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Skiers wait to get on the River Run Express lift at the base of Bald Mountain, in Sun Valley.

The newest way to ski Sun Valley is ‘Epic,’ and one month after announcing the partnership, Vail Resorts released 2019-20 prices for its flagship pass Tuesday morning.  

The full adult Epic Pass will run $939—up $40 from last season—and include unlimited skiing at 20 Vail-owned resorts and a capped number of days at 49 other affiliated areas, including Sun Valley and its sister resort, Snowbasin, in Utah. Here, that buys seven days on Baldy or Dollar, followed by half off the ticket window price for each day thereafter.  

The Epic Pass price is just over Sun Valley’s regular rate for a seven-day pass. The walk-up price floats, but on Wednesday, Feb. 6, a seven-day adult ticket cost $925, according to the company’s website. A single-day ticket ran $139. But the Epic Pass buys you half off thereafter, as well as 16 discounted tickets for family and friends of pass holders at Vail-owned resorts (see sidebar).  

At $489 for the season, the children’s Epic Pass for kids age 5-12 is already a discount over the $525 seven-day Sun Valley equivalent.  

The less expensive Epic Local pass ($699 for adults, $569 for teenagers and $369 for children) also buys a lot of skiing, but prohibits use during high-traffic periods at some of Vail’s most popular areas, and caps access to Vail itself, Whistler Blackcomb and Beaver Creek to 10 total days.

It includes two days at both Sun Valley and Snowbasin, with blackout dates during the holidays, and 16 discounted days for friends and family members at Vail-owned resorts. Afterward, tickets are half off the window price.  

In other words, it’s a similar package to the one that the Mountain Collective pass bought Sun Valley skiers for the past several seasons. Last year, that cost $449 and included two days at 17 areas scattered around the globe, with 50 percent off thereafter.

With the predominance of the Epic Pass—and its insurgent competitor the Ikon Pass, which offers a similar deal at a different suite of resorts—the Mountain Collective has been crowded out of some areas. Sun Valley won’t participate in the Mountain Collective pass next year.  

  Epic 4-Day ($388, adult; $202, child, plus $68 to include holiday periods) and 7-Day pass holders ($621 for adults and $323 for children plus $110 for holiday access) can put all their days toward Sun Valley or mix and match among participating areas; either way, they’ll get half off the window rate once those days run out.  

Still, for anyone who logs a lot of days on Baldy, the best options haven’t changed. Sun Valley Resort’s full range of season passes for 2019-20 went on sale Friday and are the only way to get unlimited skiing and riding at the resort.

For adults 30 and up buying before May 31, the unlimited Challenger Pass costs $1,799—$100 less than during the same time last year. For the best deal, buy early. The same pass costs an adult over 30 $2,250 between June 1 and Sept. 2—$50 more than last year—and $2,475 when bought anytime thereafter, a $25 increase. 

All Sun Valley unlimited passes will get half off the daily window rate at resorts that participate in the Epic Pass. Those passes include the Challenger; Young Adult Challenger, $1,099 for those 29 or under at the time of purchase buying by May 31; the Child Challenger, $599 for children 12 and under; and the College Season Pass, $389 for current full-time students between 18 and 29. 

To study up on the options, go to epicpass.com for Vail’s offerings and sunvalley.com/mountain-passes for Sun Valley’s.  

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