The Mountain Collective is, well collectively, a group of 26 U.S. and international ski resorts that make up an “A” list of 23 destinations you’ll want to ski or ride — some with several resorts in one general area. From Sugarloaf, Maine to Mammoth Mountain, California; from Aspen/Snowmass to Jackson Hole; from Sun Peaks, Canada to Thredbo, Australia. That means two days at each of the resorts and 50 percent off on more tickets and none of those pesky blackouts. All of the resorts include lodging deals nearby or on the slopes.
If you plan on buying one of the major passes, and the convenience and saving is substantial if you plan to ski or ride often enough for the math to work for you, you’ll need to choose between The Mountain Collective, Epic Pass, IKON pass and Indy Pass. All have a different group of resorts, different rules, and special benefits. The Collective is one of the first of these passes to hit the market and one of the easiest to understand and use.
Here’s where you will ski or snowboard this winter with a Mountain Collective Pass:
Chile: Valle Nevado
Japan: Niseko United
France: Chamonix Mt. Blanc
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. There are even two distinctly different towns — Aspen (world famous and you can count on spotting a celebrity at the next table at dinner) and Snowmass, right on the ski slopes a quick shuttle bus or drive away. As the saying goes… “where else but Aspen.”
The Southwestern flavor of fabled Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico is a key part of the 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 is still 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.”
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 welcome 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 small-town atmosphere.
Some answers to your questions
What does a Mountain Collective Pass cost? Adult passes are $589. Teens, 13-18, pay $489 while children under 12 are $169.
Buying additional day tickets: Save 50 percent on additional tickets in age category as priced on the day of purchase. 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. Your Collective Pass comes with special lodging discounts at all the resorts at selective properties usually on or near the ski slopes. Be careful here, there are some blackout days for lodging.
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 begin 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 — not, say, at each of the four mountains of Aspen-Snowmass or two at Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows.
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.
So, 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.