SKI BUMS :: Gay & lesbian skiing and snowboarding club
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Nearly every outdoor sport has them -- the destinations that inspire a kind of reverent awe. For snorkeling, it's The Great Barrier Reef. For mountain climbing, it's Mount Everest. Surfers would point to Waikiki. These are the rare places with a unique global appeal -- offering the purest, most exhilarating backdrop for their sport. For skiing and snowboarding in the United States, a few resorts might compete for a similar spot on the pedastal, but the winner would be Jackson Hole.
SKI BUMS is thrilled to return to Jackson Hole after a fun-filled trip in 2008 that still stands as one of the best SKI BUMS trips of all time. We're staying right on the mountain -- in one of the hippest hotels in the West, the eco-friendly Hotel Terra. We've got five nights here, four days of skiing and riding, and our very own daytrip to the stunning Grand Targhee Resort. We'll cap it all off with a delicious dinner at the Snake River Grill in Jackson, a historic cowboy town that's been dressing up lately for all its new neighbors. Join us for an exhilarating trip to the Great Wild West!
One of the great things about SKI BUMS trips is the flexibility within our itinerary. We schedule social events, meet-ups, après ski afternoons and group dinner reservations, but you're always free to break away from the group and do your own thing if you like.
Tuesday, January 19
Travel day: see "Air | Ground Transfers" for more information. Participants will fly into Jackson Hole and join our ground transfer (provided)
Evening: meet & greet cocktail reception, followed by dinner at Hotel Terra. We'll get started around 7:00 PM.
Wedneday, January 20
Early morning skill level grouping / meet up on the mountain to catch the lifts
Lunch and Après-ski meet ups
Group dinner reservation in Teton Village
Thursday, January 21
Morning meet up to ski and ride Jackson Hole
Lunch and Après-ski meet ups
Group dinner reservation in Teton Village
Friday, January 22
Morning bus pickup for daytrip to Grand Targhee
Lunch meet ups, Après-ski and party bus home!
Free evening to spend as you like
Saturday, January 23
Spend the morning however you wish
Lunch and Après-ski meet ups
Group dinner (included) at the Snake River Grill in Jackson
Sunday, January 24
Join our ground transfer (provided) to Jackson Hole airport
*this itinerary is just an outline and is subject to change; our participants will receive a detailed itinerary in January.
Consistently ranked #1 in Ski magazine's annual rankings for terrain, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort wins its fans because of one big reason: it challenges them. No matter how long you've been skiing or riding, you'd be hard-pressed to call yourself an expert if you've never tackled the terrain here. Boasting the most consistently steep pitch of any resort in America (edging out Snowbird, Utah), this isn't a playground for the faint of heart. If you're a strong skier or boarder, expect a serious adrenaline rush. Intermediate skiers and riders, however, should put this at the top of their wish-list: a few days here will simply improve your skills, especially with a lesson from one of Jackson Hole's top-notch instructors.Ski calls Jackson Hole's Gros Ventre run the best all-around intermediate run in the country: "the long, invigorating ride is more than memorable: it's what skiing is all about."
Take it from one of our members who's on the staff at Jackson Hole:
"Although it has terrain for all skills, Jackson Hole is definitely the most advanced ski resort in North America, rivaling Whistler. The snow is much better here though, pure fluffy powder with minimum amount of water. The 100 person tram climbs 4100 feet of vertical rise in just 8 minutes and the lines are often non-existent."
-- Luca, a SKI BUMS member and certified snowboard instructor for the last 3 seasons at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
About an hour away, Grand Targhee Resort offers up some of the most stunning views of any mountain resort in America -- the jagged-edged peaks of the Grand Tetons. Famous for abundant snow (over 500 inches per year, on average), Grand Targhee is chock-full of intermediate runs, wide-open groomers, and the chance to go off-piste into pockets of untracked powder. With 63 named runs and more than 2,000 skiable acres, it's more than enough for a day full of fun, and we'll finish our trip there with our own bustrip party home!
Hotel Terra burst on the scene a few years ago as one of America's first LEED-certified eco-friendly properties. This boutique hotel is located right at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and after a full-page write up in The New York Times and prominent features in magazines like Travel + Leisure and a spot on Condé Nast Traveler's coveted "Hot List," it easily ranks as one of the hippest and hottest hotels at any ski resort in the world. SKI BUMS scored a killer deal, and you're getting five nights of modern relaxation with a wide assortment of fantastic amenities, including:
Slopeside access -- ski / ride to the hotel's entrance, 2 minute walk to the lifts
Ski & snowboard valet service and storage
Complimentary access to Chill Spa, a state of the art rooftop spa complete with an outdoor rooftop hot tub, steam showers, lounge
"Refresh" infinity pool with surrounding terrace
Complimentary wireless access throughout the property
Each morning, you're free to get breakfast wherever you like; Teton Village offers everything from quick grab-n-go breakfast burritos to delicious sit-down breakfasts. Each day, SKI BUMS will name an official meet-up spot for lunch; it's a great way to re-connect with the BUMS, trade reports on the conditions, and mix it up to hit the hill in the afternoon. We've got group dinner reservations for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday -- Friday night is a free evening to spend with new friends. The cost of these meals is not included, and you're free to opt out of them at any time if you like.
Saturday night's dinner is provided, and it's one we're especially excited about. SKI BUMS has hosted dozens of dinners at dozens of ski resorts over the years, but there's still one meal that takes the cake for the very best meal we've ever had: our dinner at the Snake River Grill in 2008. Tonight, you'll be treated to a delicious menu of Western fare including fish, game, and fresh ingredients from local farmers (note, the cost of alcohol / drinks is not included). After dinner, the evening is yours to spend as you like. We have a hunch that some may want to mosey through Jackson Hole's antler-arched town square to meet the locals at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
Here's all the important information you'll need to plan your transportation to and from Jackson Hole.
Airfare is not included for this trip; we recommend waiting to purchase a flight until after you've already got a confirmed deposit for this trip. When you're ready to purchase your ticket, select to fly to Jackson Hole (JAC) from whatever airport is convenient for you. Because SKI BUMS members live in many cities, there's no one particular airline that we recommend more than another, but feel free to use our Facebook event for Jackson Hole if you'd like to coordinate with other participants to take the same flight; it always makes things more fun when you've got other BUMS along for the ride!
Recommended travel times:
Arrival times for Tuesday, January 19
Ideal: between 11:45 AM and 1:00 PM. Many connecting flights arrive at this time, and you'll be able to share the shuttle ride to our hotel in Teton Village with other BUMS. Your room may not be available immediately upon check in (they're not guaranteed until 3:00 PM), but the hotel is happy to store luggage for you in the meantime. You'll have some time to kill upon arrival -- but it's a perfect time to grab some lunch, check out the village, and set up equipment rentals.
Good: Between 1:00 and 5:00 PM. This will give you enough time to make it to Teton Village and check into your room before the evening's festivities begin, around 7 PM. If you're arriving closer to 5 PM and you need to rent equipment, you'll probably have an early morning the next day to get your gear before our morning meet up, which happens when the lifts open.
Not recommended: after 5:00 PM. You're likely to miss our meet & greet cocktail reception and information session on the first evening -- something you won't want to miss. Feel free to contact us or submit an inquiry (at right) if it seems like you might need to arrive later in the evening.
Departure times for Sunday, January 24
Ideal: Between 12:00 noon and 2:00 PM. This will give you a relaxing morning to enjoy breakfast, have your goodbyes, and share a shuttle with other BUMS from our hotel. Most participants will depart around this time.
It's all good: Feel free to get up and get out the door super early if you like -- you can arrange your shuttle pickup time for whenever is convenient for you. If you'd like to purchase a single day lift ticket to enjoy another day on the slopes, you can always dream about your adventures on the hill during your red-eye flight home. :)
SKI BUMS is providing ground transfer via shared shuttles from All Trans, the most popular transfer company in Jackson. These shuttle mini-buses will comfortably carry you (and your luggage / gear) to and from our hotel in Teton Village, which is about a 35 minute drive from the Jackson Hole airport. SKI BUMS will remind you when All Trans is ready to take your reservation for your ground transfer -- we don't recommend making a reservation more than 30 days in advance. If other SKI BUMS are on your flight (or are arriving at a similar time), it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll have other BUMS in your shuttle, but we may be sharing the space with other guests as well.
Talk to anyone who's been on a SKI BUMS trip and they'll tell you that the singular best reason to join a trip with us is simple: the people you'll meet. SKI BUMS attracts a fun-loving group of outdoorsy, laid-back, friendly and outgoing men and women who are chill and out, and SKI BUMS designs our trips to make it extra easy for you to get to know them.
Each trip begins with a hosted skill level grouping, to help you meet the other skiers and riders who enjoy the same type of terrain that you do. We know that a day on the hill is usually more fun when you're not feeling pushed beyond your comfort level, or being held back by others who aren't keeping up. So whether you're simply hoping to make it down a trail without a yard sale, or you're on the hunt for hidden deep pow in the gullies, SKI BUMS begins by helping you connect with those who want to get down the mountain the same way you do.Each morning, SKI BUMS hosts a morning meet up with simple announcements, advice and reminders -- giving you the chance to connect with your friends and the others in your skill level group. One of our mornings is set aside for you to spend as you like, in case you'd like to sleep in, do some shopping or hit up the spa!Daily lunches are an easy chance to reconnect with the whole group, trade stories on what you're finding on the mountain, and mix it up. SKI BUMS announces an official spot for lunch each day; you'll find the trip leaders on hand to answer questions or help with anything you might need. At the end of the day, the BUMS regroup for drinks and fun at the base of the mountain, for the daily tradition known as après-ski.On each SKI BUMS trip, the real focus is on the skiing and riding. That usually means that in the evenings, we're ready to relax! We make it easy for you by setting up dinner reservations each night at some of the tastiest restaurants around. One of our evenings is always a free night for you to make your own plans with new friends.You'll finish the trip with a whole group of new friends, but this trip won't be the last time you see them. Reconnect with the other BUMS from your trip at our cool social events like Avalanche, Pow Wow and our new house parties, and stay in touch through our Facebook page.
After our 2008 trip to Jackson Hole, we heard a common refrain -- "I don't want to leave!" We knew we'd be returning here quickly, and we're psyched to include it again on our calendar for 2010. If you've never taken a trip with us, we like to provide some extra perspective on all the decisions that go into our planning. It's a bit of the backstory on what makes this trip unique -- from your trip planners -- and it'll give you a clearer sense of what to expect.
We're super-psyched about Targhee.
There's no denying that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the world's most highly-regarded ski destinations; yet many skiers and riders don't make it to Grand Targhee -- just an hour away. For our 2010 edition of this trip, we're especially excited to include a daytrip to take in the wide open spaces and abundant snow of Grand Targhee.
As we saw in 2008, we expect that this trip will attract a good share of advanced skiers and riders, but we know that those in the intermediate camp will go especially ga-ga for the big wide groomers over at Targhee. It's a stellar mountain with GORGEOUS views, and if we're lucky enough for powder, it gets tracked out much later than its neighbors. ;)
What's it like in January?
In the early part of the season, you can count on a few things from January -- most excitingly, bone-dry powder. The temperatures can be a bit chilly -- particularly down in town -- but up on the mountain, Jackson Hole experiences a rare phenomenon known as inversion. It's often 10 to 20 degrees warmer up at altitude than it is in the valley. Cooler temperatures shouldn't keep you away from Jackson Hole -- especially when you can ski or ride right to our hotel if you need to swap out a layer.
Our hotel is primo, and we got a sweet deal.
The good side of the economic downturn: groups like SKI BUMS got amazing deals on hotels for 2010 that would normally be out of our price range. That's especially true here at the Hotel Terra, a swanky spot with eco-friendly cred and a perfect location, just beside the famous après-ski jam joint, The Mangy Moose. Our hotel is a great reason to make this year the year for Jackson Hole; we certainly can't guarantee that we'll ever have a deal like this again!
What the BUMS had to say after our trip in 2008:
"Jackson Hole is an awesome mountain. Going on a trip with the Ski Bums is a real adventure, and not just because you get to ski or board in some amazingly fun and challenging places. It's also a fun-filled social journey -- you never know who you'll meet. He or she could be a new friend, your next boss or coworker, the love of your life, or just someone who you have an amazing conversation with over chili or a beer while you both relax and share stories about conquering the mountain earlier that day. What could be more fun than that!?"
-- Aaron, after Jackson Hole, 2008
"Bravo! You do a great job. Everything is set up and so easy. Your enthusiasm makes all this work beautifully. And as a result Ski Bums attracts great people; the group is eclectic, genuine and nice. I have and will continue to recommend Ski Bums!"
-- Rob, after Jackson Hole, 2008
SKI BUMS makes pricing and payments easy; you can pay with any major credit card, cash or check. New for 2010, you may sign up for any western trip for a deposit of just $99 per person!
Space is limited.
SKI BUMS restricts the number of our participants for all our trips. In the event that this trip sells out, SKI BUMS members may add their name to our Wait List, but we cannot guarantee that wait list spots will become available.
You are not confirmed for this trip until you have provided your information and submitted your deposit. You must be a current SKI BUMS member to join any portion of a SKI BUMS trip. Tell me about SKI BUMS membership >
Signing up: provide your info and deposit:
First, click here to provide your information. After you've submitted your sign up form, you'll be directed to our payment page for your $99 deposit; we use PayPal, the internet's most trusted payment system. You do not need a PayPal account to make a payment, and if you prefer, you can pay with cash or a check.
Single occupancy: We have a limited number of single occupancy spots available for this trip for a supplemental charge; for pricing and availability, please contact us directly.
Equipment rental: Ski and snowboard rental is not included in the price of this trip. We will have a discounted rental available for trip participants; you should budget about $30 - 40 per day, depending on the performance level of the equipment you'd like to rent.
Instruction: Those who are participating in one of our skill programs will have the opportunity to take an advanced lesson during the course of our trip; we'll be arranging instructors and pricing with those who have enrolled in the program. You may also arrange your own lessons with the staff at Jackson Hole or Grand Targhee; visit their websites for more information on lessons.
Before December 6, 2009: $25 cancellation fee. From December 7 - December 31: $800 fee. After January 1: no refund. SKI BUMS very strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance to guard against unforeseen cancellations.
Q: How many people participate in each SKI BUMS trips?
A: Our Western and International trips have between 30 and 45 participants, depending on the destination. SKI BUMS limits the size of each trip to keep things fun, and to help cultivate a real sense that you're part of a great group of new friends -- not part of a crowd.
Q: Do I need to have a roommate lined up before I sign up for this trip?
A: Not at all; about half of our trip participants sign up without a roommate in mind. You can tell us about your roommate preferences during sign up, and we'll be happy to provide a roommate for you.
Q: What if something happens, and I need to cancel my spot on the trip?
A: See the "pricing" tab for the full cancellation policy. SKI BUMS highly recommends the purchase of travel insurance to assist you in case you need to cancel your booking.
Q: What if I'd like to arrive early, stay late, or purchase this trip without lift tickets.. can I do that?
A: SKI BUMS is happy to set up a custom trip for you; simply contact us to tell us what you'd like to do.
Q: Can you accommodate those with special dietary needs?
A: Sure thing. If you're a vegetarian / vegan, you keep Kosher, or you have any other special dietary needs, just tell us on the sign up page. We'll make sure our evening dinners are specially prepared for you.