The best multi-resort ski passes for the 2017-18 season

When Vail’s Epic Pass debuted a half decade ago, it changed the way we thought about ski passes, linking several resorts under a single pass and making skiing between resorts economically feasible.

Fast forward to the 2017-18 season and the Epic Pass has grown, well, more epic, by adding Whistler Blackcomb to a mix that includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Heavenly, Stowe and a handful of other well-known resorts across North America (and one in Australia).

Hit the road this winter with a series of season passes that let you ski at multiple mountains on the same pass. Photo: Courtesy of Robson Hatsukami/Unsplash

However, the Epic Pass isn’t the only show in town. In fact, many other multi-resort collective passes have sprung up in recent years — passes that fill the many skiable gaps in between Vail resorts.

For those looking to plan a few ski trips this winter, or merely save a couple of bucks over the stretch of a whole season, here is a list of collective pass alternatives sure to make your turns a little sweeter this ski season.

M.A.X. Pass

Offering five days of skiing at each of its 44 participating mountains, the M.A.X. Pass is almost guaranteed to cover a resort near you. Featuring hills like Okemo, Big Sky and Crystal, along with options in Canada, the M.A.X. pass is the ultimate ski pass for your North American road trip.

Find new turns in new places without spending extra dough. Photo: Courtesy of Jannes Glas/Unsplash

Mountain Playground Card

The wild card of the bunch, the Mountain Playground Card is like a AAA card for hardcore skiers. With a quirky array of independently owned and operated mountains like Washington’s Hurricane Ridge, Maine’s Mount Abrams, and Wyoming’s Snow King, the Mountain Playground Card has different discounts depending on the mountain including a free lift ticket for every carpool of five people at Hurricane Ridge and two-for-one night skiing at Snow King.

Freedom Pass

New England skiers rejoice, there is finally a collective pass just for you. While the pass covers resorts like Pajarito in New Mexico and Mount Bohemia in Michigan, a majority of Freedom Pass ski hills are in the Northeast, including Magic Mountain, Bolton Valley, Black Mountain and Dartmouth Skiway.

The pass can be purchased as an add-on to your regular season pass for $50 and earns you three days of skiing at each of the 14 participating resorts.

Collective passes mean less days of the same old, and more days exploring new places. Photo: Courtesy of Robson Hatsukami/Unsplash

Mountain Collective Pass

The Epic Pass’ biggest competitor, the Mountain Collective continues to get stronger, adding Sugarbush and Snowbasin to a stacked lineup of Aspen, Revelstoke, Jackson Hole and Mammoth, among others.

Score two days of skiing at each of the 16 participating resorts with this handy piece of plastic.

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