SKI BUMS :: Gay & lesbian skiing and snowboarding club
SKI BUMS is led by its president and founder,Chris French. Originally from Illinois, Chris grew up skiing with his family at 400-foot vertical resorts throughout the midwest. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he moved to New York City, began taking ski trips out West, and fell in love with the incredible atmospheres of high altitude destinations.
After Chris came out, he learned a few things very quickly. In a place like New York, it’s easy to meet other LGBT people. But it can be surprisingly hard to really get to know them.
In 2003, Chris created SKI BUMS with a very simple goal: to form new, down-to-earth, authentic friendships with LGBT people by getting away to the mountains and having a great time. He spread the word via social networks, and was surprised to find a lot of others who wanted to join the fun.
SKI BUMS hosted its first group trips in the winter of 2005. What began as a local LGBT skiing and snowboarding club quickly grew into a national and an international one. Now the largest LGBT skiing and snowboarding club in the world, Chris has organized dozens of trips to more than fifty ski resorts throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Contact Chris directly > Read on to learn more about the incredible team of SKI BUMS trip leaders who oversee our adventures in the mountains.
As SKI BUMS membership skyrocketed during our first few seasons, one thing was immediately clear: we’d need a professional staff if we wanted to host the kind of high-quality, stress-free travel adventures that our members were seeking.
We built a team of highly qualified Trip Leaders, drawing primarily from the hospitality and snow sports industry. Some were former ski instructors who had spent winters at resorts out West. Others were camp counselors, hotel managers or high school ski team coaches. We all had common goal: to foster the kind of life-long friendships that happen naturally when you’re having fun with people who relate to you. Our professional Trip Leaders begin working long before you arrive on a SKI BUMS trip.They deeply research the resorts we visit, hand-picking the best resort lodging in the area, with an eye toward style, gay-friendliness and value. They know the best restaurants and après-ski spots, making sure you see, taste & experience the most delicious food with the best awe-inspiring vistas. They prepare you for the trip with informative emails, predicting all the things you’ll need to know for a smooth and easy travel adventure.
Best of all, our leaders design an intelligent, fun-filled itinerary from the moment you arrive until you depart, setting up our group lodging, dining, transportation and social events so you can effortlessly enjoy the mountain and focus on making new friends.
On a SKI BUMS trip, our Trip Leaders warmly welcome you to the group and introduce you to the other skiers & riders who are joining your adventure. On our first morning on the mountain, they oversee skill level groups, to help you connect with other skiers & riders who enjoy the same terrain — at the same pace — that you do. As the trip proceeds, they coordinate details with our lodging, transportation and dining partners to make sure that everything goes smoothly. They send up-to-the-minute updates to everyone, making sure you’re well informed about the day’s conditions, itinerary items and important reminders.
And, if anything goes awry — if flights are interrupted, luggage is lost, or if you’re injured while skiing & riding — our Trip Leaders are ready to assist with anything you might need.
If you’d like to help lead a SKI BUMS trip one day, we’d love to invite you to join our leadership team. We are always seeking highly qualified, motivated individuals to help oversee our unforgettable mountain experiences.
Begin by taking trips with us during the wintertime and volunteering for SKI BUMS off-mountain events during the off-season. Those who volunteer are later invited to apply for Trip Leader positions.
Greg is a high school teacher who leads trips for his high school’s ski team, in addition to being a SKI BUMS trip leader. He’s led our trips to Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Vermont.
Amy and Victoria met on a SKI BUMS trip in 2007 and got married in NYC in 2014. Together, they’ve led SKI BUMS trips to upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Utah. Matt joined SKI BUMS in our very first season; he’s gone on to lead trips to Argentina, France, Switzerland, California, Colorado, New York, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.
Alex spent winters running the Tram at Snowbird, Utah. Here he is leading our spectacular trip to Bariloche, Argentina.
We proudly host Pride events in cities like Washington DC and New York. Additionally, we host social events like Avalanche in major cities across the USA and beyond.
The Bums Rush is an exhilarating annual charity event and fund-raiser.
Our Community Outreach programs include charity events like AIDS Walk NY and speaking to Gay-Straight Alliances in places like Park City Community High School in Utah.
When recruiting Trip Leaders, here are our primary qualifications: + You must spend at least one full season participating as a regular member, volunteering for multiple events and skiing / riding with us.
+ You should be an advanced skier or snowboarder, comfortable on black diamond terrain in both Eastern and Western resorts.
+ Excellent verbal and written communication skills are vital, with impeccable attention to detail.
+ Professional group leadership experience is helpful. Camp counselors, scout troop leaders, university resident advisors, teachers, etc.
+ You must have an outgoing personality, with a natural enthusiasm and a warm, genuine friendliness toward everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
No matter where you live — or your skiing & snowboarding skill level — we’d love to help you to get involved in SKI BUMS. We’re always looking for fun-loving, enthusiastic volunteers to help with social events, youth & college outreach, charity events and more. And, active members who volunteer with us have the chance to co-lead one of our exciting on-mountain adventures one day.
We are especially seeking volunteers in the following cities: + Boston, Massachusetts + Chicago, Illinois + Denver, Colorado + London, United Kingdom + Los Angeles, California + Minneapolis, Minnesota + Salt Lake City, Utah + San Francisco, California + Sydney, Australia + Washington, District of Columbia
Monique has been skiing since age three. Today, she teaches yoga in Austin, Texas, and leads SKI BUMS adventures in Austria, France, Italy, Colorado, Utah and Vermont. Brandon, originally from Los Angeles, has led unforgettable trips to Vermont, New York and Japan.
Adam grew up skiing in Oregon. He’s led trips to New York, Switzerland, Vermont and Wyoming. Will fell in love with SKI BUMS in 2007, and has shared his passion for skiing while leading spectacular trips to Vermont and Colorado.
Keith is an expert snowboarder with a passion for all things outdoors. In addition to cycling and kayaking, he’s led multiple SKI BUMS trips to Austria, Canada, Vermont and Wyoming. Matt grew up in the midwest, and began leading trips to Vermont and New York after joining SKI BUMS on trips to Utah and Colorado.