December 2019

image: Winter Park, USA

With the Ikon Pass expanding into Europe for the first time, it’s now possible to ski three continents within the Ski Independence programme using the same lift pass! Following the recent addition of Zermatt in Switzerland, we’ve taken a look at how you can make the most of your Ikon Pass in winter 2019/20.

How does it work?

The Ikon Pass gives you access to 41 incredible destinations across 5 different continents with no blackout dates. That’s roughly 84,000 acres and 700 ski lifts! It includes unlimited ski days in 14 resorts owned by the Alterra Mountain Company, who launched the Ikon Pass in 2018. Throughout the year you can ski for as many days as you like in Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora Mountain, Squaw Valley, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain, Stratton, Snowshoe, Crystal Mountain, Tremblant, Blue Mountain and Solitude. You can also enjoy up to 7 ski days at each of the partner resorts, with no blackout dates. These resorts include:

Ikon Base Pass is also available to purchase for winter 19/20. It costs a bit less and gets you access to the same 41 destinations, with unlimited skiing in 12 Alterra resorts and up to 5 days’ skiing at the rest, with blackout dates applicable. The destinations covered in the Ikon passes include some of the best resorts in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Here at Ski Independence, we feature resorts in 3 of those continents:


Zermatt, Switzerland. Image: Mattias Nutt Photography

  1. Zermatt, Switzerland

With a linked ski area of 360km and breathtaking views of the imposing Matterhorn, Zermatt is one of the world’s most well-known and impressive ski resorts. The resort is linked with the neighbouring Italian resort of Cervinia and the collective Matterhorn Ski Paradise offers a handful of gentle beginner slopes as well as demanding black runs and challenging off-piste terrain. Enjoy a Swiss mountain lunch or nip over the Italian border for some tasty pizza. The car-free village is picturesque with plenty of fantastic restaurants and lively bars to choose from. We recommend staying in the Hotel Riffelalp Resort 2222m, a stunning 5-star hotel inaccessible by car with unrivalled views of the Matterhorn and a range of first-class facilities.


Niseko, Japan

  1. Niseko, Japan

Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, Niseko is known for being snow-sure and incredibly scenic. With an average annual snowfall of 50 feet, the skiing is of the highest standard and offers 2000 acres of powdery pistes for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Mount Yotei, an extinct volcano, dominates the landscape, which is rich in hot springs and natural Japanese Onsen. Village life is dynamic and diverse, with over 200 restaurants, a lively après-ski scene and fantastic selection of luxury hotels with superb service. In terms of accommodation, look no further than the contemporary AYA Niseko Hotel, which offers direct access to the slopes and 5-star facilities, so you can ski all day and before returning to complete luxury.

North America

Winter Park, USA

  1. Winter Park, USA

A 3000-acre powdery playground located high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Winter Park Resort has something special for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The vast ski area covers seven different ‘Territories’, with each one offering unique terrain. Winter Park Territory is the most family-friendly while Parsenn Bowl Territory offers high alpine skiing with spectacular panoramas of the surrounding Rockies. The base village is compact and convenient, with a handful of atmospheric bars, high-quality restaurants and cosy lodgings. For extremely easy access to the lifts and a great selection of on-site facilities, we recommend staying in the 4-star Zephyr Mountain Lodge.

Tremblant, Canada

  1. Tremblant, Canada

The Quebecois resort of Tremblant offers both a vibrant village to explore and an incredible ski area to discover. While not as big as some of its neighbours, Tremblant packs plenty of beautifully designed and varied pistes into its 665 acres. The mountain is perfect for families, with dedicated beginner zones full of wide, cruising slopes. Experts needn’t be put off however as almost half of the ski area is made up of advanced, challenging terrain. The cobblestone streets are lined with colourful condos, lively bars, restaurants bursting with ambiance and a selection of French cafes and patisseries serving delicious hot chocolate. The 5-star Fairmont Tremblant is a fabulous choice if you’re looking for relaxed luxury, proximity to the slopes and excellent dining.

Want to find out more about The Ikon Pass? Get in touch with our team of Ski Specialists on 0131 243 8097 or by submitting an enquiry online.