Sixteen hours – this is how long it took to look up 100 snow resorts around the world and get a pricing comparison of lift tickets. I am a little dizzy and sadly no longer want to hit the slopes in my own country. I do most of my mountain time in Australia (due to location), although as of two weeks ago I can tick off four resorts in Japan, there is no compare, just INSANE!! For what Australia offers snow-wise it’s cost dangerously borders on a rip-off. It came in at 17th out of 20 major snow destinations around the world. And the pow is nothing in comparison to Japan, Canada and Europe.

I have found some amazing destinations I really need to visit – the cheapest place in the world I could find was actually in Morocco, Africa, and it is only $11US a day to ski or board. The most expensive place I could locate was Beaver Creek in the US – a paltry $189US a day to hit the mountain. I would want foot massages, spas, and free beers included for that price!


Rosa Kutor Resort, Russia
Rosa Kutor Resort, Russia – Image Courtesy of


The Tech of Lift Tickets:

Everything is changing, the industry is moving towards more tech related mountain sports. You now get a programmed card that sits in a pocket that jacket manufacturers now create in their jackets that opens the lift turnstile for you.

Back in my day it was a wire through a zip hole, and a sticker stuck over the wire with a different daily code written in a Sharpie styled pen. Friends of mine worked out how to lightly dab the code off each night with a cotton tip and metho (could have been turps) and then re-write the new ticket each day. It was lift ticket scamming 101 of the 90s. But tickets have always been one of the highest expenses of heading to the mountains.

In Kiroro, Japan, your photo is taken when you get your programmed ticket and you have to hand in your ticket at the end of the day so they know you are off the mountain safe. I love this idea – I assume the photo is to identify your popsicled head if you are not and they need to send out search and rescue.

But the point I am getting to is that this tech costs so do not judge the tickets of $11 tickets against the $189 tickets too hard.


Thredbo Snowboarding image
Thredbo Snowboarding


Conditions for the Comparison List:

  • I tried to pick five resorts from major snow areas around the world and threw in some odd ones for good measure. After 5x resorts and their prices were ascertained these were then averaged to give the associated country cost.
  • Every lift ticket price has been converted to US$ using the Google $$ Converter.
  • Tickets are based on 1x ADULT lift ticket in peak times. I have tried to verify from two sources but this was only successful in about 50% of the resorts.
  • Every country has reasons for the costs so a resort that charges $11- for a ticket is in a completely different league to one that charges $189. The $11- resort is in Africa, has three lifts, has inconsistent snow, and it is suggested you bring your own gear because hire gear could be serviced gear ten years old. Beaver Creek has 22 lifts, 150 trails, 1819 acres of rideable terrain, and everything will be of the highest calibre. These things cost.
  • If you notice any gross discrepancies please let me know and I will amend with apologies.
  • Australia from record generally increases tickets by $2 each year – this year’s ticket prices were guessed based on last years plus $2.


Oukaimeden Ski Resort
Oukaimeden Ski Resort Morocco – image Courtesy of


As mentioned the tickets I have listed are based on 1x Adult peak period ticket. There are abundant ways to bring the expensive tickets down. Firstly buy your ticket over a week in advance online and you will probably knock off up to 10%. If you buy multi-day passes these again will bring costs down and if you plan on boarding or skiing for more than seven days BUY AN EPIC PASS!! An Epic Pass gives you 61 resorts with unlimited access for a year, they even include six passes to take a friend and it ONLY COSTS $900US. If you are hitting the slops for one week defintiely look at the Epic Pass – perhaps you and a friend for six days on the snow for $900 is the best budget you will find! But read the fine print – I am not overly versed on it. 

Interesting Discoveries from the Comparison:

  • On average Russia has the most affordable lift tickets in the world.
  • On average America has the most expensive lift tickets in the world.
  • Europe is way cheaper than I imagined however if you can get there, afford the accommodation, afford the food and everything else, a cheaper lift ticket is a minor consolation.
  • Australia is WAY overpriced compared to what it offers snow-wise but the mountains are absolutely gorgeous.
  • Japan and Norway are the best value for money in the world. It is only $41US a day to hit the slopes on Marcus Kelevaland’s home mountain of Dombas, Norway. And the powder in Japan will blow your mind at your incomprehension to fathom how much there actually is.
  • Romania has some epic mountains and comes in at the second most cheapest place to shred. The average cost of tickets across Romania is only $31US. I am trying to work on the boss to send me to Romania, although based on this list Morocco will be my only choice.

Where does your country rank? Find out below……..


Kiroro Ski Resort
Kiroro Ski Resort
– image courtesy of


The Country Rankings: Country followed by Average lift tickets price over 5x resorts. 

  1. Russia – $27
  2. Romania – $31
  3. Africa – $33
  4. United Kingdom – $47
  5. Japan – $50
  6. Norway – $52
  7. Finland – $54
  8. Spain – $55
  9. Italy – $59
  10. France – $62
  11. Austria – $64
  12. Chile – $70
  13. Switzerland – $77
  14. Canada – $85
  15. New Zealand – $87
  16. New England – $93
  17. Australia – $101
  18. Utah – $122
  19. California – $145
  20. Colorado – $163


Dombas Ski Resort
Dombas Ski Resort – Marcus Kleveland lives here – image courtresy of


100 Resort Lift Tickets Comparison.

  1. Oukaimeden, AF $11
  2. Volen, RU $12
  3. Abzakovo, RU $20
  4. Transalpina Ski Resort, RO $23
  5. Sheregesh, RU $25
  6. Straja, RO $27
  7. Azuga, RO $29
  8. Dombay, RU $35
  9. Sapporo Teine, JP $36
  10. Predeal, RO $37
  11. Tiffindel, AF $37
  12. Siania, RO $38
  13. Afriski, Lesotho, AF $38
  14. Glencoe, UK $38
  15. Kiroro, JP $40
  16. Dombas, NO $41
  17. Rosa Khutor, RU $44
  18. Glenshee, UK $44
  19. Lecht, UK $44
  20. Chrea, Algeria, AF $47
  21. Shiga Kogen Ski Area, JP $47
  22. La Molina, ES $47
  23. Vuokatti, FI $50
  24. Formigal,ES $50
  25. Madesimo, IT $50
  26. Les Gets, FR $50
  27. Nevis Range, UK $51
  28. Saariselkä, FI $52
  29. Masella, ES $53
  30. Levi, FI $54
  31. Hakuba, JP $55
  32. Hemsedal, NO $55
  33. Hafjell, NO $55
  34. Kvitfjell, NO $55
  35. Pyhä, FIN $55
  36. Ruka, FI $55
  37. Iso-Syöte, FI $55
  38. Trysil, NO $56
  39. Alagna, IT $56
  40. Cervinia, IT $57
  41. Alpbach, AT $57
  42. CairnGorm, UK $58
  43. Livigno, IT $58
  44. Sierra-Nevada, ES $60
  45. Tignes, FR $60
  46. Ischgl, AT $60
  47. Baqueira-Beret, ES $64
  48. Chamonix, FR $64
  49. Avoriaz, FR $65
  50. Nevados de Chillan, CL $65
  51. Soldem, AT $66
  52. Saalbach, AT $66
  53. La Parva, CL $69
  54. Niseko, JP $70
  55. St Antom am Arlberg, AT $70
  56. Verbier, CH $70
  57. Val d’Isère, FR $71
  58. El Colorado, CL $71
  59. Corvara, IT $73
  60. Valle Nevado, CL $73
  61. Portillo, CL $73
  62. Big White, CA $74
  63. Sun Peaks, CA $74
  64. Andermatt, CH $75
  65. Davos, CH $75
  66. Mt Hutt, NZ $76
  67. Revelstoke, CA $77
  68. Okemo Mountain, US $79
  69. Kicking Horse, CA $81
  70. Laax, CH $83
  71. Zermatt, CH $84
  72. Cardrona, NZ $84
  73. Coronet Peak, NZ $87
  74. The Remarkables, NZ $87
  75. Sunday River, US $87
  76. Killington, US $89
  77. Kirkwood, US $97
  78. Mount Buller, AU $98
  79. Treble Cone, NZ $100
  80. Thredbo, AU $100
  81. Perisher, AU $101
  82. Jay Peak, US $102
  83. Mount Hotham, AU $102
  84. Alta, US $104
  85. Falls Creek, AU $106
  86. Sugar Bush, US $107
  87. Snowbasin, US $109
  88. Whistler, CA $121
  89. Snowbird, US $129
  90. Park City, US $132
  91. Deer Valley, US $135
  92. Telluride, US $135
  93. Heavenly Mountain, US $146
  94. Northstar, US $152
  95. Mammoth, US $159
  96. Keystone, US $159
  97. Steamboat, US $165
  98. Squaw Valley, US $169
  99. Aspen Snowmass, US $169
  100. Beaver Creek, US $189


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