A Dad flew in from Michigan. A seven-year old son learned to snowboard for the very first time. Friends
hopped on the bus and brought home-made munchies.
Family Day, our special daytrip to Mountain
Creek, began with a stunning sunrise over the Manhattan skyline, and finished with an après-ski party
bus home that had us laughing in the aisles! For this one, our memb our members were given the
chance to introduce a family or friend to SKI BUMS, and we had a great time hosting our guests.
Mountain Creek was
packed with people, but the crowds couldn't deter the BUMS from having a
fantastic day.

View the Family Day photo gallery >
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Copyright 2007, SKI BUMS.

It's a tradition, and it gets better and better every year.

On Sunday, January 21, SKI BUMS celebrated
Bunny Hill, as a whole crop of 'newbies' learned to ski or
snowboard for the very first time! Yet again, an entire group of grown men and women boarded a bus
to humble themselves, learn something new, fall in the snow -- repeatedly -- and laugh their BUMS off.
We had an
incredible time, as always, and many of 'em can't wait to get back on their skis or boards
again to keep practicing.

As always, we started the day with a complimentary lesson
from one of Hunter Mountain's trained instructors. New for
2007, however, the BUMS hosted afternoon clinics as some of
our more experienced members (some of whom are certified
instructors themselves!) took the newbies under their wing
for personal instruction and valuable tips. By the afternoon,
the newbies and the seasoned veterans were intermingling,
encouraging one another and cheering each other on, and
writing their own inside jokes that we'll hear all season long!

This year's Bunny Hill was downright
sentimental. There's
something truly commendable about learning something
new; it takes courage! At our apres ski party afterwards,            
 Newbie boarders!
and on the bus ride home, the BUMS drank beer, shared
stories, and got
deep. We think there's something to this "try something new" idea, and we're gonna
keep on encouraging it. If you're ready to brave the slopes with us, or learn to ski or board, check out
our future
daytrips. Newbies are always welcome. :)

The winter cold finally arrived in the Northeast, and with snow falling on Windham Mountain, the BUMS
were gearin' to go! We took our first daytrip of the season on Saturday, January 20th, and the
excitement was buzzing from the moment we boarded our bus in the dark... at 5:45 AM...

Until we fell asleep.

But oh, the difference between the bus ride there and the bus ride

Windham was PACKED with people, and the BUMS fit right in. By 9 AM, we were on the mountain,
signing up for lessons, grouping up with others who wanted to explore the same trails that we did.
There may be no snow in NYC, but Windham was covered with the white stuff, and there was more
than enough terrain to keep us happy. We regrouped for a fun lunch and a kickin' apres ski, but this
bus ride home was one
for the history books. Maybe it was all our bottled up energy from a summer
and fall away from the slopes, or the thrill of reuniting with last year's members. Maybe it was the
excitement of our new members, who wanted to kick things off with a bang... but this party was

See our Photo Gallery to see what we mean. >

And... we were also reminded of one of our favorite things about the BUMS: these people can COOK!
People brought cookies, finger sandwiches, grandma's homemade brownies, and plates full of REALLY
GOOD FOOD. If you've signed up for a daytrip, pull out your recipes now, because we smell a full-on
BAKE OFF comin' up.

All in all, it was a fantastic day, and the perfect way to start the SKI BUMS season. Winter is here!!!

It's the little things. Trail maps where you'd expect them. Tissue boxes in every bathroom. Extra signs
at the top of each lift telling you which runs are freshly groomed. Lifties that are not only cute, but
friendly. There are numerous reasons why Vail is consistenly ranked the #1 ski resort by Ski
and when you visit, it's those little things that you notice...

Until you get onto the mountain. Then, it's the big things.
Like 5,889 skiiable acres of terrain that seem to stretch
in every direction, with endlessly HUGE bowls, the widest
groomed blues you've ever seen, undulating roller coaster
runs through clumps of trees, and fields of moguls that
go on so long that your quads burn just by
looking at 'em.
The BUMS who tackled Vail were up to the challenge, with
a whole group of adventurers who took in
everything that
Vail was serving up. Meanwhile, the rest of us had a
heyday on the groomers, big and sprawling, and happily
took all three days to see every part of the resort. Our
afternoons found us outside on the warm sun deck at
Garfinkel's, ordering pitchers of beer, laughing, and            
gradually getting to know each other.

And by Friday night, after we'd enjoyed a delicious gourmet meal at Terra Bistro and a casual pub
night at The Bully Ranch, we'd realized something. These are the kind of people
you just don't meet
every day.
The kind of people who grab extra space at lunch for the folks who are still coming in, who
pick up the tab at the bar just to be nice, who check in with the group to make sure everyone knows
how to get to the next chair lift. Whether the gang was looking out for someone who didn't feel well,
sharing a 'coming out' story to encourage someone, or picking up a surprise birthday cake for one of
our members, we knew these were the kind of folks who we'd want to continue to get to know back in
the city. That's the best part about SKI BUMS trips, really: the people.  As folks traded phone numbers
at baggage claim, we thought through the highlights of our vacation, and the people we'd met, and
realized that yeah... maybe it
is the little things.

View the Vail slide show >

It happens every year. A group of virtual strangers, with seemingly little in common other than a brand
new SKI BUMS tag on their jackets, group up into a mass carpool and escape a hectic city for a
weekend in Vermont. Every year, there are a few on the trip who hadn''t met
any of us before going,
and who are admittedly a little
nervous about the whole thing...

And every year, by the end of the weekend, these same
people leave Vermont with hilarious stories, a fantastic
weekend on the slopes, and a whole new group of friends.

This year, our drive to Vermont was met with COLD winds,
and everyone arrived at our welcome reception in
The SKI BUMS trip leaders had built a fire in our fireplace,
and before long, we were learning names, sampling
Vermont microbrews, and planning to wake up early
to continue our SKI BUMS tradition: homemade breakfasts
in our condos. :)

By après-ski the next afternoon, it was clear that the             
carpools up had provided some serious
road-trip bonding.
People who had only met the day before were trading stories like old friends. On Saturday night, when
we hosted our own dinner party at a local haunt, we surprised one of the BUMS with his very own
birthday pizza. Later on, back at our condos, some BUMS curled up under blankets for a movie night,
while others made s'mores in front of the fireplace... something that we're sure is about to become a
new SKI BUMS tradition.

Sunday was warmer and sunnier, and the snow was surprisingly good, but by the afternoon, we didn't
really want to leave. As folks traded numbers and email addresses, we knew that this year will be just
like the others. Over the summer, these former strangers will wander in little groups through
Manhattan, run into someone they know, and introduce them, saying: "these are some of my friends...
we met last winter in Vermont!"

View the Mt. Snow slide show >

Belle means "beautiful," and on February 17th, there was an awful lot of beauty in the air. The snow
was some of the most stunning
gorgeousness we've ever seen on a local daytrip, and when beautifully
matched with a bright blue sky, it had the BUMS beaming. The huge snowfall earlier this week brought
out the masses, but the good size of Belleayre meant that the slopes weren't too crowded to enjoy. The
staff of Belleayre
knew we were there; a happy fella in one of the lift houses was even playing
showtunes out on the loudspeakers along the chair lift. If we'd never skied to the sounds of Barbra and
Liza before, once we spotted "Angels in America" vet Jeffrey Wright at the boisterous après-ski, the day
felt downright
theatrical. This bus ride home only continued to reinforce what we knew: the trip home is
just as fun as the day on the slopes, if not
more so. As the BUMS raved over homemade cookies and
Drew's now-famous finger sandwiches, we passed the beers and cracked each other up. A whole new
group of new BUMS took their first daytrip with us, and left saying, "This group is
amazing! Only two
more daytrips? I gotta sign up!" We think that's beautiful!

View the Belleayre slide show >

Sixty people sign up. The SKI BUMS leaders play a giant puzzle game to put
folks into carpools. Mid-day Thursday, people start driving up, continuing
conversations that they'd begun at AVALANCHE parties this season, but invariably,
everyone's wondering, "What's this weekend going to be really be LIKE?"

If only they'd known. Our weekend at Stratton was ridiculously fun.

It helps when we've got swanky condos that adjoin one another, making it awfully easy to invite the
neighbors over for drinks or dinner. It helps when our condos are a 4-minute walk through the village
to the lifts. It helps when the group takes over one of the local bars, flooding the dance floor with sixty
out-of-towners who easily outnumber the locals, leaving the DJ reaching for pop tunes to appease his
new favorite crowd. And, it helps when the next day, half the Stratton staff says, "Yeah, I heard you
guys were in town! Heard you went dancing last night! Wish I had been there to join you!"

View the Stratton slide show >


The drive from Vancouver to Whistler was full of warm, green
grass, towering pine trees, and sparkling sun on the ocean as
we drove along the coast. 28 BUMS had just landed from an early morning flight from JFK, and despite
the temptation to nod off, the scenic beauty of the landscape
kept us wide-eyed. With all that gorgeous green, you'd never
have known that a few miles north, the mountains were drenched
in white. Whistler had been enjoying a year of record snowfall.

As if on cue, light flakes began to fall just as our bus wove its way into the charming Whistler village.
We checked into our condos, headed to a local brewpub for dinner, and got all set up for four days on
the expanse of North America's largest  ski resort.

Four days was barely enough. An early meeting at the lifts helped us group up by skill level, and in no
time, we were cruising the groomers, taking lessons, or hiking up into the stratosphere. The bowls and
glaciers at Whistler are truly breathtaking, and toward the end of day one, the sun burned through the
highest clouds to open whole new areas to sunshine-filled clear visibility. We were in heaven!

The rest of our week in Whistler was similarly fantastic. We had planned dinners at some of Whistler's
best restaurants, our own parties back in our condos, and daily apres ski get togethers to unwind and
connect. Unquestionably one of the highlights of the 2007 season, it left many of us sending identical
emails and text messages after we returned to the city, saying, "I want to go back!"

View the Whistler slide show >


Leave it to the last two daytrips for everyone to pull out the stops. SKI BUMS should have hired taste
for some of the food the BUMS were pullin' out for our bus rides home, and if they had, it would
have been a hard-fought contest. The eats were awfully good for our final two daytrips of the year, and
the slopes were even better. Hunter Mountain's snow was soft -- it was hard to tell the difference
between the man-made stuff and the natural stuff -- and Mountain Creek had finally opened the whole
of their terrain, giving the BUMS an ample playground to lose themselves for the day.  A few BUMS
hadn't been able to join us until our final daytrip, which only left them clamoring for more! How long 'til
next season starts?

View our Sick Day and Mountain Creek slide shows >