UPDATED: Curbed Ski has the official word on those hard-to-pin-down opening dates. Earlier this month, Vail Resorts announced the ultimate PR stunt: the first 10 people to ski all 26 resorts on Vail's Epic Season Pass will receive an Epic pass for life. The Epic pass currently costs $700 per season and allows for unlimited unrestricted skiing at all Vail Resorts properties in the US and 5 days each at their European partners. Curbed Ski created a handy map to track which 26 resorts you need to ski in order to win. But what's the best plan of attack? Curbed Ski breaks down the fastest way to win the race, when the resorts open, and how you can be one of the 10 lucky people to ski free for life.
UPDATED: Curbed Ski has the official word on those hard-to-pin-down opening dates. See below for an updated step-by-step guide followed by a list of when each resort will start the lifts.
Race registration opens November 1, but Vail states that official racing doesn't begin until November 22. Racers can ski one US resort per day and two European resorts per day. In 11 easy steps, a hefty chunk of change, and less than a month of skiing, here's the winning plan:
1. November 22: Epic Race begins, head to Eldora Ski Area and make a few turns on opening day.
2. November 23-26: Ski Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail.
3. November 27: Ski Beaver Creek on opening day and then drive to the Denver airport to fly to Tahoe.
4. November 28-30: Ski Northstar, Heavenly, and Kirkwood. Then catch a flight to Utah.
5. December 1: Ski the Canyons in Park City, then drive to the Salt Lake City airport to fly to Minnesota.
6. December 2: Ski Afton Alps, then catch an evening plane to Michigan.
7. December 3: Ski Mt. Brighton before heading back to the airport. Tired of flying yet? Too bad, you're headed to Europe.
8. December 4-5: Arrive in Switzerland in the early morning, Ski Verbier before catching a train to Austria.
9. December 6-8: Opening day at the Arlberg, Austria resorts is December 5. It will take you 3 days to bag all 5 resorts.
10. December 9-20: Ski all 8 resorts at Les 3 Vallées in France. Brides-les-Bains doesn't open until December 20, so you'll have plenty of time to eat lots of cheese.
11: December 20: Congrats! You've won the Epic Race!
Arapahoe Basin: 10/13/2013
Vail, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood: 11/22/2013
Beaver Creek: 11/27/2013
The Canyons: 11/29/2013
Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton: TBD, Both resorts are hoping for a mid-November opening but it depends on weather conditions.
Arlberg Resorts: 12/5/2013, also dependent on weather
Les 3 Vallées
-Val Thorens: 11/23/2013
-Les Menuires: 12/7/2013
-Saint Martin de Belleville: 12/7/2013
-La Tania: 12/14/2013
· Vail offers free Epic Pass for life [Vail Business Journal]
· Vail Announces the Epic Race, Winners Ski Free for Life [Curbed Ski Archives]