SWITZERLAND TO BECOME EVEN MORE EPIC
Vail Resorts announced this week that it is buying Switzerland’s Crans-Montana Mountain Resort. Located in the Valais region, near five airports and a railroad, Crans-Montana has a vertical drop of 1,400m and more than 140km of trails. The resort is 2.5 hours from both Geneva and Andermatt-Sedrun, the other Epic Pass property in Vail’s portfolio. But don’t jump the gun on planning a European road trip just yet. Epic Passes won’t be granting access to Crans-Montana until 2024-2025.
GONE, GOING, GOING
Speaking of multi-passes, Mountain Collective and Ikon will soon follow Epic’s lead from Dec. 3 and become unavailable for the remainder of the season. If you want to purchase a 2023/24 Mountain Collective season pass (24 destinations in five countries) you have until December 12. Ikon passes (58 destinations in 11 countries) will be unavailable after December 14.
GREAT DEAL, N’EST PAS?
Want to get a friend into skiing on the cheap? The Quebec Ski Resorts Association has a deal that is too good to pass up. My First Time packages let newcomers get on the beginner slopes, with rental gear, and an hour-long lesson for two ski days, for $29.95. Forty resorts in Quebec are participating. The deal is open to anyone aged five to 99 years old, because you are never too old to learn, or save money.
GARIBALDI AT SQUAMISH
A 22-year effort to develop a major ski resort on Brohm Ridge 13km north of Squamish has hit a speed bump. Two companies involved in the proposal have had receivers appointed following loan defaults. The project has shown slow progress since 2001 when the Aquilini and Gaglardi families joined forces to offer some competition to Whistler-Blackcomb. A memorandum of understanding with the Squamish Nation was signed in 2007 and the province granted an Environmental Assessment Certificate in 2016, with a 2026 deadline to begin substantial construction. That deadline took a big leap closer with last week’s news.
OFF WITH A BANG
Tremblant has hit the ground running to start the season. Last weekend it hosted two women’s World Cup GS races, with local favourite Valérie Grenier recording two top-10 finishes. This weekend the mountain will slide right into their very popular charity event, Tremblant 24h. From Saturday noon, teams of six to 12 participants will combine in relay efforts through the night and on to noon on Sunday. As of posting, more than 4,525 participants had raised almost $4.5 million for children’s charities.