Chamonix. Zermatt. Portillo. Treble Cone, New Zealand. St. Moritz. All those random places we ogle over after watching a Warren Miller film. Who doesn't want to ski outside of North America at least once in their lifetime? Especially if that off-this-continent trip meant going to the Alps? You can this season with an Epic Pass, the season pass that's available at the seven Vail Resorts properties and Arapahoe Basin.
Vail Resorts recently announced that 2012-13 passholders not only had access to its skiable terrain in Colorado and the Lake Tahoe region but they gained access to Verbier located in Switzerland. Yeah you don't have to blink twice and think you're seeing things. It's true: The Epic Pass is good for three days of free access at Verbier and that includes Les 4 Vallees, which makes up the largest ski resort in Switzerland. It might not be a word, but Epic just got Epic-er (more Epic if you want proper English).
If you had the Epic Pass in the first seasons it was available, you could have skied Argentina's Las Lenas. That also meant extending your ski season into the summer, which is Argentina's winter. But that was easier said than done. Flights could be double or triple a deal to Europe; and be honest, come summer, you were thinking more mountain biking and hiking and could do without bundling up until November.
With Switzerland's ski season being on par with that of North America, you can take a break from skiing the Rockies or the Sierras for a European jaunt. Experience four premier mountain resorts that include Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon, Switzerland. Creating Switzerland's largest ski area, these "Four Valleys" boast breathtaking views of the Rhone Valley, the Matterhorn, the Valais and Bernese Alps. But it's the skiing that's the draw for beginners to experts. Skiers and snowboarders have more than 250 miles of trails to hit, 89 lifts to ride, and the Mont-Fort Glacier with its 10,925-foot summit to marvel. Veysonnaz is home of the Piste de l'Ours World Cup downhill course, and Thyon is known for being Switzerland's premier freestyle resort.
The only catch is you have to be an Epic Season Pass holder, the $659, now $679, pass that grants you unlimited access to eight resorts: Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Heavenly, Keystone, Kirkwood, Northstar and Vail. But that's not a bad deal is it? It just means more skiing!