Since early March 2021, according to The Weather Channel and the Drought Monitor analysis, 46 percent of the linked land area of the U.S. was in drought, with extreme to exceptional drought in most of the Southwest and moderate drought in most of the West. With rainfall below-average until May this year in the Southwest and Plains, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center states that the drought will likely continue, widen in area, and get worse. This year’s June to August months will therefore be hotter than average in most of the country.
While sweltering in the heat, it feels good to dream of snow and wintry weather. This is the perfect time to plan and book this year’s spring and winter skiing holiday online, as ski passes are selling fast. It is also a great time to score ski outfits on sale online, like stylish men’s and women’s ski pants from Bogner. If you buy your season ski pass now, you can take advantage of the tail-end of spring skiing in certain resorts that are open until May 31.
Have a Safe Holiday
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding everyone to stay safe during the coming holidays by getting complete vaccine shots at least two weeks before venturing out. Even when already vaccinated, you are still required to wear a mask when other people are around. Stay a minimum of six feet away from others and avoid crowded places. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use a sanitizer with not less than 60 percent alcohol.
Skiing itself is a safe sport because skiers are far apart, and they are in open spaces. A ski trip can also involve many instances when people congregate, such as during travel, in common areas of accommodations, in restaurants, in rental shops, in queues, and on lifts.
Technology helps some resorts prevent crowding. In the U.S., Vail Resorts were among the earliest to adopt anonymous tracking on the Epic pass app to enable holders to check where other people are so that they can choose a different path. La Plagne in Europe uses its Yuge App similarly, with 28 sensors throughout the resort that show guests what lifts and slopes are most or least crowded in real-time.
Individual chairlifts and draglifts are much safer in the pandemic than gondolas and cable cars, and many resorts make it a point to advertise that they have these. Others make sure that there is no crowding in queues and the lifts by limiting the number of guests allowed to queue and board at a time. Those that have many lifts and stations have fewer guests at each one.
Buy Your Ski Passes Early
Buying a season ski pass is more cost-efficient because just a one-day lift ticket can cost more than $200 at some resorts. Ikon and Epic full-season ski passes are the most sought-after, and you must decide and purchase early before they run out.
The Ikon season ski pass covers 45 destinations, with 31 ski resorts in the U.S., seven in Canada, and seven in other countries. It is the most expensive at $1,049 for adults, with a renewal price of $999 for those who had 2020-2021 passes. This covers unlimited access for 15 resorts and up to seven days in each of 29 other resorts.
It has a discounted price of $739 for enrolled college students, licensed nurses, military personnel on active duty or retired, adult dependents of military personnel, and young adults from 13 to 22 years old. It costs $369 for children aged five to 12 years old, but every purchase of an adult pass gives a $100 discount for two child passes. For children aged four and younger, a pass costs $149.
The Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass include access to spring skiing at Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and Winter Park. Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley are open for skiing up to May 31, while Winter Valley may be up to May 16.
The Epic season ski pass has reduced prices for all its variants by 20 percent, with the top tier now at $783 from $979 for people aged 13 and above. It costs $399 for children aged five to 12 years old. This includes unlimited access to 37 resorts in the U.S., seven days each in three other U.S. resorts and six Canadian resorts, five days each in 11 ski resorts in Japan, and access to 26 partner European resorts in Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy. The Epic season pass also includes spring skiing at selected resorts in the U.S.
There are separate variants of Epic passes for seniors, college students, and military personnel. These have lower prices but with limited access.
Finalize Other Arrangements for a Worry-Free Trip
Just having your ski passes is not enough. It is also necessary to book your accommodations and various travel arrangements this early. Check if your ski pass includes discounts at certain lodgings. Doing this will ensure that you also get the lowest prices and that there will be no last-minute hitches in your plans.
Once you have everything booked and secure, pack your bags, and you are ready to go and enjoy spring skiing. For the rest of the hot summer, you can look forward to further enjoying the powdery snow come winter.