Indy Pass Adds Big White, B.C.; Montana Snowbowl; Austria’s Largest Resort; 51 More Ski Areas
Indy now delivers days or discounts at 183 ski areas across four countries on three continents
The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and to support my work, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
First, the new partners:
Breathe. Process that. Look again.
Brah, is that really Big White on there?
Yeah Brah it is.
Brah is that really Montana Snowbowl on there Brah?
Yeah Brah it is.
Brah is that really an Austrian ski resort the approximate size of any given nation split off from the former Yugoslavia?
Yeah Brah it is.
I know it Brah. I know it.
Now, Indy’s full 2023-24 roster:
Yes, there are a few missing from last year. Here’s a complete list of what we lost, and why:
Indy continues to hone its blackout scheme, which is the smartest and most flexible among major multimountain passes. Twelve ski areas decreased blackout dates from last season, with eight of those eliminating them altogether. This includes a few high-volume surprises: White Pass, Crystal Mountain (Michigan), and Catamount. White Pass, Indy Pass founder Doug Fish told me, will move to a reservation system.
Eighteen ski areas maintained their blackout levels from 2022-23, while nine introduced them for the first time. Three increased their number of blackout dates: Berkshire East, Mission Ridge, and Red Lodge, all well-traveled regional bumps. The only two new partners to add blackout dates are two of the best ones: Big White and Montana Snowbowl. Here’s a comparison of Indy’s 2022-23 and 2023-24 blackout dates:
And here are the prices – you must join the waitlist to purchase. Indy will email you a code when it’s your turn. It’s a whole thing.
You can split the purchase of any pass into two equal payments. Angry Ski Bro may grumble a bit about those prices. For him, it will always be 2019, and the price should always be $199. But look at this year-by-year tally of Indy’s roster, which has grown far faster than the pass’ price:
Yes, I’m going to break down all the new partners (well, not the cross-country areas). Yes, this email will be longer than War & Peace. But here’s the TL/DR version:
Montana Snowbowl. 2,600-foot vert; 300 inches of snow; its 950 acres almost certainly an undercount. Huge signing. Huge. Builds upon Indy’s strength in the Upper Rockies and Pacific Northwest, where an open-minded skier burned out on megapass overkill can float for a week or two amid ski areas as large as Jackson Hole and obscure as Millard Fillmore.
Big White. Big White! One of the largest ski areas in B.C. A true destination kicking it just off the Powder Highway, between Red and Silver Star. And like some kind of too-good-to-be-true infomercialist tossing a spatula and a salad scooper in with your 72-speed blender, Indy Pass is adding nearby Phoenix Mountain and Mt. Baldy if you order now. In fact, Indy now delivers days at eight B.C. ski areas, most of them lined up along the southern tier between Vancouver and Big White.
I thought Indy might enter Europe with a Portuguese carpet-skiing operation that towed skiers uphill on the back of a donkey. Instead, they signed the largest ski area in Austria. Which is actually like 10 ski areas that are, combined, like the size of Australia (which I realize is larger than Austria). The place has 90 lifts, including at least five eight-packs and more cable cars than America. While this isn’t going to pull a whole lot of Yankees across the Atlantic on its own, it’s a hell of an entrance into the continent that’s home to more than half the world’s ski areas.
Indy just went Turbo in Japan, adding seven more mountains to its existing five. That includes massive Kiroro and three others in Hakkaido, Japan’s snowy north island. Two days each at a dozen ski areas is enough to make this a compelling product for locals. It should also be enough to convince you to finally book that flight.
For the first time, Indy converted several participants in its Allied program to full membership: Whaleback and Dartmouth Skiway, New Hampshire; Loup Loup, Washington; and Snowstar, Illinois. Three of those recently left Ski Cooper’s reciprocal network in favor of Indy. Loup Loup likely made the jump because its low lift ticket prices, remote location, and low skier volumes are unlikely to impact per-visit redemptions (from Indy to the resort), for Indy’s much-larger operations in Washington (49 Degrees North, Mission Ridge, and White Pass).
OK, that’s all you get for free. Now, a breakdown of each of Indy’s 30 new Alpine partners, and why they matter:
Below the paid subscriber jump: a resort-by-resort breakdown of every new Alpine partner, so many trailmaps, and much more.