MAX vs MCP?

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Thread: MAX vs MCP?

  1. #1

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    MAX vs MCP?

    Random musing, since I haven't seen any discussion on which one suits who best.

    Both passes are "multi-resort" passes. But that's about the only thing they have in common:

    Cost:

    --- MAX is quite a bit more expensive than MCP as a stand alone.

    -- MAX is also available as an "add-on" to regular season passes. Except the add-on price is up there with the standalone price of MCP.

    [EDIT] I forgot one significant feature of MCP:
    -- Kid's pass for $1.

    What you get:

    -- MCP offers 2 days free in each mountain, PLUS 50% off unlimited days.
    MAX offers 5 days. Too bad you want to ski one more, full price

    -- MCP only has 1 northeast mountain, but that mountain is one of the best
    MAX has MANY in the northeast, though a few of those I wouldn't ski even if you pay me to

    -- MCP only has half as many mountains as MAX. But each one of the MCP resorts are really "top tier" mountains, while the 44 on MAX are a grab bag of mole hills many would just drive right by without stopping.


    Though in reality, no one will be skiing ALL of the MCP mountains, never all of MAX. So it probably boils down to the exact mountain combo that suits one's skiing pattern.

    So, those of you who already purchase one or the other, what was the overwriting consideration you went one over the other?

    And those who're still contemplating, what're the main factors under consideration?
    Last edited by abc; May 10, 2017 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Stupid marketing campaign. Maybe some people are into secret societies and Aleister Crowley, I'm not. Not attractive at all for east coast skiers.

    Not even a contest with MAX Pass.

    Untitled-design-32.jpg

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by abc View Post
    Though in reality, no one will be skiing ALL of the MCP mountains, never all of MAX. So it probably boils down to the exact mountain combo that suits one's skiing pattern.
    Is that a challenge?? I bought a Mountain Collective Pass and I plan on hitting all of the mountains other than the ones outside US/Canada. Just not really in the cards to make a trip to NZ/Australia nor the "partner resorts" elsewhere. Although the idea of going to Chamonix is very tempting...

    It certainly is doable too. My plan is to make a bunch of flights to Salt Lake. I can pretty easily drive from there to Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Aspen, and Telluride. That only leaves me with the three Canadian mountains to hit from Calgary, the California two, and Taos in NM. I might skip Taos but I have heard its a hidden gem worth checking out if I can fit it in. Most of my trips will just be 2 days of skiing anyways due to work so its perfect. I can add on travel days and not have to take much vacation time. I can make a few of them into like 4-5 day trips too so I can be flexible.

    My decision was super easy just because of the mountains. The only competitor I really considered was the Epic pass and that is a very different level of financial commitment. Jackson Hole, Alta/Snowbird, and Mammoth/Squaw are enough to make this 100% worth it.

    If I wanted to ski the East, I would rather just pick one mountain and stick with it. Its far cheaper that way. Sugarbush pass cant be beat really.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncanator24 View Post
    Is that a challenge??
    Wasn't construed as such. But feel free to take the challenge. As one who "almost" hit all of the mountains in MCP last year, I can tell you from personal experience it's exhausting (as well as exhilarating)

    "My decision was super easy just because of the mountains"

    Got it!

  5. #5

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    I guess it depends upon the individuals position in life. My kids are grown with one of them going to school and living in Colorado. Family has a place in Cottonwood Heights Utah and we have a gathering every spring there. Meanwhile, as much as we enjoy western skiing, we still have obligations (and jobs) with relatives back here in NJ making us weekend warriors back here in the east.



    We had great weekends at Okemo, Stratton, Killington (2) and (I'll get killed on this) Loon (1.5) which we want to hit 2 weekends next year cause, we like it. We also keep a pass at a local area here for holidays (I refuse to go up north to wait in big lift lines when I can do it 45 min from home) and weekends we don't go away

    That's where Max is more attractive to us. We knew we were going to be skiing in Colo/Utah and VT/NH back here in the east. Another plus for us is that it lines up nicely with the Rocky Mountain Super Pass and that's what our son bought and we took advantage of and will do so next year too.

    So in a way we are more or less tied to the Denver and Salt Lake metros at the present time as opposed to just winging it. If I weren't then MC would be much more on the radar. They have Aspen which is still my favorite resort in the world plus Alta/Snowbird for the Utah gathering and Telluride, Sun Valley, Taos and J Hole all on the get to list.

    All that said I'm going to be waiting to see what Aspen breaks out next spring. Winter Park and Copper where plenty of entertainment when in Denver this past season and we really enjoyed Steamboat. Aspen's going to have to get more then WP to compete with Epic on the local Denver market so maybe they keep Copper in the fold somehow (Abay is not owed by Vail).

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ

  6. #6
    Definitely a discussion I look forward to following. I went with Max this year, but look at it like this:

    The MCP resorts are the resorts that I would really love to ski, even the top tier Max mountains are not in the same caliber as MCP IMO (JH, Alta/Bird, Telluride, etc). However, you run out of trips you can do cost-effectively with the MCP too quickly for the amount I want to use the MCP/Max type pass for. The best trips with MCP, IMO are the 4 days at Alta/Bird combined and 4 days in Banff at Sunshine and LL. I'd take those over Max week long vacations, but those are the only two areas that have more than 2 available days on the pass IIRC. Beyond that and 2-3 day trips to Sugarbush as an easterner, about 12 days or so, doing anything else is going to be pretty darn expensive. Buying 50% off tickets isn't a terribly effective use of the pass, IMO, just because the lift ticket prices are so darn expensive. You go from $399 to the $629 of Max real fast when buying $50 or $60 tickets.

    With the Max Pass I'm looking at 20+ days rather easily due to the 5 day limit at a bunch of areas.

    I think it really comes down to how you plan to use it. I want to use a multi mountain pass like the MCP or Max for a lot of days both east and west, really as a stand alone pass. If MCP had a larger eastern presence with 4-5 mountains here, I'd be all over it. Additionally, if I had another mega multi area pass, then the MCP is essentially an awesome add on (Imagine ASC All East + MCP or even Epic + MPC if you're in CO).

  7. #7
    I got the MCP (with the $1 add on for my son), We'll use the three free days at Sugarbush and that will pay for the pass right there. Trip to Utah at some point and I'm skiing free out there.
    Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly.

  8. #8
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    MCP doesn't want you to actually use it - they just want you to buy it. All kidding aside to them it is about travel and hopefully you staying at the places you are skiing.
    2010/11 - 30days 2011/12 - 29days 2012/13 - 40 days 2013/14 - 39 days 2014/15 - 42 days
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jully View Post
    However, you run out of trips you can do cost-effectively with the MCP too quickly for the amount I want to use the MCP/Max type pass for. The best trips with MCP, IMO are the 4 days at Alta/Bird combined and 4 days in Banff at Sunshine and LL.
    You forgot next year they added Snowbasin. So there're actually 6 days out of SLC base camp.

    Personally, I found the Squaw + Mammoth combo quite easy to do. Though that might be due to my familiarity with the Sierra that others don't feel the same.

    The MCP resorts are the resorts that I would really love to ski, even the top tier Max mountains are not in the same caliber as MCP IMO (JH, Alta/Bird, Telluride, etc).
    Everyone has their own preference. I think Big Sky can hold up well in that light.

    (I'm playing the devil's advocate here. I had MCP for 2 years. I love the mountains on MCP)

  10. #10
    While on the topic of MCP, does anyone know of a good resource to learning about all of the different mountains on the pass? Perhaps another forum that is not NE focused or a blog of some sort from people who have done it? I just really want to get a feel for what sort of trails are available at each mountain and really moreso, relatively easily accessible back country.

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