Shopping for deals on the slopes

At Mountain High, the Express Pass opens the way to money savings on the slopes and several special features. (Mountain High photo)

By Jerry Rice

OK, everyone knows that skiing and snowboarding can be expensive – traveling to the resort, lodging, equipment rentals, lift tickets…

But there are many ways to save on costs without cutting cut corners on the fun. Some examples:

> Free rentals for first-timers, ages 8 to adult, when a beginner lesson package is purchased at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit during the month of January. It’s part of a Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month promotion in partnership with the National Ski Areas Association. Information: 909-866-5841,

Mammoth Mountain’s January midweek pass is $249 – $50 less than last season. With regular adult lift tickets at the resort running $99 per day, the cost of the special midweek pass essentially means it more than pays for itself after three days on the slopes. Other price levels are $179 for youth, $69 for children and $199 for seniors. The pass is valid Monday-Friday through Feb. 1, but must be purchased by Monday. Information: 800-626-6684,

> At Mountain High, spend $10 on a rechargeable Express Pass, load it with almost any lift ticket and start saving – $10 on all flex ticket options – and enjoying other benefits. Those other benefits include guaranteed reservations in case of a sellout, a free eight-hour non-holiday ticket after every five visits, and the ability to track the number of runs you’ve completed, the total vertical feet and other individual stats. Information: 888-754-7878, 

> Buy two lift tickets for $60 at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit – $1 more than the price of a single regular season adult lift ticket. The tickets must be purchased online by Thursday, and are valid for use through Friday. Information: 909-866-5841,

> Four for the price of three at Heavenly: Ski three days and stay three nights, and get the fourth day and night for free. Offer is valid through Feb. 14, then Feb. 25-March 7 and April 1-15. Prices start at $375 per person. Information: 800-432-8365,

> Equipment rentals, a half-day lesson and a beginner lift ticket for $39 at both Squaw Valley (Jan. 12 and 26) and Alpine Meadows (Jan. 13 and 27). First-time skiers and riders can choose a morning or an afternoon adult group lesson as part of the deal. Information: 800-403-0206,,

> Free standard rentals and a two-hour group lesson for any level at Sugar Bowl, with the purchase of an all-mountain lift ticket (for ages 13-69) on a general admission day. Offer is available Monday-Friday through March 13 (excluding Feb. 18-22). Information: 530-426-6722,

> A free lift ticket for skiers and snowboarders on any Thursday in January at Eagle Point in Utah. California residents get an even sweeter deal: a free lift ticket any day all season. Eagle Point is Utah’s newest ski resort, and is situated in the Tushar Mountains about halfway between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Information: 435-438-3700,