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Marmots Story

Here's the story of Marmot Basin, how it came to be, and the major developments over the years. A lot has happened since those early days in the 1920's, however Marmot still retains that pristine uncrowded feel that makes it so special.

Marmots Story

The Beginning

Late 1920's

Joe Weiss named Marmot Basin and acted as guide to cross-country skiers from Whistler's Creek via Caribou Ridge.

1930's to 1940's

The first trail was blazed from the Athabasca Valley in the 1930's. 1942 saw the British army use Marmot Basin for alpine training manoeuvres requiring a crude trail for snowmobile and snow cat transportation of the troops.


Bill Ruddy and Tom McCready lobbied for a road to be built from the highway to Marmot Basin. Bill then ran a bombardier snow cat, transporting 15 passengers at a time to Marmot Basin.


In 1961 Toby Rayner took over the snow car concession and installed a 700m/2296ft long rope tow on Paradise, constructed from parts of an old British Army Truck. In 1964
Marmot Basin Ski-Lifts Ltd. was issued a License of Operation by Parks Canada. In 1964/65 The Upper Chalet was built, and the Yellow T-Bar was installed. The Red T-Bar was installed in 1965/66.

In 1968/69 10 sheltered runs were developed, the Lower Chalet was built, and the Yellow Chair was installed.


In 1970 a modern access highway to Marmot Basin was completed. The Caribou Chair was installed from the 4th parking lot. The Knob Chair was installed in the Upper Basin – the serviced vertical rise became 701m/2300ft in 1976.


Runs were extended and developed in 1984. 1986 saw the Spillway T-Bar installed. The Little Rascals Nursery was built. A modern sewer system was installed to connect the chalets, and chalet renovations were completed.


The Eagle Express Quad Detachable Chair was installed in 1990. In 1991 the Paradise chalet was introduced at mid-mountain, adding 10,000 square feet of indoor space.

In 1993, Marmot Basin's first Terrain Park was introduced.

1997 saw a 17,500 square foot new addition to the Lower Chalet area - the Caribou Chalet.


In 2001 the Eagle Ridge Quad Chair was installed, opening up a large area of terrain including expert areas.

The Magic Carpet ski lift was installed in the learning area in 2003. Two new high alpine bowls opened on Eagle East completing the 3 year Eagle Ridge Project.

In 2006 a new 1.8 million dollar snowmaking system was installed in the lower area of the mountain. 2007 brought a new 2,000 square foot Kokanee Glacier Sun Deck installed at the Caribou Chalet.

The Canadian Rockies Express was installed in 2009. This is the longest high speed quad chair in the Canadian Rockies at 2.3 kilometers and whisks skiers and snowboarders up 1,955 vertical feet (596m) in under 8 minutes. This year also saw the creation of a new and much expanded terrain park located in the lower portion of the mountain.

The 2000's

In 2001 the Eagle Ridge Quad Chair was installed opening up large area of terrain including lots of expert areas.

The Magic Carpet ski lift was installed in the learning area in 2003. A 1 million dollar complete renovation of the Guest Services area including the installation of a state-of-the-art rental shop complete with the most up to date equipment. Rental ski & snowboard equipment is kept up to date with one third of all equipment replaced annually. Two new high alpine bowls opened on Eagle East completing the 3 year Eagle Ridge Project.

In 2004 the Caribou Chalet interior was renovated and included the new Caribou Bar. The Jasper Sales Centre was located in downtown Jasper for advanced lift pass sales, ski lesson and rental equipment reservations. A new winch cat was purchased for improved grooming throughout the mountain in 2005. The Paradise Chalet underwent interior renovations. The Marmot Basin shuttle bus service was expanded. In 2006 a new 1.8 million dollar state-of-the-art snowmaking system was installed in lower area of the mountain ensuring good snow conditions from mid November to the end of April. 2007 came with a new 2,000 square foot Kokanee Glacier Sun Deck installed at the Caribou Chalet. The view down the Athabasca Valley and deep into the heart of the Rockies was chosen “The Best New View” of 2007 by Ski Canada. A communications tower was installed providing peak to parking lot Rogers Wireless cell service throughout the mountain. The reservoir capacity at lower mountain was increased for the snowmaking system.

The Paradise Express high speed quad chairlift began operating in the 2011-2012 season and carries a whopping 2,400 people per hour, has a vertical rise of 410m (1,345ft), and carries skiers 1,450m in only 4.6 minutes.

The Schoolhouse Chairlift and Learning Area was also developed in this year. The Schoolhouse Triple Chair replaced the t-bar in this area and provides easy access for beginners to the world class beginner terrain in the School House learning area.

In 2013, Marmot Basin celebrated its 50th anniversary.

A fan favourite for expert skiers and snowboarders, Tres Hombres opening in 2017. This powder-filled treeless slope is Marmot Basin's longest uninterrupted fall-line.

2020 and Beyond...

As always, we are excited for another season and to share the magic of Marmot Basin with you. There are more exciting updates to come, but more importantly, the same great mountain you know and love.

We're Green Year Round.... Environmentally That Is

Protecting and enhancing the environment remains at the forefront of our corporate objectives.

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