SKI BUMS :: Gay & lesbian skiing and snowboarding club
We reserve the right to cancel, reschedule, or make changes in the trip itinerary as a result of weather or safety considerations or as otherwise deemed necessary or advisable. If your trip is cancelled or rescheduled due to weather, snow, or mountain conditions, or circumstances beyond our control, you will receive a full credit for a future trip. All trip credits may be applied to any trip in the SKI BUMS future. There is no expiration date.
SKI BUMS is not responsible for the cost of any additional expenses that you may incur as a result of trip rescheduling or cancellation (airline ticketing fees, etc.).
To use a credit for a future deposit or payment, please contact us directly.
Through October 1, you may cancel your spot at any time and receive a full refund. After October 1, the following cancellation fees apply:
For cancellations received from October 1 - 31, $200 fee. For cancellations received from November 1 - December 31, $500 fee. After January 1st, 2014: no refund.
In order to obtain our bulk group discounts, we must agree to a very strict cancellation policy. It's the nature of group travel. Think of your SKI BUMS booking as you would an airline reservation; even we find someone to take your place, the cancellation fees still apply.
If you buy travel insurance, you can still receive a refund for a cancelled SKI BUMS trip.
Buy travel insurance. We cannot stress this enough.
A travel insurer can provide a refund even when SKI BUMS cannot. In the circumstance that 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, and policies are very affordable. We especially recommend travelinsured.com, and suggest you add the sports package to cover skiing & snowboarding activity.
$1299 USD per person, for double occupancy room
-- or --
$1699 USD per person, for a single occupancy
You have two options. You may pay in full, or you may pay $500 deposit at signup, with:
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.
We're feeling lucky to return to the historic, charming and classy Sun Valley Inn, one of the very first hotels here. It's been welcoming guests since 1937, but it's been regularly kept up-to-date with modern touches like flat-screen TV's and in-room high speed internet. You can choose a bedroom with a king bed or two double beds.
This is the kind of property where the brass is polished, the wood is dark mahogany, the thread-counts are high and the plush leather couches make you want to linger and relax in front of the fireplaces. You'll probably lose count of the number of gold-plated crystal chandeliers.
It's comfortable and elegant here, but nothing feels stuffy in Sun Valley. It's clear that the resort's got a high standard for its design and service, but the come-as-you-are attitude draws on its rugged-mountain love of the great outdoors. We stayed here in 2012 and loved it.
Your trip includes a three day lift ticket for Sun Valley.
Note: If you or your travel partner do not ski or snowboard, we can remove the lift tickets from our package; contact us to make arrangements. (See "non-skiers," below.)
Two dinners are included our trip price, and they're a big part of our social element in Sun Valley. On Wednesday, we'll have free pizza at our 8 PM meet & greet, and we're also including a delicious dinner (with a sleigh ride) at the famous Trail Creek Cabin. We'll head into nearby Ketchum with a group reservation at the delicious local ranch favorite, Pioneer Saloon (which is not prepaid). Friday night is a free night to dine wherever you like. Breakfasts are up to you; there are several quick and tasty cafes located within the village area of our hotel.
As always, we'll name a meeting spot for lunch and après-ski each day, and we'll be sure to return to the scrumptious Roundhouse for some authentic cheese fondue.
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 $160 USD for a 3-day rental. We recommend Pete Lane's Mountain Sports; no advance reservations are necessary. Our on-mountain days are Thursday through Saturday.
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 >
SKI BUMS recommends this trip for intermediate through expert skiers and snowboarders. Beginners: you're welcome to sign up for this trip, but there are a few important things to know. The majority of the beginner terrain at Sun Valley is separated from the main ski areas, at an area called Dollar Mountain(view the map >). In truth, it's a great area for beginner skiers and riders, but we expect very few beginners -- if any -- to sign up. To avoid feeling isolated from the rest of the group, we strongly recommend that you bring a friend or two who are at your same level. Post a message on our Facebook Group to connect with other beginners who are thinking of signing up >
Intermediate:On our last trip, our intermediate skiers and riders all agreed: these blues are deep blue. They'd easily pass for a black diamond run at many East Coast resorts. There's no doubt: these runs are fun. They've got twisty turns, ups and downs and the occasional steep patch that can exhilarate and challenge you, and make you want to do them over and over again. If you're an intermediate skier or rider who's been repeating trips to the Colorado and Utah resorts, you'll be kicking yourself that you haven't come here sooner. This is a fun expanse of terrain that rewards exploration.
Advanced and Expert:The black diamond runs in Sun Valley are classic and cool; the top elevation here is just 9,150 feet, which means you can run laps without getting winded. Although there aren't a lot of super steep pitches like what you'd find at a resort like Jackson Hole, the drop-ins from Bald Mountain are sure to inspire you, and the Warm Springs run offers a 3,100 feet vertical drop into leg-burn heaven. Advanced skiers and riders adore Sun Valley. You'll feel like a rock star here, and you just might see one.
If you would like to book additional nights in Sun Valley, contact the resort directly. 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. Sun Valley (SUN) is the airport we recommend for this trip. There's a robust schedule of arriving flights on Delta, United and Alaska Airlines. Because the commute from Boise can be long -- especially during a winter snow storm -- we strongly recommend flying directly to / from Sun Valley. PLANNING YOUR AIR TRAVEL
You'll want to be smart about buying your airfare, keeping our itinerary and potential winter weather delays in mind. Many winter flights haven't been scheduled yet; we recommend waiting until late October to purchase your flight. View the flight schedule to / from Sun Valley > RECOMMENDATIONS |ARRIVAL: to make sure you don't miss our meet & greet and dinner, please plan to arrive in Sun Valley by 4 PM. It's about a 30 minute ride from the airport to the resort. Ideally, you'll want to give yourself some time to explore the village, rest, pick up rentals, etc. before our 8 PM gathering. | DEPARTURE: Sunday is a travel day; book your flight at whatever time seems best for you
+ Wed Feb 18: Travel day; aim to land in Sun Valley by 3 PM. 8 PM meet & greet at our hotel.
+ Thu Feb 19 - Sat Feb 21: Ski and ride Sun Valley (three days)
+ Sun Feb 22: Travel day; depart for home
Transfers between the Friedman Memorial Airport and the Sun Valley Inn are complimentary for all participants. About two months before the trip, we will collect flight information from all participants and help arrange your ground transfers.
Sun Valley's appearance is a bit deceptive; its iconic front facade obscures the broader, steeper peaks that lie behind it. The resort's a lot bigger than you think it's going to be, and it's more challenging that may think it's going to be. Read the fascinating history of why it became America's first ski resort; the hills are just about perfect for a fun-loving day on the mountain.
The skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts agree; Sun Valley was recently ranked #4 in Ski Magazine's annual rankings of the top Western ski resorts. It wins especially high marks for its grooming, it's delicious on-mountain food and it's absolutely stunning lodges. (If you've visited its sister resort, Snowbasin in Utah, you know what we're talking about.) This Ski Magazine quote puts it well: “No lines, incredible grooming and amazing scenery, not to mention gold-plated commodes and granite countertops in all the ski lodges. Sun Valley is a five-star experience.”
The terrain at Sun Valley is more challenging than many other resorts; be sure to carefully read our "Skill Level" recommendations, below.
This is a great choice if you've got a partner or friend who doesn't ski or ride, but would enjoy a trip to the mountains with the BUMS. There are lots of fun things to do here, and the overall atmosphere is relaxing and great. From the spa to sled rides and snowshoeing, there's lots to do while we're on the hill. Simply contact us to remove lift tickets from the package ($250 discount).
Who's coming on the trip? Find out by joining our special Sun Valley Facebook Group.
Whether you're simply curious about signing up or you're already on board, everyone's welcome to join our Facebook group. Feel free to invite friends, too -- it's a cool way to begin learning names of the skiers and boarders who you'll meet in the mountains!
You need to be smart about planning a trip to Sun Valley; historically, its season is shorter than many resorts in other Western states. We've plunked our trip right into the middle of peak season, where February's weather patterns historically deliver the kind of dry, skiable snow that blankets the undulating hills of the Idaho Rockies. In short, mid-to-late February is the most ideal time to visit this beautiful resort.
Our trip leaders design an itinerary that highlights the best spots in Sun Valley 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 Thursday. 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. >
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 trip progresses, you can explore more terrain or spend time relaxing. This is your vacation, so you're always free to break away and do your own thing.
For two of our evenings, we'll dine together at some of the areas best restaurants, including Pioneer Saloon, a Sun Valley must, and the Trail Creek Cabin, a charming chalet that's only accessible by sleigh ride. Friday night is free for you to enjoy as you like -- you may want to head out on the town with your new friends, or take a night to chill out with room service in our hotel.
The BUMS who take our trips to Sun Valley are here to ski and board, first and foremost -- and after a hard-charging day on the mountain, you'll sink into our plush hotel beds for a very good night's sleep! Learn more about how SKI BUMS trips work >
Our rooms in Sun Valley are guaranteed after 4 PM on Wednesday February 18. After being dropped off 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 explore the village, get acquainted and pick up any rental ski / snowboard equipment. If you want to find the other BUMS, try the bar. Or the hot tub.
Our trip officially begins with a meet & greet welcome reception at 8 PM, at Bald Mountain Pizza & Pasta, just steps from our hotel. Feel free to arrive hungry; we'll have free pizza on hand. You won't want to miss this; you'll get your lift passes, information about the week and meet your fellow Sun Valley BUMS!
The village lodging area is charming and cool; it's got a cute collection of lodges, hotels, shops and restaurants. The skiing and snowboarding areas are about a 10 minute ride from the village; regularly scheduled free buses and shuttles make it super easy to get around.
Additionally, buses and taxis are plentiful for rides into downtown Ketchum, about 5 minutes away. National Geographic named Ketchum one of America's best ski towns. Here's what they said >
Sun Valley, Idaho was America's first destination ski resort, and as soon as you visit it, you'll understand why. These hills seem like they were designed for skiing and snowboarding.
And yet, it's a resort that lies on many skiers and riders wish lists. Its location -- far from the shiny marketed glow of Colorado & Utah -- means that many winter enthusiasts have never booked that trip to Idaho. When we first came here in 2012, it instantly became a favorite Western ski resort for many of the BUMS. The entire area is effortlesslycharming, with spectacular lodges, loyal staff who clearly love their jobs, and classy hotels that have warmly welcomed guests since the golden era of Hollywood. The gay-friendly vibe made us feel right at home.
But it excited us with its terrain. These are deep blue blues, with endless variety for skiers and riders who enjoy the fun of a challenge. This is a resort that's devoted to the love of skiing and riding, and if you're looking for a new resort to fall in love with, it's time to stop wishing. Join us!
This trip has a minimum of 20 participants and a maximum of 50 participants. If we fail to meet our minimum number of registered participants by 100 days before the trip, the trip may be cancelled. In that event, those who have signed up for the trip will receive a full refund. Update, November 2014: we have met our minimum.
+ Three day lift ticket for Sun Valley + Two delicious pre-paid dinners + Four night stay at the Sun Valley Inn + Welcome reception & party + Ground transfers + Local bus shuttle transportation + SKI BUMS professional trip leaders
+ Air transportation + Ski and snowboard equipment rental + Most meals, alcoholic drinks + Travel insurance (very highly recommended)
Here a few quick steps to help you prepare for our trip!
GET OUT THERE | This trip is at the peak of peak season; it might be tough to make it through three days of skiing and riding if you haven't been out on the slopes yet. Be sure to get in some days earlier in the winter. PLAN FOR HIGHER ALTITUDE | Thankfully, Sun Valley sits at a relatively low altitude compared to many Western ski resorts, but the peaks top more than 9,000 feet. To help your body adjust, you'll want to start doing extra hydration a day or two before we travel, and avoid dehydrating liquids (coffee, alcohol) on the first day of the trip.
NEED NEW GEAR? | SKI BUMS members get excellent discounts at Backcountry.com. 30%-50% off! WATCH THE WEATHER |Remember that the weather at upper altitudes is very different from what's happening down in town; be sure to follow anon-mountain forecast like this oneto see what's happening up at the ski resort.
Watch Dorothy Dandridge and the legendary Nicholas Brothers perform "Chatanooga Choo-Choo." Get on board >
If you haven't been skiing or riding in the American West before, we strongly encourage you to set up a lesson for our first day here, where an instructor can introduce you to the best terrain for your particular skills and give you targets to work on during our time here. We'll coordinate lessons in advance for the SKI BUMS participants. Visit the ski & snowboard school page to view pricing >
Space is limited, and this trip is now SOLD OUT.
Anyone registered SKI BUMS may join our wait list. There's no obligation, but only those who are currently registered members will receive an offer.
Sign up or renew your membership > If a space becomes available, we notify you on a first-come, first-served basis. You'll be given a window of time to accept or decline the offer. If you choose to accept the spot, payment is required at the time of signup.
Please do not contact us to ask us your likelihood of receiving a wait list offer; we can't predict when cancellations will come in.