If you want to ski at a resort, you will need a lift ticket or ski pass. There really isn’t a way to ski without a lift ticket at most resorts unless you hike up to the top without using the chairlifts. You can go backcountry skiing without a lift ticket, though.
I’m Christine, a lifelong skier who loves everything about the sport. I’ve had the opportunity to ski all over the world and have visited many resorts and backcountry destinations. I know through first-hand experience about skiing with lift tickets.
This post will explore if you can ski without a lift ticket. I’ll tell you why you’ll need a lift ticket or pass at most locations, but also give you some options where you can ski without paying for one.
Time to get rolling.
- In most typical skiing situations, you’ll need a lift ticket or ski pass to ski. You can’t ski without a lift ticket or pass at any resort.
- Some resorts do let people skin or hike up the mountain and ski down without using a lift ticket. The whole idea of a lift ticket is to give you access to lifts and not necessarily the mountain itself.
- You can go backcountry skiing without a lift ticket, and this type of skiing is almost always free. But you need to be prepared and experience the terrain and conditions you’ll face outside of the resort.
Can You Ski Without a Lift Ticket?
Lift tickets are required to ski at nearly every ski resort in the world. This means you’ll need a lift ticket or ski pass to ski in almost every situation. There are only a few ways to ski without a lift ticket, which I’ll explain shortly.
The whole idea behind a lift ticket is to give you access to chair lifts. So with that in mind, the cost of a lift ticket or ski pass goes toward the cost of operating a chairlift and not skiing down the mountain or its runs.
But nearly every resort around the world requires that you have a lift ticket or ski pass to access its terrain. So if you want to ski, at a resort anyway, you’ll need to dish out the cash for one of these.
If you try to ski without a lift ticket or ski pass, you aren’t going to make it very far. The lift operators at the bottom of each resort check for lift tickets and passes for every skier who gets in line to head uphill.
How to Ski Without a Lift Ticket
Even though you’ll need to have a lift ticket or ski pass in the vast majority of situations, there are a few ways you can ski without a lift ticket. These are skinning or hiking up a resort, or going backcountry skiing.
Some resorts allow you to (or at least can’t stop you from) skinning or hiking up the mountain instead of paying for a lift ticket. You won’t get as many runs and might need to set out before the resort opens, but this is an option.
The other way is to go backcountry skiing. Backcountry skiing occurs in locations outside of the ski resorts, and it’s almost always free. There are no chairlifts or other amenities in the backcountry, but the skiing can be incredible.
Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to if you can ski without a lift ticket.
Can you ski at a resort without a pass?
You’ll need a pass or a lift ticket to ski at a resort. Having one of these gives you access to the chairlifts, which allow you to get up the mountain and ski down it. Some resorts allow you to hike or skin up without a pass, but not all of them.
Do you need lift tickets for bunny slope?
You do need lift tickets for the bunny slope at most resorts. Even though you might not be skiing all over the mountain, resorts still charge skiers for access to the smallest slopes, like the bunny slope. This helps them make money and keep the lifts running.
Can you walk up a ski slope?
Some resorts do allow you to walk up the slope without paying for a lift ticket. Often, you need to walk up before the lifts start operating in the morning. But this allows you to ski without buying a lift ticket if you want to.
You need a lift ticket or ski pass to ski in most situations. It is possible to ski without a lift ticket if you venture into the backcountry or skin up a resort that allows this before the runs open to the general public.
Skiing is expensive, so people often wonder if it’s possible to ski without a lift ticket. Getting a ticket ahead of time instead of right at the mountain will save you money, as will buying a season pass if you plan on skiing often.
Have you ever been skiing without a lift ticket? How did you pull it off? Let me know in the comments below.