EpicMix app takes hold at Vail Resorts, turning skiing into The Social Network

Categories: Sports, Tech

EpixMix Skier.JPG
While seeking some epic pow-pow at Breckenridge recently (read: practicing my "pizza and French fries" on the cruisin' slopes), I noticed a new phenomenon: ski dudes and dudettes whipping out their smart phones to compare stats on Vail Resorts' new EpicMix social-media app, which tracks guests' achievements. On one hand, this seemed cool and fun -- while on the other hand, kind of worrisome.

Now, don't get me wrong: I'm as tech-obsessed as the next guy. And EpixMix does seem pretty cool. Thanks to new RFID chips in all Vail Resorts season passes and lift tickets that are tracked by lift scanners at Vail's five resorts -- Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Mountain -- the program compiles and awards virtual "pins" based on peaks visited, lift rides per day, vertical feet skied and other stats.

But as I see it, there are upsides and downsides to such an operation, one that surely other ski resorts will soon be aping. Here's my take on it:

Positive: Dude, you can totally put your EpixMix stats on your Facebook page, so all your buds can see how many vertical feet you skied during that so-called "sick day" last week!
Negative: Dude, you totally put your EpixMix stats on your Facebook page, so your boss saw how many vertical feet you skied during that so-called "sick day" last week!
Positive: EpixMix surely comes in handy when somebody goes missing on the mountain, allowing trackers to pinpoint the last ski lift used by the MIA skier.
Negative: Finding that MIA skier and discovering he got lost because he was so obsessed with checking his EpixMix stats that he forgot to look where he was going.
Positive: When you rack up enough achievements, you are rewarded with virtual "pins" showcasing your on-slope prowess, such as the High Nine Pin, the Tour da Force Pin and the crazy-difficult Steve Austin Pin, awarded to those who ski more than 6,000,000 vertical feet this season.
Negative: Jealous friends and colleagues will rename your pins with names like Get a Job Pin and D-Bag in Snow Pants Pin.
Positive: There's a kids version of EpixMix, too, where the little ski bumpkins can earn Pins with names inspired by Harry Potter spells.
Negative: Clearly, Harry Potter-theme pins are much cooler than the grown-up versions, and it's sooo not fair the rug rats get to have all the fun.

So, there you have it. Have your own thoughts, positive or negative, about EpixMix? Have at it below. Who knows: We may just award you a virtual pin for your troubles.

More from our Sports archive: "Wes Selby: Colorado's X-Games underdog"

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
James J
James J

It is so much fun to track your pins and friends with this app! I didn’t expect too much, but Epic turned out to be one of my favorite mountain apps. I also use the Remote Access app from my employer, DISH Network, which is another mountain must-have! I can stream live TV and DVR recordings to my phone while on the lift. There is never a dull lift anymore!

SkiPass Defender
SkiPass Defender

I will keep using the Ski Pass Defender, then I can use my RF pass when I want. And since I am not allowed to disable the pass with a hole punch, this is the best solution for me.Look for new RF rollouts from VR this spring and over the summer. Data collection will continue as if it were a game


I was up at keystone and overheard some kids talking. One kid said he had received an email from Vail Resorts telling him that he was going too fast on the mountain and if it happened again they would pull his pass. I could also see this being applied if you accidentally went out of bounds.

Savage Rhymes Records
Savage Rhymes Records

Streaming Music for Cell Phones & PCs. submit music two or more songs .mp3 n a photo or two .jpg file to Savage Rhymes RecordsUnderground Music & Film Society


Dear Ask A Mexican, as A puerto-rican Democrat I will side with Tom Tancredo. These people come up here steal jobs wire there money back home or run over people.They are Polluting Colorado and America They are our AL-Queda in this country..If your so proud of them ,then take them home and you go to.I'm sure your one of them that goes to the Church on there "Latino Night" well i live in the neighborhood and after 2am they fight urinate in public etc..I hope ur proud of the people ur defending..TRASH

Some Dude
Some Dude

i'm not sure how they would know that, the trackers only pick you up at the tops and bottoms of lifts and at certain restaurants on mountain.that, and i've gone way too fast at keystone and haven't gotten any emails.

if you're that worried, clip a hole in your pass where the transceiver (under where it says RF) is or take it to the pass office and a Vail resorts employee with remove it for you.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault