By Mathew Katz
NEW YORK CITY — It's that time of year — fresh powder is falling and the ski slopes are open.
But the logistics of planning a skiing or snowboarding trip can be a challenge, especially for New Yorkers who are hours away from the mountains. Even for folks with a car, getting to top spots in places like Vermont or the Berkshires can mean a long early-morning drive.
Luckily for the car-free set, there are many companies willing to shuttle you to and from the East Coast's best ski areas, leaving you free to sleep on the way there and even enjoy a little après-ski on the way back.
These trips typically include everything you need — a round-trip ride, a lift ticket and rentals.
Whether you want a quick jaunt upstate or a major ski day in Vermont, DNAinfo New York scoped out some of the easiest ways to get to resorts — without getting behind the wheel.
Travels to: Killington, Mount Snow, Hunter Mountain, Camelback, Windham, Stratton.
Leaves from: Park Slope, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, SoHo, Union Square, Upper West Side, Upper East Side.
Price: $50 for bus only to $135 for bus, lift ticket and rentals.
OvRride was started by hardcore snowboarders who wanted to give New Yorkers a way to easily get out of the city and onto the slopes.
Trips to Vermont, including the company's signature "Stratturday" trips to Stratton Mountain, leave incredibly early in the morning to maximize ski time, but the luxury buses make it easy to nap on the trip there.
OvRide tends to appeal a bit more to the party set, so expect a good time and a few cans of beer on the way back. The company also hosts weekend trips for people looking to extend their ski time.
Travels to: Mountain Creek, NJ.
Leaves from: Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Astoria, Union Square.
Price: $35 for bus only, $67 for bus and lift ticket, $97 for bus, lift ticket and rentals.
If you're looking for a more affordable option, the Snow Bus might be for you. These bright yellow buses that take beach-goers to the Rockaways in the summer will drive you up to Mountain Creek every weekend at 8:30 a.m. throughout the winter. With a no-frills mentality and a closer and easier-to-ski destination, the Snow Bus is a good option for the beginner skier.
Travels to: Mount Snow, Okemo, Stratton, Hunter Mountain, Windham.
Leaves from: Forest Hills, Midtown, Upper East Side.
Price: $99 to $119 for Vermont mountains, $74.99 to $84.99 for New York mountains.
This beloved Queens ski and snowboard shop runs trips on coaches throughout the winter. If you're looking to try out skiing but save a little bit of cash, ski rentals are available at the store itself at rates that are less than what you'll find at most mountains.
Travels to: Hunter Mountain, Windham, Killington, Mountain Creek.
Leaves from: Union Square, Midtown.
Price: $79 on weekdays, $90 to $99.99 on weekends.
Urban Sherpa is a cheaper way to get to some of the bigger mountains, including ones in Vermont, and offers overnight trips for people who want to spend a whole weekend skiing. They also offer a popular Friday night trip to Mountain Creek, giving snow-lovers the opportunity to get out of the city at 3 p.m. and enjoy some night skiing — and a few after-ski drinks.
Travels to: Thunder Ridge Ski Area.
Leaves from: Grand Central Terminal and Harlem-125th Street.
Price: $57 for adults, $40 for seniors, $23 for children aged 6-11, $9.50 for children under 5.
A long bus trip not your thing? Just a 70-mile, 90-minute trip away, Metro-North's Ski Train takes you (and your gear) from Grand Central Station to the slopes, with a great view from the train along the way. Take designated Harlem Line trains to Patterson Station, where a shuttle bus will take you to the slopes. Your train ticket is good for a lift ticket, along with a discount on ski rentals.