SKI BUMS :: Gay & lesbian skiing and snowboarding club
SKI BUMS is open to everyone. We're an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) skiing and snowboarding club, but we're open to any adult over the age of 18. We have straight friends and allies who join our events, too.
You must register for official SKI BUMS membership to ski or snowboard with us. You must be a registered member in order to ski or snowboard with us, no exceptions. Registration is free when you sign up for a trip, you'll sign our liability waiver, provide emergency contact information, etc. This is distinct from our mailing list. If you're unsure whether or not you've signed up for membership, contact us.
Our members hail from across North America and overseas. We proudly have members from across the USA and Canada, and we've got active members from Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and Africa, too. From Sydney to Santiago, Captetown to Calgary, you're welcome to join us. SKI BUMS is headquartered in New York City, where we first began hosting events in 2003.
Our social events are open to anyone. We host regular parties -- currently known as Avalanche (for everyone) and Powder Room (for our women) -- in cities everywhere. Anyone can attend our social events; they're designed as a way to meet other BUMS and get a feel for our vibe before signing up, then maintain friendships after returning from a trip.
We limit the number of participants for every trip. We want our trips to feel intimate, hands-on and personal. Our trips are sized so you'll have the chance to really get to know one another and feel like you're part of a group; most overnight trips have between thirty and forty participants. Our daytrips have about fifty people. We always host at least one weekend (in condos) with about 75 participants. After we've reached the size limit for a particular trip, it's sold out.
Anyone may add his or her name to a Wait List. After a trip is sold out, we put it on "wait list status." At this stage, anyone may add his or her name to our wait list; there's no obligation to accept a spot if it comes to you, but you will be given a specific time-frame to make your decision.
SKI BUMS members receive priority on the Wait List. One of the perks of membership is the chance to get a priority spot on our Wait Lists. If you've already signed up for SKI BUMS membership and paid membership dues, a spot will be offered to you before those who have not signed up for membership.
What if I pay my membership dues, but the trip for which I'm wait listed for is never offered to me? Please keep in mind that your membership is valid for a full year. When you sign up for a trip next season -- or during our pre-season sale -- you may redeem your membership dues at that time.
I'm eager to meet the BUMS, but I can't do the whole trip. Can I still meet you on the trip to ski / snowboard with you? Yes. See "Custom Trips," below.
What if I didn't make arrangements in advance? Can I just show up and ski / snowboard with you? No. We call this "trip crashing," and it's a violation of our policy.
What is trip crashing? "Trip crashing" is the term we use when someone who has not signed up for a SKI BUMS trip attempts to participate in our trip events. It's a violation of our policy, and we take it seriously. We limit the number of participants for every trip, and most trips are sold out. Therefore, because we've turned away members who would have signed up, it's unfair to permit others to join at the last minute. We realize that impulsive scenarios happen, but with an organization as large as SKI BUMS, we must enforce a few policies to keep things manageable and fair.
"Trip Crashing" applies to the following events: + Our skill level meet ups on the mountain + Welcome receptions, private cocktail parties + Lunches and dinners + Après ski events + Private parties in our lodging
If you crash a SKI BUMS trip, we will embarrass you; we'll ask you to leave our events, and you won't be permitted to sign up for future SKI BUMS trips. We strictly enforce this policy. Please don't put yourself -- or us -- in an awkward position. We've created ways for you to participate, as you'll see below.
Custom Trips & Day Passes: Join the fun of a SKI BUMS trip with some added flexibility If you'll be in the same area as SKI BUMS when we're hosting a trip, but you don't want to participate in the whole itinerary, we can make special arrangements for you to join us. We have two categories:
+ Custom Trip: when you will participate in more than one day of a SKI BUMS trip + Day Pass: when you will ski / snowboard with us for just one day (while SKI BUMS hosts a multi-day trip)
These options are designed for those who would like to join the fun, but already have a place to stay in the area. Or, those who are passing through and only have a day or two to participate in our events. To keep things manageable (and to make sure our group size doesn't go larger than our event space agreements), we must limit the number of Custom Trip participants on each trip, so you'll need to get in touch with us well in advance. Our Custom Trip and Day Passes are priced based on the events you're able to join. As a rule of thumb, we usually cannot offer discounted lift tickets unless you're joining the trip for its entire length. To arrange a Custom Trip or a Day Pass, contact us.
Daytrip Drivers: drive to join the SKI BUMS on a daytrip (from NYC, Los Angeles or DC) Although much of the real fun of a daytrip comes from the bus ride up and back, any SKI BUMS member is permitted to join us for the day if they'd like to drive to our daytrip destination.
There are just a few important things to keep in mind: + Membership is required: you (and anyone who you bring along with you) must be registered SKI BUMS members + No discounts on lift tickets, etc: we cannot offer discounted lift tickets or equipment rentals to those who drive. You'll buy your own lift ticket at the mountain. + Be there early: SKI BUMS arrives roughly 45 to 30 minutes before the lifts open. If you want to join up with the group, you'll need to be at the mountain before we get there. After arriving, the BUMS do a group pep talk and skill level group-up, then disperse into a very crowded ski resort. If you miss our group up, you probably won't find the BUMS again until lunch. Therefore, plan on getting to the mountain earlier than you usually would. We can't hold the group to wait for you to arrive. + Sign up as a driver online. When you do, a trip leader can keep in touch with you on the morning of the trip to tell you where our bus has been directed, where our group-up will be, etc, so you don't miss us.
We've got a wonderful reputation for low-drama trips. It's something we're really proud of, and we attribute much of our positive atmosphere to a few clear policies. These are designed to keep things manageable and fair for everyone, so read on to learn more about how SKI BUMS organizes things.
We have two main policies that are especially important. For all the other nitty gritty, select a category below.
Our trips include flexible itineraries -- built for socializing. On every trip we host, you'll have the chance to meet the SKI BUMS trip leaders and fellow participants at the very start of the trip. Our overnight trips begin with a welcome reception. Daytrips begin with a group-up and pep talk. The BUMS spend the trip alongside one another, but we always build free time into our itinerary so you can get some "me time." Especially on our overnight trips, you're always free to break away and do your own thing.
The Trip Leaders are here to assist you. Every SKI BUMS trip is led by professional trip leaders who are here to assist with your lift tickets, meals, equipment rentals, lodging reservations, and all the events on our itinerary. Because the BUMS comprise many different skill levels, we don't actually lead the BUMS down the mountain -- professional instructors and mountain guides are better suited for that -- but when it's time for lunches, dinners and après ski, you'll see the Trip Leaders on hand to play the host and make sure you're having a great time.
In the event of injury or illness If you're injured or become ill while traveling on a SKI BUMS trip, our Trip Leaders will do all they can to comfort and assist you. Although injuries while skiing and snowboarding are rare, we encourage all members to wear safety equipment and take precautions to guard against illness or injury. We very strongly urge you to purchase travel insurance, which can help cover the cost of any necessary medical care while traveling with us.
Flexibility is golden. It's important to understand that the nature of group travel is different form merely taking a trip with a few friends. With a group as large as forty people or more, we research and plan the best restaurants, transportation companies and lunch spots at a resort that can accommodate our group and keep things running smoothly. Although we've got an excellent reputation for well-chosen travel partners, some things are naturally beyond our control. With group travel, a positive attitude and an extra dose of flexibility will win the affection of your fellow travelers.
Cancellation policy The policy for each trip varies. You'll find each trip's cancellation policy on the information page for the particular trip. Visit the trip page, then scroll to the the Payments and Policies section.
Refunds If you cancel your spot and a refund is due, you may select to have the refund sent to you via PayPal or by check. Please allow ten days to receive your refund.
If you need to cancel a spot on a trip To submit an official cancellation, visit our cancellations page.
If someone on the wait list takes my place, am I still charged a cancellation penalty? The penalties for our cancellations apply regardless of whether or not SKI BUMS finds someone to take your spot.
In the event that SKI BUMS cancels a trip If SKI BUMS is forced to cancel any trip that we host, all participants will receive a full refund. We cannot, however, refund any additional costs you may have incurred upon booking the trip (i.e., flight transportation). For this reason, we very strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance.
Inclement weather The nature of skiing and snowboarding trips means that we may face difficult weather, but the safety and enjoyment of our members is important to us. If unseasonably poor weather threatens a trip (i.e., a rain storm is predicted on the day of our trip, or a winter storm may close the highways), we will place the trip on Weather Watch. When a Weather Watch is issued, all members who have signed up for the trip will be contacted via email. You'll be given a specific day and time by which we'll make a final decision. When a final decision is made, all trip participants will be notified by email. We'll also post this news on the SKI BUMS homepage, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.
If we postpone or cancel the trip due to weather, those who have signed up for the trip can opt to receive a full refund or apply their payment toward a rescheduled trip.
We accept all major credit cards, checks or money orders. We use PayPal for our online credit card processing, but you are not required to be a PayPal member to pay online. We accept all major credit cards. Additionally, you may make any payment with a check or money order; contact us to make alternate payment arrangements.
I'm having an issue with PayPal. What should I do? PayPal is the internet's most trusted online payment system. Therefore, they have particularly robust methods to protect customers. If you're having trouble completing a PayPal payment, contact us. We can process a credit card payment over the phone; a small processing fee may apply.
Late Payments All late payments are subject to a 5% late fee. It's up to you to make your payments on time. Failure to submit your payment in a timely manner may result in cancellation of your SKI BUMS trip reservation.
Things happen. You may need to cancel your spot on your upcoming SKI BUMS trip, and we want to make sure you've got extra protections in place.
We strongly urge you to buy travel insurance. Travel insurance is an affordable way to cover any non-refunded costs in the event that you're unable to travel with us, or if your SKI BUMS trip is cut short due to illness, injury or inclement weather.
Here's a dose of reality: in exchange for excellent group discounts, groups like ours are not refundedby our travel partners in the event of cancellations. It's the trade-off for a great deal. For that reason, SKI BUMS usually cannot offer any refund within 30 days or less of our travel date. (View the cancellation policy on each trip's information page). That's why travel insurance is so helpful.
There are many travel insurers, but we've had consistently good service from TravelInsured.com.
We adore kids. And we adore pets. But some SKI BUMS trips are better for our small and cute things than others. Here's a realistic sense of what to expect, so you can make a well-informed decision.
PETS Most of the hotel partners for SKI BUMS trips do not permit pets to stay with us. For our 2012 season, we have a few exceptions; the Ritz-Carlton at Beaver Creek is, in fact, one of the best pet-friendly hotels in the world. If you'd like to inquire about bring along your furry friends, contact our hotel first. Then, contact SKI BUMS.
Naturally, if you'd like to bring a pet, you'll need to provide your own roommate as well (or stay in a single occupancy). SKI BUMS cannot provide roommates or condo-mates for those who want to bring pets.
SKI BUMS members have brought their children on a number of our adventures, and SKI BUMS is wonderfully family-friendly. We've even hosted family-geared trips in the past, and we continually dream of hosting a trip especially geared toward LGBT families.
Suggestions: Our weekend trips to Vermont are arguably the most kid-friendly. Call us to talk about the age and ski / snowboard experience level of your child(ren), and we'll talk you through what to expect.
We do not permit children to join our bus daytrip parties. It's not the right atmosphere for children. If you'd like to drive and join a daytrip, feel free; see our daytrip information for more info on driving to a daytrip.