You probably already know that the Epic Pass, that beautiful small plastic card with your photo on it that gets you access to our local ski areas in Eagle and Summit Counties, does the same at other resorts in North America. It's definitely worth using your pass to check out Kirkwood or avail yourself of bonus powder days at Park City if you don't mind road tripping to California or Utah.

But the best kept secret of your Epic Pass? It’s also good for skiing in Europe. And while Europe seems far away and exotic, it’s actually easier to go skiing there  than you imagine. Flights from Denver to cities like Munich and Frankfurt are getting cheaper and easier due to competition (Lufthansa just added additional departures from DIA to Munich and British Air flies into London, where you can catch inexpensive flights over to the continent) and once you’re in the Alps, you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised to discover that with current exchange rates, things are a lot cheaper, from food to accommodations, than in Colorado’s ski country.

Sure, we understand that if you're employed by the same company that issues Epic Passes, it can be hard to break away from work and other obligations during the winter months, but this season do yourself a favor and make some time to try the Alps. From massive 7,000 vertical foot descents to quaint huts with fondue, to outrageous backcountry touring and off-piste skiing, the Alps are truly amazing. Add in the benefits of using your Epic Pass, and there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t go. Click through the above slideshow images for our pictorial guide to making the most of your trip, and using your Epic Pass to save money and ski for free.

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