SKI BUMS :: Gay & lesbian skiing and snowboarding club
Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria -- known simply as St. Anton -- is undeniably one of the greatest ski destinations in the Alps. It's equally famous for its fun off the slopes as it is for its exhilarating terrain. The après-ski scene here is legendary.
But take one look at that trail map and you'll see why skiers and snowboarders travel here from all over the world. The Austrian Alps just keep going and going, and the entire Ski Arlberg region is covered under one gargantuan ski pass system. We'll be enjoying the neighboring areas ofLech, Zürs, St. Christoph and Stuben -- an over-abundance of terrain.
With nightly delicious dinners, infamous après-ski and truly spectacular vistas, it's easy to understand why St. Anton is continually at the top of our members' wish lists. We hope you'll join us for our return to St. Anton!
Recommended for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders
$2999 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 September 1, you may cancel your spot at any time and receive a full refund. After September 1, the following cancellation fees apply:
For cancellations received from September 2 - December 31, $1000 fee. After January 1st, 2018: 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.
$2999 USD per person, for double occupancy
-- or --
Save $100 if you pay in full at signup
-- additional options --
$1000 USD supplement for single occupancy
$1000 deposit due at sign up -- 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 six day pass for the Ski Arlberg combined resort areas. Note: If you or your travel partner do not ski or snowboard -- or if you hold the Vail Resorts Epic Pass, which qualifies you for three free days here -- we can remove the lift tickets from our package. Indicate “I do not need a lift pass” at signup, and you’ll receive a $275 discount on your initial trip payment. (Epic Pass holders: see additional notes on the signup form.)
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 the Ski Arlberg region provide so much variety that you’ll have no trouble finding runs that exhilarate you. This area is the “cradle of alpine skiing” — the sport was essentially developed here. Today, the region enjoys a world-famous array of excellent instructors, and you’d be wise to take a lesson here. Intermediate skiers and boarders often experience more ungroomed trails here than they’re used to — especially on powder days, where highly-trafficked runs become mogul-fields by day’s end. You will find the region challenging, but the astonishing views from atop the Alps provide more than ample inspiration. SKI BUMS hosts trips to the Alps every season. Historically, very few participants are beginner skiers and riders. About half are solid intermediates, about 25% are more advanced, and the final quarter are adrenaline-chasing 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. See the Lodging section above for suggestions for hotel stays in Zurich.
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. This trip requires international airfare to Zurich, plus ground transfers to St Anton.
Zurich (ZRH) is St. Anton's most convenient international airport. (Innsbruck, Friedrichshafen and Munich are also an option.)
IF ARRIVING FROM OUTSIDE EUROPE:
You'll want to be smart and cautious about buying your airfare, especially if you're flying from North America. Be sure to schedule your return flight with a close eye on the ground-transfer time from St. Anton. An early departure on Saturday is not logistically feasible, and will require a very expensive private taxi, so we recommend spending Saturday night in Zurich (see "Lodging," above) and scheduling your return flight for Sunday. RECOMMENDATIONS |ARRIVAL: our hotel rooms won't be guaranteed until 4 PM. We suggest you arrive in Zurich on Saturday morning, March 9th. | DEPARTURE: if you'd like a relaxing itinerary, we suggest scheduling your return flight for Sunday, March 29th. You can enjoy Saturday night in Zurich, then depart at whatever time works best for you.
If you prefer to head home on Saturday, we strongly recommend that you book your flight for noon or later, to give yourself enough time to travel from St. Anton back to Zurich. - - - - - - - - -
Connect with the other BUMS on Facebook if you'd like to coordinate travel with others.
Transfers from the airports to our hotel are not included. If this is your very first time in Austria / Switzerland, we recommend booking a shared bus transfer. If you're familiar with European trains -- and you're not bringing a lot of luggage -- the train may be preferable. Regardless of which method you choose, our hotel will send a shuttle to conveniently pick you up from the bus / train depot.
BY BUS | Allow three hours to travel from Zurich to St. Anton. The Alrberg Express runs four daily shared bus shuttles from Zurich to St. Anton, from 10 AM until 7 PM. It's about 80 Euro for a round-trip ticket, and advance reservations are necessary. For the return, the earliest shuttle departs at 5:30 AM and arrives at the Zurich airport by 9 AM. Remember, for international flights, you should be at the airport at least three hours before departure.
BY TRAIN | The Swiss train system is world-famous for its efficiency and ease, and if you'd like to take the train from Zurich, it's very simple. You can book advance tickets between from 30 to 180 days in advance of the trip, and if you're in the USA, you'll want to be sure to buy your tickets online at least a month beforehand, to allow for ticket shipping time.
Ski Arlberg is the name of the combined ski area that includes the mountain terrain surrounding the villages of St. Anton, Klösterle, Lech, Stuben, St. Christoph, Zürs and Zug, Although each area features its own village, there's a widely sprawling interconnected series of surface lifts, chair lifts, cable cars and trams -- with 94 lifts in all. The lift systems are modern and excellent. Additionally, the villages are connected via roads and highways which make it easy to get from one village to another. Read an in-depth description of St. Anton from The Telegraph >
Skiing and riding in the Alps is quite different from North America. In the States, one huge company owns and operates the lifts, runs the lodges, oversees the instructors and maintains the terrain. That's not how things work here; everything is independently owned. The lifts are run like a public transportation system. Ski schools and guides are licensed, but independent. On-mountain chalets offer delicious sit-down meals on sun-soaked terraces. The whole experience is designed to help you have a truly relaxing holiday; you may never want to ski or ride in North America again!
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 St. Anton 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 Zurich?” 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. St. Anton's snowiest period is in March, and the snow storms generally continue well into April. We selected this exact same week for our 2009, 2012 and 2015 trips; for each of them, we experienced huge powder days and bright sunny blue-bird conditions, with warm sunny afternoons at après-ski. Because the top altitudes of St. Anton are quite high, and much of the terrain is north-facing, snow preservation is excellent well into the spring.
Our rooms in St. Anton are guaranteed after 4 PM on Saturday March 21st. After being picked up the 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 visit the town, get acquainted and pick up any rental ski / snowboard equipment. There's convenient ski and snowboard storage in the hotel.
Our trip officially begins with a meet & greet welcome reception in the bar of the Hotel Lux Alpinae at 7 PM, followed by dinner immediately following. You won't want to miss this; you'll get your lift passes, information about the week and meet your fellow Austria BUMS!
This trip has a minimum of 20 participants and a maximum of 45 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.
+ Six-day adult lift passes for Ski Arlberg + Seven night stay in St. Anton at the 4-star Hotel Lux Alpinae + Daily delicious hot breakfasts + Nightly multi-course dinners + 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 in Zurich (recommended for easier flight scheduling) + Ski and snowboard equipment rental + Lunches, alcoholic drinks + Travel insurance (very highly recommended)
+ Friday, March 9: Fly to Zurich (most will depart on overnight flights)
+ Saturday, March 10: Transfer to St. Anton
+ Sunday March 11 - Friday March 16: Ski & ride the Ski Arlberg region
+ Sat March 17: Transfer to Zurich (or elsewhere in Europe)
+ Sun March 18: Travel home
Our trip leaders design an itinerary that highlights the best spots in St. Anton 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 St. Anton is expansive, the trip leaders generally name a broad area where the group will spend each day, particularly for the first three days, when we'll explore the areas of St. Anton, Lech and Zürs. That'll allow us to travel together, gather as a group for lunch, etc.
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. In St. Anton, the après-ski is its own massive tradition, with outdoor dance parties, overflowing pitchers of beer and an entire soundtrack of songs that you'll know by heart by the time the week is up. Each evening, we'll dine together at the hotel.
Prepare to bond; by the week's end, it'll be hard to believe that we've only spent six days 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. St. Anton 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. 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 spa.
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. View one of the daily itineraries from our 2015 trip >
For this reason, you MUST have a cell phone that will work while we're in Austria.
Our trip includes daily breakfasts and nightly multi-course gourmet dinners at the stylish, delicious restaurant within our hotel. We can easily accommodate vegetarians, those with allergies or special diets.
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 sausages, baked potato and cheese rösti, schnitzel, fondue, raclette, and wienerschnitzel. The food is tasty here, but chances are good that you’ll remember the views more than whatever you had for lunch.
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.
ST. ANTON We've been very fortunate to book a return to the stylish, ultra-modern Hotel Lux Alpinae, which hosted the SKI BUMS on all three previous stays. This four-star property is winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence -- you'll adore its super-friendly staff, which loves us just as much as we love them. This hotel is a chic, modernist design hotel -- no lederhosen or gingham here -- with minimalist decor, spacious rooms, an indoor climbing wall and lovely views that gaze directly out onto the slopes. It's well known for an exceptionally delicious restaurant, where we'll enjoy daily breakfasts and dinners as a group. That's a huge part of what makes this property so great. The staff here adores us, and eagerly invites us back every winter.
Our hotel is located about a five-minute walk from the center of St. Anton. You can easily walk to town, but the hotel offers a free shuttle if you'd prefer a ride. Plus, the hotel's distance from the main thoroughfare's boisterous nightlife offers a very big perk: a quiet, restful night's sleep.
ZURICH Most participants will book a Saturday night hotel stay in Zurich at the end of our trip. This lodging is not included, but it makes for much easier return flight schedule. Zurich’s Old Town area is especially charming, where you’ll find Hotel Kindli (for something more traditional) and the Hotel Widder (for something more modern). We highly recommend each hotel.
Cars aren't necessary while we're in St. Anton. There's a large system of convenient, efficient public buses which connect the various towns and villages in the area. As a point of reference, a trip from St. Anton to Lech takes about twenty minutes; the other villages are even closer.
Additionally, private taxis are plentiful. If you prefer door-to-door service, you can always hail a mini-van taxi with three or four other BUMS and split the fare. The taxis are reasonably priced and easy to find, especially around the popular après-ski spots.
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 avalanche risk 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 Austria 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 Euros, 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. Most participants rent their gear at Jennewein Sports.
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!
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 >