The Mountain Collective is, well collectively, a group of 24 U.S. and international ski resorts on 9 continents that make up an A-list of destinations you’ll want to ski or ride — some with several resorts in one general area. It’s less expensive than the Epic and Ikon Pass, but still very enticing.
The pass offers you two days at each of its destinations and then 50 percent off on tickets at those resorts based on that day’s ticket window price. There are none of those pesky blackout dates either. It’s simple in nature and not nearly as complex as the other major ski passes.
The Mountain Collective came about as an alternative to the original Epic Pass from Vail Resorts before Vail went on a resort buying spree. It remains one of the most attractive passes and one of the easiest to understand and use. If the math works out for how often and where you plan to ski and ride, this could be your magic carpet to winter fun.
Here’s where you will ski or snowboard this winter with a Mountain Collective Pass:
Eastern U.S.: Sugarloaf, Maine
Western U.S.: Alta and Snowbird, Utah; Sugar Bowl, California.; Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass, Colorado; Sun Valley, Idaho; Big Sky Resort, Montana; Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming; Taos, New Mexico; Snowbasin, Utah
France: Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Chile: Valle Nevado
Japan: Niseko United
Some highlights to Mountain Collective destinations:
Aspen’s world-class mountains
Aspen Snowmass marketers were among the first to help conceive and develop The Mountain Collective, and this Rocky Mountain resort complex is a key reason to consider this pass. Few places in the United States can boast four distinct ski and snowboarding delights like Aspen Mountain (you may know it as Ajax), Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. All are distinct, have their own flavor and, all told, make this resort world class in virtually every way.
Fabled Taos Ski Valley has a makeover
The Southwestern flavor of fabled Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico is a key part of The Mountain Collective. The late Ernie Blake and his family created and managed Taos Ski Valley for many years. Today, new owners have brought the resort up to world-class standards, but the mountain remains exactly what you’d expect.
Steep and deep and fun. Taos and Kacina Peak combine for more than your legs can take. Further, Taos Ski Valley and its new ownership group call themselves a “B” Corporation — sort of a Declaration of Independence, purpose-driven to benefit all stakeholders. The new motto: “Ski the change you want in the world.”
Try the deep snow at Revelstoke, B.C.
Revelstoke Resort, near the town with the same name in British Columbia, collects more than 120 years of skiing history that has become part of the town’s fabric, creating a community that simply celebrates winter.
If you live for snow, you’ll feel welcomed here. Revelstoke holds the record for the most snowfall in Canada in a single winter at 80 feet, and the resort’s slopes are blanketed in an average of 34 feet of powder every winter. Not only does Revelstoke boast the longest descent in North America, but it combines three key attributes: huge terrain, endless powder, and a true small ski town atmosphere.
Ski America’s first destination resort
And then there’s America’s historic ski destination, Sun Valley. This is the nation’s first destination resort, founded by Averill Harriman for guests of the Union Pacific Railroad. It became iconic in the Hollywood Classic movie starring ice skater Sonja Henie and the Glenn Miller Big Band. Later, famed filmmaker Warren Miller began filming his annual ski movies while living on purloined oyster crackers from the Sun Valley Inn in the parking lot. The R. Earl Holding family, owners of the Grand America Hotels & Resorts, currently owns the resort today.
The company also owns Snowbasin, the far more low key, but excellent skiing mountain in the scenic Ogden Valley of Utah. Both resorts are available on either The Mountain Collective or Ikon Pass, though at different levels.
The best of Eastern Canada
Still another reason to consider The Mountain Collective pass, particularly if you live in the East, is the addition of Le Massif de Charlevoix in Quebec. Rising high above the mighty St. Lawrence River in the heart of Quebec’s Charlevoix, the resort is truly a sleeping giant of a mountain that’s home to some of the most spectacular skiing in Eastern Canada.
Le Massif is about one hour east of Quebec City and its international airport, not far from Mont-Sainte-Anne, and in the center of the province’s picturesque Charlevoix region. Le Massif is known for its commanding views of the St. Lawrence, steep runs, state-of-the-art facilities, and tantalizing cuisine that’s some of the best you’ll find at any ski area’s base in Canada.
It’s also the mountain with the greatest vertical drop (770 meters; 2,526 feet) and the largest annual snowfall (650 cm; 21 feet) east of the Canadian Rockies.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Mountain Collective Ski Pass Prices
The Mountain Collective passes are priced at an excellent price point assuming you plan to ski and ride at any of the resorts included. The special deal that gives you 50 percent off daily window ticket prices after using the initial two days included is perfect if you plan to stay longer at one resort. This is the easiest pass to figure out, do the math and use.
What does a Mountain Collective Pass cost?
The ski pass price points are (USD): Adults $650; Teens (13-18) $530; Kids (12 and under) $210. The Mountain Collective pass goes on sale at the lowest price in the spring, and then continues to increase in price through the summer and fall before going completely off sale early in the ski season. Follow them on social, or visit their website, for up-to-date information on pricing.
Has The Mountain Collective pass price risen over the years?
Certainly, but so has everything. and all of these passes. The original Mountain Collective price was $349 in 2012, but the resorts in the program have been upgraded and now represent a true collection of some of the best in the United States and, for that matter, the world. It is now simply a less expensive and very attractive variation on the Ikon Pass.
Buying additional day tickets
Save 50 percent on additional tickets in each age category as priced on the day of purchase at The Mountain Collective destinations. Procedures for picking up your day ticket may vary from resort to resort. Check first. There are no blackout days.
Can I save on lodging?
Yes. The Mountain Collective pass comes with lodging deals at selective properties usually on or near the ski slopes. There are some blackout days for lodging at some resorts on The Mountain Collective pass.
How about a road trip?
Check out the creative Collective Treks where you can mix and match resorts for a fun trek, such as combining visits to Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass, Taos Ski Valley, and many more.
When can I ski in the Southern Hemisphere?
Your pass is valid all summer long when the winter is upside down. Australian, New Zealand, and Chilean resorts usually open ski season in earnest in June and can run as late as October.
Destinations vs Mountains
Understand that with The Mountain Collective Pass, you will receive two free days at each destination, and not, for example, at each of the four mountains of Aspen-Snowmass.
What if I don’t want to travel and stay at one destination?
The pass is almost always still worth it if you stay at one resort for six days or more. Again, just do the math for yourself. Still asking yourself which pass to get? It depends on how much you travel to ski and if the math works for you and your family.
Check out our stories on the Epic Pass, Indy Pass, and Ikon Pass.
Header image ©The Mountain Collective