Chosing the right ski pass for this winter

By Felicia Schwartz, The Dartmouth Staff | 10/29/11 1:02pm

Snow in Oc­to­ber?!? There are a lot of rea­sons to be dis­tressed about this mid-fall snow shower, but I can't help but get ex­cited for ski sea­son after see­ing some real snow on the ground. Ski sea­son doesn't begin until the end of De­cem­ber (ear­lier if you're hard­core and are will­ing to scrape down lightly pow­dered back-coun­try trails), but now is the time to pur­chase sea­son passes. Though the win­ters in Hanover can be bru­tal, being here puts you in a prime lo­ca­tion to ac­cess amaz­ing ski­ing. Here's a break­down of the passes for re­sorts in the area:

  1. The SOS Col­lege Pass gives you ac­cess to Mt. Sunapee, Okemo and Strat­ton. If you pur­chase it by Dec. 19 it's $315, and if you're look­ing for a va­ri­ety of slopes with pretty good snow-mak­ing equip­ment this is a solid choice.
  2. The Triple Major lets you ski Bolton Val­ley, Jay Peak and Mad River Glen. It's $299 if you buy it by Nov. 7. Great for ski­iers in­ter­ested in more back-coun­try style slopes, but snow­board­ers should take note that they won't be able to ride the trails at Mad River Glen.
  3. A Stowe sea­son past will cost you $399 if you buy by Oct. 30, so act quick if you're de­bat­ing about this one. Stowe's big and has lots of trails, but un­like the first two op­tions won't let you switch be­tween moun­tains de­pend­ing on your mood.
  4. Killing­ton is an­other big moun­tain with lots of trails, slightly less than Stowe at $329 until Dec. 8.
  5. The Dart­mouth Ski­way of­fers stu­dents sea­son passes at $150 for the win­ter. While more ex­pe­ri­enced ski­iers may get bored with the shorter runs, this could prove to be great for be­gin­ners look­ing for an op­tion close to cam­pus.

These are just a few of the more pop­u­lar op­tions for Dart­mouth stu­dents. Also note that you do ac­tu­ally have to be an en­rolled stu­dent to get in on these deals — most slopes will re­quire proof of en­roll­ment in the form of a let­ter from the reg­is­trar and a peek at your stu­dent ID. If you're try­ing to fig­ure out where to go this win­ter, the DOC Win­ter Sports Club has com­piled a Google Doc in which stu­dents can list where they have bought a pass. This will help later for car­pool­ing and now when you're try­ing to fig­ure out which pass is the best fit for you.

Per­son­ally, I'm lean­ing to­wards the SOS pass, but I have yet to de­cide. These moun­tains are all pretty close, the price is good and they all have solid ski­ing.

Here's hop­ing for an amaz­ing snow-filled sea­son!

Felicia Schwartz, The Dartmouth Staff