5 Reasons Why We Love the Ikon Pass

Pack it into the iconic 125-passenger aerial tram at Snowbird in Utah, now on the Ikon Pass. Photo: Matt Crawley

The 2017/2018 ski season began with a late and interesting start (seriously, Florida, stop stealing our snow), yet we’re already talking about next year. Specifically, the new Ikon Pass.

Season passes are always changing to gain any advantage over the competing passes (like the Epic Pass adding Telluride for next season) and the Ikon Pass is slated to be a game changer.

Here are the top five reasons why we are stoked for the Ikon Pass.

One Pass, 26 Mountains

Steamboat has snow, trees, and a bit of nightlife for whatever you are in the mood for. Photo: Loryn Kasten

“There’s always been this vision to build a larger mountain destination company,” says Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer of Alterra Mountain Company, a Denver-based company comprised of Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe, Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Deer Valley, and CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures.

“We knew we could put our 12 together, but if we wanted to add more value to this thing, where else would we want to go?” continues Forsell. “What are some other bucket list destinations?”

The Ikon Pass includes 26 resorts under one easy swipe. For loyal customers of the MAX Pass, Rocky Mountain Super Pass, and the Cali4nia Pass, Ikon will be quite a change — all three of those passes are nixed for next season.

Rather, destinations from each pass will be added to the Ikon Pass, including Eldora, Copper, Winter Park, and Steamboat (previously on the Rocky Mountain Super Pass and the MAX Pass); Big Sky, Stratton, Killington, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Loon, Snowshoe, Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario (previously on the MAX Pass); Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, and Big Bear Mountain Resort (previously on the Cali4nia Pass); plus Aspen Snowmass, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Jackson Hole, and Alta, Deer Valley, and Snowbird in Utah, as well as CMH heli-skiing, and Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay in Alberta, Revelstoke in British Columbia, and Sugarbush in Vermont.

That’s Right, Heli-Skiing

Revelstoke’s massive mountains and intense terrain is waiting for you. Are you ready? Photo: Ian Houghton

If you are looking for some next-level skiing or riding, this is your pass. Alterra Mountain Company owns Canada Mountain Holidays (CMH) Heli-skiing and Summer Adventures, the world’s largest heli-ski operation.

You won’t get full-fledged days in the chopper free of charge with your pass (bummer) but you will have access to early winter bookings and even summer discounts (score).

Versatility That You’ll Need

With the Ikon Pass, you can bask in the crushing mountains of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Photo: Reuben Krabbe

Similar to competing passes on the market, the Ikon Pass won’t be a single-option free-for-all with unlimited access to all 26 places. The pass has a full option for $899, and a base option for $599. The pricier option includes unlimited access at Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper, Eldora, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth, Big Bear, June, Stratton, Snowshoe, Tremblant, and Blue; you’ll get seven days (with no blackout days) each at Deer Valley, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Killington, Revelstoke, and Sugarbush. At Aspen, Snowmass, Alta Snowbird, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain, and Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay, pass holders will get seven days combined.

For the base pass, you’ll get unlimited days at Winter Park, Copper, Eldora, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear, June, Tremblant, Blue, and Snowshoe; five days each at (with holiday blackout dates) Steamboat, Deer Valley, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Stratton, Killington, Revelstoke, and Sugarbush. At Aspen, Snowmass, Alta Snowbird, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain, and Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay, pass holders will get five days combined.

Currently, the Epic Pass has different levels where full pass holders have unlimited access to all the resorts, while local holders have blackout days for a few resorts. The Mountain Collective Pass is a bit different, where customers have two days at each of the 16 resorts (including Aspen Snowmass, Alta, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and Snowbird, which are also on the Ikon Pass).

Destinations That You’ll Want

Never been to Big Sky Resort in Montana? The Ikon Pass makes it easy. Photo: Jeff Engerbretson

“We built the Ikon Pass whether you stay at your home mountain or if you have always wanted to take that trip to Steamboat or Jackson Hole or Aspen to take a longer destination trip,” Forsell says. “We have a product for people who want to stay in the east, the west, or for people who just want to stay up in their area of Canada or in the Rockies.”

The 26 locations cover basically every region worth visiting, minus overseas: California, Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming and Canada.

It’s Only Going to Get Better

Shred the gnar at Bear Mountain in California. Photo: Justin Kanton

“Today, we have 26 destinations,” Forsell says. “But we are always looking at new opportunities. People want the chance to chase the snow or try somewhere new.”

Does that mean more mountains with more snow and more trails? Yup.

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