intermediate rut as an example: go to most ski resorts and watch the way people on the intermediate runs ski, particularly how they initiate their turns.  What you will see in most cases are varying degrees of stem (wedge or pizza) to start the turn.  People make this movement because they are not comfortable performing a movement that ski instructors call crossover.

Crossover is the movement that separates advanced skiers from people that ski advanced terrain, it is defined my crossing your center of mass over your skis, down the hill into the new turn (basically throwing one’s body down the hill, swooping your skis underneath the body to catch the center of mass)  

Crossover one example of a movement that can define a skill rut, it’s difficult to teach and limits a person’s ability to explore and enjoy the mountain.

**On a related note** Teaching the spouse or significant other how to ski is tough, I call it the relationship tester, put that person in a group or private lesson, meet up for lunch and ski together in the afternoon, at their pace, where the instructor said would be a good place to ski.  Your romantic relationship is one of equals, the student/teacher relationship is not, things can get ugly quick.

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

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Ski Leases for families and groups. 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 either for your family or for your group of ski and snowboarding buddies.

When 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 quite 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 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 with 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 or group for friends for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families/friends 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 is to search for Lake Tahoe area vacation rentals available as a seasonal ski lease listed on SnowPals rentals page.

(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 organized by various groups and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease membership 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 $700 all the way to $2500. If you’re single and can spend just $700 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 $23.34 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 get the chance to ski/ride fresh tracks/powder when resorts start up their lifts. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless; how many times have you been stuck in traffic or frustrated with locating free parking spaces? 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 a 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 family 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 in a clear and concise written agreement. 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 to browse available ski lease memberships organized by families or group of skiers/snowboarders to share a ski cabin. 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 to 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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Free Lift Ticket at Ski & Snowboard Film Premiers Coming to SF Bay Area

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Mark you calendar for Ski & Snowboard Film Premier Screenings Coming to the San Francisco Bay Area

Gather some friends and family to watch ski and snowboard film premiers to get stoked for the coming snow season and score a free lift ticket at selected screenings.

*Most film/movie screenings will give out a free mid-week non-holiday lift ticket or a 2 for 1 lift ticket aka BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon/voucher. With adult lift tickets pricing of $100 and up, a free lift ticket is an added bonus for watching a ski and ride film which you can use or give it to a friend or family member.

At most film screenings, get a chance to win swag/prizes and ski/ride destination trips at intermission and after the film raffle.

A run-down of the best ski & snowboard films coming to the SF Bay Area

–>> Warren Miller’s 69th snow sports film comes to the Bay Area

When: From October 12, 2018 to November 2018, various dates and SF Bay Area film screening locations.

“Loving the pure joy of winter is something we have in common with the late, great Warren Miller—who helped create and capture the magic of skiing. This year, “Face of Winter,” the 69th installment from Warren Miller Entertainment presented by Volkswagen, will bring new and veteran athletes alike together to pay tribute to the man who started it all.

Watch as the world’s best skiers and riders cover ground in some of the most legendary destinations to honor a face that launched a thousand quips and got us all started on this long, crazy ride. Visit some of Warren’s favorite locations from Switzerland to Chamonix, British Columbia to Alaska, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand and more.

Come along to far off regions, meet the locals, carve faces of remote mountain ranges, and celebrate the thrills of a life lived in high places.

Join in the tribute and continue the legacy. We are all the “Face of Winter.”

*Free lift ticket at the show is for Mt. Shasta Ski Park Resort | Trail Map | Cam | Also enjoy extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM | See Google Map & Driving Directions

Get the following lift tickets, swag and offers with every film ticket purchased:

(1) Free 2-FOR-1 WEEKDAY LIFT TICKET TO SQUAW VALLEY / ALPINE MEADOWS
(2) 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE AT SPORTS BASEMENT
(3) JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT: BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE LIFT TICKET
(4) BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE (BOGO) LIFT TICKET TO ANGEL FIRE RESORT in New Mexico

Face of Winter Film Show Dates and Locations:

CASTRO THEATRE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Nov 16

PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Nov 7 | Nov 8

CALIFORNIA THEATRE
BERKELEY, CA
Nov 15

MARIN CENTER
SAN RAFAEL, CA
Nov 17

THE FOX THEATRE
REDWOOD CITY, CA
Nov 24

THE LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
WALNUT CREEK, CA
Nov 6

AMADOR THEATER
PLEASANTON, CA
Nov 14

CAMPBELL HERITAGE THEATRE
CAMPBELL, CA
Nov 10 ~ join our Pre-film Meetup for Drinks & Good Eats

AMADOR THEATER
PLEASANTON, CA
Nov 14

THE FOX THEATRE
REDWOOD CITY, CA
Nov 24

RIO THEATRE
SANTA CRUZ, CA
Nov 20

The Warren Miller Film Tour kicks off on October 12, 2018.” Enter your zip code for the nearest film screening near you and to buy film tickets.

* Join us before the film screening to enjoy drinks, good eats and to connect with skiers and snowboarders for Tahoe trips and Tahoe ridesharing. Expand your circle of ski and snowboard buddies at our preseason meetup.

How to get my free lift tickets for Warren Miller’s Film Screenings?

You’re get a voucher at the film screening; go to www.wmecoupons.com to redeem the above free lift tickets/swag.

YouTube “Face of Winter” 2018 film screening:

–>> Teton Gravity Research’s (TGR) Film Far Out 2018 Tour Dates

EVENT DETAILS

What: San Francisco premiere of Far Out, presented by REI

When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Early Show – 6:00 doors, 6:30 show. Late – 8:30 doors, 9:15 show. Buy tickets.
Where: Palace of Fine Arts
How Much: Early Show – $18 advance, $20 day of show, $10 ages 16 and under. Late Show – $20.

* In Berkeley, CA on October 12, 2018 at The UC Theatre; showtimes: 6:45pm and 9:15pm. Buy Tickets.

* For those of you looking for a more intimate viewing experience, this year TGR is excited to announce the return of the TGR WhiSKI series. The WhiSKI Series pairs a high-end whiskey tasting (featuring High West whiskey) with a VIP screening of Far Out, and athlete/production Q&A. All WhiSKI Series attendees will also get swag bags including Yeti Ramblers, TGR films and more.

OCTOBER 11, 2018
DELANCEY STREET SCREENING ROOM (WHISKI SERIES)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Buy Tickets.

“Far Out embodies the imagination as much as it does a physical space. It is the quest to seek out undiscovered realms and inspire new waves of creativity, enlightenment, and progression. It is the quest to be blown away.

Join the TGR crew on one of its boldest missions ever. The film follows the perspective of an athlete as he embarks on a journey to one of the most remote and unexplored mountain ranges on the planet, the Albanian Alps. While the final destination appears to be the ultimate goal, it is the collective of athletes, experiences, and the array of locations around the world that inevitably drive the season’s adventure. Witness mind-bending pillow lines as the crew camps out deep in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. Experience urban madness in Kamchatka and the insanity of the Crazy Mountains in Montana. Join the crew in the Slovenian Alps for over-the-head cold smoke and watch an 11-year-old rip Jackson Hole. Discover the alien landscape of Girdwood, Alaska in January and see Sean Jordan ride into Crested Butte on a black stallion to shred the Southern Rockies. Find out if the wildest and most untamed mountains in Europe let us in, and if the ultimate destination became a reality.

Whether you choose to come to the family-friendly early show or party with us at the late show, it’s sure to be a great night. There will be athlete appearances, plus a ton of prizes from our partners at Yeti, The North Face, Atomic, Volkl, TGR and more, plus everyone in attendance will get a buy-one-day-get-the-next-day-free lift ticket to Mt Bachelor (holiday restrictions apply)”

YouTube Far Out film trailer:


–>> Matchstick Productions “All In” 2018 Ski Film

When: October 8, 2018 at 6pm
Where: San Francisco, CA
Tickets: skimovie.com

KEEP TAHOE BLUE, 3RD ANNUAL SKI MOVIE FUNDRAISER!
Are you ready for Keep Tahoe Blue and Matchstick Productions 3rd annual movie premiere? Get stoked for the 2018-19 snow season and join us for the hottest new ski film “ALL IN”!

This year’s screening party and fundraiser will be held at the JCCSF on October 8th from 6 to 10:00PM. Ticket prices include film screening, top notch food from local caterers, beer sponsored by Sierra Nevada, high-end local wines, chance to meet athletes from the film and opportunities to win amazing auction items and giveaways. Above all, all proceeds will benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe!

General Admission Ticket: $50. Includes movie ticket, amazing local food, beer and wine (21+). BUY TICKETS.

A limited amount of tickets will be sold at door, first come first serve for $70 (NOTE: this event WILL sell out!)

This years silent auction prizes include:
· Custom skies from Blizzard and Volkl
· Gear from The North Face
· GoPro, Sunski’s, Spy Opitcs, Betabrand
· Tickets to events around the Bay
· and much, much more… all to benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe!

“ALL IN”, Matchstick Productions’ 2018 epic ski film delivers a first of its kind experience. This concept is spearheaded by a talented group of hard-charging women who wanted to disrupt the male-dominated ski film formula. This isn’t you typical “Women can shred too” film, this is a kick-ass ski film that just happens to feature as many women as men. Skiing isn’t exclusionary, true fun in the mountains can be shared equally by everyone.

Shot in exotic locations over the course of 2018, ALL IN will excite skiers across the globe. Follow the crew from the lift-accessed terrain of Snowbird to the dreamworlds of Japan and Alaska amplified by a soundtrack that will be on everyone’s ski playlist next year. Starring: Angel Collinson, Michelle Parker, Tatum Monod, Elyse Saugstad, Mark Abma, Wiley Miller, Johnny Collinson, and Cody Townsend.

YouTube “All In” film trailer:

* Looking to create a ski lease members group to share the cost of a ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse available ski leases to join or planning a Tahoe area vacation, browse rentals.

* What’s it like to ski/ride Japan’s famous dry champagne powder?

This season pass gives you two days of skiing / riding in Japan among 18 other resorts across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, Chamonix (France) and Valle Nevado (Chile), California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. For 2018/19 season, this pass enables you to go where there’s POWder galore!

Upcoming

+ Enjoy wine and beer tasting plus four free lift tickets; get 1`/2 off SNOWBOMB SKI SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL SHOW TICKETS

+ Check out our upcoming ski and snowboard preseason kick-off parties

Dream Trip: Ski/Snowboard Powder in Kashmir

~ where culture, travel exploration and skiing meet

“Twenty-two year old Swede, Lovisa Rosengren, chooses Gulmarg, Kashmir as her dream trip spot with Cody Townsend and Kalen Thorien. What was supposed to be a cultural trip, turns into so much more when a 3 meter snow storm rolls through the resort.” – Salomon TV

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Heli-Skiing Riding Deep POWder on your bucket list?

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Learn More About Heli-skiing with CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays) at one of our Annual Fall Events. California Rep, Anne Trott, and CMH Bobbie Burns Guide, Brodie Smith, will be available to answer questions.

Join us to experience the world’s first virtual reality heli-skiing experience, “Lines of Sight”, created in partnership with the award-winning Sherpas Cinema. Filmed entirely at CMH Cariboos over the course of one incredible winter, this cinematic piece is the first of its kind in both the tech and the ski industry. We invite you to step into the heli, soar above the peaks, and drop into the best runs of your life in this beautifully immersive video.

San Francisco

Thursday, Nov 1st, 2018

6 – 830 pm

Barbarossa Lounge

714 Montgomery Street, San Francisco CA

Mountain View

Thursday, Nov 8th, 2018

6-830 pm

Steins Beer Garden

895 Villa Street, Mountain View CA

Here’s your chance to see what it’s like to heli-ski & to ride untracked deep powder. On your bucket list?

Reserved seating RSVP is Required. Space is Limited. Email Anne Trott at to specify the event that you want to attend and how many people in your party.

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