For us, skiing and snowboarding is like eating, you may have a great meal and be full for a night, but when you wake up the next day, you’re hungry again.
There are no cheap meals when it comes to skiing and snowboarding though. Thanks to the cost of gear, lift tickets, food, water, and transportation, riding more than a few days a season can be prohibitively expensive. To help you keep eating (literally and figuratively) the ASO Mammoth team has put together our best tips for saving money on the mountain. Check it out below and let your wallet breathe a sigh of relief!
Look Everywhere for Deals
There are plenty of websites and stores whose bread and butter is selling ski and snowboard gear. However, if you only trust places with snow or mountain in the name then you’re missing a small but often cheaper market for your gear and lift tickets.
An easy example is warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s near ski mountains where you can often find great deals on lift ticket packages. In some cases, you can even find deals in stores far away from mountains. For instance, Costco’s in Los Angeles stock lift tickets for Big Bear as well as Mammoth Mountain. Warehouse stores aren’t the only places to look though, as in the past Shell and Exon’s in Colorado offered a two for lift ticket deal for select mountains and Ebay is home to used gear with prices well below average. If you’re unsure about the gear you’re looking at though, make sure you speak with a pro like those at ASO Mammoth before you buy used gear off a site like Ebay.
If you know you’re going to be renting gear, then check the local rental stores for rental reservation deals. Most places that rent gear offer a discount if you reserve your gear online, and ASO Mammoth is no different! We offer a discount for preregistering your rental on our website, so if you know you’re going to be in town and needing gear then preregister with us and knock one more thing off your to-do list while saving yourself some money.
Ski Mid-Week or In the Spring
Not everyone can ski on a Wednesday, but if you’re choosing what day to ski or ride on then aim for the middle of the week when the smaller crowds reduce the price of lift tickets. If you still have some flexibility on when you’re going to visit the mountain then aim for spring when lift tickets are cheaper than mid-season tickets even on the weekends. Although spring snow conditions depend on the mountain and the regional weather, places like Mammoth Mountain have long spring seasons where powder days are still possible.
Buy Season Passes Early
Planning ahead won’t just save you money on rentals. If you have a home mountain and know you’ll be skiing or snowboarding all season long then investing in a season pass early could save you hundreds of dollars. From spring until fall you can find excellent deals on season passes all over the country. The savings will shrink as the season nears though, so start looking early!
Pack Your Own Food
Lastly, if you’re willing to put in the effort required to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and eat chips that may be slightly crushed from being in your coat, then you can avoid mountain prices for food. Although you’ll be limited to what you can carry in your backpack or your coat, you can pack your favorite foods and never worry about a disappointing cafeteria meal!