Ski touring, split boarding, and snowshoeing at ski resorts are becoming more and more a core part of the alpine touring experience in the industry. Also called “uphilling,” this trend of using your own power to ascend the mountain is becoming increasingly popular because of avalanche hazards outside the ski resort, poor snowpack conditions, or just the convenience of skipping the lift line and getting some exercise.
Many resorts these days have an uphill program that allows users uphill access. However, navigating the multiple passes, liability waivers, use dates, and access regulations can be a headache for the consumer who wishes to visit the multiple resorts that allow this practice.
Thankfully, the first-ever multi-mountain uphill pass that solves these problems is now available with the Uphill New England Pass. This pass, which was created by a local non-profit organization of the same name, gives owners uphill access to almost a dozen partner mountains. In the future, the pass is hoping to add even more partner mountains.
Early bird pricing is available now for $185. Prices go up on November 17. Discounted pricing is available for students and ski patrollers. Passholders will enjoy a number of benefits including an access pass armband, a mobile app with vertical tracking and easy check-in, a streamlined set of waivers, and thousands of dollars in gear raffle prizes. Passholders are automatically enrolled in the raffle drawing as an Uphill New England Pass owner. When they digitally check in at ski resorts, they accrue raffle tickets for each unique ski resort that they visit. The raffle drawing will be at the end of the season.
The list of partners includes:
- Berkshire East, Massachusetts
- Saddleback, Maine
- Big Moose Mountain, Maine
- Black Mountain, Maine
- Bromley, Vermont
- Dartmouth Skiway, New Hampshire
- Middlebury Snowbowl, Vermont
- Mt. Abram, Maine
- Tenney Mountain, New Hampshire
- Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
- Whaleback, New Hampshire
Multi-resort passes have been gaining popularity for years and this innovative new pass is intriguing for the industry. There are many ski resorts that are hesitant to encourage uphill skiing due to the challenges and complexities it adds to ski resort operations and minimal additional revenue.
Will the pass be a pioneer that is a catalyst for more resorts to offer uphilling? It certainly creates a worthwhile model for everyone involved, makes the administration easier, and adds more value to ski resorts with a set of additional customers who want to visit its mountain. A pass like this is a good start to ensure uphilling becomes more convenient and a permanent fixture at ski resorts in New England. Just maybe it will catch on across the country and beyond.