OUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR IS BACK! (AND WE HONESTLY WEREN'T SURE IT WOULD BE). THIS WILL BE #7. IF YOU'VE NEVER BEEN, IT'S SUMMER CAMP MEETS SKI MOUNTAIN, 1-DAY ONLY 👍❄️🙌⛷🏂🏔
What's Friends Rent a Mountain?
Once upon a time in 2017, a group of friends decided to rent an old-school gem-of-a-ski-mountain for the day. Long before the NYT article made it cool. People liked it, so we kept doing it. Here are some video montages from 2017 and 2018, along with glam shots from 2020, 2022, and 2023 to give you an idea. Here's a fun vid from last year too.
The whole thing is a bit magic. Everyone you bump into on a chairlift or in the lodge is a friend of a friend who's just excited to be there too. Instead of a normal Monday in March, you're at a Winter-y summer camp. Every year we have beginners who learn to ski or board for the 1st or 2nd time (the instructors are great), and more experienced folks ride a party wave with their pals right under the main lift.
The mountain is Plattekill. It's fiercely independent and full of character, with a rustic base lodge that's barely changed since the 80s. It's quirky with 1,100ft of vertical, a great learning slope for beginners, plenty of gentle meandering greens & blues for those who don't ski much, and a surprising array of steeps and trees for those who go hard. All under 3hrs from NYC.
First-Timer or Beginner?
Never skied or snowboarded before? Can't think of a better day to learn (pro-tip: skiing is probably easier). The mountain offers rental & lesson packages (with a certified instructor). You'll also have plenty of other first-timers to learn with. Even if you end up not loving skiing/snowboarding, it'll still be a fun day.
Ways to be part of FRAM
Option #1: Standard Signup (with Bus) | $148 | This is our most popular option but sells out quickly. We run 2 buses; one from Times Square, and the other from Jericho NY near the LIE. Includes: Lift ticket to our friends-only private mountain rental, Lunch Voucher, First Drink on Us, Après-Ski Games & Festivities, Round-Trip Coach Bus (bus snacks, waters, & driver tip included)
Option #2: “Drive Yourself" Skier/Snowboarder | $96 | Limited to ~50 because we don't want FRAM to get *too* big. Drive-up that morning, or even Sunday night. Our favorite option if you can make a weekend out of it — nearby Catskills Airbnbs are cheap. Includes: Lift ticket to our friends-only private mountain, Lunch Voucher, First Drink on Us, Après-Ski Games & Festivities.
Option #3: "Drive Yourself" Hanging Out (not Skiing/Riding) | $74 | If you want to drive up and be part of the day, but without any skiing. Still 10x better than going to work. Includes: Lunch Voucher, First Drink on Us, Après-Ski Games & Festivities. The lodge has wifi and is a decent place to work from if you need it!
For context, a lift ticket alone at "Windham Mountain Club" next door is $170, and a bus + lift ticket from NYC to Hunter Mtn is $179.95). We price FRAM to barely break even (it usually doesn't happen until a few days before), since we know skiing/snowboarding can be expensive. So we try hard to keep this as affordable as possible for our friends & friends-of-friends. 🙏
Q: What else happens besides skiing/snowboarding?
A: The day is kind of like summer camp on a ski mountain. The past few years there's been a Stein-holding competition, costume contests, musical chairs world championship, etc etc. Aprés ski typically starts around 2:30ish, with games, your first beer on us, s'mores by the fire, and a few surprises. Karlo will be back as MC extraordinaire, as well as everyone’s favorite DJ Larry. It's hard not to meet fun people, and we're all sad when it's over.
Q: How does free lunch + the free beer work?
A: When you arrive at the check-in table Monday morning, we'll hand you a $12 lunch voucher you can spend on whatever you want (quesadillas are traditionally the crowd favorite, but there's all sorts of stuff), along with a drink ticket that's good for your first beer/wine/bev of choice.
Q: What if I don't have skis or a snowboard?
A: You can rent them at the mountain for $48 (paid to the mountain directly ahead of time). $10 if you want a helmet. That said, you can also rent from a local ski/snowboard shop.
Q: What if I'm a first-timer or a beginner and want a lesson?
A: The mountain offers a "Learn to ski/snowboard package" that includes rental equipment + a beginner 1-hr group lesson with a professional instructor for ~$88 (paid directly to the mountain ahead of time). FRAM is a damn good day to learn, since you'll be with plenty of first-timers, and your worst-case scenario is early Après Ski merriment.
Q: I've never skied or snowboarded, and I'm not sure which one to try?
A: Skiing is probably easier to learn. So we recommend that for most people. That said, if you surf or skateboard, snowboarding might be the move.
Q: What if I don't have a car?
A: We have buses! The Long Island Bus departs 200 Jericho Quadrangle (near exit 41) at 5am. The NYC bus departs 200 W 39th St (near 7th Ave/Times Square) at 6am.
Q: What if I buy a ticket but then can't go?
A: It happens, and we try to be as reasonable as possible. We'll do full refunds (less a $5 processing fee) so long as you contact us 14 days before the trip so we still have time to fill your spot. 50% refunds if you contact us 7 days before. Within a week, unfortunately we can't do refunds because everything is already paid for :/ But you're more than welcome to find someone else to take your place; just let us know their name/email.
Q: Can I invite friends?
A: Of course; FRAM is open to friends of friends. That said, if you're reading this right now, it's because someone else said you're good people. 🙏 So we're not trying to invite everyone we've ever met; just nice, friendly people who you think would really love being a part of this.
Q: What if I want to come solo?
A: If you're coming solo, this is the easiest day ever to make ski friends. Just hop on a lift with anybody. We're also happy to match you to a group with who you'd probably enjoy starting the day with.
Q: What if I don't have ski clothes?
A: You can certainly buy them. Or ask a ski/snowboard friend who's not coming if you can borrow their stuff -- if you're just getting into the snowsports, they'll probably be happy to lend you some gear.
Q: Can I do work in the lodge if needed?
A: Yep, it has wifi. A few quiet corners too early in the day if you need a quick video call.
Q: Can I ask other questions?
A: Of course, email us at email@example.com
Q: Who's behind FRAM?
A: It's a big volunteer effort. We're a group of friends who started running ski trips together 15 years ago when we started the SnöCats Ski & Snowboard Club at Binghamton University. Since then, we've had help from lots of amazing collaborators. This year, we're also partnering with our pals at VentureSails.