Pass options for upcoming ski season
We can all feel the change of temperature in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The afternoons are not as warm and the evenings have become downright chilly.
Fall is right around the corner and then winter will quickly take over.
Summer hikes up mountains will transition into sliding down those slopes.
Don’t forget winterizing your home and making sure there is enough wood to last, but the most important thing for snow hounds is figuring out where you’re going to shred the powder.
The first resort, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, is scheduled to open in less than two months, Friday, Oct. 26. Heavenly and Kirkwood mountain resorts will follow a few weeks later on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, respectively.
If you haven’t secured a season pass, let’s take a look at the options, and there are many. After this weekend, some resorts will raise prices so the time to pounce is now.
Vail Resorts, which owns Heavenly and Kirkwood mountain resorts on the South Shore and also Northstar on the North Shore, offers many options, including the unlimited, unrestricted Epic Pass that allows access to 65 resorts worldwide.
The pass includes seven days at Telluride Ski Resort, just a 14- to 15-hour drive to southwestern Colorado. It also comes with six friends tickets and 20 percent off lodging.
The pass is $899 for adults 13-plus and $469 for kids 5-12.
The Epic Local Pass costs $669 for ages 19-plus, $359 for children 5-12 and $549 for teens 13-18, and has a few holiday restrictions on the usual dates Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-24), Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King), Dec. 26-31 (Christmas/New Years) and Feb. 16-17 (President’s Day).
The Tahoe Local Pass is just that — unlimited skiing or riding at Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar with holiday restrictions. It also allows five holiday-restricted days at five out-of-state resorts.
The cost is $569 for adults, $309 children 5-12 and $449 for teenagers.
The Tahoe Value Pass costs $489 for adults, $239 for children and $409 for seniors. Holiday and peak periods are restricted at the three South Shore resorts, including all Saturdays.
There are also Epic 7-day and 4-day passes available.
All prices will rise after Sept. 3.
For information, visit skiheavenly.com.
Sierra-at-Tahoe offers two kinds of passes and also offers options to add on to the perks.
The unlimited “Certifed Unserious” season pass is $449 for adults 23-69, $349 for young adults 13-22, $169 for seniors 70-plus, $169 for children 5-12 ands kids 4 and under ski or ride for free.
The pass includes zero blackout dates, 54 free days at 18 other ski areas, four discounted friend tickets and a bring-a-friend-free on select Fridays.
The Value Pass is $319 and will come with 10 holiday blackout dates and two discounted lift tickets.
Diamond Peak Ski Area offers a pair of passes, the Full Pass and Midweek Pass.
The full pass is just that, unlimited everything with zero blackout dates.
It costs $449 for adults 24-64, $249 for young adults 13-23, $179 for children 7-12, $179 for seniors 65-69, $149 for super seniors 70-79 and 6 and under and 80-plus get passes for free.
Pass perks include 20 percent off tuning in the repair and rental shop, 10 percent off food and non-alcoholic beverages at Snowflake Lodge, 60 bonus tickets at resorts across the country and four discounted bring a friend tickets.
The Midweek Pass is $319 for adults, $209 for youths, $149 for seniors and $129 for super seniors.
Mt. Rose’s unrestricted pass is $599 for adults 16-plus and $275 for children 6-15. The perks include 25 percent off all mountain food outlets, discount on beer and wine, lesson discounts, free clinics, 50 percent off repair and tuning and 25 percent off in 431 Sports.
The Value Pass is $529/$225 and comes with eight holiday blackout dates.
The Midweek Pass is $399 and for $50 more Sunday access can be added.
One midweek day is $199 and two midweek days are $299.
The Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Ikon Pass costs $999 and comes with unlimited access to the Tahoe resorts and also 11 other destinations.
The Ikon Base Pass is $699 and is unlimited at Squaw/Alpine except for holiday blackouts.
Ski California, the ambassador for 32 resorts in California and Nevada are offering a unique pass this season that is fully transferable, a one of a kind option.
Friends and family and business owners, employees and partners can share the pass that comes with zero blackout dates.
The pass has direct lift access to Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Squaw, Alpine, Sugar Bowl, Mammoth, and Boreal.
There are only 100 Gold passes available and the prices are higher, but the convenience of what it offers could outweigh the cost.
Gold passes purchased before Oct. 1 are $2,750 and $3,250 if purchased after. Far West Ski Association participants with verification can purchase a pass for $2,100.