Ski resorts offer older skiers varying degrees of discounts on ski passes. The age requirements differ between destinations, but usually anyone aged over 65 can make some considerable savings. In some ski resorts, silver skiers who’ve reached a certain milestone don’t have to pay a penny – again it depends on the place, but if those of us in our seventies have a good chance of qualifying. Read on for the best freebies, discounts and senior specials this ski season.
Please note: information, prices and offers correct at time of publication (Sept 2019). For the latest information and to start planning your ski holiday call Silver Travel Advisor on 0800 412 5678.
Free ski passes for seniors
© Office de Tourisme Les 2 Alpes / Bruno LONGO
The best things in life are free and France is très généreux to the older generations, with an increasing amount of destinations offering free ski passes to those of us into our seventies.
Over 72s can ski in Les 2 Alpes without having to spend a single Euro.
Over 75s ski free in Val d’Isere, Tignes, Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Flaine, Les Carroz, Samoens, Val Cenis, Montgenevre, Serre Chevalier and La Rosiere.
Ski Andorra give over 70s free access to all of Andorra’s ski areas, including Ordino-Arcalis, Vallnord-Pal-Arinsal and Grandvalira, the country’s biggest ski area covering 210 kilometres.
The lowest age we’ve seen for free senior ski passes, over 65s need not pay a dime in North Carolina’s Cataloochee or Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire.
Over 70s get the same benefit in Arizona Snowbowl and Snow Valley in California.
If you’re 71 or above, Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood Skibowl in Oregon will welcome you without charging.
73-year olds and up reap the same rewards at White Pass, Washington.
Those aged 75 years plus can roam free at Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon.
White Water, Panorama and Red Resort in British Columbia won’t charge you for a lift pass if you’re aged over 75.
Ski pass discounts for seniors
Second best to completely free is a decent discount, and an increasing amount of resorts now save seniors having to pay the full adult price.
You’ll struggle to find a French ski area that doesn’t give discounts to those of us aged 65+. That includes these world class piste networks:
Les Trois Valleys, Val d’Isere-Tignes, Paradiski, Portes du Soleil, Alpe d’Huez, Evasion Mont Blanc, Grand Massif and Chamonix.
© Bandion IT/Cortina Tourism
Italy offers famously affordable skiing anyway, and its easy-going, quiet pistes and cracking culinary scene are big draws for silver travellers. Several resorts take an extra chunk off their lift pass price for senior citizens.
The following offer discounts for over 65s: Bardonecchia, Dolomiti Superski (including Cortina, Selva etc), Livigno, Aosta Valley, Bormio, Via Lattea and Cervinia.
Resorts often give skiers and snowboarders aged over 65 a reduced rate in Canada – big guns like Whistler, Big White, Revelstoke and Marmot Basin included.
The Grandvalira and Vallnord ski areas have discounted passes for over 65s.
© Verbier.ch & Melody Sky
Jungfrau’s ski resorts (Grindelwald, Wengen and Murren) give discounts for skiers aged 62+.
The Davos-Klosters and Flims-Laax ski areas give a 10% discount to ladies (aged 64+) and gents (65+) who buy a pass lasting between 3-21 days.
In Verbier, Villars-Gryon and Les Diabrelets, the ski pass price is reduced to the same as the student rate for over 65s.
In Obergurgl and Solden, 65s and above receive a reduced rate, and anyone aged 80+ can pay child prices. Ischgl gives the same deal to over 80s, lowering the age requirement for the senior pass to 61 years.
The Arlberg region (home to St Anton and Lech) gives over 65s the same reduced deal as students.
With the Ski plus City Stubai Innsbruck pass, you can explore Innsbruck and 13 nearby resorts, including Kuhtai, Axamer Lizum and the Stubai Glacier. Over 65s get savings of 15% off the full adult cost, while those aged 80+ can save 50%.
Over 60s qualify for discounts in Vogel-Bohinj and Kranjska Gora.
Niseko and Rusutsu also offer a discount for those aged 60 and over.
More senior ski pass savers
Paradiski for a tenner
Linking the purpose-built villages of La Plagne and Les Arcs, the Paradiski region has 425 kilometres of pistes. Whether you visit for one day, six days or more, if you’re aged 75 or over you can ski for just the 10 Euro charge for the physical card.
Baqueira Beret for less than a beer
Experience the Spanish ski scene with change from a fiver – Baqueira Beret charges skiers aged 70+ only 3 Euros for a day ski pass.
Ski amadé’s sixty plus package
© Ski amadé
Ski amadé’s sixty plus package is still going strong and well worth taking advantage of. Covering five fabulous Austrian ski areas (Salzburger Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein, Gastein, Großarltal and Hochkönig), the network totals 760 kilometres of pistes. Before 24 December 2019 and between 28 March and 4 April 2020, certain hotels give guests over 60 free six-day ski passes – just prove your age and off you schuss.
Social senior skiing in the States
It’s all well and good saving money, but sometimes good company and guidance offers the true value. The Americans are amazing in this department, with the following resorts offering sociable skiing solutions for silver travellers.
© Sundance Mountain Resort
Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah has sponsored a senior ski group for nearly two decades now. The club run group ski sessions on certain days throughout the winter.
Colorado resorts are especially good at providing social skiing for seniors:
Copper Mountain have the Over The Hill Gang (OHG) for over 50s. The club meets four times a week and you’re grouped depending on ability, with a certified instructor to provide navigation and advice.
Powderhorn run a Young at Heart group for over 50s, who meet every Thursday for guide-led tours grouped by ability.
At Steamboat, the Mountain Masters tour is a free daily excursion for over 50s of intermediate level and up.
Telluride runs a silver skier program for over 50s on two Thursdays in January and February, led by professionals from the ski school. It’s usually a morning session, open to all levels and usually followed by a lunch on the mountain.
Winter Park’s offering, Platinum Tracks, is a ski camp for those aged 50 upwards at the beginning of December – a good chance to brush up on your skills, work on agility and make friends.
Purgagory’s Boomers on Groomers brings together over 60s of intermediate level and above for half day morning clinics.
Fernie BC and Fairmont BC also are 75+ free skiing according to their websites.
Don’t even think about les Gets. Aged 75 I had to pay 57 euros for a season pass, even though I was only there a week. Worse, I had to pay for a full season Carte Neige (at the end of March), when everyone else was paying 3.50 a day.