Ready for the ultimate challenge on snow this season? Vail Resorts has one, and it has a sweet reward, provided you can justify galavanting across the globe all for the sake of skiing.
Epic Pass holders (and if you're not one, you might want to become one after reading this) are in for an adventure that rivals TV's The Amazing Race minus the crazy pit stops you didn't want to do anyway. It can be labeled none other than epic not just because of its relation to the Epic Pass but because it requires careful planning and rewards with memories to last a lifetime. Meet the Epic Race.
As if it wasn't enough that Vail Resorts' Epic Pass would provide access to 26 mountains between North America and Europe this season, the company created an incentive to get pass holders to ski them all. The Epic Race challenges skiers and snowboarders to visit all 26 mountains in four countries. Be one of the first 10 to take tracks on all of them and you'll be granted a lifetime Epic Pass. Skiing for free for the rest of your life? Who wouldn't want to globetrot for that reward?
“When we launched the Epic Pass with six resorts in 2008, I said our guests wouldn’t be able to out-ski or ride this pass,” said Rob Katz chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Five years later, after adding three more countries and 20 additional resorts, we’re throwing down the gauntlet. If you can be one of the first to ski the world, you’ll ski for life.”
Registration for the Epic Race began on November 1, but you can't actually start racing until Friday, November 22, when more of the resorts open for the 2013-2014 season. The catch? Here's a big one: You can only ski one resort per day (two per day in Europe), so no double-dipping when you're in Colorado and Tahoe to quickly board the plane to your next destination. And you're responsible for all of the expenses your encounter on this journey, which really isn't bad if you think you can guarantee yourself a win.
As for other rules:
- You have to ski these resorts in Colorado: Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Eldora, Keystone and Vail.
- You have to ski these resorts in the Midwest: Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.
- You have to ski The Canyons in Utah.
- You have to ski these resorts at Lake Tahoe: Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar.
- You have to ski mountains in Switzerland, Austria and France including Verbier, Switzerland; Arlberg, Austria – St. Anton, Lech, Zürs, St. Christoph and Stuben; and Les 3 Vallées, France – Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle.
- To be eligible to win, you're expected to document your travels to each resort. But wouldn't you be doing that anyway if it was your first time skiing in Europe? Of course!
For more information about the rules and to register for the adventure of a lifetime that could possibly reward you for a lifetime, visit snow.com. Registration ends November 17. As for how to perfectly execute this challenge, that's up to you. Let's just hope it's not too expensive to fly abroad this time of year.