Skiing on a Budget

My dad always said the family that skis together...spends a helluva lot of dough. Here are some ways to trim the fat.

Try a Threesome
Buy two plane tickets to Crested Butte (Gunnison airport) and get a third ticket free (ski.com/cbflyfree) when you book four nights' lodging at the resort. Jackson Hole has a similar, four-for-three offer (jacksonhole.com).

The Early Bird Gets Stuffed
The Olympics end February 28. Good timing: Whistler-Blackcomb got more than seven feet of snow last March. Book a three-day, four-night ski-and-sleep package by November 15 for as little as $88 per person per day. whistlerblackcomb.com

Killer (British) Columbian
After a warm-up day at Rossland's Red Resort, you'll spend two days cat-skiing with Valhalla Powdercats. Day four is a rest day at Ainsworth Hot Springs, then you'll finish with a bang: three days heli-skiing with Snowwater Heli Skiing. From US$5,000; valhallapow.com

Play Hooky
The New England Pass offers access to Loon Mountain, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf all season long, starting at $499 (after October 12) for the nonweekend, nonholiday pass. newenglandpass.com

Ditch the Guide
During the heart of the season (mid-January–March), only guided skiing is available at Colorado's super-steep Silverton Mountain. But in December, early January, and all of April, Silverton offers two nights of lodging and two days of unguided skiing starting at $180 perperson. silvertonmountain.com

Find the Best Little Ski House in Utah
Get a deal on a house rental in Park City. Score a ski-and-sleep package at Snowbird for $99 a night. Shred Alta but save cash by staying in Salt Lake City. Troll for these and other last-minute deals at skiutah.com/whitesale, a continually updated smorgasbord of discounts at the state's 13 resorts.

Commit to Colorado
Now in its second season, Vail Resorts' unrestricted Epic pass lets you ski Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly Valley, and Arapahoe Basin for $599. snow.com/epicpass.

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