Through August 1, you may cancel your spot at any time and receive a full refund. After August 1, the following cancellation fees apply:
For cancellations received from August 1 - August 31, $500 fee. For cancellations received from September 1 - October 31, $1500 fee. After November 1st, 2014: no refund. These fees apply regardless of other SKI BUMS trips for which you are signed up or would like to sign up, and regardless of our wait list status. We urge to buy travel insurance.
Buy travel insurance. We cannot stress this enough.
A travel insurer can provide a refund even when SKI BUMS cannot. Just in case you need to cancel your trip because of work or health reasons, you should purchase travel insurance within 30 days of your initial trip deposit.
Even if you purchase travel insurance after this date, some coverage is much better than no coverage at all. Our cancellation policy is strict, and after cancellation fees kick in, a travel insurer may be your only chance for a full refund.
There are many travel insurers. We especially recommend travelinsured.com, and suggest you add the sports package to cover skiing & snowboarding activity.
Late payments are subject to a 5% late-payment fee. It is up to you to submit your payments on time. You may always pay early.
You may pay with any major credit card, cash or check. We use PayPal to process online credit card payments. PayPal is the internet's most trusted online payment portal, and you do not need to be a PayPal member to submit a payment.
If you would ever like to use PayPal to send a manual payment (from a smartphone, for example), our account address is: payments (at) ski-bums.org.
(*most of those traveling from the USA will depart on Friday, March 20 and arrive on the 21st. Be sure to see our flight scheduling details below)
ST. ANTON We've been very fortunate to book a return to the stylish, ultra-modern Hotel Lux Alpinae, which hosted the SKI BUMS in 2009 and 2012. This four-star property is a 2013 winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence -- you'll adore its super-friendly staff, which loves us just as much as we love them. This hotel is a chic, modernist design hotel -- no lederhosen or gingham here -- with minimalist decor, spacious rooms, an indoor climbing wall and lovely views that gaze directly out onto the slopes. It's particularly known for an exceptionally delicious restaurant, where we'll enjoy daily breakfasts and dinners as a group. That's a huge part of what makes this property so great.
Our hotel is located about a five-minute walk from the center of St. Anton. You can easily walk to town, but the hotel offers a free shuttle if you'd prefer a ride. Plus, the hotel's distance from the main thoroughfare's boisterous nightlife offers a very big perk: a quiet, restful night's sleep.
ZURICH New for 2015: We're suggesting an optional add-on for those who would like a comfortable Saturday night stay in Zurich. It'll give you the chance to see the charming sights of Old Town, and schedule your return flight with a more convenient schedule (see air transportation, below). You should budget about $200 USD for a double-occupancy room and $400 USD for a single-occupancy room. View the hotel we're recommending >
Your trip includes a six day lift ticket for Ski Arlberg.
Daily breakfasts and dinners are included in our trip price, and they're a big part of our social element at St. Anton. The Lux Alpinae's breakfast spread is fantastic -- with a hot buffet in addition to classic European items -- but the nightly dinners are a real wow. The restaurant can easily accommodate vegetarian and vegan diners. Wine and cocktails are not included.
Most of our lunches will be at on-mountain walk-through cafeterias, but we're inviting you to join lunches at two of the best mountain chalets, Hospiz Alm in St. Christoph (with a visit to their famous wine cellar) and Rud Alpe in Lech. For each of these meals, you'll simply pay for whatever you order.
As with all SKI BUMS trips, space is limited, and this trip is now sold out.
You must be a registered member to join a SKI BUMS trip; only those who sign up via the SKI BUMS website may join us.
We are happy to arrange roommates for you. Typically, half of our participants ask us to match them up with a roommate. We'll ask a few easy questions and accommodate your preferences.
If you prefer your own room, you may sign up for the trip in a single occupancy category. Please note: there are a very limited number of single occupancy slots available.
About half of our participants rent skis or snowboards -- in part to avoid traveling with extra bags. Rentals are not included in our trip price; you should budget about $300 USD for a 6-day rental. We recommend Alber Sport, with an excellent supply of high-level equipment and a superb location. Reservations are not required, but an online reservation will save you 10% and make things a bit smoother when you pick up your gear. Our on-mountain days are Sunday through Friday.
SKI BUMS designs our season for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, but we make specific recommendations for each trip. On ALL SKI BUMS trips, we begin by dividing into skill level groups so you can identify those who enjoy the same terrain that you do. See how our groups work > Beginners: as on all our international destinations, we expect very few beginners on this specific trip. If you're new to skiing or riding, you may feel that you're missing out on the real fun here, but if you enroll in a week of instruction, there are few ski resorts in the world more enjoyable than this one. Please contact us if you're a beginner and you're considering signing up.
Intermediate:St. Anton will challenge and excite you. The runs that are marked here as an 'intermediate' run may easily qualify as an 'advanced' run at the resorts you're accustomed to. That said, there is a massive amount of terrain here to choose from, and the entire experience is exhilarating. Our intermediate skiers and boarders loved St. Anton on each of our other trips. This trip is scheduled for the last half of March; you'll want to be sure you've gotten in some solid days earlier in the season to build endurance, so you can enjoy back-to-back days on the mountain.
Advanced:We very strongly recommend this trip for advanced skiers and boarders. The terrain variety within the Ski Arlberg region is deeply impressive, with every kind of terrain feature you can imagine: bowls, glades, chutes, glaciers and wide-open pistes with eye-popping vistas. Of course, going off-piste is a big part of the appeal here, and the layout of the lifts makes it easy to find your favorite spots and pick new lines each way down. Advanced skiers and riders adore St. Anton. Expert:We cannot recommend this trip highly enough. St. Anton's got it all; the challenge, the scenery, and the mind-boggling après-ski that you'll wish you could bring home with you. It's also one of the snowiest resorts in the Alps, and while the tourists stay on-piste, you'll be able to find fresh tracks long after it's stopped snowing. We expect a great group of experts to join this trip.
If you would like to book additional nights at the Lux Alpinae, contact the hotel directly, but keep this in mind: many St. Anton hotels only book 7-night stays when you're booking far in advance. Within a closer date range, some hotels will accommodate 1 or 2 night stays.
SKI BUMS cannot assist with trip extensions, and we cannot provide roommates for those who are booking additional nights on their own. We do encourage you to coordinate with other trip participants, and our Facebook page is the most enjoyable way to do so.
Air transportation is not included. Read these recommendations closely before buying airfare. This trip requires international airfare to Zurich, plus ground transfers to St Anton.
Zurich (ZRH) is St. Anton's most convenient international airport. (Innsbruck, Friedrichshafen and Munich are also an option.)
PLANNING YOUR AIR TRAVEL
You'll want to be smart and cautious about buying your airfare, especially if you're flying from the United States. Be sure to schedule your return flight with a close eye on the ground-transfer time from St. Anton. An early departure on Saturday might not be logistically feasible, and require a very expensive private taxi, so we recommend spending Saturday night in Zurich (see "Lodging," above) and scheduling your return flight for Sunday. RECOMMENDATIONS |ARRIVAL: our hotel rooms won't be guaranteed until 4 PM. We suggest you arrive in Zurich on Saturday morning, March 21st.| DEPARTURE: if you'd like a relaxing itinerary, we suggest scheduling your return flight for Sunday, March 29th. You can enjoy Saturday night in Zurich, then depart at whatever time works best for you.
If you prefer to head home on Saturday, we strongly recommend that you book your flight for noon or later, to give yourself enough time to travel from St. Anton back to Zurich.
+ Fri Mar 20: those who are flying from North America will take overnight flights to Zurich
+ Sat Mar 21: Check-in at St. Anton, enjoy welcome reception and dinner at 7 PM
+ Mar 22 - 27: Ski and ride St. Anton and the surrounding Ski Arlberg area (6 days)
+ Sat Mar 28: Transfer to Zurich (optional overnight stay in downtown Zurich)
+ Sun Mar 29: Travel day; return home
Transfers from the airports to our hotel are not included. If this is your very first time in Austria / Switzerland, we recommend booking a shared bus transfer. If you're familiar with European trains -- and you're not bringing a lot of luggage -- the train may be preferable. Regardless of which method you choose, our hotel will send a shuttle to conveniently pick you up from the bus / train depot.
BY BUS | Allow three hours to travel from Zurich to St. Anton. The Alrberg Express runs four daily shared bus shuttles from Zurich to St. Anton, from 10 AM until 7 PM. It's about 80 Euro for a round-trip ticket, and advance reservations are necessary. For the return, the earliest shuttle departs at 5:30 AM and arrives at the Zurich airport by 9 AM. Remember, for international flights, you should be at the airport at least three hours before departure.
BY TRAIN | The Swiss train system is world-famous for its efficiency and ease, and if you'd like to take the train from Zurich, it's very simple. You'll take one train from the airport to Zurich's main train station, then another train directly from Zurich to St. Anton. It's about two and a half hours travel time, and the fares begin around $150 USD for a round-trip ticket.
You can book advance tickets between from 30 to 180 days in advance of the trip, and if you're in the USA, you'll want to be sure to buy your tickets online at least a month beforehand, to allow for ticket shipping time.
Ski Arlberg is the name of the combined ski area that includes the mountain terrain surrounding the villages of St. Anton, Klösterle, Lech, Stuben, St. Christoph, Zürs and Zug, Although each area features its own village, there's a widely sprawling interconnected series of surface lifts, chair lifts, cable cars and trams -- with 94 lifts in all. The lift systems are modern and excellent. Additionally, the villages are connected via roads and highways which make it easy to get from one village to another. Read an in-depth description of St. Anton from The Telegraph >
Skiing and riding in the Alps is quite different from North America. In the States, one huge company owns and operates the lifts, runs the lodges, oversees the instructors and maintains the terrain. That's not how things work here; everything is independently owned. The lifts are run like a public transportation system. Ski schools and guides are licensed, but independent. On-mountain chalets offer delicious sit-down meals on sun-soaked terraces. The whole experience is designed to help you have a truly relaxing holiday; you may never want to ski or ride in North America again!
Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria -- known simply as St. Anton -- is undeniably one of the greatest ski destinations in the Alps. It's equally famous for its fun off the slopes as it is for its exhilarating terrain. The après-ski scene here is legendary.
But take one look at that trail map and you'll see why skiers and snowboarders travel here from all over the world. The Austrian Alps just keep going and going, and the entire Ski Arlberg region is covered under one gargantuan ski pass system. We'll be enjoying the neighboring areas of Lech, Zürs, St. Christoph and Stuben -- an over-abundance of terrain.
With nightly delicious dinners, infamous après-ski and truly spectacular vistas, it's easy to understand why St. Anton is continually at the top of our members' wish lists. We hope you'll join us for our return to St. Anton! Space on this trip is very limited, and it is now SOLD OUT. Sign up now for the wait list for St. Anton, Austria >
This trip probably isn't the best choice for non-skiers / non-boarders, but any chance to visit the Alps puts you automatically into vacation mode, and there are a lot of other fun things to do here. If you've got a partner who doesn't ski or ride -- and they're cool doing their own thing during the day while we're on the mountain -- we say go for it. Contact us to remove lift tickets.
We want to make it easy to connect with other SKI BUMS members who have signed up for trips -- or are thinking about coming. We've got specific Facebook groups dedicated to each major trip, and they're open to anyone. If you're curious about this trip -- or want to see who's coming:
Our main Facebook fan page is a fantastic way to keep an eye on all the fun we're having. Our Twitter and Tumblr will keep you up to date on the latest news. We host cool trip videos on Vimeo and pics on Flickr. And on Spotify, we curate fun-loving playlists that are perfect for the slopes!
+ Six-day adult lift passes for Ski Arlberg + Daily breakfasts and dinners + Seven night stay in St. Anton at the 4-star Hotel Lux Alpinae + Welcome reception + Austrian wine tasting party + SKI BUMS professional trip leaders
+ Air transportation + Ground transportation + Ski and snowboard equipment rental + Lunches, alcoholic drinks + Entry fees or visa fees (where applicable) + Optional Saturday night hotel stay in Zurich (booking this fall) + Travel insurance (very highly recommended)
Of course, weather is impossible to predict, but SKI BUMS plans our trips with an eye on weather history. St. Anton's snowiest period is in March, and the snow storms generally continue well into April. We selected this exact same week for our 2009 and 2012 trips; for each of them, we experienced huge powder days and bright sunny blue-bird conditions, with warm sunny afternoons at après-ski. Because the top altitudes of St. Anton are quite high, and much of the terrain is north-facing, snow preservation is excellent well into the spring.
Our trip leaders design an itinerary that highlights the best spots in St. Anton to make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun. It's published in a printed handout and updated on a devoted Twitter feed, with up-to-the-minute announcements you can receive on your cell phone.
The on-mountain adventure begins bright and early on Sunday. We divide into skill level groups that help you identify the other skiers and snowboarders who enjoy the same terrain that you do, and then we divide and conquer the mountain! Learn about our skill level groups. >
Because the terrain at St. Anton is expansive, the trip leaders generally name a broad area where the group will spend each day, particularly for the first three days, when we'll explore the areas of St. Anton, Lech and Zürs. That'll allow us to travel together, gather as a group for lunch, etc.
In general, you'll spend most of the day in a smallish group of four or five skiers or boarders -- but that's up to you. The BUMS are a social crowd, so it's always easy to find others to join in the fun.
You and your group will set your own pace, and it's common to mix it up with a few different groups throughout the week. As the week progresses, you can explore more terrain or spend a day at the spa. This is your vacation, so you're always free to break away and do your own thing.
We meet as a group for lunches and après-ski. In St. Anton, the après-ski is its own massive tradition, with outdoor dance parties, overflowing pitchers of beer and an entire soundtrack of songs that you'll know by heart by the time the week is up. Each evening, we'll dine together at the hotel.
Prepare to bond; by the week's end, it'll be hard to believe that we've only spent six days together!
Our rooms in St. Anton are guaranteed after 4 PM on Saturday March 21st. After being picked up the by the shuttle, you'll visit the Front Desk and check in under your name, just as you would at any hotel. If you arrive early, the hotel can store luggage until your room is available.
After checking in, you'll want to visit the town, get acquainted and pick up any rental ski / snowboard equipment. There's convenient ski and snowboard storage in the hotel.
Our trip officially begins with a meet & greet welcome reception in the bar of the Hotel Lux Alpinae at 7 PM, followed by dinner immediately following. You won't want to miss this; you'll get your lift passes, information about the week and meet your fellow Austria BUMS!
Cars aren't necessary while we're in St. Anton. There's a large system of convenient, efficient public buses which connect the various towns and villages in the area. As a point of reference, a trip from St. Anton to Lech takes about twenty minutes; the other villages are even closer.
Additionally, private taxis are plentiful. If you prefer door-to-door service, you can always hail a mini-van taxi with three or four other BUMS and split the fare. The taxis are reasonably priced and easy to find, especially around the popular après-ski spots.