Ikon vs. Epic Pass Debate Is All Downhill From Here, As In Skiing

October 15, 2018

If you live within sight of a pointy mountain range, you’ve started seeing the unmistakable white snow glow at the highest of elevations.

It isn’t even Halloween yet, and ski and snowboarding season is fast approaching. Snowboarding and ski boots around the world are making their way out of storage. (We won’t judge if you bind up your boots while standing in the garage getting excited.)

As always your checklist will include the essentials: goggles, poles, high SPF sunscreen. Now is also the time to start putting orders in on season passes, and both Ikon and Epic have all the goods.

Choosing between them is limited only by your downhill needs and wishes.

Let’s take a look:

Park City

EPIC

PRICE

Epic Pass ($949) and Epic Local Pass ($709), per the Epic website. 7-day and 4-day passes are also available.

Whistler Blackcomb

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO:

Epic Says:

EPIC PASS: 65 resorts. “Unlimited, unrestricted skiing or riding. No restricted dates.”

EPIC LOCAL PASS: 27 resorts. “Limited restricted dates at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Stowe. Also includes a total of 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions.”

Breckenridge

EPIC PASS RESORT ACCESS DESTINATIONS

Vail (Colorado, USA), Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia, Canada), Keystone (Colorado, USA), Perisher (Australia) [2019 access], Mount Sunapee (New Hampshire, USA), Stevens Pass (Washington, USA), Beaver Creek (Colorado, USA), Breckenridge (Colorado, USA), Park City (Utah, USA), Heavenly (Nevada/California, USA), Kirkwood (California, USA), Wilmot Mountain (Wisconsin, USA), Arapahoe Basin (Colorado, USA), Mount Brighton (Michigan, USA), Crested Butte (Colorado, USA), Okemo (Vermont, USA).

Stevens Pass

BLACKOUT DAYS FOR RESTRICTED PASSES

(11) Nov. 23-24, Dec. 26-31, Jan. 19, Feb. 16-17

DISCOUNTS

Military discounts are available.

Kirkwood

NEW DESTINATIONS IN 2018-19

Okemo (Vermont, USA), Mount Sunapee (New Hampshire, USA), Crested Butte (Colorado, USA), Stevens Pass (Washington, USA). Also: 7 total days at Telluride (Colorado, USA); 7 total days at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies; and 5 total days at Hakuba Valley, Japan.

INTERNATIONAL VIBES

Epic features access to 30 European resorts across France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria.

Beaver Creek

COOL STUFF

At 12,840 feet, Breckenridge is the highest ski resort in the continental U.S., and has the world’s highest quad chairlift // Perisher is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere // Skiers at Heavenly can ski across the state line from Nevada to California // Whistler Blackcomb offers “Heli-Skiing,” where private groups of four skiers are flown to untracked snow summits accessible only by helicopter for the most exclusive and scenic downhill experience

epicpass.com

Mammoth Mountain

IKON

PRICE

Ikon Pass ($1,049) and Ikon Base Pass ($749), per the Ikon website [Both versions offer 36 destinations]. 7-day passes at 21 total destinations, 5-day passes at 23 destinations also available.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?:

Ikon Says:

IKON PASS: “The pass with the most days and the least restrictions. The Ikon Pass is your opportunity to access unique terrain at some of the most iconic destinations in the world.”

IKON BASE PASS: “The Ikon Base Pass is the ideal pass for skiers and riders with more flexibility in their travel schedule, who frequently hit their home mountain and enjoy select days at other legendary Ikon Pass destinations a few times a year.

Steamboat

IKON PASS UNLIMITED ACCESS DESTINATIONS

Steamboat (Colorado, USA), Winter Park Resort (Colorado, USA), Copper Mountain (Colorado, USA), Eldora Mountain Resort (Colorado, USA), Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (California, USA), Mammoth Mountain (California, USA), Big Bear Mountain Resort (California, USA), June Mountain (California, USA), Snowshoe Mountain (West Virginia, USA), Stratton (Vermont, USA), Tremblant (Quebec, Canada), Crystal Mountain (Washington, USA), Solitude Mountain Resort (Utah, USA)

Crystal Mountain

BLACKOUT DAYS FOR RESTRICTED PASSES

Ikon Pass (Zero), Ikon Base Pass (10: Dec. 26-31, Jan. 19-20, Feb. 16-17)

DISCOUNTS

For eligible military and college customers. Up to 20 percent off. No blackout dates.

NEW DESTINATIONS IN 2018-19

Solitude (Utah, USA), Crystal Mountain (Washington, USA)

INTERNATIONAL VIBES

Ikon international partners are available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, South Pacific, Spain, Sweden, UK.

Solitude

COOL STUFF

Winter Park offers snowmobiling on the Continental Divide // Mammoth Mountain on Dec. 1 offers Ikon Pass holders early ups – an exclusive morning just for Ikon Pass holders starting at 7:30 a.m. with free hot breakfast // Stratton Mountain’s year-round music scene has included, at times, Dark Star Orchestra and The Wailers // Solitude in Utah averages over 500 inches of snowfall

ikonpass.com