Can the Ikon Pass Be the Blueprint to Your Next Great Ski Vacation?

Ours is the time of the pass.

From movies to fitness, if you’re trying to save a few pennies, and are willing to fork up on experiences one big purchase at a time, there’s a lot to be excited about.

And the world of winter sports is eager to get in on the action.

In a clear counter to Vail’s Epic Pass, Alterra Mountain Co just announced the Ikon Pass for the 2018/2019 season, an $899 ticket that includes access to a whopping 26 mountain resorts.

The pass includes unlimited days at 12 of ‘em (Big Bear Mountain in California and Blue Mountain in Ontario are both on that list) and seven-day limits at others. There’s also a pool of resorts that a ticket owner can allocate a combined seven days across, including Aspen, AltaSnowbird in Utah and Banff Sunshine in Alberta.

Hard-to-please pow junkies might point out that for a comparable price, Vail’s Epic Pass has a larger and more geographically diverse selection with its European and Australian options. Still, no matter where these passes are being used, they pay for themselves within days, so you can’t really go wrong. And Alterra is even releasing the Ikon Base Pass, a toned-up option at $599 that still includes unlimited access to nine resorts.

Not big on choosing sides in all this? Get Ikon for this winter. Epic the next. We won’t tell.