Marmot Basin Canada’s beloved ski hill celebrates 50 years.
By Nerissa McNaughton
t was the late 1920s when Joe Weiss enjoyed an adventurous ski trip along the eastern slope of Marmot Mountain. During this trip he discovered and named Marmot Basin and the rest, as they say, is history. Weiss used Marmot Basin to lead tours of cross-country skiers and to train World War II British soldiers in alpine skills. Marmot Basin’s first major milestone came in the 1950s with the development of an access road. Early skiers did not enjoy today’s easy access to Marmot Basin. In the 50s and 60s, busses and trucks equipped with tracks and runner sleds were used to transport skiers up the road. Skiers, however, are a hardy, practical lot – as proved by Toby Rayner who installed Marmot’s first tow rope using parts from a discarded army truck’s engine. In 1964, Marmot received a licence of occupation from
Parks Canada, which allowed Marmot Basin Ski Lifts Ltd. to start developing the area. Since the 60s, Marmot has been in a constant state of progression with each development allowing for comfort and convenience while never compromising safety and environmental responsibility. “The biggest changes I have seen are in respect to the infrastructure of the mountain,” says Brian Rode, vice president/marketing and sales at Marmot Basin. Two of our newest additions include the Paradise and the Canadian Rockies Express high speed quad chairs. The Canadian Rockies Express is the longest high-speed quad chair in the Rockies and transports skiers to the top of the hill in under eight minutes. “Now, lift lines are almost non-existent,” smiles Rode. “Without having to wait in lines, guests get in lots of skiing.”
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Rode started with Marmot Basin in 1978 and is particularly proud of Marmot’s unspoiled beauty. “Many other areas are purpose-built resorts with condos right at the base of the ski area; Marmot is natural,” he explains. “From Marmot Basin you can look out at the surrounding peaks and into the Athabasca valley and see the same view today as skiers did in the ’50s. We are not littered with unsightly concrete buildings and other commercial trappings usually found at purpose built ski resorts.” Rode goes on to say that while resorts with slope-side accommodation certainly have their time and place, the best features of Marmot Ba-
Congratulations on 50 years!
We are proud to be a part of your success!
sin are the ambience and atmosphere that come with being in Canada’s largest Rocky Mountain national park. “The where makes Marmot special,” he says of the area’s natural beauty that enhances the skiing experience. No decisions are made at Marmot Basin without solemn consideration for the environment as a top priority. From recycling to careful selection of the materials used for infrastructure, the integrity and the beauty of the mountain are well-respected. Another top priority is safety. “We operate under a policy of safety comes first. Risk management policies are paramount.” Safety features include an exceptionally trained ski patrol, night grooming of the trails, and trail closures when necessary. This year Marmot Basin celebrates its 50th anniversary and the festivities to mark this milestone will go on all season long. A series of special deals, contests and events are planned, including a charity masquerade ball. The March 8 ball includes a day on the slopes featuring live entertainment and birthday cake followed by an evening of elegance. A champagne reception, live music, dancing and mysterious masks are just some of the delights this evening of fashion and intrigue will offer, all while raising funds for the charities supported by the Jasper Rotary Club. Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Marmot Sales Center, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or through TicketWeb.ca. Another event planned for the celebration is Marmot’s homecoming weekend. Taking place May 3 and 4, guests
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can expect live entertainment on the hill, visits from Jasper’s notable expats, a barbeque and events in the town of Jasper. To stay current on all the great things planned for the 50th anniversary celebration, bookmark skimarmot.com. Marmot Basin has come a very long way since Weiss led adventure-seekers over the snow in the ’20s, but a few things
never change. Marmot Basin is still home to some of the most breathtaking and unspoilt views anywhere in the Canadian Rockies. Marmot has terrain to suit and challenge everyone. Combined with some of the driest powder you will ever experience, it really is a little piece of paradise. Marmot Basin boasts:
acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain
A variety of runs: treed trails in the lower area; high alpine, open bowls and chutes in the upper area Runs that take all skill levels into consideration:
The runs are evenly split on the upper and lower mountain ranges.
2 terrain parks featuring various rail slides, table tops, and jumps 7 lifts: three high speed quad chairs, one quad chair, one triple chair, one double chair, and a magic carpet
Celebrating 50 years of winter magic in Jasper National Park!
50th Anniversary R
Jasper Inn & Suites The Inn Restaurant
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*Valid Sunday through Thursday during the 2013/14 winter season. Not available on holidays, Friday or Saturday nights. Must be reserved. Offer subject to room availability.
Marmot Basin by the Numbers Season: Mid November to early May Elevations: • Top: 8,570 ft (2, 612 m) • Base: 5, 570 ft (1,698 m) • Vertical Drop: 3,000 ft (914 m) Average Snowfall: 400 cm (160 inches) Average Temperature: • December -11°C (12°F) • January -7°C (19°F) • February -3°C (27°F) • March +1°C (34°F) • April +6° (43°F)
Best View in Jasper |
7 Minute Ride | 2300M Above Sea Level
50 Years Congratulations to Marmot Basin
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It doesn’t get any better than this.
Celebrating 50 Years with Marmot Basin ! Ski for Free in Jasper! Book two nights on the Ski for Free Package and receive two Marmot Basin ski passes and complimentary ski shuttle.
from per room, per night *Based on double occupancy in a Fairmont Room. Subject to availability, not combinable with any other offer. Two night minimum stay required.
Congratulations Marmot Basin!
Special Anniversary Winter and Ski Packages Available!
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Other amenities include the repair and rental shop that offers state-of-the-art equipment and an on-site nursery that allows parents to enjoy their day at Marmot Basin knowing their little ones are safely having a great time with other children. Skiers also enjoy three day lodges (one at the base area and two at mid-mountain) where they can lounge, dine or
Congratulations to Marmot Basin on 50 Years!
enjoy a meal on the sun decks or bag lunch areas. Of course, no visit to Marmot Basin is complete without a little retail therapy from Outer Limits in the Caribou Chalet! The first 50 years have been a success for Marmot Basin, but Rode knows the best is yet to come. “The sport itself has become so much more accessible to people,” he says of the
CONGRATULATIONS ON 50 YEARS OF SUCCESS!
1-800-282-9919 • www.whistlersinn.com
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From your friends at
industry’s improved equipment and grooming techniques. Rode is also excited about Marmot’s plans for further development. “Since 2003 over $30 million has been invested in improvements, and we’re not done yet!” Marmot Basin is working on a long-range plan, which includes increasing snow making capabilities, expanding the parking area, improvements to the chalets and so much more. Long-range plans are designed to continually provide guests with the best possible experience on the mountain, now and into the future. For Marmot, there is never a “good enough”. They always have, and always will, strive to give each and every skier and snowboarder the outstanding, natural, exhilarating, experience that they deserve. It is this outlook that attracts skiers to Marmot from all over the world. Marmot Basin offers something for every skier and snowboarder, from novice to expert. Visit this unique location and enjoy the same natural beauty seen by some of Canada’s first skiers. To buy lift tickets, reserve lessons, rent equipment or to purchase gift certificates, visit onlinestore. skimarmot.com or pop into The Marmot Sales Center in
Jasper at 611 Patricia Street. A shuttle bus with multiple pick up and drop off points between Jasper and Marmot is available for the duration of the season, as is parking on the mountain.
Box 1300 Jasper, Alberta, Canada T0E 1E0 Phone: 1-780-852-3816 • Toll Free: 1-866-952-3816 Fax: 1-780-852-3533 firstname.lastname@example.org • skimarmot.com
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