Which Epic Pass is right for

Breckenridge Keystone Pass

Don't have a season pass yet? Don't worry — there's plenty of time for your annual tithe to the ski gods.

All blasphemy aside, the ski season is rapidly approaching and that means a ski-pass investment. Passes from Copper Mountain and Vail Resorts (aka the Epic Pass) all jumped in price after Labor Day, and, as usual, prices will jump again at least once before lifts start spinning at Arapahoe Basin in mid-October and Copper on Nov. 11. If you don't have one by then, expect to pay $800 (or more) just to sit on a chairlift.

Passes might be more expensive now than ever before — the original Epic Pass with unlimited riding at six resorts cost about $579 when it debuted in 2008, compared to $829 now with 13 resorts — but everything from Copper's partnership with the M.A.X. Pass to the free Epic SchoolKids program has made a season pass more attractive than ever, especially for folks living in our ski town Mecca. You might never make it to Perisher, but hey, at least five of the 13 Epic Pass resorts are within spitting distance.

Here's a look at 2016-17 season pass pricing for Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Copper and Loveland. Don't say we didn't tell you.

After Labor Day, the entire suite of Epic Pass products jumped in price for the final time until the beginning of the winter season. Pricing ranges from $249 to $829 until Oct. 9, when they’ll jump again by $10 to $20.

Epic Pass: Ski unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for $829 (adult). The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over five days of skiing or snowboarding. Grants full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia for the 2017 season; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. A child pass (ages 5 to 12) is $429.

Epic Local Pass: The taste-test option. For $629 ($499 for teens), receive unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. You also get a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions. A child pass (ages 5 to 12) is $329.

Summit Value Pass: For the locals. The Summit Value Pass pays for itself in just over three days and features unlimited skiing or riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, with limited restrictions at Breckenridge. Cost is $529 for adults, $419 for teens and $309 for children (ages 5 to 12).

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