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Group Trips
Zermatt Switzerland
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cancellation policy
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 to August 31, $200 fee. For cancellations received from Sept 1 - Oct 31, $1000 fee. For cancellations received from November 1 - December 31, $2000 fee. After January 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.

View the full SKI BUMS cancellation policy or submit your cancellation >
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.

There are many travel insurers. We especially recommend
Credit cards
$2499 per person for double occupancy

-- or ---

$3499 per person for single occupancy
(there are limited single occupancy spots available)
$1000 deposit due at sign up | Sign up for the trip >

$1000 payment by December 1 |
Make a balance payment >

$499 Balance due by January 1 |
Make a balance payment >

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.
methods of payment
You may pay with any major credit card, cash or check.

Online payments: We use PayPal to process all 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)

PayPal mobile apps: iPhone / iPad / iPod TouchAndroid

Payment by phone: we use Square Payments to process payments over the phone. To pay by phone, please contact us.

Payment by cash or check: please contact us.

Itinerary overview
Upon arrival in Chamonix, all participants receive a detailed itinerary with meeting times, events, & helpful tips. Here is an overview of our trip, to help you think through scheduling, packing, etc.
After landing in Geneva, you'll probably have some extra time to relax. You may want to leave your bags at the airport and go explore Geneva's restaurants and shops along its waterfront; here are a few ideas. When you catch your ground transfer to Chamonix, it's a pretty speedy ride. It takes just over an hour to drive there.

After checking in at our hotel, take a moment to explore the town and pick up your equipment rentals. There are a handful of well-stocked equipment shops nearby.

The official SKI BUMS fun begins around 5 PM. You'll meet other BUMS around around the world when we gather for a cocktail reception and a meet & greet at the hotel. Our trip leaders will hold a brief welcome and info session, and then we'll enjoy a relaxing dinner together in our hotel.

Sunday through Friday
Our trip leaders design an itinerary that highlights the best spots in Chamonix 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 Chamonix is expansive, the trip leaders generally name a
broad area where the group will spend each day. That'll allow us to travel together, gather as a group for lunch, etc. Monday may find us in Brévent-Flégère, Tuesday may be a day devoted to the Aguille du Midi. On Wednesday we may take the shuttle to the Italian resort of Courmayeur, just minutes away.

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. You'll have even more flexibility on Thursday and Friday; you can explore more terrain or give your legs a rest with a visit to 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. On four of our evenings, we'll dine together at the hotel. Your other nights are free for you to enjoy dinners out in Chamonix with your new friends!
Learn how we work
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Saturday, March 8 to Saturday, March 15 (from the USA, depart on Friday March 7)
Lift tickets
You'll relax in the comfort of the newest 4-star hotel in Chamonix, the stylish and mod Hôtel l'Heliopic. With rooms facing Mont Blanc -- the highest mountain in Western Europe -- it's got 105 rooms, a gorgeous spa, two on-site restaurants, ski storage, WiFi, and all you'd expect from a four-star property. It's located in the heart of Chamonix, right near the Aguille du Midi lift. It's an excellent location (view it on a map).

This is a brand new hotel, opening for the season in December.
Follow the excitement of this hot new property on Facebook >
Your trip includes a 6-day Mont Blanc Unlimited pass, which covers a staggeringly large area, including the beautiful Italian resort of Courmayeur. View a trail map >
Your trip includes daily hot breakfasts and four dinners at the new gourmet restaurant inside our hotel. These meals are included; you'll simply pay for your drinks.

Additionally, we will book a few sit-down lunch reservations to dine as a group at some of Chamonix's most charming
on-mountain chalet restaurants. You may opt-out of these lunches if you choose; they are not pre-paid. All other meals are up to you.
Six night stay in Chamonix, double or single occupancy accommodations | Six day all-area Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass | Seven breakfasts and four dinners in Chamonix | Two professional SKI BUMS trip leaders | Guided tour of the Vallée Blanche
This trip is now sold out. Any registered member may add their name to our Wait List.

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.

Sign up for SKI BUMS membership >

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. Each room can be made up with two individual beds or one large "king" bed (similar to the kind of bedding setup you'll find in most European hotels).

Single occupancy: a limited number of single occupancy slots are available. (If our signup form permits you to select one, then a single occupancy slot is available for this trip.)
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 200 Euro for a week's rental. There are many excellent rental shops in Chamonix; we recommend the popular European chain Intersport, which has a location near our hotel. Reservations are not required. Visit their website >
Skill levels
To get the most out of Chamonix, you should be comfortable on intermediate runs in Western North America, Europe or South America. That said, everyone is welcome to sign up. There are excellent private and group instructors at Chamonix who are fluent in English.

Beginner: Although there is ample beginner terrain at Chamonix, we anticipate that there will be very few beginners on this particular trip. Please plan on spending the first day day or two in lessons.

Intermediate: We've had many intermediate skiers and snowboarders on every trip to Europe. You'll have plenty of company for those who want to enjoy the wide open groomed trails and picturesque views at a relaxed, leisurely pace.

Advanced: if you're looking for a challenge, this is it. The stunning beauty of the rocky peaks and gorgeous trees will take your breath away as you soar through the magnificent Alps.

Expert: We expect a large number of expert skiers and snowboarders who are eager to explore Chamonix's famous advanced terrain. The steeps, chutes, trees and bumps are legendary here. Chamonix's reputation is well-earned; for experts, it's one of the world's very few must-visit resorts.

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 >

If you would like to book additional nights at Hôtel l'Heliopic, contact the hotel 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
Ground Transportation
Air transportation is not included.

Geneva, Switzerland
is the nearest large airport serving Chamonix. We will have participants who are flying in from multiple destinations, so we do not recommend any one particular flight. Our trip officially begins with a meet & greet cocktail reception at 5 PM at our hotel on Saturday the 8th.


ARRIVAL | If your flight arrives in Geneva early on Saturday the 8th, keep in mind that your room will not be ready for check-in until 3 PM. You may want to take some time to explore Geneva before traveling to Chamonix.

DEPARTURE | Many return flights to the USA depart Geneva around 9 AM. This requires a painfully early wake up alarm in Chamonix, to allow for ground transfer time and a 2 hour check-in window. For a more relaxing alternative, spend an extra day in Europe and return home on Sunday the 16th. Here's a cool hotel in Geneva.

Connect with the other BUMS on Facebook if you'd like to coordinate travel with others.

+ Saturday, March 8: Arrive in Chamonix; check in at our hotel after 3 PM

+ Sunday through Friday: ski & snowboard at Chamonix and explore the surrounding area

+ Saturday, March 15: Check out at our hotel, return home (or enjoy additional days)
Cars won't be necessary during our trip. There are several ground transportation options; ChamExpress offers shared transfer vans for 58 Euro, round-trip, and they're super easy to find at the airport. Reserve online >
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Valle Blanche tour
We're including a guided tour of one of the world's most famous glaciers, the stunning Vallée Blanche. Often called "the greatest ski run on Earth," this 13-mile adventure can take a full day. You shouldn't do it without a skilled guide, so we've included the cost of a professional guide with the trip. You must be a solid intermediate skier or snowboarder to participate in this tour. What makes the Vallée Blanche so incredible? >
Trip extensions
Not included
Air transportation | Ground transportation to Chamonix | Lunches | Three dinners | Skiing or snowboarding instruction | Equipment rentals
Airfare booking tips:

Set up a price alert at, and watch fares for a while before buying.

How to set up a price alert >

Historically, October / November is the best time to buy airfare for a March trip to Geneva.
Saturday's our travel day; we'll check out of the hotel and go our our merry way. Some participants will opt to remain in France or Switzerland for more sightseeing; feel free to post a message on our Facebook Wall if you'd like to coordinate travel with other BUMS!
Our rooms are guaranteed after 3 PM Saturday. You'll simply visit the front desk and check-in under your own name. if you'd like to arrive earlier, the hotel can store your luggage for you.
Check in
Chamonix France French Alps Ski Bums
This may be the world's most famous ski resort.

Ever since it was chosen for the very first Winter Olympics in 1924, the Mont Blanc resort of Chamonix has lured the world's most adventure-seeking mountain enthusiasts. It's exactly what you hope a trip to the Alps will be, with breathtaking vistas, wide-open slopes, charming chalets and fun-loving skiers and snowboarders from all over the globe.

It's also surprisingly affordable; the stiff competition among France's ski areas has kept prices down, and brand new hotels are opening to attract thrill seekers who want great values with their vacation. Thankfully, we've got an
amazing deal on this year's European trip. You're invited to come join us for a trip to the French Alps that you'll never forget.

Sign up for our trip to Chamonix >
Hotel l'Heliopic
Mont Blanc France
Chamonix France skier
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We want to make it easy to connect with other SKI BUMS members who have signed up for trips -- or are thinking about coming. New this season, 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, simply
sign up here >

Lets be friends
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!
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