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WJenness

Help me pick my pass for next year

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So I think I've narrowed down my options somewhat... Tell me what I should buy and why.

For those that don't know me, I'm 37 y/o, married, wife does not ski. No kids. I do a lot of day trips from Lowell, MA both on weekdays and weekends, the occasional overnight trip during the season (has been 1 this year), and hope to get at least a couple days in next Feb. in Colorado, as I have to go out that way anyway around Presidents' day.

I do a lot of solo days, and when I am solo, I tend to keep my tree skiing to a minimum unless I know the mountain fairly well already, they're low to mid angle, not overly steep, and the snow is soft. When I am out with others, I spend more time in the trees and like to challenge myself with steeper and tighter lines.

I've been on the Max Pass for the past two years, and if it still was a thing, I wouldn't have created this thread.

Here's what I'm considering, ordered by cost:

Peaks Ranger - $529 - Unlimited Mt. Snow / Attitash / Wildcat / Crotched, (11 blackout days)
Sugarbush Premium For 30s - $549 Unlimited Sugarbush (No blackouts)
Ikon Base - $599 - 5x Stratton, 5x Killington, 5x Sugarbush, Sunday River/Loon/Sugarloaf - 5x total (10 blackout days)
Boyne New England Bronze+ - $639 Unlimited Loon / Sunday River / Sugarloaf (13 blackout days) - Not valid on Saturday
Epic Local - $669 - Unlimited Stowe (11 blackout days), 7 days at Okemo, 7 days at Sunapee (No blackouts at Sunapee or Okemo)
Boyne New England Silver - $749 Unlimited Loon / Sunday River / Sugarloaf (12 blackout days)

For the Boyne options, I have enough Boyne Rewards points to take $125 off of either of those passes, which makes the Silver $624 and the Bronze Plus $514.

At the moment, I think I'm leaning towards the Ikon Base.
It has the most variety of any of the passes, I have some friends who are going with it next year, it gives me several Colorado choices when I am out there next year.
I do not like that there is a hard limit on east coast days (unless you want to count Tremblant), I really don't like the days for the Boyne trio being combined, but I still think I can get some good use out of it.

Where and when I've skied so far this year is in my sig block below.

Happy to listen to any other arguments for passes not on this list.

-w

Edited by WJenness

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For me the first question would be "where do I most want to ski?".  Then worry about the pricing after that.  I'd much prefer to pay whatever it takes to ski where I want vs going somewhere based on price.  With that said, and based on the details you have there....

The Ikon base does sound like a good fit.  The Colorado days alone could make it worthwhile.  Day tickets in CO are astronomical and it's hard to find significant deals.

You could get the Ikon Base, plus a Ragged Pass at $260 to solve your concern about hard limit on east coast days.

My only other recommendation is to start this process earlier next year. You're already looking at $40 more for the Boyne options than they were 2 weeks ago. 

Edited by Cannonballer

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Next yr I'm doing Ragged (bought yesterday for $259, now up to $289) + a combination of pre purchased vouchers to get some variety in VT and to some extent NH.
Sugarbush seems like a haul especially for solo day trips though that is a compelling price point. 

I think I'll be able to match the Peaks Ranger pass (which I have this yr) in total cost while adding variety and basically getting Ragged over Crotched for family skiing.
I'll definitely miss Wildcat as I will have gotten 10 days there this yr but realistically its too far for day trips with a 3 and 6 yr old (ages next yr)

We have access to a family place near Okemo anytime we want so plan is to get some pre purchased vouchers to do some Middlebury, Okemo, Pico, Magic, S6 next season. This will supplement our cheap Ragged passes which I expect we'll still ski on approx 60-70% of the time.

My season is generally about 50 days. Thinking next yr it looks roughly like this:

Ragged        25 days
Skiing in VT    12 days
Crotched (Adult Race League)    10 nights
Skiing random spots in NH/early season      5 days

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....Then there's another perspective entirely.....   You say you do a lot of solo days, and as a result that somewhat limits the type of skiing you get to do.  You could make your pass decision based on where you can find reliable ski partners.  The Peaks Pass or a Cannon Pass would get you good ski partners from this forum almost any day of the season.

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5 minutes ago, Cannonballer said:

....Then there's another perspective entirely.....   You say you do a lot of solo days, and as a result that somewhat limits the type of skiing you get to do.  You could make your pass decision based on where you can find reliable ski partners.  The Peaks Pass or a Cannon Pass would get you good ski partners from this forum almost any day of the season.

This!   This is a really overlooked point in selecting a pass/where to spend winter $.
I know if I didnt have kids there are only 2 passes I would consider.
Peaks or Cannon (maybe even both since no kids means more $ to spend!) due to my network of friends who ski ski both.
Nothing else would even be on my radar but with skiing wife and kids the logistics/ease of access etc all become a big factor.

I know this yr I got a lot of fun days in with friends on the Peaks pass (at Crotched and Wildcat mostly) that I will miss next yr. But still have race league for 10 social nights at CM and the ski VT variety should get me to ski around more which is also good for meeting with people.

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8 minutes ago, Cannonballer said:

For me the first question would be "where do I most want to ski?".  Then worry about the pricing after that.  I'd much prefer to pay whatever it takes to ski where I want vs going somewhere based on price.  With that said, and based on the details you have there....

The Ikon base does sound like a good fit.  The Colorado days alone could make it worthwhile.  Day tickets in CO are astronomical and it's hard to find significant deals.

You could get the Ikon Base, plus a Ragged Pass at $260 to solve your concern about hard limit on east coast days.

My only other recommendation is to start this process earlier next year. You're already looking at $40 more for the Boyne options than they were 2 weeks ago. 

Oh, I started this process as soon as the first pass prices were announced.

Boyne's flash sale was a consideration, but it wasn't enough to make me bite.

The big negatives on the Boyne pass for me these days are: All my friends who use to ski at Loon / Sunday River frequently have either moved away, stopped skiing all together, among other reasons... Also, I've skied more in VT this year than any previous year, and that has been a nice change for me, and I think I want to continue that next year. (Deferring to your first point again).

I did consider the Ragged Pass and augmenting with things like discount vouchers... but it failed that first point, I don't love Ragged enough to ski there more than once or twice a year.

-w

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I'm also thinking of icon pass. MC did not worked well for me. 

imo for someone who usually ski alone  Icon locations is a long haul driving and would work nicely with reliable  ski buddy ...if to add one or two western trips...with same or different ski buddy, that's a lot of ski days

 

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I am going with the Ikon Base , and a Burke  almost old pass 60-69, I had a MC pass the year that didn't work out completely , I will make out even with the Ikon with my Alta Snowbird trip and a Sunday River trip that I am committed too, and will be in the black with an additional trip out west to JH, which I am promising myself to do.

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15 hours ago, Cannonballer said:

....Then there's another perspective entirely.....   You say you do a lot of solo days, and as a result that somewhat limits the type of skiing you get to do.  You could make your pass decision based on where you can find reliable ski partners.  The Peaks Pass or a Cannon Pass would get you good ski partners from this forum almost any day of the season.

This is probably the most important thing, having dependable ski partners with similar interests....skiing/boarding and Beer ! The Cannon pass for me makes the most total sense price wise and ease of getting too and from being right off the highway. That and the fact that the new and improved snowmaking kicks ass and the terrain can be a lot of fun if your willing to put up with some cold and ice !

 

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16 hours ago, Cannonballer said:

....Then there's another perspective entirely.....   You say you do a lot of solo days, and as a result that somewhat limits the type of skiing you get to do.  You could make your pass decision based on where you can find reliable ski partners.  The Peaks Pass or a Cannon Pass would get you good ski partners from this forum almost any day of the season.

Definitely important- especially since you do enjoy pushing yourself to learn more and get better on tougher terrain. 
I'll echo that plenty of folks on this forum are Peaks pass holders (still need to meet the Cannon folks) and I'm almost always able to find someone to ski with at Wildcat, Crotched, or Attitash without any trouble. 

Edited by frapcap

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2 hours ago, frapcap said:

Definitely important- especially since you do enjoy pushing yourself to learn more and get better on tougher terrain. 
I'll echo that plenty of folks on this forum are Peaks pass holders (still need to meet the Cannon folks) and I'm almost always able to find someone to ski with at Wildcat, Crotched, or Attitash without any trouble. 

Seriously @WJenness come to the dark side! I've been trying to convince you to become a Wildcat regular. We have a sweet setup up there, and lodging is cheap and easy. And the Cannon crew represents an equally good option. I'd be happy at either. That's what I love most about this community -- people to rip with.

Of the pass options, the Ikon Base is a terrible pass for a New England skier. You get at most 20 days for $600. That's at best $30/day, and you're committed to the outlay. I think you can do better stitching together ski club days and pre-purchased vouchers. The ski club days don't requite a commitment, and the vouchers are transferrable. That greatly increases your flexibility.

As you know I live very close to you. My two primary pass considerations at the White Mountain Super Pass vs the Peak Pass. The differentiator for me is having Crotched on the Peaks Pass. It's only an hour drive from home which gives an easy half-day / night skiing option. (Even if you don't get that pass, you should join our Wednesday night beer league.)

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I just moved to Central VT (West Windsor) and I don't know what my work schedule will be next winter, or even where I'll be working, or even in what sector of the econ...well, you get the idea. So I bought an Okemo weekday pass for $279 and a Magic Mountain Blackout Pass for $399. (you can ski any time except for the big hlolidays). So under six hundred bucks for seven-day skiing. Magic is about an hour away, Okemo is 30 minutes.I am an intermediate groomer-zoomer trying hard to progress, and I thought that Magic offered:

1. A really great vibe and great people, from my limited experience so far.

2. Probably less crowded weekends than other resorts. 

3. A focus on ungroomed and natural terrain that will hopefully make me a better skier if I commit to working hard, taking lessons, and skiing with better skiers who are patient and willing to help out. 

4. They seem to be expanding snowmaking and trying to make more intermediate terrain accessible, and I'm willing to jump on board early in their journey even if it means limited terrain until I get better. 

5. I'd rather have limited and challenging terrain than deal with Okemo-type weekend crowds. 

So that's my plan. I'll report back to this Bat-Channel late next season and see how it goes. 

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On 4/21/2018 at 9:20 PM, SallyCat said:

I just moved to Central VT (West Windsor) and I don't know what my work schedule will be next winter, or even where I'll be working, or even in what sector of the econ...well, you get the idea. So I bought an Okemo weekday pass for $279 and a Magic Mountain Blackout Pass for $399. (you can ski any time except for the big hlolidays). So under six hundred bucks for seven-day skiing. Magic is about an hour away, Okemo is 30 minutes.I am an intermediate groomer-zoomer trying hard to progress, and I thought that Magic offered:

1. A really great vibe and great people, from my limited experience so far.

2. Probably less crowded weekends than other resorts. 

3. A focus on ungroomed and natural terrain that will hopefully make me a better skier if I commit to working hard, taking lessons, and skiing with better skiers who are patient and willing to help out. 

4. They seem to be expanding snowmaking and trying to make more intermediate terrain accessible, and I'm willing to jump on board early in their journey even if it means limited terrain until I get better. 

5. I'd rather have limited and challenging terrain than deal with Okemo-type weekend crowds. 

So that's my plan. I'll report back to this Bat-Channel late next season and see how it goes. 

I'll be interested to hear how it works out on crowded weekends. Okemo can get crazy crowded with all the people from the mid-Atlantic. And Magic just doesn't have the uphill capacity to handle anything like a crowd -- a double chair and a triple that functions as a single (two people, every other chair). I've heard horror stories about their lift lines on busy days.

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To circle back on this thread...

I pulled the trigger yesterday on the Ikon Base.

The variety of the mountains is what won out for me.

-w

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I got the Ikon basic also , I was hoping, for more mountains and options but it will work out for me for the two trips I am committed to and am putting together a third trip as a bonus and will do killington early and late season.

 

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