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Southwest's Power Pass Embraces Choices; Purg OK'd For Expansion

Power-Pass-Cover Southwest's Power Pass holders get seven winter mountains -- and all the power they have -- and a Texas bike Park. (Purgatory/Facebook)

The Southwest Rockies' multi-mountain ski and snowboard season pass is on sale, as the Power Pass focuses on its seven winter resorts -- and a year-round mountain biking destination in Texas.

Behind the motto, "Give people the freedom to ski", comes Power Pass tiers of pricing, slope-time choices and blackouts for Purgatory, Arizona Snowbowl, Pajarito, Sipapu, Hesperus, Brian Head and Nordic Valley. Prices have not gone up from last season.

Issued by Mountain Capital Partners, the Power Pass aims to get people to its eight properties around the Southwest. Pricing tiers are based on the number of days one wants, access limits, and age.

That includes a new 12-day pass that is limited at Purgatory and Snowbowl but unencumbered at the other MCP-owned ski and snowboard mountains. There's also a 4-Day Pass. And, as usual, youngsters 12-and-under ski or ride for free anytime and on any of MCP's mountains.

This season's partner mountains that honor the Power Pass for three days remain the same as last season: Colorado's Monarch, Loveland and Copper Mountain, and Utah's SundanceEach pass offering comes with unlimited slope-time at MCP's stable of local hills: Hesperus, Pajarito and Sipapu.

Power Pass continues to take aim at the summer bike park business. Three days of biking this summer comes with Power Pass and 12-Day/Select if bought before May 20. And, it's free for kids under 13 can hope of a two-wheeler anytime, anywhere in the MCP empire -- including

Unique among multi-mountain passes, all Power Pass options include time at the MCP-owned Spider Mountain Bike Park about an hour-and-a-half northeast of Austin, Texas.

New lift and trails

Purgatory has gotten the go-ahead from the San Juan National Forest for an on-the-mountain novice area.

This summer, crews are expected to cut four trails and set towers for a high-speed triple that will open up terrain that can be handled by lower-ability skiers and riders. Located above backside Hermosa Park, the new area will link with the frontside via both of the green-rated traversing trails off the top of Lift 4and several easy routes off the top of Chair 1.

The resort's main beginner area is at the bottom in the Columbine area, below the main lodge and served by two fixed-grip chairs that run slowly to beginners' safety in loading. The bulk of the novice slopes and trails come off the front side, served by high-speed Chair 1 and two fixed-grips.

The idea is we start to move our beginner experience up on the mountain,” said Purgatory's Dave Rathbun before the decision. "Furthermore, warming temperatures continue to affect the ability of the Columbine beginner area to meet the learn-to-ski demands due to poor snow conditions at this lower elevation (approximately 8,750 feet above sea level)."

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