Originally Posted by MEfree30
Daily lift tickets are not as expensive in Europe, but things will likely add up as it is likely too late to get a season pass. Some places have good deals for certain spring weeks.
In addition to couchsurfing, you could also airbnb. I like Chamonix and had a great time the week I skied there, but liked living most of a year in Bourg St. Maurice even better. Cham is better for mountaineering and more extreme BC like off piste, but the individual resorts are not as interconnected as places like 3 Vallee, Porte du Soiel, Espace Killy or Paradiski- these areas are truly massive compared to most US resorts.
I would suggest posting at Snowheads to see what they say.
Re: lift ticket prices vs season pass
It depends what "the rest of the season" means.
Is he going to ski every day from now on?
Or only during the weekends?
And what's more:
Always in the same place?
In Italy a season pass can cost anything from 300€ on a small hill to 800ish€ at a larger resort (Lombardy and Valle d'Aosta have "Region season passes" that enable a skier to ski everywhere in that region)
As an example the "Lombardy Season pass" costs for the 2011-2012 680€ and will allow the owner to ski in 28 ski areas, amongst which Chiesa Valmalenco, Livigno, Madesimo, Ponte di Legno Tonale (part of the AdamelloSki area, which is an inter -regional ski area on the border with Trentino) Bormio, Santa Caterina.
A season pass on the Adamello ski area is costing €590, and will allow 5 days access to the nearby Aprica ski area. A "year-round season pass" sold from May first and valid till April 30th was costing only slightly more (€ 620-640 IIRC) up until ski season opening (after which, the price went up to the regular € 740, IIRC) but would allow for unlimited use of any lift open during the summer season, for any reason (downhill MTB, escurions, glacier skiing) plus unlimited access to the Folgarida-Marilleva-Madonna di Campiglio ski area plus 5 days on the SuperSkiDolomiti....
The Valle d'Aosta equivalent costs a bit more (900-1100 €) but will allow to ski Zermatt (CH) and La Ròsiere (F) as well (these two areas are linked respectively to their Italian counterparts of Cervinia and La thuile)
(Sorry, Italian version only, Lombadry is not an autonomous region as the Valle d'Aosta or the Trentino Alto Adige/SuedTirol and as
such we've got more bureaucratic leashes, less, much less administrative discretionary powers and less, much less money to spend in stuff
like websites etc...)
What am I getting at? Surely there will be similar things in France, Switzerland and Austria.
Comparing with the price of a day lift ticket in the same area, if he's going to ski at least 20-22 days, a season pass might still be a convenient purchase.
Even though, usually, better off places like Madesimo, the Adamello ski area with its "glacier" and such usually can offer lift operation till end of April (up to 04/25th, celebration of WWII end in Italy)
this year I fear that the Winter Season 2011-2012 in Italy won't last that long. I expect resorts to shut down operations soon after the Easter break (school holiday from 04/05 till 04/10) because of too high temperatures, consequent lack of snow and people willing and eager to start to go to the seaside...
But on the Northern half of the Alps?
And again, this has not been a good season in terms of tickets/passes sold. I guess that, if someone were to appear at the ticket office at any area, and ask for a season pass, he/she would promptly be satisfied (again, I'm speaking about the Southern side of the Alps)