SKI BUMS :: Gay & lesbian skiing and snowboarding club
You'll hear this often: If you only get to ski or snowboard in Europe once in your life, Zermatt is the place to go. It’s one of the world’s most charming mountain villages, at the base of a stunning ski resort. This is our third trip to Zermatt since 2006, and on our 2013 journey here, the spectacular Cervo resort became our favorite hotel of all time. The image above is what you see when you step out the front entrance, with the iconic Matterhorn inviting you to scale the stunning heights of the Swiss Alps. As you stroll through the car-free village, you can duck into cozy shops full of cuckoo clocks, sample delectable Swiss chocolates, and smell the aroma of bubbling crocks of fondue cheese.
And then there’s the gargantuan terrain, which stretches around the Matterhorn in every direction, flowing across the border and down into the Italian village of Cervinia. It’s one of the world’s very best ski areas. Space on this trip is very limited, and it is now sold out.Any SKI BUMS member may sign up for our Wait List. Join the Wait List for Zermatt >
Saturday March 11 to Saturday March 18, 2017
5 out of 7 -- Sunday through Friday
Village of Zermatt
Recommended for all skill levels
$3999 per person
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 July 1, you may cancel your spot at any time and receive a full refund. After July 1, the following cancellation fees apply:
For cancellations received from July 2 - August 31, $500 fee. For cancellations received from September 1 - October 31, $1500 fee. After November 1st, 2016: 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.
$3999 USD per person, for double occupancy
-- or --
Save $100 if you pay in full at signup
-- additional options --
$1800 USD supplement for single occupancy
$1000 deposit due at sign up -- if you like, you may pay in full at signup and save $100.
These are the dates for those who sign up today. Pricing and payment dates may change for those who sign up at a later date, if space remains. 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.
Your trip includes a 5-out-of-7 day all-access pass for Zermatt and Cervinia.
On our European trips, most participants usually take a day off to relax. Our first day of skiing & riding will be Sunday. You can use your ‘free day’ at any point during the week. Learn more >
Note: If you or your travel partner do not ski or snowboard -- or you've already got a lift pass for Zermatt -- we can remove the lift tickets from our package; contact us to make arrangements.
About a month before we travel, all participants will submit a Travel Portfolio, where we'll collect your flight information, dietary restrictions, roommate requests, emergency contact info, skill level, and other pertinent details. We'll email everyone and post the link here when it's time to submit it.
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.
The slopes of Zermatt and Cervinia are well-suited for everyone. If you've taken our recent trips to St. Anton or the Dolomites, you'll notice that there are notably more beginner areas here — especially at some of the spectacular plateaus, higher up on the mountain. It makes it a fantastic place to take lessons and take in the scenery while you’re polishing your skills. Advanced and Expert skiers and riders will find ample challenge here, especially if you enjoy going off-piste. SKI BUMS hosts trips to the Alps every season. Historically, a small handful of participants are beginner skiers and riders. About a third are intermediates, and about half are advanced / expert skiers and riders. If you have any questions about whether you'll enjoy the terrain here, please contact us before signing up.
For a more relaxed, well-rested itinerary, you may want to arrive in Switzerland early. Additionally, you may want to enjoy additional nights in Geneva or Zurich, but take our advice: Zurich is a much more interesting tourist destination than Geneva is. Although each city has its charms, Geneva completely empties out on weekends. It’s dead after dark. Zurich, on the other hand, features a charming old town, beautiful shops, great restaurants, and more.
As for additional nights and accommodations, SKI BUMS trip leaders are happy to offer advice, but we cannot book additional nights for you, and we will not be on hand to offer travel assistance beyond the official dates of our itinerary.
For more discussion about trip extensions -- and to see if others would like to join you -- join the discussion on our Facebook group >
Air transportation is not included. Read these recommendations closely before buying airfare. We recommend air travel to Geneva or Zurich.
PLANNING YOUR AIR TRAVEL
HEAD'S UP: You'll want to be smart and cautious about buying your airfare, so you can take advantage of the best train transfer options and optimize your arrival and departure days. Historically, the best time to purchase airfare for this travel period is in October or November, after the airlines have added additional scheduled flights for March.
KEY DETAILS & SUGGESTIONS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR FLIGHTS Friday March 10 Many will depart on overnight flights from North America. Others will depart from Europe on Saturday.
Saturday, March 11 + 12:00 PM: Aim to land in Geneva or Zurich by this time + After landing: train travel to Zermatt (see info below) + 3:00 PM: Our rooms will be ready for check-in. If you arrive earlier, the hotel can store luggage + Afternoon:Get settled and pick up equipment rentals + 7:00 PM: The trip officially begins at our Meet & Greet in the hotel, where you'll meet the trip leaders and your fellow participants. You won't want to miss this.
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Saturday, March 18 + Morning: check-out of our hotel + After check-out: see train info below + Afternoon & evening: enjoy Geneva or Zurich
IMPORTANT NOTE:we do not suggest booking a return flight for Saturday March 11th, unless you’re flying late in the afternoon or early evening. Morning departure times from these cities won’t give you ample time to travel here (by train) from Zermatt.
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Connect with the other BUMS on Facebook if you'd like to coordinate travel with others.
Cars are not permitted to drive into Zermatt; only train travel is allowed. Although you can drive to the town of Tasch and take a train, we recommend traveling entirely between the Zurich or Geneva airports into Zermatt by train. It's easier than it may sound -- it's also scenic and comfy. A convenient baggage service (like an airline) makes traveling with skis and boards a breeze.
IMPORTANT NOTE:it’s wise to purchase your train ticket before you leave the USA, but you’ll need to allow enough time for a ticket to be mailed to your home address. Click here to purchase a train ticket >
After arriving in Zermatt, our hotel offers a complimentary transfer for you and your luggage from the Zermatt train station, uphill to the Cervo. If you’ve got any questions about how the train works, or you’d like to book travel alongside other BUMS, post a message on our Zermatt Facebook group.
If you truly love skiing or snowboarding, you must see Zermatt before you die. It’s magical.
Very few resorts can offer its stunning combination: breathtaking scenery, reliable snow, a wide variety of pistes for all skill levels, and a historic charming mountain town that nearly defines Alpine chic. Although it certainly isn’t cheap — Zermatt has become quite the place to see and be seen — the consistently excellent quality of the food, lodging, infrastructure and lift systems make you feel that your Swiss Francs are well spent.
The actual resort boasts more than 360 km of pistes across three linked sectors – Sunnegga-Blauherd-Rothorn, Gornergrat-Stockhorn and Trockener Steg-Schwarzsee – with an unforgettable tip-top gondola station — the highest in the world — at 12,532 feet (3,820m). Best of all, this is one ski area that’s excellent for all skill levels. Even beginners can enjoy gently sloped ski areas at high altitudes with spectacular views. In a word, it’s the perfect Alpine ski resort for everyone.
SKI BUMS anticipates what you'll need to know, and when you'll need to know it. We email valuable pre-trip information to all our participants, in numbered Info Packs. You'll need to receive them and read them closely, so it's crucial that you've provided an email address to us that you check regularly.Gmail users: you need to take extra steps to see our emails.
Who's coming on the trip? Find out by joining our special SKI BUMS Zermatt Facebook Group. Whether you're simply curious about signing up or you're already on board, everyone's welcome to join this 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 when we're in Italy! if you decide not to join us, we'll remove you from the group before the trip begins.
In advance of the trip, the BUMS use this group to share travel plans and coordinate meet ups for ground transfers. During and after the trip, they share pics and messages with one another.You'll see posts like "who's on the 1 PM flight into Geneva?” and "who's up for fresh tracks tomorrow?"
Of course, weather is impossible to predict, but SKI BUMS plans our trips with an eye on weather history. Snowfall in the Swiss Alps is most reliable from late-December through late April. March and April are historically Zermatt’s snowiest months. The very high altitudes (and massive glaciers) make Zermatt one destination that offers skiing & boarding nearly year-round. The mid-point of March is an ideal time to enjoy quality conditions, and there's a good chance of fresh powder snow storms, mixed with days of beautiful warm sun. View last winter's snowfall history >
Our rooms are guaranteed after 3 PM on Saturday the 11th. When you arrive, you'll simply check in at the hotel as your normally would. Please have your passport handy for identification.
Our trip officially begins at 7 PM with a meet & greet, followed by dinner. In our hotel bar, you'll meet the SKI BUMS trip leaders and the other participants -- and then we'll sit down for a relaxing meal to welcome you to Zermatt!
This trip has a minimum of 20 participants. If we fail to meet our minimum number of registered participants by 60 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.
+ Seven night stay at the modern, stylish CERVO Zermatt + Three multi-course dinners, served in our hotel’s delicious restaurants + Five-out-of-seven day lift pass for Zermatt / Cervinia + Seven breakfasts + Complimentary shuttle service between our hotel and the Zermatt train station + Welcome reception + A daily itinerary of guided activities, terrain recommendations and and hosted events + Up-to-the-minute trip updates, delivered to your mobile phone + Trip organization, guidance and assistance from two SKI BUMS professional trip leaders
+ Air transportation + Train transportation + Accommodations for Saturday, March 18th (recommended for easier flight scheduling) + Ski and snowboard equipment rental + Lunches, four dinners, alcoholic drinks + Travel insurance (very highly recommended)
+ Friday, March 10: Fly to Switzerland (if departing from North America)
+ Saturday, March 11: Transfer by train to Zermatt
+ Sunday March 12 - Friday March 17: Ski & ride in Zermatt and Cervinia
+ Sat March 18: Transfer by train to Geneva or Zurich (for return flights on Sunday)
+ Sun March 19: Travel home (or extend for additional days in Europe)
Our trip leaders design an itinerary that highlights the best spots in the region, with up-to-the-minute reports that you'll receive on your mobile device (see below). View a sample itinerary >
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 here is expansive, the trip leaders generally name a broad area where the group will spend each day, particularly for the first three days. That'll allow us to travel together and gather as a group for lunch, enjoying some of the delicious offerings of Swiss and Italian cuisine. Later in the week, you'll have more freedom and flexibility to choose your own adventure! Because we’ve got a ‘five out of seven’ day pass, you’ll have one day to relax and enjoy off-mountain; you can always purchase a day pass if you want to ski and ride every day.
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. And for three of our evenings, we'll dine together in our fantastic hotel restaurants. One additional evening, we’ll dine as a group at a restaurant in town. The other three nights, you’ll be free to spend however you wish.
Prepare to bond; by the week's end, it'll be hard to believe that we've only spent a week together!
You must have a cell phone that will work while we are in Europe. It will need to be able to receive domestic SMS text messages, even when you are not on Wi-Fi.
Trip leaders send up-to-the-minute text message alerts with itinerary information, transportation pickup times, lunch locations, weather advisories, and more. Additionally, the other trip participants text one another to coordinate their plans on the mountain. We advise against renting a SIM card for use while in-country; this usually creates more problems than it solves. We recommend that you budget for an international plan that includes voice, data and SMS messaging.
On the mountain: you should arrive in-country with all your skiing & snowboarding apparel. SKI BUMS requires our trip participants to wear helmets while skiing & riding. See our helpful guide, How to Dress for the Mountain, for suggestions. Zermatt has many, many gear & apparel shops, but prices will be a bit elevated, so pack wisely. Off the mountain: all our events are casual dress. Some of Zermatt’s restaurants are a bit dressy, so you might want to pack accordingly, but as you can pretty easily see, the BUMS are a casual, laid-back crowd; we aren't flashy. Be yourself, and be comfortable -- just as you would on any skiing / snowboarding trip.
A few vital packing tips:
+ Pack your skiing and snowboarding apparel in your carry on bag. Delayed luggage can arrive three days late; you won't want to have to buy all new stuff to make it onto the mountain. + Be sure to pack winter wear shoes with a good tread; expect snowy, icy streets. + Don't forget sunscreen for the high-altitude UV exposure, and a swimsuit for the hotel's pool!
SKI BUMS detailed trip itineraries are designed to be viewed on any smart phone. Additionally, our trip leaders send up-to-the-minute alerts that you'll receive on your phone via SMS text messaging. It allows us to keep you in the loop and make smart adjustments based on the weather.
For this reason, you MUST have a cell phone that will work while we're in Switzerland and Italy.
We limit the number of participants for all SKI BUMS trips. This trip is now SOLD OUT. All registered SKI BUMS members are invited to add their name to our wait list — there’s no obligation. We receive cancellations for every trip, and when a new opening becomes available, we will contact our members by phone and email in the order that you’ve added your name to our list. To add your name, be sure you’ve got a current SKI BUMS membership. Membership is free.
Our trip includes daily breakfasts and three multi-course gourmet dinners at the stylish, delicious restaurants within hotel. We can easily accommodate vegetarians, those with allergies or special diets.
In addition, we’ll have a group reservation one night at a charming traditional Swiss spot in the village, and you’ll enjoy three free evenings to venture out and choose among the area's other fantastic eateries.
Three dinners are prepaid, and you’ll pay your own way for four additional dinners.
For our lunches, we'll have suggested restaurants at on-mountain chalets where we'll connect as a group -- the costs for these lunches is up to you. A typical lunch in a good chalet costs about 25 USD. Thankfully, the cuisine goes far beyond your classic ski lodge burgers and chili dogs. You’ll find tasty Swiss sausages, baked potato and cheese rösti, schnitzel, fondue, and raclette, and — down on the Italian side of Cervinia — steaming bowls of freshly made pasta. The food is great in Zermatt.
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 select a single occupancy. We collect the single occupancy supplement when you sign up (View "Pricing & Payment" below). Please note: there are only a small number of single occupancy slots available. Single occupancies tend to sell out very quickly.
We can’t lie — our hotel in Zermatt is reason enough to travel here. With a breathtaking location, perched above the snowy roofs of the town, the CERVO Zermatt is the kind of place where you can easily drift into an Alpine dream. Thankfully, the rooms are so well designed and beautifully appointed that you might not ever want to wake up. No two rooms here are exactly the same; they’re arranged within multi-room chalets that all offer spectacular views.
Each room features its own private en-suite bathroom and beds which can be arranged for singles or couples. All participants are guaranteed his or or her own bed.
Additionally, each chalet features its own private spa, equipped with sauna, solarium, outdoor whirlpool, massage and bucket showers, Kneipp basins, massage room and relaxation area, as well as a terrace offering views of the Matterhorn. Imagine finishing your ski day here.
Perched on a hill with ski-in access, the hotel is within easy access from the walkable sidewalks of Zermatt. An elevator carries you directly to and from the cobblestone streets below. Its aprés-ski scene is hoppin’, with live music every afternoon. And, its new restaurant, Ferdinand, draws gourmands from throughout the area who travel here for some of Zermatt’s most delicious cuisine.
This is a stylish, smartly designed, gay-friendly property with incredible reviews. We absolutely fell in love with it in 2013 — and they’re very excited to welcome us back.
The village of Zermatt is blissfully walkable, and most visitors rely on foot to get from one spot to another. Although the village is car-free, electric vans and e-buses make longer treks more feasible. The infrastructure of the area relies on excellent gondolas, trains, a furnicular, and a famous cogwheel train!
As with our other recent trips to the Alps, we'll be relying on a combination of free (and cheap) trains and buses, supplementing with occasional taxi rides.
The Zermatt and Cervinia areas are massive; it’s hard to capture the scope and size in maps. To view interactive or PDF images of the trail maps, click here >
For those who ski or ride at an advanced level, we recommend hiring private guides for a day or two, especially if you’d like to stretch into the deeper recesses of off-piste terrain, where glaciers, cliffs and crevasses pose a significant challenge. We’ll help connect you with others at your skill level who might like to also hire a guide. You should book a few days before our arrival, once the weather forecast comes into sharper focus.
If you'd like to take skiing or snowboarding lessons, we recommend waiting until we arrive in Switzerland to visit ski schools and book your instructors, so you can book instructors at the specific resorts that the group will be visiting each day. See the daily plan below.
About half of our participants will rent skis or snowboards. We do NOT recommend reserving equipment in advance; despite the chance to save some Francs, it often locks you into a particular rental shop that may not have the specific gear you'd prefer to use.
Instead, we'll encourage you to arrive at our hotel with enough time to shop around and pick up gear that suits you. The Front Desk will be happy to assist with directions and recommendations.
Want to see the SKI BUMS around the world who love the mountains as much as you do? When you post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, use the hashtag #skibums!
Tell your friends about our adventure in the Swiss Alps!
We've got lots of inside advice for those who are taking their first SKI BUMS trip. Click here >
IMPORTANT NOTE: we do not permit skiers and snowboarders to arrange their own lodging and join our events without setting up a Custom Trip and pre-paying for our guided events and group meals. Custom Trip spaces are very limited. Contact us here to set up a Custom Trip >